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Scientific scepticism: The Flat Earth Society

Course: Weekly lessons, Unit: In the news

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


Learning goals

  • Understand and respond to the content and language of an authentic article on 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 scientific experiment
  • 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 (11)

Introduction

Introduction

Recommendations

  • 2 mins
  • Class
  • Core activity


Student instructions

No instructions


Teacher notes

No teacher notes

 

Warm up

Warm up

Recommendations

  • 4 mins
  • Pair, Class
  • Core activity


Student instructions

No instructions


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is to introduce the topic of 'anti-science' and conspiracy theories.
Conduct this activity as a poll. Once students have submitted their answers, send them the results and discuss briefly as a class, asking why they voted as they did.

 

Lead in

Lead in

Recommendations

  • 4 mins
  • Pair, Group
  • Core activity


Student instructions

Watch the video and discuss the questions:
1. What you think is happening?
2. Why is it happening?
3. The maker of the video is also known as 'Mad' Mike. Why could this be?
4. What do you know about the Flat Earth Society?


Teacher notes

 

Main ideas

Main ideas

Recommendations

  • 5 mins
  • Individual, Pair
  • Core activity


Student instructions

No instructions


Teacher notes

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

 

Language

Language

Recommendations

  • 5 mins
  • Individual, Pair
  • Core activity


Student instructions

Study the key language in bold within the article. Then match the definitions to the words. You do not need to use all the definitions.


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is to define some of the key language from the article.

This prepares students for the Practice and Apply activities.

 

Practice

Practice

Recommendations

  • 7 mins
  • Individual, Pair
  • Support activity


Student instructions

Complete the text 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.

This prepares students for the Apply activity.

 

Apply

Apply

Recommendations

  • 7 mins
  • Individual, Pair
  • Challenge activity


Student instructions

No instructions


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is give students freer practice in using the key language.

Have students suggest scientists, inventors, or technological innovators to write about. They could be:

 

Comprehend

Comprehend

Recommendations

  • 9 mins
  • Individual, Pair, Group
  • Core activity


Student instructions

Read the reference material 'Reading for detail and inference'. Then carefully read the article again and answer the questions. You will need to make inferences for some of the answers.


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is to check understanding of details and inferences in the article.

Students can consult the reference material on reading for detail and inference. Those with a lower level can use the dictionary to check key vocabulary relating to the answers.

 

Respond

Respond

Recommendations

  • 8 mins
  • Pair, Group, Class
  • Core activity


Student instructions

Think about science in general and discuss the questions.


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.

 

Follow up

Follow up

Recommendations

  • 15 mins
  • Group, Class
  • Challenge activity


Student instructions

No instructions


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is for students to develop their critical thinking skills by inventing a conspiracy theory on an accepted area of science.

Ensure groups choose different statements. Then have groups share what they have found after they have finished taking notes.

 

Exit ticket

Exit ticket

Recommendations

  • 4 mins
  • Individual, Pair
  • Core activity


Student instructions

No instructions


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is for students to reflect on the objectives of the lesson and whether they were achieved.

 
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