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www.Breaking News English.com

Ready-to-use ESL / EFL Lessons

The Breaking News English.com Resource Book


“1,000 Ideas & Activities For Language Teachers”

http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/book.html
18-year-old elected as US mayor

URL: http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/0511/051113-mayor-e.html

Contents


The Article

2

Warm-ups

3

Before Reading / Listening

4

While Reading / Listening

5

Listening Gap Fill

6

After Reading

7

Discussion

8

Speaking

9

Homework

10

Answers

11

13 November, 2005

THE ARTICLE

18-year-old elected as US mayor


An 18-year-old high school student has become mayor of his hometown in the US state of Michigan. Michael Sessions won a local election by just two votes to beat his only rival, the 51-year-old former mayor. Mr. Sessions said the votes of his parents gave him his election success. He will now have to balance his schedules. He has to attend school classes between 8am to 3pm and do his new job as mayor before dinner at 6pm. He aims to deliver on his three campaign promises. These were to increase the town’s full-time firefighters from three to four, help the local economy and listen to citizens’ problems.

Mr. Sessions was too young to enter the election when it was first announced – he turned 18 only in September. He had just four weeks of campaigning. He had a budget of just $700, which he made from his summer job of selling toffee apples. His new position does not come with an office. Instead, he will receive $3,600 a year to cover his expenses. He starts his four-year position on November 21. Although he is the youngest elected official in America, he cannot celebrate his success with champagne. The legal drinking age in the US is 21, so he would be arrested for underage drinking.


WARM-UPS


1. BEING 18: In pairs / groups, discuss what life is like for an 18-year-old in your country. Do you think being 18 is one of the best stages of a person’s life? Were /Are you happy being 18? Do you think today’s 18-year-olds are different from those of 20 or 30 years ago?

2. WORLD TEENAGERS: Are 18-year-olds the same all over the world? With your partner(s), discuss what you think the differences are between teenagers and their lifestyles in the following countries:

  • The USA

  • Saudi Arabia

  • Japan

  • India

  • Kenya

  • China

  • Italy

  • Iraq

  • Liberia

  • Brazil

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

Local elections / mayors / hometowns / rivals / parents / balancing schedules / dinner / firefighters / problems / champagne / underage drinking / apples

Have a chat about the topics you liked. For more conversation, change topics and partners frequently.



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

5. MAYOR OPINIONS: Discuss these opinions on 18-year-old mayors:

  1. An 18-year-old should never be able to become mayor.

  2. A younger person would provide a fresh approach to politics.

  3. Younger politicians better understand the needs of young people.

  4. No one under the age of 30 should be allowed to run for public office.

  5. The fact that an 18-year-old has won an election means the other candidates were of a poor quality.

  6. Having an 18-year-old as mayor is an interesting experiment.

  7. It could only happen in America.

  8. An 18-year-old will take risks and make decisions older people are too afraid to. That is good.

6. YOUNG OR OLD? Have a quick debate with your partner. Is it better for an 18-year-old or an 80-year-old to become mayor? Students A think an 18-year-old would be a better mayor, Students B think and 80-year-old would be more able.

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 18-year-old has been elected mayor of New York City.

T / F

b.

The teenager won by a very slim margin.

T / F

c.

The teenager wants to teach people how to balance different jobs.

T / F

d.

The young mayor wants to hire one more firefighter for his town.

T / F

e.

The 18-year-old campaigned very hard for six months.

T / F

f.

The new mayor gets an office ten times the size of his bedroom.

T / F

g.

The new mayor gets a $36,000 a year salary.

T / F

h.

The teenager was arrested at his victory party for underage drinking.

T / F

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

a.

just

go to

b.

beat

pay for

c.

attend

declared

d.

aims

defeat

e.

problems

drink to

f.

announced

civil servant

g.

position

only

h.

cover

role

i.

official

complaints

j.

celebrate

intends

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

a.

mayor of his hometown in

18 only in September

b.

Sessions won a local election

local economy

c.

beat

by just two votes

d.

He aims to deliver on

does not come with an office

e.

help the

his three campaign promises

f.

he turned

the US state of Michigan

g.

He had a budget

to cover his expenses

h.

His new position

underage drinking

i.

he will receive $3,600 a year

of just $700

j.

arrested for

his only rival

WHILE READING / LISTENING


GAP FILL: Put the words in the column on the right into the gaps in the text.

18-year-old elected as US mayor


An 18-year-old high school student has ________ mayor of his hometown in the US state of Michigan. Michael Sessions won a ________ election by just two votes to ________ his only rival, the 51-year-old former mayor. Mr. Sessions said the votes of his parents gave him his election ________. He will now have to balance his ________. He has to attend school classes between 8am to 3pm and do his new job as mayor before dinner at 6pm. He ________ to deliver on his three campaign promises. These were to ________ the town’s full-time firefighters from three to four, help the local economy and ________ to citizens’ problems.





success
beat
listen
become
increase
schedules
local
aims


Mr. Sessions was too young to ________ the election when it was first announced – he ________ 18 only in September. He had just four weeks of campaigning. He had a ________ of just $700, which he made from his summer job of selling toffee apples. His new ________ does not come with an office. Instead, he will ________ $3,600 a year to cover his expenses. He starts his four-year position on November 21. Although he is the youngest ________ official in America, he cannot ________ his success with champagne. The legal drinking age in the US is 21, so he would be arrested for ________ drinking.





celebrate
position
turned
receive
underage
enter
elected
budget

LISTENING


Listen and fill in the spaces.

