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ESL / EFL Lesson Plan on Fisherman Hero

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Date: Mar 1, 2008
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THE ARTICLE

Fisherman hero swims 10 hours to shore

An Australian fisherman has been hailed a national hero after he swam for 10 hours in shark-infested waters to help his colleagues. Michael Williams, 39, amazed rescue workers and emergency services after his marathon 12-kilometre swim off the coast of New South Wales. His shrimp trawler hit a coral reef and sank very quickly. There was no time to radio for help so Williams and the two other fishermen on the boat had no choice but to jump into the sea. The three men became separated in the dark and Williams decided to swim to the shore. His feat of endurance amazed rescue workers and the fishing community. His efforts meant he was able to save one of his two crew mates. A rescue helicopter pulled John Jarrett, 41, from the ocean soon after Williams raised the alarm.


 
 

Emergency services called off the search for the third man, the boat’s captain, Charlie Picton. Police said evidence suggested he had drowned. Police officers described the survival of Williams and Jarrett as nothing short of “miraculous”. A search and rescue specialist, Steve Willis, said very few people could survive such an ordeal. He told reporters: "The expected survival time for most people in those conditions would be a few hours.” Williams is making a full recovery in hospital, suffering from cuts and bruises, exhaustion and sunburn. Jarrett is also doing well after being severely dehydrated. He never doubted his survival, telling the media: "I've got a determination like no other person…I wasn't going to die out there, no way." He did add that he would never go to sea again.

WARM-UPS

1. HEROES: Walk around the class and talk to other students about heroes. 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. Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

 

fisherman / national hero / shark-infested waters / rescue workers / endurance / drowned / survival / miraculous / making a full recovery / determination / sea

3. I’M THE HERO: With your partner, make up your hero story using the above words. Change partners and share your stories.

4. NATIONAL HERO: Decide who the national heroes are in your country.? Change partners and share what you talked about.

Hero

Why he/she is a hero

Is he/she a hero to all?

a.    from history

b.    in government now

c.     a sports figure

d.    a music artist

e.    a religious figure

f.     the environment

g.    an average person

5. MY HERO: With your partner, talk about any heroes you have in the categories below. Why are they heroes? Change partners and share your findings.

·   national hero

·   movie hero

·   sporting hero

·   family hero

·   local hero

·   world hero

·   action hero

·   English teacher hero

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

7. QUICK ROLE PLAY: Students A strongly believe that everyone needs a hero; Students B strongly disagree. Change partners again and talk about your roles and conversations.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

An Australian fisherman has broken a marathon swimming record.

T / F

b.

The fisherman’s boat sank in shark-infested waters.

T / F

c.

The fisherman radioed for help before he jumped into the sea.

T / F

d.

The fisherman’s heroism saved the life of one of his colleagues.

T / F

e.

The police described the fisherman’s survival as being a miracle.

T / F

f.

The fisherman is not making such a speedy recovery in hospital.

T / F

g.

Another fisherman was suffering from a lack of water.

T / F

h.

The other fisherman is looking forward to going to sea again.

T / F

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

1.

hailed

a.

fishing boat

2

trawler

b.

willpower

3.

choice

c.

stamina

4.

feat

d.

nightmare

5.

endurance

e.

called

6.

called off

f.

signs

7.

evidence

g.

fatigue

8.

ordeal

h.

effort

9.

exhaustion

i.

stopped

10.

determination

j.

option

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

1.

hailed a

a.

rescue workers

2

he swam for 10 hours in

b.

radio for help

3.

There was no time to

c.

recovery in hospital

4.

had no choice but

d.

search for the third man

5.

His feat of endurance amazed

e.

shark-infested waters

6.

Emergency services called off the

f.

such an ordeal

7.

nothing short of

g.

national hero

8.

very few people could survive

h.

survival

9.

Williams is making a full

i.

“miraculous”

10.

He never doubted his

j.

to jump into the sea

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

An Australian fisherman has been __________ a national hero after he swam for 10 hours in shark-infested __________ to help his colleagues. Michael Williams, 39, amazed rescue workers and emergency services after his marathon 12-kilometre swim off the __________ of New South Wales. His shrimp trawler hit a coral reef and sank very quickly. There was no time to radio for __________ so Williams and the two other fishermen on the boat had no __________ but to jump into the sea. The three men became separated in the dark and Williams decided to swim to the __________. His __________ of endurance amazed rescue workers and the fishing community. His efforts meant he was able to save one of his two crew mates. A rescue helicopter pulled John Jarrett, 41, from the ocean soon after Williams raised the __________.

