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Lesson plan related to the theme of ‘crime’ to accompany the March 2001 Newsletter

Word version

To the text used in the plan

Preliminary information

Level: Intermediate

Time: 60 minutes

To introduce & give oral practice with the vocabulary of ‘crime’
To give reading practice – reading for detail
To give speaking practice in telling anecdotes

that the stds will know some of the vocabulary.
that they will need explanation of some of the vocab & use of the dictionaries.
that they are aware for narrative tenses.

Anticipated problems:
- the difference between rob & steal >> have the board stage to hand.
burglar, burglary, hijack, smuggle & forge – will probably pose the most challenge >> highlight & drill.

Stage 1 – warmer: short discussion points
to provide some speaking practice
to warm the stds up
to give practice with the 2nd conditional
to wait for late arrivals

5-10 minutes s-s

1. Handout discussion pints – groups of 3/4 discuss.
2. Feedback

Discussion points:

1. If you saw a murder, what would you do?
2. If you were in a shop & you saw someone stealing something (shoplifting) what would you do?

3. What punishment would you give the following:

a. a well-off housewife caught stealing from a department store.

b. a man who kills his wife after finding out she ahs been unfaithful.

c. a terrorist who planted a bomb that killed two people.

Stage 2 – Crime related vocabulary
to introduce, & clarify some common ‘crime vocabulary

20 minutes ss-ss, t-ss

2a. Focus on ‘steal’ & ‘rob’
1.Brainstrom all the vocab they can think of connected to ‘crime’ – the stds just shout them out.
2. Put the verbs – rob & steal. In pairs the stds work out when you use each.
3. Feedback – elicit ideas & clarify – write up pointers & collocations about the words for the stds to copy down to keep as a record.

2b. Focus on more crime vocab
1. Handout task sheet:

The crime
The criminal The verb
    to mug
    to shoplift
    to forge

Stds complete in pairs & mark the word stress
2. When they have completed the chart, they rank the crimes in order of seriousness.
3. Feedback – go through the answers; sorting out any problems with meaning (e.g. false friends) & the pronunciation – drill the difficult items you want them to actively use.

Stage 3– Reading & Speaking
to give detailed reading practice
to give practice with dictionaries
to give practice with narrative tenses
to give oral fluency practice

25-30 minutes ss-ss, t-ss

3a. Reading
1. Instructions – going to have a short story about a stupid crime – need to read it & prepare to re-tell it to other stds – they can make it more interesting by adding details to the story - dictionaries are available if necessary.
2. Handout a text to each std (see below - choose to suit)– they read & consult the dictionary as necessary. Get around & see if all are OK, helping out as necessary.

3b. Speaking
1. When all ready, I should focus them on the language of narratives & ask them to consciously use the tenses if possible. Give out the information chart ( see later) & tell them the communicative purpose of the information exchange – having collated all the information they have to decide on the dumbest criminal.
2. All stand up & begin talking to someone they are not sitting next to. Tell all to change after every couple of minutes. Take notes on language output – good & problematic instances.
3. When all have talked to everyone & have notes on each of the crimes, the stds sit down & decide with their partner which criminal to elect as the dumbest. You could then pair up into fours to then decide together.
4. Feedback – as a class discuss who they chose & why. Give feedback on the language they used in the discussions – good uses to praise & problematic instances to correct.

(You could follow up with an interview with the dumbest criminal or others in the stories, write up newspaper articles on one of the stories…..)

Review the lesson


Short texts taken from:

Opps - Sorry!
An elderly woman spent a day shopping at the mall. Upon return to her vehicle, she found four strange males sitting in her car. Frightened, the woman dropped her shopping bags and drew her handgun. She told the men that if they did not get out of the car, she would shoot. The four men ran off quickly, whereupon the lady got into the car. Her key however, would not fit. The woman realized that her car was the identical one parked a few spaces down. She went to the police department and reported the story. The officer on duty laughed hysterically and pointed to the other end of the counter where four pale men had reported a car jacking by a mean old lady; no charges were filed.

Set Up
A company called "Guns For Hire" stages gunfights for Western movies, etc. One day, they received a call from a 47-year old woman, who wanted to have her husband killed. She got 4-1/2 years in jail.

