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August 20, 2009

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Europe Celebrates 1989 ‘Freedom Picnic’

Europeans have remembered a picnic that changed the course of history. The ‘Pan-European Picnic’, was held on the Austrian-Hungarian border on 19 August 1989. It was a peace demonstration that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain. Twenty years later, European leaders met at the same place to celebrate the famous, historical event. Hungarian President Laszelo Solyom and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were among those who took part in the festivities. It was a special moment for Merkel as she was born and spent her youth in communist East Germany. The picnic two decades ago was the first in a series of events that led to the reunification of Germany and freedom for millions.


The event took place on the same field in the Hungarian town of Sopron. Angela Merkel said: "My trip…is a thank you to Hungary and to the people who live there.” She added her thanks to the organizers of the original freedom picnic, “who showed courage and foresight and who helped speed up the process of democratization in Central and Eastern Europe". European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the event 20 years ago "helped to change the course of European history….It led to a brief opening of the Iron Curtain and contributed to its final fall.” That day twenty years ago also helped to increase the pace of globalization. Without it, Russia and China might still be closed.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. FREEDOM: Walk around the class and talk to other students about freedom. Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.

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

 

Europeans / changing history / borders / historical events / special moment / freedom / saying thank you / picnics / courage / democratization / openings / globalization

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

3. HISTORICAL EVENTS: Imagine you are not so good at history? Complete this table with your partner(s) by making up some new WORLD history. Change partners and share your historical facts. Change again and share what you heard.

The event had …

What happened?

What changed?

People celebrate by…

a picnic

 

 

 

an apple

 

 

 

elephants

 

 

 

a Facebook website

 

 

 

the English language

 

 

 

Barack Obama

 

 

 

4. HISTORY: Students A strongly believe it’s really, really, really important to study history; Students B strongly believe studying history is a waste of time.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. PICNICS: What would you take on a picnic? Rank these – the most important thing at the top. Share your rankings with your partner(s). Change partners and share again.

     _____   a book

     _____   a camera

     _____   alcohol

     _____   a frisbee

     _____   a music player

     _____   a plastic sheet to sit on

     _____   sunscreen

     _____   a pack of cards

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


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

There was a picnic twenty years ago that changed lots of things.

T / F

b.

The picnic was for people to show leaders they wanted change.

T / F

c.

Leaders from all over the world attended the recent picnic.

T / F

d.

The picnic started a chain of events that reunited Germany.

T / F

e.

The recent picnic took place several miles from the one 20 years ago.

T / F

f.

Angela Merkel thanked the picnic organizers for the food.

T / F

g.

Jose Manuel Barroso said the picnic changed the design of curtains.

T / F

h.

Russia might not be open for business today without the 1989 picnic.

T / F

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

1.

remembered

a.

happened

2

course

b.

protest

3.

demonstration

c.

speed

4.

festivities

d.

development

5.

led to

e.

gratitude

6.

took place

f.

commemorated

7.

thanks

g.

short

8.

courage

h.

celebrations

9.

brief

i.

bravery

10.

pace

j.

resulted in

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

a picnic that changed the course

a.

communist East Germany

2

a peace

b.

the process

3.

among those who took

c.

globalization

4.

she was born and spent her youth in

d.

demonstration

5.

the first in a series

e.

thanks to the organizers

6.

The event took place

f.

opening

7.

She added her

g.

of events

8.

speed up

h.

of history

9.

It led to a brief

i.

on the same field

10.

helped to increase the pace of

j.

part in the festivities

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Europeans have remembered a picnic that ____________ the course of history. The ‘Pan-European Picnic’, was held on the Austrian-Hungarian ____________ on 19 August 1989. It was a peace demonstration that led to the ____________ of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain. Twenty years later, European leaders met at the same place to ____________ the famous, historical event. Hungarian President Laszelo Solyom and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were among those who took ____________ in the festivities. It was a special moment for Merkel as she was born and ____________ her youth in communist East Germany. The picnic two ____________ ago was the first in a ____________ of events that led to the reunification of Germany and freedom for millions.

 

 

 

decades
celebrate
fall
spent
changed
series
border
part

The event took place on the ____________ field in the Hungarian town of Sopron. Angela Merkel said: "My trip…is a thank you to Hungary and to the people who live there.” She ____________ her thanks to the organizers of the original freedom picnic, “who ____________ courage and foresight and who helped ____________ up the process of democratization in Central and Eastern Europe". European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the event 20 years ago "helped to change the ____________ of European history….It led to a ____________ opening of the Iron Curtain and contributed to its final fall.” That day twenty years ago also ____________ to increase the pace of globalization. Without it, Russia and China might still be ____________.

 

 

course
speed
added
closed
helped
same
brief
showed

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

Europeans have remembered a picnic that ___________________ of history. The ‘Pan-European Picnic’, was held on the Austrian-Hungarian border on 19 August 1989. It was a peace demonstration ___________________ of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain. Twenty years later, European leaders ___________________ place to celebrate the famous, historical event. Hungarian President Laszelo Solyom and German Chancellor Angela Merkel ___________________ took part in the festivities. It was a special moment for Merkel as she ___________________ youth in communist East Germany. The picnic two decades ___________________ series of events that led to the reunification of Germany and freedom for millions.

