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Population to Hit 7 Bllion on Halloween (25th October, 2011)


 

The United Nations says the world’s population is set to reach seven billion on October 31. Analysts are wondering whether it is a coincidence this milestone falls on Halloween. The U.N. Population Fund predicts that some time on Monday, the world will welcome its seven billionth person. They also forecast that the baby will be born in India. The birth of a newborn baby is usually a source of joy, but this one has got alarm bells ringing with environmentalists. They say the world cannot cope with so many mouths to feed. The population has exploded in the past two centuries. In the early 1800s, there were just a billion of us; in 1960 that figure had trebled to three billion. Half a century later, that figure has more than doubled.


Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University's Earth Institute told CNN that “the consequences for humanity could be grim." Other experts also paint a bleak picture. CNN's Jack Cafferty warned of an "unsustainable" population of 9 billion and stated that "at some point there's not going to be enough stuff for everybody." The New York Times declared that "the Earth is full [and that] we are eating into our future”. John Davis, editor of the Earth First! Journal, went even further by saying we had no right to take so much from the Earth: "Human beings have no more value as species than slugs," he said. Critics say humans have the ability for billions of us to live on our planet in a sustainable way.


WARM-UPS

1. POPULATION: Walk around the class and talk to other students about world population. 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.

 

population / wondering / coincidence / welcome / alarm bells / mouths to feed / consequences / humanity / bleak picture / unsustainable / Earth / human beings

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

3. SEVEN BILLION: What will the impact of more people be on these things? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

 

Positive impact

Negative impact

The environment

 

 

Travel

 

 

Water

 

 

Food

 

 

Animals

 

 

The future

 

 

4. SUSTAINABILITY: Students A strongly believe the Earth can sustain billions more people; Students B strongly believe it can’t.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. #7 BILLION: What will human #7,000,000,000 have to look forward to in his/her life? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the biggest thing at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • peace
  • education
  • technology
  • shopping
  • increased tolerance
  • space travel
  • more globalization
  • better medicine

6. HALLOWEEN: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘Halloween’. 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.

The world’s seven-billion person is likely to be born on Halloween.

T / F

b.

Analysts say it is no coincidence this baby will be born on Halloween.

T / F

c.

The U.N. says the baby will probably be born in India.

T / F

d.

The world population in 1960 was around 4 billion fewer than today.

T / F

e.

A university professor said the consequences for us are not too bad.

T / F

f.

A CNN spokesman did a painting on the growth in population.

T / F

g.

The New York Times said there’s a lot more space for lots more people.

T / F

h.

An editor likened the human race to slugs.

T / F

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

1.

set

a.

chance

2

analysts

b.

worth

3.

coincidence

c.

results

4.

forecast

d.

stated

5.

cope

e.

ready

6.

consequences

f.

capacity

7.

grim

g.

manage

8.

declared

h.

experts

9.

value

i.

prediction

10.

ability

j.

dark

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

1.

the world’s population is set

a.

than doubled

2

a coincidence this milestone

b.

for everybody

3.

got alarm

c.

humanity could be grim

4.

there were just

d.

falls on Halloween

5.

that figure has more

e.

a bleak picture

6.

the consequences for

f.

to reach seven billion

7.

other experts also paint

g.

a sustainable way

8.

enough stuff

h.

much from the Earth

9.

we had no right to take so

i.

a billion of us

10.

live on our planet in

j.

bells ringing

 


 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

The United Nations says the world’s population is set to (1) ____________ seven billion on October 31. Analysts are wondering whether it is a coincidence this milestone (2) ____________ on Halloween. The U.N. Population Fund predicts that some time on Monday, the world will welcome its seven billionth person. They also (3) ____________ that the baby will be born in India. The birth of a newborn baby is usually a (4) ____________ of joy, but this one has got alarm bells ringing with environmentalists. They say the world cannot (5) ____________ with so many mouths to (6) ____________. The population has (7) ____________ in the past two centuries. In the early 1800s, there were just a billion of us; in 1960 that figure had (8) ____________ to three billion. Half a century later, that figure has more than doubled.