Too Many Pennies
David Posman, 33, was arrested in Providence, Rhode Island, after knocking out an armoured car driver and stealing four bags of money. Each bag contained $800 dollars. However, the bags weighed thirty pounds each since they all contained PENNIES. The hefty bags slowed the fleeting Posman to a sluggish stagger. Police easily ran down and arrested the suspect.

You Are Getting Sleepy - You Are Getting Sleepy
When two men broke into his office in Milan, Italy, professional hypnotist Filadelfio Munafo, 39, put them in a trance - or so he thought until he told them to hand over their guns and they shot him. He explained later, "I was sure I had them in my power."

Run Over
An English bank robber planned the perfect heist. Every detail was perfectly orchestrated; the ideal robbery time, the type of gun to use, a place to hide the loot, a getaway route and car, and even a reliable accomplice. After robbing the bank, the man left with the money in a bag over his left shoulder. As he approached the spot of the getaway car, his accomplice promptly ran him over.

Seattle, Washington
When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find an ill man curled up next to a motor home trying to steal gasoline and plugged his hose into the motor home's sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges, saying that it was the best laugh he'd ever had.

Need A Lift?
Police in Coram, New York, reported that a man flagged down an unmarked police car and offered two detectives crack cocaine to drive him home. According to police spokesperson Mark Ryan, the detectives were just returning from a drug bust and were wearing blue jackets identifying them as Suffolk County Police in big white letters.

Easy Catch
Two men tried to pull the front off a cash machine by running a chain from the machine to the bumper of their pickup truck. Instead of pulling the front panel off the machine though, they pulled the bumper off their truck. Scared, they left the scene and drove home. With the chain still attached to the machine and their bumper still attached to the chain. Little did they know their vehicle's license plate was still attached to the bumper.

Drive Through Robbery
One man thought a good way to rob a bank and not get caught was through the drive through. Pulling up to the window, he wrote the teller a note, demanding money. The man even went as far as to holding up a knife. Laughing hysterically, the woman called the police and the suspect was eventually apprehended.

Jacksonville, Florida
A Jacksonville, Florida robber couldn't quite get it together when it came to disguising himself. He stuck up a grocery store, wearing a paper bag with cut-out eyeholes over his head. But during the attempted stickup, the bag shifted and the eyeholes were no longer over his eyes, so he couldn't see a thing. To make matters worse, a few seconds later the bag split open, completely revealing his face to the sales clerk. She immediately recognized him as a regular customer - and called the cops when he left.

Check This Out
A man convicted of robbery worked out a deal to pay $9600 in damages rather than serve a prison sentence. For payment, he provided the court a check -- a forged check. He got 10 years.

Come Again
A Houston armed robber was finally caught after eight holdups in three months. What broke the case? He kept on robbing the same store, he never bothered wearing a mask... and he kept holding up the same sales clerk.

Please, Please, Please
Frank Gort, a San Antonio burglar, was caught and convicted. When it came time for sentencing, the judge gave him seven years. Gort was very upset - and begged the judge not to sentence him to seven years because seven was his unlucky number. The understanding judge complied. He gave him eight years.

Detroit, Michigan
Two Michigan robbers charged into a Detroit music store waving their guns. "Nobody move!" one of the robbers ordered. The second robber then moved - and the first shot him in the head.

One Dumb Crook
A fellow robbed a supermarket of about $5000. The local newspaper ran the story, but with the amount given as $7000. The thief called the newspaper to complain about the inaccuracy and to suggest that maybe the store manager ripped off the extra $2000 and was unjustly blaming the thief. The people at the newspaper kept him busy on the phone giving his version of the story while the police traced the call to a phone booth and arrived to arrest him while he was still talking to the newspaper!

Thanks For The "Tip"
A man broke into a jewellery store in the middle of the night. Once inside he broke the glass case to extract the jewellery -- so excited and anxious to get his hands on the diamonds in the case he did not notice, that when he broke the glass, with his hand, he cut the tip end of one of his fingers off. When police did arrive, they merely fished the top portion of the finger out, printed it, and ran a match program. The man was arrested within a few hours of his crime.

Somewhere In Belgium
A Belgium news agency reported in November that a man suspected of robbing a jewellery store said he couldn't have done it because he was busy breaking into a school at the same time. Police then arrested him for breaking into the school.

Chart to be used in the information exchange activity

Name of the article
Type of crime
Notes about the story

Word version of this plan

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