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An EFL / ESL Lesson Plan by Sean Banville - Kumbh Mela
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30 million bathe in Ganges for Kumbh Mela (11th February, 2013)

The world's biggest gathering of humanity took place yesterday on the banks of India's River Ganges. Up to 30 million people took part in a pilgrimage known as the Kumbh Mela. Hindu devotees have been travelling across India since the opening day of the festival on January the 14th. Then, just a modest eight million took a dip in the holy waters at a town called Sangam. This is where the Ganges and Yamuna rivers merge. Up to 100 million people will make their way to Sangam to bathe in the sacred waters during the 55-day event. This year is a special one, known as a Maha Kumbh Mela, which happens only once every 144 years. Hindus believe that bathing in the rivers will cleanse their sins and bring salvation.


 

Security has been particularly tight during this Kumbh Mela due to record numbers of attendees and the execution on Saturday of one of those who attacked the Indian parliament in 2001. Kashmiri Afzal Guru was hanged in the capital New Delhi for his part in the attack. Militants had promised to disrupt the Mela by causing a stampede. As a precaution, Indian police laid on thousands of extra officers to look for suspected terrorists. They also set up increased numbers of surveillance cameras. Meanwhile, a request went out to Indian celebrities to not visit the Mela at the busiest time. A police spokesman said the excitement created by a leading Bollywood actor or a popular singer could have resulted in a potentially deadly surge.

Sources:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Mahakumbh-Over-3-crore-devotees-expected-to-take-holy-dip-on-Mauni-Amavasya/articleshow/18416257.cms
http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/UttarPradesh/Mauni-Amavasya-at-Maha-Kumbh-today/Article1-1009356.aspx
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-21395425


 
 

WARM-UPS


 

1. RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about religious festivals. Change partners often 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.

 

gathering / humanity / River Ganges / pilgrimage / rivers / cleanse the sins / salvation / security / execution / militant / stampede / precaution / surveillance / celebrities

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

3. GATHERINGS: What problems are there for organisers of huge gatherings of people? Complete this table with your partner(s) and share what you wrote often.

 

Potential problems

Effective solutions

transport

 

 

toilets

 

 

security

 

 

food

 

 

water

 

 

lost kids

 

 

4. SINS: Students A strongly believe our sins can be taken away ; Students B strongly believe they can't.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. GATHERINGS: Rank these gatherings - put the one you'd most likely attend at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • a religious festival
  • a presidential inauguration
  • an open-air concert
  • a march for human rights
  • a world-record picnic
  • New Year celebrations
  • a royal wedding
  • a movie premiere

6. HUMANITY: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word 'humanity'. 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.

Almost 3 million people attended a festival on the banks of the Ganges.

T / F

b.

Eight million people attended the opening day of the festival.

T / F

c.

As many as 100 million people in total will attend the festival.

T / F

d.

This year is a special festival that only happens once every 144 years.

T / F

e.

Security was tight because of the trial of a suspected terrorist.

T / F

f.

Terrorists threatened to disrupt the Mela by starting a stampede.

T / F

g.

Police asked celebrities to stay away from the Mela in the busiest day.

T / F

h.

A Bollywood star went to the Mela and caused a near-deadly surge.

T / F

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

1.

gathering

a.

mankind

2

humanity

b.

bathed

3.

devotees

c.

putting to death

4.

took a dip

d.

upset

5.

sins

e.

assembly

6.

execution

f.

lethal

7.

militants

g.

wrongdoing

8.

disrupt

h.

ended

9.

resulted

i.

extremists

10.

deadly

j.

followers

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

1.

The world's biggest gathering

a.

surveillance cameras

2

a modest eight million took a

b.

every 144 years

3.

bathe

c.

and bring salvation

4.

happens only once

d.

leading Bollywood actor

5.

cleanse their sins

e.

particularly tight

6.

Security has been

f.

in the sacred waters

7.

disrupt the Mela by

g.

deadly surge

8.

increased numbers of

h.

of humanity

9.

the excitement created by a

i.

causing a stampede

10.

resulted in a potentially

j.

dip in the holy waters

GAP FILL

The world's biggest gathering of (1) ____________ took place yesterday on the banks of India's River Ganges. Up to 30 million people took part in a (2) ____________ known as the Kumbh Mela. Hindu devotees have been travelling across India since the opening day of the festival on January the 14th. Then, just a     (3) ____________ eight million took a (4) ____________ in the holy waters at a town called Sangam. This is where the Ganges and Yamuna rivers (5) ____________. Up to 100 million people will make their way to Sangam to bathe in the (6) ____________ waters during the 55-day event. This year is a special one, known as a Maha Kumbh Mela, which happens only once every 144 years. Hindus believe that (7) ____________ in the rivers will cleanse their (8) ____________ and bring salvation.

