Jigsaw Reading Holiday Lesson Plan
Why break the bank?
Time: 60 minutes??
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.
Why break the bank?
Sean Dodson's guide to six European destinations that offer a perfect
weekend away for those on a budget
Saturday April 19, 2003
'There's often no correlation between a hotel room's price and the pleasure
it delivers," says Daisann McLane in her recently published homage
to cut-price travel, Cheap Hotels. McLane is a specialist in budget trips;
for the past four years in her Frugal Traveler column in the New York
Times she has celebrated the art of finding beauty in life's bargain basement.
McLane says that "part of this has to do with the unevenness of currency
values in the global economy". But there's also something more. A
cheap hotel or a well-kept hostel or a friendly pension can make you far
happier than the greatest luxury. And now that it has never been cheaper
to fly to Europe, forgoing the odd indulgence doesn't just mean that you
can get away a lot more often. It can also be good for the soul.
With cheap flights from Air Berlin, you can enjoy a weekend in the German
capital, including flights and accommodation, for as little as £60.
And what a city. Fragments of the wall, bomb-damaged museums, Norman Foster's
renovated Reichstag, Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum, and the architectural
legacy of the GDR make Berlin a city of extreme history and imagination.
Home to some of the best underground clubs in Europe, the eastern half
of Berlin has developed a legendary bar and cafe scene since reunification.
The nightlife changes quickly, and temporary spaces appear at a bewildering
rate. But some places are always hip: so sip half-price cocktails during
happy hour (6-8pm) at Cibo Matto (44 Rosenthaler Strasse, cibomatto.de).
Then, head up the road to Delicious Donuts (9 Rosenthaler Strasse, 2809
9274), an after-midnight cocktail bar under Berlin's trademark red neon.
By day, visit any of the private galleries along Auguststrasse (all free)
that are among the most cutting-edge in Europe. For spectacu lar views,
head for the giant glass dome on top of Sir Norman Foster's spectacular
Reichstag (free, expect to queue), or alternatively pay €5 to shoot
up the Fernsehturm (berlinerfernsehturm.de),
the television tower in Alexanderplatz.
An endangered slice of East German history can still be witnessed at the
former parliament building of the GDR. Now cleared of asbestos, the condemned
Palace Der Republik (Unter den Linden, free) is currently being used as
a temporary exhibition space and venue for avant-garde musical happenings
on Sundays. Its real treasure is the three-storey stained glass window
depicting the communist history of Berlin. See it in the morning when
the sun shines from behind the glass to prove that social-realism can
Cheap flights: Air Berlin(0870 73 88880, airberlin.com)
from £19 each way. See also BA (0845 7733377, ba.com)
Where to stay: With 854 beds, some as cheap as €8 a night, the new
Generator Hostel (Generator, 160 Storkower Strasse, the-generator.co.uk)
is helping Berlin become one of the cheapest European destinations. The
sister hostel to the equally large Generator in London, the building was
once the corporate headquarters of an East German engineering firm. Built
over seven floors (but only two lifts), the Generator features 24-hour
internet, self-service café and free continental breakfast.
You can get a functional double for €20. All rooms have card-keys.
With a trendy circular bar and long happy hour, it is a good place to
hang out. With its metal flooring and blue neon lighting, the lobby looks
more like the entrance of a nightclub than a hostel. Situated three miles
east of Alexanderplatz, the Generator is a trek out of town, but it's
opposite both S-Bahn and tram stations, so get to grips with public transport
and you're away.
Impossibly neat, eternally chic and full of elegant gilded statues and
beautiful public spaces, Paris has a reputation for being a very expensive
city. It needn't be. With a little care and planning, Paris can be as
cheap as pomme frîtes.
While Paris nightlife has changed a lot over the past decade, drinks can
be very expensive, so act like a Parisian and club together for a bottle
of spirits and occupy a table all night. A welcome addition to the Paris
night scene is the WAGG club (62 Rue Mazarine), a new venture set up by
the owners of Fabric. WAGG stands for Whiskey a Go-Go and it is rumoured
to be the site of the hotel where Jim Morrison died - hence the name.
