A web site for the developing language teacher

Teaching Tips 183

A grid, clues: down & across (9)



St.George's Day, a celebration of the patron saint of England, is on 23rd April. For classroom ideas & material see the past Tip 'Slaying Dragons':


And on the 25th it's 'International Noise Awareness Day', so here are some teaching ideas around the theme:

- Noise lexis; a noise, make a noise, noisy, noiseless, noise pollution, soundproof, peace, peace & quiet, peaceful, silent, silence, silence is golden, shout > whisper,.....

- Students list 5 most pleasant noises & 5 worst noises & then compare to see if they have any similarities.

- Order the following in order of irritation, most to least:

* aircraft
* loud neighbors
* traffic
* leaf blowers and other lawn equipment
* loud music, "boom cars"
* sirens, car alarms, horn honking
* barking dogs and other animals,
* other?

Students then compare & discuss.

- Play a series of sounds & the students work out a story - see the Tip 'Sounds Intriguing':

- Develop comprehension strategies, ways to clarify comprehension, by introducing language such as 'I didn't catch that.', 'Could you repeat that, please?', 'Could you talk a little slower, please?'... Maybe make your own audio recording of a conversation with lots of background noise that makes the dialogue difficult for both speakers, & include some of the clarification exponents. Deal with the content of the dialogue with appropriate tasks & then notice & pull off the language, clarify it & go on to practise it.

- Noise complaint roleplays - e.g.
A: You are fed up with the noise from your neighbours. At all hours there is music coming from their flat. You would like some peace & quiet. Go & talk to your neighbours about the problem.
B: Your neighbours are very sensitive to noise, totally over the top. You play music but don't play it excessively, or loudly.

- For a lesson plan on neighbours & complaints:

- Noise problems flyer/pamphlet - students work together & produce a public information pamphlet about noise problems, you could assign different problems to different groups; neighbours, pollution....
A link to give you an idea of how they could structure their pamphlets -

- If you want some more noise in your classes, try the shouting dictation, a mutual dictation but done at a distance - find a short text, ten lines or so, divide the students into 'A' & 'B' - give stds 'A' lines 1, 3, 5, 7 & 9. Give stds 'B' lines 2, 4, 6, 8 & 10. Sit them on opposite sides of the room, put on some loudish music & the students have to dictate their parts of the text to each other over the music - i.e. they have to shout to be heard by their partner. I should warn colleagues in adjoining rooms as it can get noisy & interfere with other classes. Tie the text into the theme of the lesson & a fun stage is had by all. Use the activity again & again.

- More noise in class in the form of background music can be good for getting the quieter group to speak more. Set up a roleplay/discuss in pairs/small groups & put on some music & watch the results as students start speaking up to be heard, & become less self-conscious about speaking English as a result.

- 'Silence can be golden' - past Tip on ideas where silence can be productive in the classroom:

- Noise quotes for discussion:

'The worst wheel of the cart makes the most noise.' Benjamin Franklin
'Silence is the true friend that never betrays.' Confucius
'Silence is a source of great strength.' Lao Tzu
'The Arctic expresses the sum of all wisdom: Silence.' Walter Bauer
'Nowadays most men lead lives of noisy desperation.' James Thurber
'Silences make the real conversations between friends. Not the saying but the never needing to say is what counts.' Margaret Lee Runbeck

- Reading - from The Center for Hearing and Communication - lots of short readings that could be used for some nice jigsaw reading - see the following - change the texts to suit:
Facts on noise:

* Noise & Hearing
* Noise & Health
* Noise in the Workplace
* Recreational Noise
* Personal Stereo Systems & Headsets (mp3 players)
* Noise & Music
* Noise & Health Clubs
* Noise in the Home
* Noise Levels Common in Our Environment
* Airport Noise
* How To Handle A Noise Complaint

- Recipe for A Quiet Diet - from the above site - students brainstorm what they might do on the Day & then compare with the list of things below, deciding on the best ideas. The same for the younger learners but they try to do the tasks as quietly as possible, whispering to each other.

Take these few, simple steps to preserve the peace and quiet in your life: ALL DAY:

Pay attention to the noises you make and respect your neighbor's right to peace and quiet.
Turn down the volume two notches on your radios and personal stereo systems with headphones.
Turn down the volume one notch on your television.
Do NOT honk your horn, except in the case of imminent danger.
Do NOT tip cab drivers who honk their horns illegally.
Avoid noisy sports events, restaurants, rock concerts and nightclubs unless you use hearing protection.
Replace noisy activities with quiet ones such as taking a walk, visits to libraries and museums.
Ask your health club instructor to lower the music.
Ask the movie theater manager to turn down the volume.
Wear adequate hearing protection if you must be in a noisy environment (the subway, mowing the lawn)
Turn off the television during dinner and have a quiet conversation instead.
Get a free hearing screening.
Organize a town meeting to review (or develop) a local, enforceable noise ordinance.
Participate in the Noise Center's letter writing campaign to reestablish the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Noise Abatement & Control.
Spread the word about the danger of noise,

Back to the contents

A grid, clues: down
& across (9)

Pat & Mat - Crossword

Felix All Puzzled

Every year we try to add some classroom ideas to the ones already mentioned in the Tip that accompanies Crossword Day on April 18th. See below for the ideas already discussed.