 

 

 

merge
bathing
pilgrimage
sins
dip
humanity
sacred
modest

Security has been particularly (9) ____________ during this Kumbh Mela due to record numbers of attendees and the         (10) ____________ on Saturday of one of those who attacked the Indian parliament in 2001. Kashmiri Afzal Guru was                (11) ____________ in the capital New Delhi for his part in the attack. Militants had promised to disrupt the Mela by causing a (12) ____________. As a precaution, Indian police laid on thousands of extra officers to look for (13) ____________ terrorists. They also set up increased numbers of                    (14) ____________ cameras. Meanwhile, a request went out to Indian (15) ____________ to not visit the Mela at the busiest time. A police spokesman said the excitement created by a leading Bollywood actor or a popular singer could have resulted in a potentially deadly (16) ____________.

 

 

hanged
celebrities
surge
execution
suspected
tight
stampede
surveillance

LISTENING – Guess the answers. Listen to check

1)

The world's biggest _____ took place yesterday

 

a.  gather ring for humanity
b.  gather ringer humanity
c.  gather link off humanity
d.  gathering of humanity

2)

Up to 30 million people took ______

 

a.  part in a pilgrimage
b.  parting a pilgrimage
c.  part in a pilgrim age
d.  partying a pilgrimage

3)

Then, just a modest eight million ______ holy waters

 

a.  took a dipping the
b.  talk a dip in the
c.  took a dip in the
d.  took the dip in the

4)

______ waters during the 55-day event

 

a.  bath in the sacred
b.  bathing the sacred
c.  bathe in a sacred
d.  bathe in the sacred

5)

bathing in the rivers will ______ bring salvation.

 

a.  cleanse the sins and
b.  lens their sins and
c.  cleanse their sins and
d.  cleanse their sinners and

6)

Kashmiri Afzal Guru was hanged in the capital New Delhi for ______

 

a.  his party in the attack
b.  his parting the attack
c.  his part in the attacks
d.  his part in the attack

7)

Militants had promised to disrupt the Mela by ______

 

a.  causing a stampede
b.  cause in a stampede
c.  causing a stamp aid
d.  causing the stampede

8)

They also set up increased ______ cameras.

 

a.  numbers of surveillance
b.  number of surveillance
c.  numbers of survey lance
d.  numbers of ambulance

9)

______ to Indian celebrities to not visit the Mela at the busiest time

 

a.  the request went out
b.  a request went out
c.  a request when tout
d.  a Rick West went out

10)

could have resulted in a ______

 

a.  potentially deadly surge
b.  potentially deathly surge
c.  potentially deadly sarge
d.  potential deadly surge

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

The world's biggest (1) __________________________ place yesterday on the banks of India's River Ganges. Up to 30 million people took part in a     (2) __________________________ Kumbh Mela. Hindu devotees have been travelling across India since the opening day of the festival on January the 14th. Then, (3) __________________________ million took a dip in the holy waters at a town called Sangam. This is where the Ganges and Yamuna rivers merge. Up to 100 million people (4) __________________________ Sangam to (5) __________________________ during the 55-day event. This year is a special one, known as a Maha Kumbh Mela, which happens only once every 144 years. Hindus believe that bathing in the rivers will cleanse their (6) __________________________.

Security has been (7) __________________________ this Kumbh Mela due to record numbers of attendees (8) __________________________ Saturday of one of those who attacked the Indian parliament in 2001. Kashmiri Afzal Guru (9) __________________________ New Delhi for his part in the attack. Militants had promised to disrupt the Mela by causing a stampede. As a precaution, Indian police laid on thousands of extra officers to look (10) __________________________. They also set up increased numbers (11) __________________________. Meanwhile, a request went out to Indian celebrities to not visit the Mela at the busiest time. A police spokesman said the excitement created by a leading Bollywood actor or a popular singer could have resulted in (12) __________________________.

COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS

1.

Where on the Ganges did the Kumbh Mela take place?

2.

What kind of followers joined the Kumbh Mela?

3.

When was the opening day of the Kumbh Mela?

4.

How many people in total are expected to attend the Kumbh Mela?

5.