With the money you saved on the flight and the hotel, you can afford to
splash out at an upmarket restaurant such as Georges. Perched on top of
Le Centre Pompidou, it remains one of the most futuristic restaurants
in the world, despite being 25 years old. Book early at weekends and request
a table at sunset.
Cheap flights: bmibaby (0870 264 2229, bmibaby.com),
BA (0845 7733377, ba.com),
British Midland (0870 6070555, flybmi.com),
easyJet (0870 6000000, easyjet.com), Flybe (0870 5676676, flybe.com)
Rail alternative: Eurostar (08705 186186) from Waterloo for £59.
Minimum stay one Saturday night.
Where to stay: A stone's throw from the Place De Repuplic is the Hotel
Denevers (53, rue de Malte, 11e, +1 4700 5618, hoteldenevers.com),
a charming family hotel with three cats. It is ideally situated nearby
the trendy Bastille area, and doubles start at €30.
Rome is at its best in springtime, when it is warm enough to loiter outside
but not too crowded with tourists. Walking around the eternal city costs
nothing, and where else can you find such a concentration of ancient history
in one place?
The Pantheon (Piazza della Rotonda, free) is the best-preserved ancient
building in Rome. Built by Emperor Hadrian as a Roman temple, it was consecrated
as a Catholic Church in 608. It is nearly 1,900 years old and almost entirely
intact. Just like the Pantheon, every church in Rome is free to enter.
Most have world-class examples of sculpture, mosaics and paintings. Other
sites such as the Spanish Steps, Trevi fountain and Roman Forum cost nothing
to visit, either. Nor do the best views of the city. Head towards the
Capitoline Hill for the best views. Alternatively, stroll around the Villa
Borghese with its beautiful parks or hunt for bargains at the Porta Portese
flea market on Sunday.
Cheap flights: easyJet (0870 6000000, easyjet.com),
Ryanair (0871 2460000,
ryanair.com), BA (0845 7733377, ba.com).
Where to stay: Situated in the area between the Coliseum and the Spanish
Steps, the Yellow Hostel (44 via Palestro, Rome, +39 06 49 382 682, yellowhostel.com)
is a communal, lively and friendly little place. Recently renovated, it
features a big screen TV with DVD, free lockers, large kitchen, free internet
access, high ceilings and no curfew. All for £11.40 (price in a
bed in a 6-10 dormitory room).
Amsterdam is full of cheap hotels, but most are best avoided. Haarlem,
a short train ride away, is a cheaper and cleaner option. The two inland
ports of Noord Holland were great rivals during the Dutch Golden Age,
but while Amsterdam became a modern metropolis, Haarlem stayed much as
Haarlem is definitely worth a weekend in itself, but you could consider
using it as a base to explore nearby Amsterdam, trains to which are frequent
and run practically throughout the night. The journey takes 15 minutes.
Haarlem itself is a wealth of historic buildings, hidden courtyards and,
with the Frans Hals museum (€5.40, under 19 free, franshalsmuseum.nl),
home to one of the best galleries in the Netherlands. The main square
is dominated by the Grotekirk van St Bavo church, which offers some very
good organ recitals every Tuesday and Saturday. The 5,000 pipes of the
Muller organ (where Mozart and Handel once played) are well worth a listen.
Haarlem has a bohemian atmosphere (the first Dutch "coffee"
shop opened here) with a rich number of elegant bars and cafes - most
inexpensive, particularly at lunchtime. Other cheap activities include
hiring bicycles from the station and riding through the sand dunes to
the nearby seaside resort of Zandvoort.
Cheap flight: easyJet (0870 6 000000, easyjet.com)
flies to Amsterdam from £33.45.
