Jigsaw Reading Holiday Lesson Plan
Holidays of a lifetime for under £500
Time: 60 minutes??
Level: Upper intermediate
To give detailed reading practice
To introduce/review 'holiday' vocabulary
To review & give oral practice with comparatives & superlatives
To practise the language of persuasion, the language of discussion....
To give freer speaking practice
That the stds will find the holidays interesting.
That the language in the text will not be too difficult & that it
will be interesting vocabulary - choose the text to match the group.
Anticipated Problems and Solutions:
Some of the vocabulary is tricky so dictionaries on hand would be
Aids: The text below.
Stage 1 - Intro to holidays & vocabulary
10-15 mins tch<>stds
1. Introduce holidays & where they might
be going/have gone this year.
2. Ask if they could choose, which kind of holiday would they like - elicit
different types of holiday - beach, safari, adventure, trekking, cycling,
touring, weekend break, sightseeing, cruise, arctic, retreat etc.
3. If you're not going to use all of the holidays described in the text,
choose some that you are not going to use & tell the class
about them, asking them if they would like that kind of holiday, hopefully
a discussion will ensue. Possibly elicit any ideas for other holidays
that might be in the article you choose by giving the title.
Stage 2 - Reading
10 mins tch<>stds,
1. Handout different holidays from the textto
different stds or small groups - the brief is to read for detail as they
will be exchanging descriptions later to find the most exciting, interesting,
relaxing etc holiday.
2. Stds read - have dictionaries on hand & go round helping when needed,
encouraging the stds to guess meaning from context whenever possible.
You could design reading & language tasks to go with each piece of
Stage 3 - Information exchange
20 mins tch<>stds,
1. Put on the board
Which holiday is;
the most relaxing
the most exciting
the most imaginative
the most innovative
Or choose superlatives to suit. Other purposes could
- to give profiles of different people & stds
find the best holiday for each.
- stds find the most appropriate holiday for another member of the class.
2. Put stds into groups, each having read
about a different holiday - they have to agree on a holiday for each of
You might review some language that they might need before they begin,
to make the task more effective - the language of discussion. Elicit/give
& write some exponents on board for reference.
3. Task - while it's going on you take notes on +/- things said for feedback
4. When decisions have been made get a member from each group to visit
another group to report their findings & possibly give ideas to the
group they are with. The roving stds then report back to their original
groups who can make changes to their decisions, if they want.
5. Class feedback - see what has been decided & ask for justifications.
Feedack on the language used during the task.
Follow up activities
The chosen holidays could then go on to
be used in different ways:
- travel agent & customer roleplays - selling & buying
- travel agent & customer roleplays - customer complaining as the
holiday wasn't all it was cracked up to be.
- stds could write another description of
a holiday location, that fits with the theme of the overall text used,
that they know about.
You could follow
up on some of the travel agent links given in the article & collect
a range of materials from the respective sites for use in similar activities.
Or if you are lucky enough to have enough computer terminals, get the
stds to do the research & make a project of it.
Holidays of a lifetime for under £500
Get married in Vegas, sail down the Nile, visit Mayan temples, go
birdwatching in Africa or laze on tropical beaches - Jane Knight, Tom
Templeton and Jacqui MacDermott show you how to make your money go further
Sunday February 2, 2003
Unless otherwise stated, holidays are based on two people travelling.
Cruise the Med
It costs less than £500 to drift around Europe aboard the Mediterranean
Essence, starting from Palma and dropping in at Mallorca, Civitavecchia
(for Rome), Portofino, Nice and Mahon. Island
Cruises (08707 500414) promotes an informal atmosphere, with relaxed
dress codes and dining times.
At each stop you can wander on your own or pay extra for shore excursions
with a difference. In Nice, for instance, take a helicopter flight over
the Maritime Alps, followed by guided tours of Monaco and Monte Carlo.
The price of £499 includes return flights from one of 14 UK airports,
port taxes, accommodation, entertainment, meals and even basic tipping.
Streetcars and desire
Cheap transatlantic flights mean now is the time to take a California
fly-drive holiday with accommodation for little more than people used
to pay for the air fare alone.