How often does the Maha Kumbh Mela occur?

6.

Why was there tighter security this year?

7.

What did extremists threaten to do to the Kumbh Mela?

8.

Why were extra police officers sent to the Kumbh Mela?

9.

What was increased in addition to extra numbers of police?

10.

Who were told to stay away?

MULTIPLE CHOICE - QUIZ

1.

Where did the Kumbh Mela take place?

6.

What was tighter at this year's Kumbh Mela?

 

a) at the source of the Ganges
b) at the Ganges Bank
c) on the banks of the Ganges
d) at the mouth of the River Ganges

 

a) money
b) security
c) pants
d) gun control

2.

How many people attended the opening day of the event?

7.

Where is Afzal Guru from?

 

a) 8,000,000
b) 800,000
c) 80,000,000
d) 8,888,888

 

a) Kashmir
b) New Delhi
c) Madras
d) Rawalpindi

3.

How many people are likely to attend in total?

8.

What did extremists want to create at the Kumbh Mela?

 

a) 100 million
b) 80 million
c) 75 million
d) 40 million

 

a) promises
b) a statue
c) a stampede
d) a celebratory stamp

4.

How long is the Kumbh Mela?

9.

Who did police tell to stay away at the busiest time?

 

a) a whole year
b) 55 days
c) 144 days
d) 2 weeks

 

a) terrorists
b) people on their second pilgrimage
c) children
d) famous Indians

5.

Why do people bathe in the Ganges?

10.

What could have been very dangerous?

 

a) it's great fun
b) it's refreshing
c) the river is good for the hair
d) to make their sins go away

 

a) the visit of a top actor
b) rain
c) a lack of toilets
d) freezing weather

ROLE PLAY

Role  A – Devotee

You think the Kumbh Mela is the greatest event on Earth. Tell the others three reasons why. You think everyone should visit once. You are sure they will leave a better person. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell everyone who disagrees with you that they are wrong.

Role  B – Police chief

You would like to limit the numbers of people attending the Kumbh Mela. Tell the others three reasons why. It's too unsafe for 30 million people to be in the same place at the same time. You think water special Kumbh Mela centres could open all over India.

Role  C – Tourist

This is your second Kumbh Mela. You have travelled the world and you think the Mela is unbeatable. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell the police chief he needn't worry about safety because everything is so well organised. You disagree with the organiser.

Role  D – Organiser

You want fewer people visit the Kumbh Mela and no tourists. Tell the others three reasons why. The police chief doesn't know what (s)he is talking about. The Mela can only be held on the banks of the Ganges. Tell the tourist there are other events around the world (s)he can visit.

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words 'holy' and 'water'.

holy

water

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • humanity
  • travelling
  • eight
  • 100
  • 55
  • 144
  • tight
  • 2001
  • promised
  • extra
  • busiest
  • deadly

RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about religious festivals 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.

RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS 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 'festival'?

c)

What's your favourite festival?

d)

Are religious festivals better than non-religious ones?

e)

Would you like to attend a festival along with 30 million other people?

f)

Do you think such a festival could change you as a person?

g)

What's the best festival in your country?

h)

Do you think water has spiritual or healing powers?

i)

Is India a more spiritual place than most other countries?

j)

Would you like to attend the Kumbh Mela?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article? Why/not?

b)

Would you feel safe at the Kumbh Mela with so many people?

c)

Is there an (another) important pilgrimage in your religion?

d)

Should the execution of Afzal Guru have been moved to another day?

e)

Are the police more or less ineffective in a gathering of 30 million?

f)

What's the biggest event you've ever attended and how was it?

g)

What would you do in a stampede?

h)

What world festival would you really love to attend?

i)

Was it wise to ask celebrities to stay away?

j)

What questions would you like to ask the Kumbh Mela organiser?

DISCUSSION (Write your own questions)

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

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

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

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

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

MULTIPLE CHOICE - LANGUAGE

The world's biggest (1) ____ of humanity took place yesterday on the banks of India's River Ganges. Up to 30 million people took part in a (2) ____ known as the Kumbh Mela. Hindu devotees have been travelling across India since the opening day of the festival on January the 14th. Then, just a (3) ____ eight million took a dip in the holy waters at a town called Sangam. This is where the Ganges and Yamuna rivers (4) ____. Up to 100 million people will make their way to Sangam to bathe in the (5) ____ waters during the 55-day event. This year is a special one, known as a Maha Kumbh Mela, which happens only once every 144 years. Hindus believe that bathing in the rivers will (6) ____ their sins and bring salvation.