 

choice
coast
alarm
hailed
shore
help
feat
waters

Emergency services called __________ the search for the third man, the boat’s captain, Charlie Picton. Police said evidence suggested he had __________. Police officers described the survival of Williams and Jarrett as nothing short of “__________”. A search and rescue specialist, Steve Willis said very few people could survive such an __________. He told reporters: "The expected survival time for most people in those conditions would be a few hours.” Williams is making a __________ recovery in hospital, suffering from cuts and __________, exhaustion and sunburn. Jarrett is also doing well after being severely dehydrated. He never __________ his survival, telling the media: "I've got a determination like no other person…I wasn't going to die out there, no way." He did add that he would never go to __________ again.

 

doubted
 miraculous

full
off
sea
drowned
bruises
ordeal

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

An Australian fisherman _________________ national hero after he swam for 10 hours in shark-infested _________________ colleagues. Michael Williams, 39, amazed rescue workers and emergency services after his marathon 12-kilometre swim ______________ New South Wales. His shrimp trawler hit a coral reef and sank very quickly. There was no _______________ help so Williams and the two other fishermen on the boat had no choice _________________ the sea. The three men became separated in the dark and Williams decided to swim to the shore. His _________________ amazed rescue workers and the fishing community. His efforts _________________ to save one of his two crew mates. A rescue helicopter pulled John Jarrett, 41, from the ocean soon after Williams _________________.

Emergency services called _________________ the third man, the boat’s captain, Charlie Picton. Police said evidence suggested _________________. Police officers described the survival of Williams and Jarrett _________________ “miraculous”. A search and rescue specialist, Steve Willis said very few people could survive _________________. He told reporters: "The expected survival time for most people in those conditions would be a few hours.” Williams is making _________________ hospital, suffering from cuts and bruises, exhaustion and sunburn. Jarrett is also doing well after being _________________. He never doubted his survival, telling the media: "I've got a determination like no other person…I wasn't going to die out there, no way." He did add that he would never _________________.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

national

hero

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • hailed
  • amazed
  • reef
  • choice
  • feat
  • alarm
  • evidence
  • short
  • ordeal
  • recovery
  • doing well
  • no way

STUDENT HEROISM SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about heroism 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)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘hero’?

c)

Have you ever been a hero?

d)

Who are your heroes?

e)

What do you think of Michael Williams’ feat of endurance?

f)

What would you do if you were in the same position as Michael Williams – i.e. your boat has sunk in the middle of the ocean?

g)

Do you think Mr Williams’ heroic actions will change his life forever?

h)

What do you think John Jarrett said to Michael Williams?

i)

Have you ever been in a survival situation?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Would you like to be hero?

c)

Do you think this is a sad or happy story?

d)

Is what happened to Michael Williams and John Jarrett a miracle?

e)

Do you have “determination like no other person”?

f)

What’s the most heroic thing you’ve ever done?

g)

Is having a hero important?

h)

What questions would you like to ask Michael Williams and John Jarrett?

i)

Did you like this discussion? Why (not)?

LANGUAGE

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

An Australian fisherman has been (1) ____ a national hero after he swam for 10 hours in shark-(2) ____ waters to help his colleagues. Michael Williams, 39, amazed rescue workers and emergency services after his marathon 12-kilometre swim (3) ____ the coast of New South Wales. His shrimp trawler hit a coral reef and sank very quickly. There was no time to radio for help  (4) ____ Williams and the two other fishermen on the boat had no choice but to jump into the sea. The three men became separated in the dark and Williams decided to swim to the shore. His (5) ____ of endurance amazed rescue workers and the fishing community. His efforts meant he was able to save one of his two crew mates. A rescue helicopter pulled John Jarrett, 41, from the ocean soon after Williams (6) ____ the alarm.

