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Date: Jul 7, 2007
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1,000 IDEAS FOR ESL CLASSES: Breaking News English.com's e-Book

THE ARTICLE

British Museum to get bigger

London’s British Museum is going to become bigger. Executives have decided it is too small to accommodate many of the world-class exhibitions they want to put on and have announced plans to build a $200m extension. The new galleries will house bigger shows and increase the museum’s status as one of the best in the world. In recent years, the museum has not been able to cope with the huge crowds wanting to see special exhibitions. In 2006, the demand for tickets was far greater than the number of tickets available for its exhibitions on Persia and Michelangelo. Neil MacGregor, the museum’s director, said: "For the Michelangelo we could have had three times as many visitors if we'd had space." The new 1,000 square metre space will allow more people to see these kinds of popular large-scale displays.

Unfortunately, the new complex will not be completed in time for September’s eagerly awaited exhibition, The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army. The largest number of terracotta warriors from China’s Forbidden City ever to leave China will come to London. The museum has already sold over 30,000 tickets and has had to borrow exhibition space from its reading room. The British Museum had to turn down Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs at the same time as the Chinese exhibition because it did not have enough space for both. If the new buildings were finished today, it could have considered running the exhibitions from China and Egypt at the same time. Instead, the Tutankhamen exhibition will be shown in another of London’s museums and is predicted to be the most popular show in British history.

WARM-UPS

1. MUSEUMS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about museums. Change partners often. After you finish, sit with your original partner(s) and share what you found out.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

museums / exhibitions / galleries / crowds / tickets / Michelangelo / Persia / September / emperors / London / Tutankhamen / Egypt / British history

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. EXHIBITIONS: In pairs / groups, discuss which of the exhibits in the table you would most like to see. Rank them on a scale of 10 (=must see) to 1 (= not at all interested). Change partners and talk about your rankings. Can you agree?

  • China’s Terracotta soldiers
  • the life of birds in your country
  • the history of computers
  • the English language
  • Tutankhamen
  • 20th Century fashion and music
  • the history and uses of plastic
  • Breaking News English.com

4. HEADLINES: Talk with your partner(s) about these headlines. What are the stories behind the headlines? Do you think they’ll come true? Change partners and share what you said and heard.

  1. The United Kingdom becomes a living museum
  2. Virtual Reality history museum opens
  3. Exhibition of English student (your name_________ ) a major success
  4. All museums to close and go online
  5. World’s museum exhibits to return to country of origin
  6. Disaster at opening of Museum On The Moon

5. AN AFTERNOON OUT: You want to spend an afternoon with partner(s). Agree on an order for these options:

  • a museum
  • a football game
  • a movie
  • a picnic
  • an art gallery
  • a hike in the mountains
  • a drive in the countryside
  • shopping

6. MUSEUM: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word “museum”. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

7. QUICK DEBATE: Students A think museums should be free. Students B think the opposite. Change partners often. Share your findings.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

The British Museum will open a branch in another English city.

T / F

b.

Authorities plan to spend $200 million on the British Museum.

T / F

c.

The museum has had a lot of trouble selling tickets in recent years.

T / F

d.

An exhibition on Michelangelo was poorly attended.

T / F

e.

The new museum will be completed by September 2007.

T / F

f.

The first major exhibition will be on Chinese soldiers.

T / F

g.

The museum has sold 30,000 tickets for a September exhibition.

T / F

h.

An exhibition on Egypt’s Tutankhamen will be held at the museum.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

1.

accommodate

a.

standing

2

extension

b.

thought about

3.

cope

c.

shows

4.

status

d.

keenly

5.

displays

e.

soldiers

6.

eagerly

f.

house

7.

warriors

g.

addition

8.

turn down

h.

forecasted

9.

considered

i.

deal

10.

predicted

j.

reject

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

1.

it is too small to accommodate

a.

was far greater

2

The new galleries will house

b.

down Tutankhamen

3.

… has not been able to cope

c.

many of the world-class exhibitions

4.

the demand for tickets

d.

from its reading room

5.

we could have had three times

e.

with the huge crowds

6.

completed in time for September’s

f.

and Egypt at the same time

7.

borrow exhibition space

g.

as many visitors if we'd had space

8.