Fly to Los Angeles to see everything from Disney to where the stars hang
out, before driving up the coast to San Francisco with its island prison
of Alcatraz and streetcars.
Trailfinders (020 7937 5400) has a fly-drive break with seven nights' accommodation,
six days' car hire and flights from London to LA and back from San Francisco
for £495. You have to go between 1 February and 31 March, which
may seem a cold time in the UK, but is pleasant in California.
They say that in Jamaica the three Rs mean reggae, reefers and rum,
but the island has lots more to offer.
There is the renowned Dunn's River Falls, where tiers of limestone lead
600ft down to the beach in a series of cascades and pools. Head for the
hills of the interior to see how Blue Mountain coffee is processed, or
swim with the dolphins at the beach.
550 2575) has seven nights, departing on 25 February from Gatwick or 4
March from Manchester, both for £459, with accommodation allocated
on arrival from a selection in Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Negril.
Thai this for size
Get measured for new clothes by a tailor in Bangkok, then head for
six nights at the beach in Pattaya before returning to the capital to
pick up your fresh wardrobe and maybe squeeze in a visit to a temple or
two. The price of £449 with Travelbag
(0870 890 1460) includes two nights at Bangkok's Asia hotel, which is
near the new Sky train station and the weekend market, the night bazaar
and Patpong Road.
Accommodation in Pattaya is in the English village-style Woodlands resort,
a few minutes' walk from the beach. The offer lasts from 21 April to 14
June, a period when temperatures in Thailand are particularly hot, but
when you will find the least number of tourists. The price includes travel
from Heathrow and transfers by bus to Pattaya, but not from the airport
Head off on a slow boat
This voyage on the Nile is not on a luxury cruise ship but on a felucca,
a traditional Egyptian sailing boat. The seven-night holiday includes
two days' sailing, a night aboard the vessel and visits to Nubian villages,
with dinner at one of them.
The sailing is in the Aswan area, which is reached by train after a day
in Cairo and a visit to the pyramids of Giza. From Aswan, there is a chance
to visit the temple of Abu Simbel, although it costs extra, followed by
the included excursions to Karnak and an early-morning donkey ride to
the Valley of the Kings at Luxor. Trailfinders
(020 7938 3939) has seven nights' B&B with some other meals and flights
to Cairo for £498. You must travel before 31 March, which is one
of the best times to visit Egypt.
Fire and ice in easy reach
It's never been more affordable to visit the land of ice and fire
now Iceland Express
(00 354 5 500650) is launching low-cost flights from London from 27 February.
Return flights cost from £109 per person, with an airport transfer
costing a further £14. Stay in Reykjavik (or Steamy Bay), with its
ocean-fresh seafood, vodka bars and spas in a luxury
studio apartment (00 354 896 2559) complete with whirlpool bath from
£406 per week.
This leaves a couple £350 to blow on whale watching, horse riding,
clubbing and excursions. Try the £40 Reykjanes-Blue Lagoon tour
with Reykjavik Excursions
which covers the Blue Lagoon spa famous for its healing powers, Grindavík,
a fishing town on the south coast, Reykjanes Lighthouse at the tip of
the peninsula and Hafnarfjördur, 'the town in the lava'.
When in doubt, try the beach
If you get bored with lying on the beach on the Malaysian island of
Penang, there is plenty more to visit, including rubber plantations, paddy
fields, temples, old Chinese houses, and a funicular railway to the top
of Penang Hill, though you will probably find the beach still beckons
after all that.
The Copthorne Orchid is not directly on the sand but its position atop
the cliff means all its rooms have sea views. The hotel is on the island's
north coast where the best beaches are, and it is also near the botanical
gardens and the reclining Buddha. Phone & Go Travel (0870 990 8292)
has seven nights' room only at the three-star hotel, including flights
from Heathrow or Manchester between 1 May and 15 June, for £499.
A base in Delhi
The Indian capital may be a mind-boggling destination, but it has
fascinating history, bazaars and monuments and is the perfect base for
a 10-day holiday exploring the Red Fort, Agra, the Taj Mahal and Jaipur.