The event took place on the ___________________ Hungarian town of Sopron. Angela Merkel said: "My trip…is a thank you to Hungary and to the people who live there.” She ___________________ the organizers of the original freedom picnic, “who showed courage and foresight and who helped ___________________ of democratization in Central and Eastern Europe". European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the event 20 years ago "helped to change the course of European history….___________________ opening of the Iron Curtain and contributed to its final fall.” That day twenty years ago also helped to ___________________ globalization. Without it, Russia and China might still be closed.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

freedom

picnic

 

 

 

  • 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 how they were used in the text:

  • remembered
  • peace
  • famous
  • part
  • youth
  • series
  • town
  • added
  • speed
  • helped
  • final
  • still

STUDENT FREEDOM SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about freedom 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.

FREEDOM 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 ‘freedom’?

c)

What historical events do you celebrate and why?

d)

Talk about the last picnic you went on?

e)

What is freedom?

f)

What do you know about the fall of the Berlin Wall, etc?

g)

Have you ever been on a peace demonstration?

h)

What would life be like without freedom?

i)

What is the most special moment in your country’s history?

j)

What’s the most special moment in your personal history?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

When was the last time you went somewhere to thank someone?

c)

When was the last time you showed courage?

d)

Would you fight or risk your life for freedom?

e)

Are you totally free?

f)

Has your country always been free / had freedom?

g)

Do you think it is important to celebrate these events? Why?

h)

How would the world be different if the 1989 picnic hadn’t taken place?

i)

Has globalization been good or bad for people’s freedom?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Chancellor Angela Merkel?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

Europeans have remembered a picnic that changed the (1) ____ of history. The ‘Pan-European Picnic’, was (2) ____ on the Austrian-Hungarian border on 19 August 1989. It was a peace demonstration that led to the (3) ____ of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain. Twenty years later, European leaders met at the same place to celebrate the famous, historical event. Hungarian President Laszelo Solyom and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were among (4) ____ who took part in the festivities. It was a special moment for Merkel (5) ____ she was born and spent her youth in communist East Germany. The picnic two decades ago was the first in a (6) ____ of events that led to the reunification of Germany and freedom for millions.

The event (7) ____ place on the same field in the Hungarian town of Sopron. Angela Merkel said: "My trip…is a thank you to Hungary and to the people who live there.” She added her (8) ____ to the organizers of the original freedom picnic, “who showed courage and foresight and who helped speed (9) ____ the process of democratization in Central and Eastern Europe". European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the event 20 years ago "helped to change the course of European history….It led to a (10) ____ opening of the Iron Curtain and contributed to its (11) ____ fall.” That day twenty years ago also helped to increase the (12) ____ of globalization. Without it, Russia and China might still be closed.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

case

(b)

cause

(c)

coarse

(d)

course

2.

(a)

held

(b)

holding

(c)

holds

(d)

hold

3.

(a)

decrease

(b)

fall

(c)

drop

(d)

down

4.

(a)

we

(b)

they

(c)

them

(d)

those

5.

(a)

was

(b)

has

(c)

as

(d)

were

6.

(a)

serial

(b)

series

(c)

serious

(d)

seriously

7.

(a)

takes

(b)

taken

(c)

taking

(d)

took

8.

(a)

thanks

(b)

thankful

(c)

thank

(d)

thanked

9.

(a)

on

(b)

up

(c)

out

(d)

in

10.

(a)

briefest

(b)

briefs

(c)

briefly

(d)

brief

11.

(a)

finals

(b)

finally

(c)

final

(d)

finalize

12.

(a)

pace

(b)

race

(c)

lace

(d)

face

WRITING

Write about freedom 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 freedom. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. FREEDOM: Make a poster about freedom. Include five important points that show what freedom means to you. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. HISTORY: Write a magazine article about someone from history. Include an imaginary interview with that person.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to someone who lived in East Germany before 1989. Ask him/her three questions about life back then. Give him/her three reasons why freedom is important to you. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

T

b.

T

c.

F

d.

T

e.

F

f.

F

g.

F

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

remembered

a.

commemorated

2

course

b.

development

3.

demonstration

c.

protest

4.

festivities

d.

celebrations

5.

led to

e.

resulted in

6.

took place

f.

happened

7.

thanks

g.

gratitude

8.

courage

h.

bravery

9.

brief

i.

short

10.

pace

j.

speed

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

a picnic that changed the course

a.

of history

2

a peace

b.

demonstration

3.

among those who took

c.

part in the festivities

4.

she was born and spent her youth in

d.

communist East Germany

5.

the first in a series

e.

of events

6.

The event took place

f.

on the same field

7.

She added her

g.

thanks to the organizers

8.

speed up

h.

the process

9.

It led to a brief

i.

opening

10.

helped to increase the pace of

j.

globalization

GAP FILL:

Europe celebrates 1989 ‘freedom picnic’

Europeans have remembered a picnic that changed the course of history. The ‘Pan-European Picnic’, was held on the Austrian-Hungarian border on 19 August 1989. It was a peace demonstration that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain. Twenty years later, European leaders met at the same place to celebrate the famous, historical event. Hungarian President Laszelo Solyom and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were among those who took part in the festivities. It was a special moment for Merkel as she was born and spent her youth in communist East Germany. The picnic two decades ago was the first in a series of events that led to the reunification of Germany and freedom for millions.

The event took place on the same field in the Hungarian town of Sopron. Angela Merkel said: "My trip…is a thank you to Hungary and to the people who live there.” She added her thanks to the organizers of the original freedom picnic, “who showed courage and foresight and who helped speed up the process of democratization in Central and Eastern Europe". European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the event 20 years ago "helped to change the course of European history….It led to a brief opening of the Iron Curtain and contributed to its final fall.” That day twenty years ago also helped to increase the pace of globalization. Without it, Russia and China might still be closed.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - a

3 - b

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - d

8 - a

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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