The British Museum had to turn

h.

show in British history

9.

running the exhibitions from China

i.

bigger shows

10.

predicted to be the most popular

j.

eagerly awaited exhibition

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

British Museum to get bigger
 

London’s British Museum is going to become bigger. Executives have ________ it is too small to accommodate many of the world-class exhibitions they want to ________ on and have announced plans to build a $200m extension. The new galleries will ________ bigger shows and increase the museum’s status as one of the best in the world. In recent years, the museum has not been able to ________ with the huge crowds ________ to see special exhibitions. In 2006, the demand for tickets was far greater than the number of tickets ________ for its exhibitions on Persia and Michelangelo. Neil MacGregor, the museum’s director, said: "For the Michelangelo we could have had three times as many visitors if we'd had space." The new 1,000 square metre ________ will allow more people to see these kinds of popular large-scale ________.

 

 

space
wanting
house
available
decided
cope
displays
put

Unfortunately, the new ________ will not be completed in time for September’s eagerly ________ exhibition, The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army. The largest number of terracotta warriors from China’s Forbidden City ever to ________ China will come to London. The museum has already sold over 30,000 tickets and has had to ________ exhibition space from its reading room. The British Museum had to turn ________ Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs at the same time as the Chinese exhibition because it did not have enough space for both. If the new buildings were finished today, it could have ________ running the exhibitions from China and Egypt at the ________ time. Instead, the Tutankhamen exhibition will be shown in another of London’s museums and is ________ to be the most popular show in British history.

 

 

borrow
same
awaited
predicted
complex
down
leave
considered

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

British Museum to get bigger

London’s British Museum ________________________. Executives have decided it is too small to accommodate many of the world-class exhibitions they ________________________ announced plans to build a $200m extension. The new galleries will house bigger shows and increase the museum’s status ________________________ the world. In recent years, the museum has not been able to cope with the huge crowds wanting to see special exhibitions. In 2006, the demand for tickets ________________________ number of tickets available for its exhibitions on Persia and Michelangelo. Neil MacGregor, the museum’s director, said: "For the Michelangelo we ________________________ visitors if we'd had space." The new 1,000 square metre space will allow more people to see ________________________ -scale displays.

Unfortunately, the new complex ________________________ time for September’s eagerly awaited exhibition, The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army. The largest number of terracotta warriors from China’s Forbidden ________________________ to London. The museum has already sold over 30,000 tickets and ________________________  from its reading room. The British Museum had to turn down Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs ________________________ Chinese exhibition because it did not have enough space for both. If the new buildings were finished today, ________________________ the exhibitions from China and Egypt at the same time. Instead, the Tutankhamen exhibition will be shown in another of London’s museums and ________________________ popular show in British history.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘world’ and ‘class’.

world

class

 

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall exactly how these were used in the text:

  • Executives
  • extension
  • In recent years
  • In 2006
  • three times
  • large-scale
  • in time
  • Forbidden City
  • borrow
  • both
  • at the same time
  • predicted

STUDENT MUSEUMS SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about MUSEUMS in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

  1. What did you think when you read the headline?
  2. Do you like museums?
  3. Can you remember the first exhibition you went to see?
  4. What are the benefits of a society having lots of museums?
  5. Which country has the best museums?
  6. How often would you like to go to a museum?
  7. Do you think museums should be free to enter?
  8. What museums are there in your town?
  9. Are you a large-scale museum person or a small museum person?
  10. Do you prefer going to museums alone or with a friend?

-------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. Would you prefer to see an exhibition on China’s Terracotta Army or Egypt’s King Tutankhamen?
  3. How much money would you pay to see a world-class exhibition?
  4. Why are museums important?
  5. If you could request to see any exhibition, what would it be?
  6. What kind of things would you put in an exhibition of your life?
  7. Which do you like better, movies, museums or art galleries?
  8. Do you think online museums are just as effective as real museums?
  9. Would you like to work in a museum?
  10. Did you like this discussion?

AFTER DISCUSSION: Join another partner / group and tell them what you talked about.

  1. What was the most interesting thing you heard?
  2. Was there a question you didn’t like?
  3. Was there something you totally disagreed with?
  4. What did you like talking about?
  5. Which was the most difficult question?

LANGUAGE

CORRECT WORD: Put the correct words from a–d below in the article.

British Museum to get bigger

London’s British Museum is going to become bigger. Executives (1) ____ decided it is too small to accommodate many of the world-class exhibitions they want to put on and have announced plans to build a $200m extension. The new galleries will (2) ____ bigger shows and increase the museum’s status as one of the best in the world. In recent years, the museum has not been able to cope (3) ____ the huge crowds wanting to see special exhibitions. In 2006, the demand for tickets was (4) ____ greater than the number of tickets available for its exhibitions on Persia and Michelangelo. Neil MacGregor, the museum’s director, said: "For the Michelangelo we could have had three times (5) ____ many visitors if we'd had space." The new 1,000 square metre space will allow more people to see these kinds of popular large-scale (6) ____.