Where to stay: The Hotel Carillon (27 Grote Markt, Haarlem, +31 23 531
is a delightful, friendly hotel overlooking the main square. If you don't
mind a bit of noise, ask for one of the rooms overlooking the Grote Markt.
Singles/doubles from €28/53.
Perhaps the most nocturnal of the great European cities, Madrid remains
one of the most inexpensive. A city synonymous with art galleries, bullfights,
bar culture and alfresco dining, Madrid is perfect for the summer months
and small enough to be sampled in a couple of days.
For bargains, head towards the huge flea market every Sunday. The Rasto
is held in La Latina area - one of the oldest parts of the city - and
is a mixture of clothing, jewellery and junk stalls. It is noisy, busy
and a lot of fun. For the locals, the Rasto is a social event as much
as a shopping extravaganza, and the bar scene during and after is great,
especially in the summer.
Madrid has a range of restaurants to suit frugal pockets. For hearty Castillian
fare, try the Casa Marta (10 C Santa Clara, +91 548 2825), a converted
tavern and tapas bar hidden up a side street. For friendly service, good
music and delicious vegetarian food, head for El Estragon (10 Costanilla
de San Andrés, +91 365 8982), situated near the -recently restored
Plaza de la Paja. Alternatively, Elqui (18 Buenavista, +91 468 0402) is
an excellent self-service vegetarian restaurant and arty hang-out. Main
courses from €3.
Madrid is famous for one of the premier museums in the world, The Prado
(Paseo del Prado, €3, museoprado.mcu.es),
but visit on Sunday when it's free. Other cheap attractions include the
Teleferico de Madrid (€2.80, free Wednesday), a cable car that spans
the Casa de Campo.
Cheap flights: BA (0845 7733377, ba.com),
British Midland (0870 6070555, flybmi.com),
easyJet (0870 6000000, easyjet.com).
Where to stay: At €83 for a double, the Hotel Paris (Puerta del Sol,
2 Calle Alcala, + 91 521 64 91) is at the top end of the budget range.
But it overlooks the spectacular Puerta del Sol, so book well ahead for
a room with a view. The rooms are a little basic, but the fabulously grand
lobby makes amends.
If your image of Brussels is one of bureaucrats, beer and buckets of
mussels, it's about time you tasted the rejuvenated Belgium capital. In
the 1960s, Brussels was considered to be the ugliest city in the world,
but it has been transformed over the past decade, especially since it
was cleaned up when it became a European City of Culture three years ago.
There are a number of budget activities in Brussels. Explore Le Botanique
ornamental gardens (free); climb the Basilica of the Sacred Heart (free)
for a spectacular view of the city, or visit the impressive Museum of
Modern Art Koningsplein (free). The latter is built around a central light
well, which is cut seven floors underground. It features an impressive
collection of Delvaux and Magritte.
The Grand'Place - still one of the most beautiful public spaces in Europe
- remains the main tourist attraction of the city. Wander around the beautiful
buildings, or sit down on one of the many terraces and enjoy a Belgian
beer. Outdoor concerts are organised throughout the year.
Cheap flight: Ryanair (0871 2460000, ryanair.com)
flies Stansted-Charleroi from £33.28. Also see bmibaby (0870 2642229,
(0845 7733377, ba.com),
British Midland (0870 6070555, flybmi.com),
Flybe (0870 5676676, flybe.com).
Rail alternative: Eurostar (08705 186186) for £59 from Waterloo.
Minimum stay one Saturday night.
Where to stay: A 10-minute walk from the Grand' Place, the Comfort Art
Hotel Siru (comforthotelsiru.com)
is a class apart from most budget hotels. The Siru's owner persuaded 130
of Belgium's contemporary artists to decorate each room and some corridors
with a work on the theme of travel. The works vary from enormous wall
murals to fake granite blocks hanging from the ceiling above the bed.
It also features a pleasant onsite brasserie. Singles from £35.
· Cheap Hotels by Daisann McLane is published by Benedikt Taschen
Verlag at £9.99.