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Stephen Hawking: A life in science

Course: Weekly lessons, Unit: Science, technology, and environment

  • 75 mins
  • In class
  • Reading
  • B2, C1


Learning goals:

  • Understand and respond to the content of an authentic article about science
  • Be able to use a variety of reading strategies effectively

Published by

EF Education First


Success criteria:

  • Sequence the main ideas in an authentic article about a famous scientist
  • Identify the correct definitions for new vocabulary based on their use in the article
  • Correctly answer comprehension questions about the article, and what you can infer from it
  • Share opinions and information about science-related topics

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Activities (12)

Introduction

Introduction

Suggestions

  • 2 mins
  • Class
  • Core activity


Instructions

No instructions


Teacher notes

No teacher notes

 

Warm up 1

Warm up 1

Suggestions

  • 4 mins
  • Individual, Class
  • Core activity


Instructions

Watch the video, and think about how the objects move and affect each other. Then answer questions about it in Warm up 2.


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is to give a real-world demonstration of some of the basic concepts of physics. Have students watch the video and then answer the questions in Warm up 2. They can refer to the video when answering the questions if necessary.

 

Warm up 2

Warm up 2

Suggestions

  • 4 mins
  • Pair, Group
  • Core activity


Instructions

Rearrange the letters to make the names of the key scientific concepts that you saw in the video.


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is to define and discuss some basic concepts in physics.
Extension
Have students describe other scientific concepts that they have learned about. Examples may include: inertia, resistance, or magnetism.

 

Lead in 1

Lead in 1

Suggestions

  • 4 mins
  • Individual, Group
  • Core activity


Instructions

Watch the video about the life and work of Stephen Hawking and discuss the questions in Lead in 2.


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is to introduce students to the key events in the life of Stephen Hawking, and his main professional achievements.
Video note
On rare occasions, the links to the online videos in EF Class may become unavailable. If this is the case, you can find alternatives to the video in this activity by searching for the following keywords in the Video search tool:

 

Lead in 2

Lead in 2

Suggestions

  • 5 mins
  • Pair
  • Core activity


Instructions

Discuss the questions about Stephen Hawking with another student.


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is to prepare students for the reading text by activating their knowledge of Stephen Hawking and having them discuss what kind of person he was.
Suggested answers

 

Main ideas

Main ideas

Suggestions

  • 6 mins
  • Individual, Pair
  • Core activity


Instructions

Quickly read the article about the life and work of Stephen Hawking and put the main ideas into the order that they are mentioned in the text.


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is to identify and sequence the main ideas of the article.

 

Language

Language

Suggestions

  • 8 mins
  • Individual, Pair
  • Core activity


Instructions

The aim of this activity is to define some of the key language from the article.
This prepares students for the Practice activity.
Tell students not to use their dictionaries.
If necessary, explain how to guess the meaning of words from context or have students read the reference material.

 

Practice

Practice

Suggestions

  • 6 mins
  • Individual, Pair
  • Support activity


Instructions

Complete the sentences about science with the correct form of the words in the key language.


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is to complete a text about science with vocabulary from the Language activity, and to practise changing word forms.

 

Detail

Detail

Suggestions

  • 8 mins
  • Individual, Pair
  • Core activity


Instructions

Read the article again and choose the correct answers.


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is to practise reading a text for specific information.
There is a lot of advanced vocabulary in this article. To save time, you may choose to direct students to focus on answering the questions on the key points of the text without understanding the whole thing, before coming back to other vocabulary later.

 

Respond

Respond

Suggestions

  • 15 mins
  • Group
  • Core activity


Instructions

In a group, hold a discussion on science.


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is to give students the opportunity to react to the ideas in the text according to their own opinions and experiences.
Have students be as imaginative and creative in their discussions as possible. It is not important for them to be factually correct in this complex area of science, they should only demonstrate an ability to express their ideas clearly and logically.

 

Follow up

Follow up

Suggestions

  • 10 mins
  • Group, Class
  • Challenge activity


Instructions

Read 'The time travel experiment' and design your own experiment.


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is for students to extend the topic of the lesson and enable students to think systematically and critically on an area of science that they are curious about.
Have students either choose an area of science that they want to find out more about, or have them try to invent an experiment to follow up on Hawking's time traveller party.

 

Exit ticket

Exit ticket

Suggestions

  • 3 mins
  • Individual
  • Core activity


Instructions

No instructions


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is for students to practise identifying and using informal phrases in their speech.
This is just an introduction to these phrases, and there are more sophisticated ways of using phrases like this. This activity is mainly an introduction to these phrases.

 
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