 

 

 

source
trebled
reach
exploded
falls
cope
forecast
feed

Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University's Earth Institute told CNN that “the consequences for (9) ____________ could be grim." Other experts also paint a (10) ____________ picture. CNN's Jack Cafferty warned of an "unsustainable" population of 9 billion and stated that "at some (11) ____________ there's not going to be enough stuff for everybody." The New York Times  (12) ____________ that "the Earth is full [and that] we are eating into our future”. John Davis, editor of the Earth First! Journal, went even (13) ____________ by saying we had no (14) ____________ to take so much from the Earth: "Human beings have no more (15) ____________ as species than slugs," he said. Critics say humans have the ability for billions of us to live on our planet in a sustainable (16) ____________.

 

 

declared
way
bleak
value
point
humanity
further
right

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

The United Nations says the world’s population __________________ seven billion on October 31. Analysts are wondering whether __________________ this milestone falls on Halloween. The U.N. Population Fund predicts that some time on Monday, the world will welcome its seven billionth person. They __________________ the baby will be born in India. The birth of a newborn baby is usually a source of joy, but this one has got __________________ with environmentalists. They say the world cannot cope with so many mouths to feed. The population has exploded in the ____________________ nturies. In the early 1800s, there were just a billion of us; in 1960 that figure had trebled to three billion. ____________________, that figure has more than doubled.

Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University's Earth Institute told CNN that “the consequences ____________________ be grim." Other experts also paint a bleak picture. CNN's Jack Cafferty warned of an "unsustainable" population of 9 billion and stated ____________________ there's not going to ____________________ for everybody." The New York Times declared that "the Earth is full [and that] we are ____________________”. John Davis, editor of the Earth First! Journal, went even further by saying we had no ____________________ from the Earth: "Human beings have no more value as species than slugs," he said. Critics say humans have the ability for billions of us to live on our planet ____________________.

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

world

population

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • set
  • predicts
  • India
  • bells
  • centuries
  • figure
  • grim
  • paint
  • stuff
  • full
  • right
  • planet

STUDENT WORLD POPULATION SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about world population 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.

WORLD POPULATION 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 ‘population’?

c)

Are you worried about the increased number of people in the world?

d)

What’s wrong with overpopulation?

e)

What might it mean for number 7 billion to arrive on Halloween?

f)

Should the seven-billionth person have his/her life followed by TV crews?

g)

What kind of world will the baby be born into?

h)

Can the world cope with so many mouths to feed?

i)

What do you think of the fact that the population has more than doubled since 1960?

j)

What would happen if the population doubled again in the next 50 years?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What might be grim about the population explosion?

c)

What kind of picture would you paint about our future – bleak or rosy?

d)

Do you think scientists will come up with ways to keep us sustainable?

e)

What will happen if there isn’t enough stuff for everybody?

f)

What three adjectives would you use to describe this story?

g)

What will you do when the Earth is full?

h)

What can we do now to change and stop “eating into our future”?

i)

What are the similarities and differences between us and slugs?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Professor Jeffrey Sachs?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

The United Nations says the world’s population is (1) ____ to reach seven billion on October 31. Analysts are wondering whether it is a coincidence this (2) ____ falls on Halloween. The U.N. Population Fund predicts that some time on Monday, the world will welcome its seven billionth person. They also (3) ____ that the baby will be born in India. The birth of a newborn baby is usually a (4) ____ of joy, but this one has got alarm bells ringing with environmentalists. They say the world cannot (5) ____ with so many mouths to feed. The population has exploded in the past two centuries. In the early 1800s, there were just a billion of us; in 1960 that figure had (6) ____ to three billion. Half a century later, that figure has more than doubled.

Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University's Earth Institute told CNN that “the consequences (7) ____ humanity could be grim." Other experts also paint a bleak (8) ____. CNN's Jack Cafferty warned of an "unsustainable" population of 9 billion and stated that "at some point there's not going to be enough (9) ____ for everybody." The New York Times (10) ____ that "the Earth is full [and that] we are eating into our future”. John Davis, editor of the Earth First! Journal, went even   (11) ____ by saying we had no right to take so much from the Earth: "Human beings have no more value (12) ____ species than slugs," he said. Critics say humans have the ability for billions of us to live on our planet in a sustainable way.

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

1.

(a)

set

(b)

sit

(c)

sat

(d)

sate

2.

(a)

gem stone

(b)

grindstone

(c)

milestone

(d)

stonewall

3.

(a)

forecasting

(b)

forecaster

(c)

forecasts

(d)

forecast

4.

(a)

sauce

(b)

source

(c)

scourge

(d)

resource

5.

(a)

mope

(b)

dope

(c)

nope

(d)

cope

6.

(a)

threesome

(b)

trio

(c)

triple

(d)

trebled

7.

(a)

from

(b)

for

(c)

of

(d)

after

8.

(a)

picture

(b)

drawing

(c)

mural

(d)

watercolour

9.

(a)

staff

(b)

stiff

(c)

stuff

(d)

stifle

10.

(a)

declaration

(b)

declares

(c)

declared

(d)

declare

11.

(a)

future

(b)

fatherly

(c)

fruition

(d)

further

12.

(a)

was

(b)

as

(c)

is

(d)

has

WRITING

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

3. WORLD POPULATION: Make a poster about the problems of the world population rising. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. #7 BILLION: Write a magazine article about the seven-billionth member of the human race. Include imaginary interviews with his/her parents. What kind of world will he/she grow up in.

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 the seven-billionth person. Ask him/her three questions about his her thoughts on being number 7,000,000,000. Give him/her three pieces of advice on what she/he should do to help the world. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

T

b.

F

c.

T

d.

T

e.

F

f.

F

g.

F

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

set

a.

ready

2

analysts

b.

experts

3.

coincidence

c.

chance

4.

forecast

d.

prediction

5.

cope

e.

manage

6.

consequences

f.

results

7.

grim

g.

dark

8.

declared

h.

stated

9.

value

i.

worth

10.

ability

j.

capacity

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

the world’s population is set

a.

to reach seven billion

2

a coincidence this milestone

b.

falls on Halloween

3.

got alarm

c.

bells ringing

4.

there were just

d.

a billion of us

5.

that figure has more

e.

than doubled

6.

the consequences for

f.

humanity could be grim

7.

other experts also paint

g.

a bleak picture

8.

enough stuff

h.

for everybody

9.

we had no right to take so

i.

much from the Earth

10.

live on our planet in

j.

a sustainable way

GAP FILL:

Population to hit 7 billion on Halloween

The United Nations says the world’s population is set to (1) reach seven billion on October 31. Analysts are wondering whether it is a coincidence this milestone (2) falls on Halloween. The U.N. Population Fund predicts that some time on Monday, the world will welcome its seven billionth person. They also (3) forecast that the baby will be born in India. The birth of a newborn baby is usually a (4) source of joy, but this one has got alarm bells ringing with environmentalists. They say the world cannot (5) cope with so many mouths to (6) feed. The population has (7) exploded in the past two centuries. In the early 1800s, there were just a billion of us; in 1960 that figure had (8) trebled to three billion. Half a century later, that figure has more than doubled.

Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University's Earth Institute told CNN that “the consequences for (9) humanity could be grim." Other experts also paint a (10) bleak picture. CNN's Jack Cafferty warned of an "unsustainable" population of 9 billion and stated that "at some (11) point there's not going to be enough stuff for everybody." The New York Times (12) declared that "the Earth is full [and that] we are eating into our future”. John Davis, editor of the Earth First! Journal, went even (13) further by saying we had no (14) right to take so much from the Earth: "Human beings have no more (15) value as species than slugs," he said. Critics say humans have the ability for billions of us to live on our planet in a sustainable (16) way.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - a

2 - c

3 - d

4 - b

5 - d

6 - c

7 - b

8 - a

9 -a

10 - c

11 - d

12 - b

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