(020 7938 3939) offers flights from Heathrow with Kuwait Air from £402,
including taxes. Double rooms at the Master
Guest House, New Rajinder Nagar, New Delhi (00 91 11 574 10 89) start
at just £8 a night. That means a couple spending 10 days there would
be left with £116 from £1,000 to supplement travel and food
Gamble on getting hitched
Not only is Las Vegas the gaming capital of the world, it is also
the wedding capital of the world - take a partner and get hitched on the
cheap in one of the city's wedding chapels. Stay at the Sahara Hotel and
Casino, which has live shows as well as gambling, and is opposite the
well-known Circus Circus. Gamble on a good deal with Bon
Voyage (0800 316 0194), which has seven-night holidays on a room-only
basis for £495. Bookings must be made by 28 February for departures
before 31 March.
Spring is perfect for Petra
Though it's one of the best times to visit in terms of climate, there
are no Easter or May bank holiday supplements to go to Jordan this year
(020 8398 0505) Springtime is the perfect time to explore Petra, the city
carved from a cliff face and forgotten for 1,000 years before its rediscovery
The price of £499 includes a day's excursion with entry fee, lunch
and guide, to the city that appeared in the film Indiana Jones and the
Last Crusade. Accommodation is in a four-star hotel in Amman, Jordan's
capital, bed and breakfast only. Departures can be at any time before
the end of June.
Birds and beaches in Africa
Kunta Kinte, the slave ancestor in Alex Haley's Roots, is said to
have come from a village up the River Gambia that features on a one-day
excursion, along with the Museum of the Slave Trade and the ruins of the
old fort where slaves were kept on an island in the river. Gambia is also
the place to go for bird watchers (it has more than 500 species) and for
river and sea fishing. In between all that, there are long sandy palm-fringed
beaches waiting to be flopped on. The
Gambia Experience (023 8073 0888) has seven nights' B&B in the
newly renovated Sun Beach Hotel on the ocean shore for £498 from
Gatwick for departures in the peak tourist season of March and on 25 April.
Head off on a hike in Morocco
Test those leg muscles in eight days' trekking through the glorious
High Atlas mountains in Morocco. The Slopes of Toubkal tour starts on
17 and 31 May and includes a stay at the Neltner refuge, then climbing
Jebel Toubkal, the roof of North Africa, to gasp at the awesome, barren
views. The treks take a maximum of 16 people, with between four and six
hours hiking each day. Stay in a Berber village, then check out the colourful
souk during a free day in Marrakesh before flying home. The price of £240
includes two nights in a hotel, five nights in village houses or mountain
refuges and all meals. Guerba (01373 826611) can arrange flights for £260.
Fall for Niagara
Stay almost on the brink of the Niagara Falls (well, 500 metres away),
over which each second the equivalent of more than a million bathtubs
of water plunge 176ft to create rainbows in the spray. With the change
from this £435 holiday, head to the base of the falls in the Maid
of the Mist boat, a trip where a soaking is guaranteed but which has to
be taken to witness the enormous curtain of water. Canadian
Affair (020 7616 9185) has trips with four nights at the four-star
Renaissance Fallsview Hotel in Niagara and three nights at the Days Inn
Toronto Downtown for a bit of city life and a visit to the CN Tower, the
tallest freestanding building in the world. The price includes return
flights and transfers and is available for May departures.
Gulf with a difference
Oman is the new Dubai, but with the emphasis on culture in place of
shopping. You can still pick up local souvenirs at the souk in Muscat,
but there is a whole range of other things to do, including wadi bash
ing, visiting the ancient capital of Nizwah and day trips to the Sawadi
Islands for diving and snorkelling. Seven nights at the Al Sawadi Beach
Resort, north of Muscat, which is on its own stretch of beach and opposite
the Sawadi Islands, costs £489 B&B with Gulf
Air (0871 222 3424) for travel until 31 March. Flights via Abu Dhabi
Goan, enjoy it
Sparkling on the western coast of the Indian peninsula, the exotic
former Portuguese colony of Goa offers sand, sun and saints (of the Catholic
variety) in unequal measure. Eclipse
Holidays (08705 010203) offers 14 nights for £473 (seven nights
costs £422), including flights, transfers and B&B at the Resort
Lagoa Azul overlooking the Baga river. It is just 3.5kms from the
lively beach resort of Calangute with its watersports, shopping, eating
out and nightlife. This offer is available for departures from 16 February
to 26 March, with similar prices available for late autumn/winter departures.