Here are some videos that use crosswords as a theme.

The first is a 'Pat & Mat' video, see above, a Czech cartoon about two handymen, in the same vein as Wallace & Gromit. They become absorbed in their crosswords but have to do the ironing at the same time. It's really well done & very watchable for all.

The video is ideal for narratives, other language areas & an introduction to crosswords. It is quite long, eight & a half minutes. Here is a brief suggestion on how to use it.

1. Tell the students they are going to watch a video about two handymen & give them - crossword, ironing, accident, machine, solution - & ask them in pairs to predict a story. This is a very unachievable task in that they will not get the real story but here it does not matter, you are simply sinking them into the lesson.

2. While they are doing this go round & nudge them towards using narrative tenses - past simple, continuous & perfect.

3. Elicit the stories from each pair, noting how they use the narrative tenses.

4. Play the video, setting the task before - which of the students' stories is nearest to the video.

5. Feedback on the task & ask them if they enjoyed the video, try to get a discussion going about it - a response.

6. Language focus - narrative tenses - put the following sentences on the board & ask them to identify the tenses used & the differences between them - in pairs - go round & listen in & help out.

a. When Mat went upstairs Pat was doing the crossword.

b. After the iron had burned through the ceiling, Mat threw it through the window.

7. Feedback - after monitoring you should know if & where the difficulties lie. Have a record of the tenses prepared as a handout, students read & discuss any problems.

8. Consolidate with a written gap fill.

9. If this is a review of the tenses, ask the students to think back to the video & using the crossword idea, think of another story to tell everyone - in pairs. Go round & help & make sure each pair has a story.

10. Divide the students into two groups - one from each pair in each group & the students in each group mingle & tell their stories, prompt them to use the narrative tenses before they start.

If this is an initial presentation, you will need to provide more controlled tasks before going to a freer one like this last activity.

Another language focus could be 'ing/infinitive' forms - eg.

He started doing the crossword.
He started to do the crossword.
- no difference

He stopped doing the crossword.
He stopped to do the ironing.
- finished the activity v in order to

He continued doing the crossword.
He continued to do the crossword.
- no difference

And then after this onto a crossword or two - see below for ideas!


The second video is a 1925 Felix the Cat film titled 'Felix all Puzzled', see above, directed by Otto Messmer. Feliz has to help solve the puzzle so that he can get fed. Bear in mind the time it was made re. the solution to the puzzle.

There is also a 'How to solve crossword puzzles' video - quite a quick delivery though:

There's also a Two Ronnies video about crosswords - funny but not for the classroom.

A lovely spoof cartoon on the making of crosswords:

A grid, clues: down & across (9)

Crosswords can be lots of fun at any time & there are any uses from them in the classroom. Here are a few:

- Collaborative Crossword: a normal crossword that reviews recently taught vocabulary or is leading into a theme, done collaboratively with the whole class - it's fun to do it together. Encourage them to give further clues rather than shout out the answers when they have them.

- Pairwork Crossword: give half of a completed crossword to each person in the pair. They have to make up the clues for their set of answers & then they tell each other until both have a completed crossword.

- Class Crossword: give out a crossword to each student but with a different answer filled in on each. The students think of the clue to their answer & then mingle telling each other their clues & listening to each other until all have completed the crossword. Good for revising vocab.

- Advanced Crossword: give out the crossword, with all of the clues about the vocabulary that is going to come up in the next two weeks. As the fortnight proceeds the students can do a bit more of their crosswords - the first to complete it gets a small prize. Then use the crossword to review the vocab covered.

- Invented Crossword: in pairs, get your students to make their own crosswords up based on the vocab recently covered. When finished, swap them around for each pair to do a new one. Lots of vocab reviewed in both parts of the activity.

- Coursebook Crossword: at the beginning of a course when you are showing the students what is involved in the coursebook, instead of a list of questions that asks them to look through the book for the answers, design a crossword to fill 3 across: the section near the back with lots of verbs (9, 4, 4) (Irregular Verb List).

- Comprehension Crossword: As in the above activity, when students are looking for information to answer comprehension or scan reading questions in a text, they can be presented in the form of a crossword.