Security has been particularly tight during this Kumbh Mela (7) ____ to record numbers of attendees and the (8) ____ on Saturday of one of those who attacked the Indian parliament in 2001. Kashmiri Afzal Guru was hanged in the capital New Delhi for his part in the attack. Militants had promised to (9) ____ the Mela by causing a stampede. As a precaution, Indian police laid (10) ____ thousands of extra officers to look for suspected terrorists. They also set up increased numbers of surveillance cameras. Meanwhile, a request went (11) ____ to Indian celebrities to not visit the Mela at the busiest time. A police spokesman said the excitement created by a leading Bollywood actor or a popular singer could have resulted in a potentially deadly (12) ____.

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

1.

(a)

gathering

(b)

garnering

(c)

gartering

(d)

gating

2.

(a)

hermitage

(b)

suffrage

(c)

pilgrimage

(d)

frontage

3.

(a)

model

(b)

modicum

(c)

modest

(d)

mode

4.

(a)

conglomerate

(b)

takeover

(c)

buyout

(d)

merge

5.

(a)

scary

(b)

scarred

(c)

sacred

(d)

scared

6.

(a)

bleach

(b)

cleanse

(c)

disinfect

(d)

saturate

7.

(a)

because

(b)

due

(c)

up

(d)

down

8.

(a)

elocution

(b)

execution

(c)

excretion

(d)

extension

9.

(a)

disrespect

(b)

disarray

(c)

disrupt

(d)

dismal

10.

(a)

into

(b)

in

(c)

over

(d)

on

11.

(a)

down

(b)

up

(c)

in

(d)

out

12.

(a)

purge

(b)

verge

(c)

merge

(d)

surge

SPELLING

Paragraph 1

1.

The world's biggest rtagnegih

2.

took part in a lpregiimag

3.

Hindu dsveteeo

4.

a sdoetm eight million

5.

in the rcsade waters

6.

cneleas their sins

Paragraph 2

7.

Security has been tralpyariulc tight

8.

Afzal Guru was dengah

9.

promised to rduspti the Mela

10.

causing a aspetdem

11.

suepsdcet terrorists

12.

resulted in a paietyoltln deadly surge

PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

Security has been particularly tight during this Kumbh Mela due to record numbers of attendees and the

(    )

causing a stampede. As a precaution, Indian police laid on thousands of extra officers to look for suspected

(    )

terrorists. They also set up increased numbers of surveillance cameras. Meanwhile, a request went

1  )

The world's biggest gathering of humanity took place yesterday on the banks of India's River Ganges. Up

(    )

waters at a town called Sangam. This is where the Ganges and Yamuna rivers merge. Up to 100 million people will make

(    )

bathing in the rivers will cleanse their sins and bring salvation.

(    )

their way to Sangam to bathe in the sacred waters during the 55-day event. This year is a special

(    )

execution on Saturday of one of those who attacked the Indian parliament in 2001. Kashmiri Afzal Guru was

(    )

out to Indian celebrities to not visit the Mela at the busiest time. A police spokesman said the excitement created

(    )

to 30 million people took part in a pilgrimage known as the Kumbh Mela. Hindu devotees have been travelling across India since

(    )

one, known as a Maha Kumbh Mela, which happens only once every 144 years. Hindus believe that

(    )

hanged in the capital New Delhi for his part in the attack. Militants had promised to disrupt the Mela by

(    )

by a leading Bollywood actor or a popular singer could have resulted in a potentially deadly surge.

(    )

the opening day of the festival on January the 14th. Then, just a modest eight million took a dip in the holy

PUT THE WORDS IN THE RIGHT ORDER

1.

of     The     humanity     world's     took     biggest    place    gathering.    

2.

took     part     in     a     pilgrimage     Up    to    30    million     people.    

3.

devotees     Hindu     India     across     travelling     been     have.    

4.

modest    A    waters    holy   the    in    dip    a    took   million    eight.    

5.

salvation     rivers     their    bring    The    cleanse    and     will     sins.    

6.

Indian     .     those     One     parliament     the     who     of    attacked

7.

the  Delhi   in   in   Hanged   part    N.     his   capital   attack   for   the.    

8.

to     Mela     a    Promised    the    causing    disrupt    by     stampede.    

9.

of     numbers     increased     up     Set     cameras     surveillance.    

10.

deadly     resulted     surge     in     a     Could     potentially     have.    