Emergency services called (7) ____ the search for the third man, the boat’s captain, Charlie Picton. Police said evidence suggested he had drowned. Police officers described the survival of Williams and Jarrett as nothing       (8) ____ of “miraculous”. A search and rescue specialist, Steve Willis said very few people could survive such an ordeal. He told reporters: "The expected survival time for most people in (9) ____ conditions would be a few hours.” Williams is making a full recovery in hospital, suffering from        (10) ____ and bruises, exhaustion and sunburn. Jarrett is also doing well after being severely dehydrated. He never (11) ____ his survival, telling the media: "I've got a determination like no other person…I wasn't going to die out there, no way." He did (12) ____ that he would never go to sea again.

1.

(a)

healed

(b)

holed

(c)

hauled

(d)

hailed

2.

(a)

infest

(b)

infested

(c)

infests

(d)

infestation

3.

(a)

off

(b)

in

(c)

on

(d)

next

4.

(a)

although

(b)

but

(c)

so

(d)

however

5.

(a)

foot

(b)

feet

(c)

feat

(d)

fate

6.

(a)

increased

(b)

raised

(c)

upped

(d)

lifted

7.

(a)

off

(b)

up

(c)

on

(d)

out

8.

(a)

shortening

(b)

shortest

(c)

shorten

(d)

short

9.

(a)

that

(b)

those

(c)

then

(d)

their

10.

(a)

wounds

(b)

stitches

(c)

scars

(d)

cuts

11.

(a)

doubtless

(b)

doubt

(c)

doubted

(d)

doubtable

12.

(a)

add

(b)

plus

(c)

join

(d)

total

WRITING: 

Write about heroism 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 out more about heroes. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. SURVIVAL: Make a poster showing the different ways to survive (a) at sea, (b) in the desert, (c) in the jungle and (d) in life. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. NATIONAL HERO: Write a magazine article about being a national hero. What act of heroism did you do? Include imaginary interviews with yourself and the person whose life you saved.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down new words and expressions.

5. LETTER: Write a letter to a survival expert. Ask him/her three questions about survival. Give him/her three situations you would like survival information on. 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. T

e. T

f. T

g. T

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

hailed

a.

called

2

colleagues

b.

co-workers

3.

choice

c.

option

4.

feat

d.

effort

5.

endurance

e.

stamina

6.

called off

f.

stopped

7.

evidence

g.

signs

8.

ordeal

h.

nightmare

9.

exhaustion

i.

fatigue

10.

determination

j.

willpower

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

hailed a

a.

national hero

2

he swam for 10 hours in

b.

shark-infested waters

3.

There was no time to

c.

radio for help

4.

had no choice but

d.

to jump into the sea

5.

His feat of endurance amazed

e.

rescue workers

6.

Emergency services called off the

f.

search for the third man

7.

nothing short of

g.

“miraculous”

8.

very few people could survive

h.

such an ordeal

9.

Williams is making a full

i.

recovery in hospital

10.

He never doubted his

j.

survival

GAP FILL:

Fisherman hero swims 10 hours to shore

An Australian fisherman has been hailed a national hero after he swam for 10 hours in shark-infested waters to help his colleagues. Michael Williams, 39, amazed rescue workers and emergency services after his marathon 12-kilometre swim off the coast of New South Wales. His shrimp trawler hit a coral reef and sank very quickly. There was no time to radio for help so Williams and the two other fishermen on the boat had no choice but to jump into the sea. The three men became separated in the dark and Williams decided to swim to the shore. His feat of endurance amazed rescue workers and the fishing community. His efforts meant he was able to save one of his two crew mates. A rescue helicopter pulled John Jarrett, 41, from the ocean soon after Williams raised the alarm.

Emergency services called off the search for the third man, the boat’s captain, Charlie Picton. Police said evidence suggested he had drowned. Police officers described the survival of Williams and Jarrett as nothing short of “miraculous”. A search and rescue specialist, Steve Willis said very few people could survive such an ordeal. He told reporters: "The expected survival time for most people in those conditions would be a few hours.” Williams is making a full recovery in hospital, suffering from cuts and bruises, exhaustion and sunburn. Jarrett is also doing well after being severely dehydrated. He never doubted his survival, telling the media: "I've got a determination like no other person…I wasn't going to die out there, no way." He did add that he would never go to sea again.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - b

3 - a

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - a

8 - d

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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