- Picture Crosswords: for the younger learner, the clues are in picture form instead of definitions.

- Phonology Crosswords: design a crossword that reviews vocab but instead of putting in the letters for the words, the students put in the phonemes for the words. For word stress, choose the pattern you want to look at & for each clue give three words, the right answer being the one that fits the pattern.

Don't forget about the logistical language the students might need to do the above activities & deal with it beforehand to maximise the effectiveness of the tasks e.g.- have you got the clue for four across? - the language of dis/agreement - the language of negotiation

Most people find crosswords interesting & if integrated into classes, they can be motivating & fun for your students. And for the teacher in a non-English speaking country, normal newspaper crosswords are a great way of trying to keep your English vocabulary from diminishing.

I recently came across a History of Crosswords. Here's the text:

Brief History of Crossword Puzzles

Crossword puzzles are said to be the most popular and widespread word game in the world, yet have a short history. The first crosswords appeared in England during the 19th century. They were of an elementary kind, apparently derived from the word square, a group of words arranged so the letters read alike vertically and horizontally, and printed in children's puzzle books and various periodicals. In the United States, however, the puzzle developed into a serious adult pastime.

The first known published crossword puzzle was created by a journalist named Arthur Wynne from Liverpool, and he is usually credited as the inventor of the popular word game. December 21, 1913 was the date and it appeared in a Sunday newspaper, the New York World. Wynne's puzzle(see below) differed from today's crosswords in that it was diamond shaped and contained no internal black squares. During the early 1920's other newspapers picked up the newly discovered pastime and within a decade crossword puzzles were featured in almost all American newspapers. It was in this period crosswords began to assume their familiar form. Ten years after its rebirth in the States it crossed the Atlantic and re-conquered Europe.

The first appearance of a crossword in a British publication was in Pearson's Magazine in February 1922, and the first Times crossword appeared on February 1 1930. British puzzles quickly developed their own style, being considerably more difficult than the American variety. In particular the cryptic crossword became established and rapidly gained popularity. The generally considered governing rules for cryptic puzzles were laid down by A. F. Ritchie and D. S. Macnutt.

These people, gifted with the ability to see words puzzled together in given geometrical patterns and capable of twisting and turning words into word plays dancing on the wit of human minds, have since constructed millions of puzzles by hand and each of these puzzlers has developed personal styles known and loved by his fans. These people have set the standard of what to expect from a quality crossword puzzle.

This would make an interesting reading, & afterwards you could present the students with the very first crossword - see below - there is a link to the solutions. You might let them have a go first & then give out the answers, mixed up, to choose from to make it all manageable.

The world's first crossword puzzle

By Arthur Wynne, December 21, 1913
from The New York World

first crossword


2-3. What bargain hunters enjoy. 6-22. What we all should be.
4-5. A written acknowledgment. 4-26. A day dream.
6-7. Such and nothing more. 2-11. A talon.
10-11. A bird. 19-28. A pigeon.
14-15. Opposed to less. F-7. Part of your head.
18-19. What this puzzle is. 23-30. A river in Russia.
22-23. An animal of prey. 1-32. To govern.
26-27. The close of a day. 33-34. An aromatic plant.
28-29. To elude. N-8. A fist.
30-31. The plural of is. 24-31. To agree with.
8-9. To cultivate. 3-12. Part of a ship.
12-13. A bar of wood or iron. 20-29. One.
16-17. What artists learn to do. 5-27. Exchanging.
20-21. Fastened. 9-25. To sink in mud.
24-25. Found on the seashore. 13-21. A boy.
10-18. The fibre of the gomuti palm.

And then there's an interesting article about how a crossword nearly gave the game away:

The Crossword Panic of May 1944

During World War II the daily newspapers were at their most popular even though they consisted of only a few pages. People throughout Britain could find out what was happening in the parts of the world where our troops were engaged in the fight against Hitler and the Nazis

At the beginning of the war, the news was mainly bad with the German blitzkrieg advances throughout Europe, but as the years rolled on, the news slowly became better …and in October 1942 British morale was greatly bolstered by General Montgomery’s famous success at El Alamein in North Africa.

But it wasn’t just the news that was eagerly sought in the papers; there were other matters of interest. Nearly all newspapers had crossword puzzles in them and they were very popular as they helped fill in the hours spent in the Air-Raid Shelters, waiting for trains or just simply engaged in that great British tradition of queuing.

One of the popular ‘Dailys’ of the time was the Daily Telegraph, and so too was its crossword puzzle.

It was in January 1943 that the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and American President Franklin D Roosevelt met and agreed that the future of the war must include an invasion of northwest Europe or a ‘return to the Continent’.