18-year-old elected as US mayor


An 18-year-old high school student ____ _______ mayor of his hometown in the US state of Michigan. Michael Sessions won a local election ___ _____ ____ votes to beat his only rival, the 51-year-old former mayor. Mr. Sessions said the votes of his parents gave him his election _________. He will now have to balance his schedules. He has to attend school classes between 8am to 3pm and do his new ____ ___ ______ before dinner at 6pm. He aims to deliver on his three campaign promises. These were to __________ the town’s full-time firefighters from three to four, help the local economy and listen to _________ problems.

Mr. Sessions was too young to enter the election when it ____ ______ announced – he turned 18 only in September. He had ______ four weeks of campaigning. He had a ________ of just $700, which he made from his summer job of selling toffee apples. His new position does not come _____ ___ ________. Instead, he will receive $3,600 a year to _______ his expenses. He starts his four-year position on November 21. Although he is the youngest elected official in America, he cannot _________ his success with champagne. The legal drinking age in the US is 21, so he would be arrested for __________ drinking.


AFTER READING / LISTENING


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

  • 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 gap fill. 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. STUDENT “18-YEAR-OLDS” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about teenagers and the contributions they can make to society.

  • Ask other classmates your questions and note down their answers.

  • Go back to your original partner / group and compare your findings.

  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

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

    • hometown

    • rival

    • parents

    • balance

    • promises

    • problems

  • young

  • $700

  • office

  • $3,600

  • November 21

  • arrested

DISCUSSION


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

  1. Did the headline make you want to read the article?

  2. What did you think when you first read the headline?

  3. Would you vote for an 18-year-old to be mayor of your town?

  4. Do you think an 18-year-old can be a successful mayor?

  5. What advantages are there in having a mayor who is just 18?

  6. Do you think an 18-year-old could become President of the USA?

  7. Who do you think would be a better US President, George W. Bush or 18-year-old Michael Sessions?

  8. How different do you think the world would be with an 18-year-old US President?

  9. What changes are needed in your town?

  10. How and where do you talk about your problems?

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

  1. Did you like reading this article?

  2. What do you think about what you read?

  3. What things do you think an 18-year-old would campaign for or against?

  4. Which is more important for the new mayor, finishing his homework or doing his job as mayor?

  5. What do you know about the mayor of your town?

  6. Would you like to see more young people enter politics?

  7. Do you think Michael Sessions should have been allowed to have a drink to celebrate his election success?

  8. Do you think you would be a good mayor?

  9. What things do you have to balance every day?

  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?

SPEAKING


18 OR 80? Would an 18-year-old or an 80-year-old be a better political leader? In pairs / groups, discuss the decisions each is likely to make on the following areas.

AREAS

18-YEAR-OLD’S DECISIONS

80-YEAR-OLD’S DECISIONS

The war on terror







Education







Taxation







Pensions







Crime







Foreign policy







Other

______________









  • Change partners and tell each other what you wrote.

  • Which of the decisions do you agree with most?

  • Would you vote for the teenager or the senior citizen?

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 on the mayor of your town. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson. Did you all find out similar things?

3. ME FOR MAYOR: Make a poster explaining the things you want to do for your town if you became mayor. Describe the problems your town has. Show your posters to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all want to do similar things?

4. LETTER: Write a letter to the newly elected 18-year-old mayor Michael Sessions. Tell him what you think of his election victory. Give him advice for the challenges ahead. Show what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all write about similar things or give similar advice?

ANSWERS


TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. F

d. T

e. F

f. F

g. F

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

just

only

b.

beat

defeat

c.

attend

go to

d.

aims

intends

e.

problems

complaints

f.

announced

declared

g.

position

role

h.

cover

pay for

i.

official

civil servant

j.

celebrate

drink to

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

mayor of his hometown in

the US state of Michigan

b.

Sessions won a local election

by just two votes

c.

beat

his only rival

d.

He aims to deliver on

his three campaign promises

e.

help the

local economy

f.

he turned

18 only in September

g.

He had a budget

of just $700

h.

His new position

does not come with an office

i.

he will receive $3,600 a year

to cover his expenses

j.

arrested for

underage drinking

GAP FILL:

18-year-old elected as US mayor


An 18-year-old high school student has become mayor of his hometown in the US state of Michigan. Michael Sessions won a local election by just two votes to beat his only rival, the 51-year-old former mayor. Mr. Sessions said the votes of his parents gave him his election success. He will now have to balance his schedules. He has to attend school classes between 8am to 3pm and do his new job as mayor before dinner at 6pm. He aims to deliver on his three campaign promises. These were to increase the town’s full-time firefighters from three to four, help the local economy and listen to citizens’ problems.

Mr. Sessions was too young to enter the election when it was first announced – he turned 18 only in September. He had just four weeks of campaigning. He had a budget of just $700, which he made from his summer job of selling toffee apples. His new position does not come with an office. Instead, he will receive $3,600 a year to cover his expenses. He starts his four-year position on November 21. Although he is the youngest elected official in America, he cannot celebrate his success with champagne. The legal drinking age in the US is 21, so he would be arrested for underage drinking.





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