CIRCLE THE CORRECT WORD (20 PAIRS)

The world's biggest gathered/ gathering of humanity took place yesterday on / in the banks of India's River Ganges. Up to 30 million people took part in a pilgrimage / pilgrim known as the Kumbh Mela. Hindu devotees have been travelling across India for / since the opening day of the festival on January the 14th. Then, just a modest / modestly eight million took a dip in the holy waters at a town called Sangam. This is where the Ganges and Yamuna rivers surge / merge. Up to 100 million people will have / make their way to Sangam to bathe in the scared / sacred waters during the 55-day event. This year is a special one, known as a Maha Kumbh Mela, which happens only once every / each 144 years. Hindus believe that bathing in the rivers will cleanse their sins / sinuses and bring salvation.

Security has been particularly / particulars tight during this Kumbh Mela due to record numbers of attendees / attends and the execution on Saturday of one of them / those who attacked the Indian parliament in 2001. Kashmiri Afzal Guru was hanged / hung in the capital New Delhi for his partner / part in the attack. Militants had promised to disrespect / disrupt the Mela by causing a stampede. As a precaution, Indian police lain / laid on thousands of extra officers to look for suspects / suspected terrorists. They also set up increased numbers of surveillance / survey cameras. Meanwhile, a request went out to Indian celebrities to not visit the Mela at the busiest time. A police spokesman said the excitement created by a leading Bollywood actor or a popular singer could have resulted in a potentially deadly merge / surge.

Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

INSERT THE VOWELS (a, e, i, o, u)

Th_ w_rld's b_gg_st g_th_r_ng _f h_m_n_ty t__k pl_c_ y_st_rd_y _n th_ b_nks _f _nd__'s R_v_r G_ng_s. _p t_ 30 m_ll__n p__pl_ t__k p_rt _n _ p_lgr_m_g_ kn_wn _s th_ K_mbh M_l_. H_nd_ d_v_t__s h_v_ b__n tr_v_ll_ng _cr_ss _nd__ s_nc_ th_ _p_n_ng d_y _f th_ f_st_v_l _n J_n__ry th_ 14th. Th_n, j_st _ m_d_st __ght m_ll__n t__k _ d_p _n th_ h_ly w_t_rs _t _ t_wn c_ll_d S_ng_m. Th_s _s wh_r_ th_ G_ng_s _nd Y_m_n_ r_v_rs m_rg_. _p t_ 100 m_ll__n p__pl_ w_ll m_k_ th__r w_y t_ S_ng_m t_ b_th_ _n th_ s_cr_d w_t_rs d_r_ng th_ 55-d_y _v_nt. Th_s y__r _s _ sp_c__l _n_, kn_wn _s _ M_h_ K_mbh M_l_, wh_ch h_pp_ns _nly _nc_ _v_ry 144 y__rs. H_nd_s b_l__v_ th_t b_th_ng _n th_ r_v_rs w_ll cl__ns_ th__r s_ns _nd br_ng s_lv_t__n.

S_c_r_ty h_s b__n p_rt_c_l_rly t_ght d_r_ng th_s K_mbh M_l_ d__ t_ r_c_rd n_mb_rs _f _tt_nd__s _nd th_ _x_c_t__n _n S_t_rd_y _f _n_ _f th_s_ wh_ _tt_ck_d th_ _nd__n p_rl__m_nt _n 2001. K_shm_r_ _fz_l G_r_ w_s h_ng_d _n th_ c_p_t_l N_w D_lh_ f_r h_s p_rt _n th_ _tt_ck. M_l_t_nts h_d pr_m_s_d t_ d_sr_pt th_ M_l_ by c__s_ng _ st_mp_d_. _s _ pr_c__t__n, _nd__n p_l_c_ l__d _n th__s_nds _f _xtr_ _ff_c_rs t_ l__k f_r s_sp_ct_d t_rr_r_sts. Th_y _ls_ s_t _p _ncr__s_d n_mb_rs _f s_rv__ll_nc_ c_m_r_s. M__nwh_l_, _ r_q__st w_nt __t t_ _nd__n c_l_br_t__s t_ n_t v_s_t th_ M_l_ _t th_ b_s__st t_m_. _ p_l_c_ sp_k_sm_n s__d th_ _xc_t_m_nt cr__t_d by _ l__d_ng B_llyw__d _ct_r _r _ p_p_l_r s_ng_r c__ld h_v_ r_s_lt_d _n _ p_t_nt__lly d__dly s_rg_.