Riviera with more
Tour operators are calling the area south of Cancun in Mexico the
Riviera Maya and are opening it up for those who want a bit more nature
and culture than that offered in Cancun's concrete strip. The Caribbean
coast of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula is Bounty bar ad stunning and historically
fascinating, with Mayan temples dotted around. Playa del Carmen, a lively
cosmopolitan coastal town a bus or taxi ride south of Cancun, boasts long
white beaches and verdant jungle and is ideal for diving, sportfishing,
jungle trekking, archaeology hunting and partying.
Britannia Direct (0800 000747) starts flying from Gatwick and Manchester to Cancun
in November. Flights departing 10 November from Gatwick cost £369.
offers flights from £299 with Air
2000 (0870 757 2757). Seven nights' B&B at the Caribbean Paradise
Resort & Spa in downtown Playa del Carmen starts at £210 for
St Paul's escape
Damascus, Syria's largest city and capital, has been settled since
5000 BC and the old City, penned in by a Roman wall, is a multi-faceted
monument to the Holy Land's past: the ancient Souq al-Hamadiyyeh covered
market, the Omayyad Mosque (705AD), Saladin's Mausoleum (1193), Azem Palace
(1749) and St Paul's Chapel, which marks the spot where the disciples
lowered St Paul out of a window one night so that he could flee the Jews.
Trailfinders (020 7938 3939) offers flights from Heathrow with Turkish Airlines
from £254, including taxes, on selected dates. You must buy a visa
from the Syrian Embassy, 8 Belgrave Square, London (020 7245 9012) for
A double room and breakfasts at the beautiful, occidentally furnished
Al Majed Hotel (00 963 11 23 23 300), 500m from the old city, costs from £18
a night. This would leave a couple with £300 out of £1,000,
which could easily see them through a week's stay.
Follow Tony and Cherie...
If it's good enough for Tony Blair... Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt is
a cosmopolitan town bracketed by the Mount Sinai mountains and spectacular
reef, ranked by Jacques Cousteau as one of the top three diving sites
in the world. Cosmos
Holidays (0870 908 4299) offers seven nights' half board at the Hotel
Coral Beach Tiran - which has an approved diving school on site - from
£449, including flights and transfers, for departures between 16
November and 13 December (£489 from 27 April to 10 May, after which
the price rises to £499 until 21 June). A night time hike up Mount
Sinai to catch a spectacular sunrise is heartily recommended.
Mangroves and manatees
Impressive mountain ranges, coursed by spectacular rivers and waterfalls,
and mangrove forests punctuated by manatee-inhabited saltwater lakes are
only part of the appeal of the Dominican Republic.
On the other hand you could just sit on the white beach with seven nights'
all-inclusive stay at the Hotetur Villas Doradas costing £499 with
(0870 241 5339) departing 2 April. This small hotel sits in the lively
Playa Dorada resort on the north coast, and comes complete with shopping
plaza, bars and restaurants and 18-hole golf course. The price includes
flights from Gatwick and transfers.
And then there's Disney...
Messing around in the vast Disney
World (0870 242 4911) under the blazing Florida sun is one of the
'bear' necessities of life as far as most kids are concerned. It includes
four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios and Disney's
Animal Kingdom) and two water-adventure parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon
Lagoon) so you need at least five days to do it justice - one of which
should certainly be a day off.
Jetsave Florida (0870
161 3402) offers a week's trip to Orlando, departing 15-30 June for £485
per adult and £249 per child (up to age 11), a reduction of £114
on the brochure price. This includes scheduled flights, car hire and room-only
accommodation in the three-star Comfort Inn Lake Buena Vista.
OK, the five-day Hopper-plus ticket costs £189/£155 - taking
our adults over the £500 budget - so 'heigh ho, heigh ho, it's off
to work we go...'