Unfortunately, the new complex will not be completed in (7) ____ for September’s eagerly awaited exhibition, The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army. The largest number of terracotta warriors from China’s Forbidden City ever to (8) ____ China will come to London. The museum has already sold over 30,000 tickets and has had to (9) ____ exhibition space from its reading room. The British Museum had to turn (10) ____ Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs at the same time as the Chinese exhibition because it did not have enough space for both. If the new buildings were finished today, it could have considered (11) ____ the exhibitions from China and Egypt at the same time. Instead, the Tutankhamen exhibition will be shown in another of London’s museums and is predicted to be the most popular show (12) ____ British history.

1.

(a)

has

(b)

having

(c)

have

(d)

had

2.

(a)

house

(b)

home

(c)

housing

(d)

room

3.

(a)

for

(b)

by

(c)

of

(d)

with

4.

(a)

more

(b)

far

(c)

farther

(d)

distant

5.

(a)

three

(b)

as

(c)

much

(d)

more

6.

(a)

displays

(b)

display

(c)

displaying

(d)

displayed

7.

(a)

hour

(b)

clock

(c)

time

(d)

day

8.

(a)

fight

(b)

reside

(c)

live

(d)

leave

9.

(a)

ask

(b)

give

(c)

lend

(d)

borrow

10.

(a)

down

(b)

up

(c)

round

(d)

in

11.

(a)

run

(b)

running

(c)

runs

(d)

ran

12.

(a)

at

(b)

on

(c)

in

(d)

by

WRITING: 

Write about museums for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information about the British Museum. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MUSEUMS: Make a poster showing your favourite museums. Show your poster to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all find out similar things?

4. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about the value of museums and how they can be used to educate more people. Discuss whether people should have to pay to enter or not.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Which article was best and why?

5. LETTER: Write a letter to the boss of the British Museum. Ask him/her three questions about the British Museum. Give three suggestions about how to make museums better to visit. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. F

d. F

e. T

f. T

g. T

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

accommodate

a.

house

2

extension

b.

addition

3.

cope

c.

deal

4.

status

d.

standing

5.

displays

e.

shows

6.

eagerly

f.

keenly

7.

warriors

g.

soldiers

8.

turn down

h.

reject

9.

considered

i.

thought about

10.

predicted

j.

forecasted

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

it is too small to accommodate

a.

many of the world-class exhibitions

2

The new galleries will house

b.

bigger shows

3.

… has not been able to cope

c.

with the huge crowds

4.

the demand for tickets

d.

was far greater

5.

we could have had three times

e.

as many visitors if we'd had space

6.

completed in time for September’s

f.

eagerly awaited exhibition

7.

borrow exhibition space

g.

from its reading room

8.

The British Museum had to turn

h.

down Tutankhamen

9.

running the exhibitions from China

i.

and Egypt at the same time

10.

predicted to be the most popular

j.

show in British history

GAP FILL:

British Museum to get bigger

London’s British Museum is going to become bigger. Executives have decided it is too small to accommodate many of the world-class exhibitions they want to put on and have announced plans to build a $200m extension. The new galleries will house bigger shows and increase the museum’s status as one of the best in the world. In recent years, the museum has not been able to cope with the huge crowds wanting to see special exhibitions. In 2006, the demand for tickets was far greater than the number of tickets available for its exhibitions on Persia and Michelangelo. Neil MacGregor, the museum’s director, said: "For the Michelangelo we could have had three times as many visitors if we'd had space." The new 1,000 square metre space will allow more people to see these kinds of popular large-scale displays.

Unfortunately, the new complex will not be completed in time for September’s eagerly awaited exhibition, The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army. The largest number of terracotta warriors from China’s Forbidden City ever to leave China will come to London. The museum has already sold over 30,000 tickets and has had to borrow exhibition space from its reading room. The British Museum had to turn down Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs at the same time as the Chinese exhibition because it did not have enough space for both. If the new buildings were finished today, it could have considered running the exhibitions from China and Egypt at the same time. Instead, the Tutankhamen exhibition will be shown in another of London’s museums and is predicted to be the most popular show in British history.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - c

2 - a

3 - d

4 - b

5 - b

6 - a

7 - c

8 - d

9 - d

10 - a

11 - b

12 - c

 

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