PUNCTUATE THE TEXT AND ADD CAPITALS

the world's biggest gathering of humanity took place yesterday on the banks of india's river ganges up to 30 million people took part in a pilgrimage known as the kumbh mela hindu devotees have been travelling across india since the opening day of the festival on january the 14th then just a modest eight million took a dip in the holy waters at a town called sangam this is where the ganges and yamuna rivers merge up to 100 million people will make their way to sangam to bathe in the sacred waters during the 55-day event this year is a special one known as a maha kumbh mela which happens only once every 144 years hindus believe that bathing in the rivers will cleanse their sins and bring salvation

security has been particularly tight during this kumbh mela due to record numbers of attendees and the execution on saturday of one of those who attacked the indian parliament in 2001 kashmiri afzal guru was hanged in the capital new delhi for his part in the attack militants had promised to disrupt the mela by causing a stampede as a precaution indian police laid on thousands of extra officers to look for suspected terrorists they also set up increased numbers of surveillance cameras meanwhile a request went out to indian celebrities to not visit the mela at the busiest time a police spokesman said the excitement created by a leading bollywood actor or a popular singer could have resulted in a potentially deadly surge

PUT A SLASH ( / ) WHERE THE SPACES ARE

Theworld'sbiggestgatheringofhumanitytookplaceyesterdayonthebanksofIndia's
RiverGanges.Upto30millionpeopletookpartinapilgrimageknownastheKumbh
Mela.HindudevoteeshavebeentravellingacrossIndiasincetheopeningdayofthe
festivalonJanuarythe14th.Then,justamodesteightmilliontookadipintheholywaters
atatowncalledSangam.ThisiswheretheGangesandYamunariversmerge.Upto100
millionpeoplewillmaketheirwaytoSangamtobatheinthesacredwatersduringthe55-
dayevent.Thisyearisaspecialone,knownasaMahaKumbhMela,whichhappensonly
onceevery144years.Hindusbelievethatbathingintheriverswillcleansetheirsinsand
bringsalvation.SecurityhasbeenparticularlytightduringthisKumbhMeladuetorecord
numbersofattendeesandtheexecutiononSaturdayofoneofthosewhoattackedthe
Indianparliamentin2001.KashmiriAfzalGuruwashangedinthecapitalNewDelhifor
hispartintheattack.MilitantshadpromisedtodisrupttheMelabycausingastampede.
Asaprecaution,Indianpolicelaidonthousandsofextraofficerstolookforsuspected
terrorists.Theyalsosetupincreasednumbersofsurveillancecameras.Meanwhile,
arequestwentouttoIndiancelebritiestonotvisittheMelaatthebusiesttime.Apolice
spokesmansaidtheexcitementcreatedbyaleadingBollywoodactororapopularsinger
couldhaveresultedinapotentiallydeadlysurge.

FREE WRITING

Write about religious festivals for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner's paper.

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ACADEMIC WRITING

It is riskier to attend huge gatherings today than it was 20 years ago.   Discuss.

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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 religious festivals. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS: Make a poster about religious festivals. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. KUMBH MELA: Write a magazine article about the Kumbh Mela. Include imaginary interviews with people who were there.

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. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

6. LETTER: Write a letter to the organiser of the Mela. Ask him/her three questions about it. Give him/her three of your opinions on it. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE (p.4)

a

F

b

T

c

T

d

T

e

F

f

T

g

T

h

F

SYNONYM MATCH (p.4)

1.

gathering

a.

assembly

2

humanity

b.

mankind

3.

devotees

c.

followers

4.

took a dip

d.

bathed

5.

sins

e.

wrongdoing

6.

execution

f.

putting to death

7.

militants

g.

extremists

8.

disrupt

h.

upset

9.

resulted

i.

ended

10.

deadly

j.

lethal

COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS (p.8)

1.

The banks

2.

Hindu devotees

3.

January 14

4.

100 million

5.

Every 144 years

6.

Record numbers of people and a security alert after a terrorist was hanged

7.

Cause a stampede

8.

To look for suspected terrorists

9.

Surveillance cameras

10.

Celebrities

MULTIPLE CHOICE - QUIZ (p.9)

1.

c

2.

a

3.

a

4.

b

5.

d

6.

b

7.

a

8.

c

9.

d

10.

a

ALL OTHER EXERCISES

Please check for yourself by looking at the Article on page 2.
(It's good for your English ;-)

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