Planning for the invasion started almost immediately, and after extensive research it was decided that the sheltered Normandy coastline with its wide sandy beaches presented the best option for the surprise attack that was to be the D-Day landings. The assault was code-named Operation Overlord by Churchill himself.

The US General Dwight D Eisenhower was made overall commander of Operation Overlord in December 1943, with the British hero General Bernard Law Montgomery assuming control of ground troops. It was in early May 1944 that Eisenhower decided that D-Day would fall on 5th June 1944.

A huge security blanket had been thrown over all aspects of the operation, including the place and exact date of the landings, in order to maximise the element of surprise and minimise casualties. One US major-general was even demoted and sent home for simply speculating at a cocktail party on the date of the invasion.

But while some members of MI5, Britain’s counter-espionage service, were whiling away their spare moments in May 1944 by doing the Telegraph Crossword, they noticed that vital code-names that had been adopted to hide the mightiest sea-borne assault of all time, appeared in the crossword.

They noticed that the answer to one clue, ‘One of the USA’, turned out to be Utah, and another answer to a clue was Omaha. These were the names, given by the Allies, to the beaches in Normandy where the American Forces were to land on D-Day.

Another answer that appeared in that month’s crossword was Mulberry. This was the name of the floating harbour that was to be towed across the Channel to accommodate the supply ships of the invasion force. Neptune another answer, referred to the code-name for the naval support for the operation.

Perhaps the most suspicious was a clue about a ‘Big-Wig’, to which the answer was Overlord. This was the code-name given for the entire operation!

Alarm bells rang throughout MI5 …was the crossword being used to tip-off the Germans?

Two officers were sent immediately to Leatherhead in Surrey, where a man called Leonard Dawe lived. He was the crossword compiler, a 54 year-old teacher.

Why, the officers demanded to know, had he chosen theses five words within his crossword solutions?

“Why not?” was Dawe’s indignant reply. Was there a law against choosing whatever words he liked?

MI5 eventually became convinced of Dawe’s honesty and he managed to convince them that he had no knowledge of the coming D-Day invasion.

His crossword solutions it appears were perhaps just another of life’s astonishing coincidences!

Crossword maker:
I also came across an excellent free crossword generator. They say: 'EclipseCrossword is for Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, and XP. .... EclipseCrossword is free. It contains no advertisements, spyware, or viruses. It is not a trial version.'
It's simple to install & very easy to use. Not only does it produce printable versions but also web page versions of crosswords that you produce. Check it out:

So after you've looked at a video &/or one or both of the readings above, you can present your students with your very own crossword, based on the lesson, or based on vocabulary that has been recently covered.


Puzzle Solution


Back to the contents


The Easter celebrations are an ideal excuse to talk about chocolate! Did you know that;
'The Victorians commercialised Easter. The first time anyone associated this time of year with chocolate was in 1873, when Cadbury launched its first Easter egg. It was small, solid and bitter. But eggs had always been associated with resurrections, even before Christianity: the Zoroastrians painted eggs to celebrate New Year. Then Christians gave up eating eggs during Lent, though chickens didn't stop laying, so it was omelettes a go-go by Easter.'
This is from an article in the Independent newspaper & given below with a couple of ideas on how to exploit it in class.

There is a lot of info on the net about the art of making chocolate, recipes, the history & care of chocolate - did you know that chocolate eaten in moderation helps you live longer - we all secretly hoped that anyway!

There are some amusing quotes from choco lovers at

There are a few sites which talk of chocolate eating being better than sex! Among many reasons given are that it doesn't make you pregnant, it's easy to find, size doesn't matter with chocolate, it satisfies even when it has gone soft & you can have it on your work desk without offending anyone! When looking at the theme of chocolate you could incorporate a chocolate tasting into the lesson - stds taste different ones & vote - it would be better to keep the wrappers secret until the results are announced - lots of fun! If you are abroad do try & get hold of some chocolates from your home country to use in the tasting.

On the site there is a lesson plan about chocolate - quotes about chocolate & a chapter from 'Chocolat', a reading lesson:


Below is the Independent article 'Choc-o-pedia: The ultimate compendium of gooey facts'. The article is presented in nineteen sections, each presenting a fact about chocolate. We have omitted the first sentence on each section, providing them at the top. Students are asked to match a sentence to the correct section & justify their choices. This is a task in logical sequencing & designed to help them with their reading & writing skills through an overt awareness of mostly lexical connections. For example, the first sentence consists of four adjectives with the section going on to continue the theme.

Alternatively, the text could be used as a jigsaw, students are given different sections to read & then combine with others to decide on an outcome, a communicative purpose, for example, the most surprising three facts.

You do not need to include all of the sections, choose to suit. The section on Cherly Cole could easily be left out if your students do not know who she is.

And then how can you not do a chocolate tasting after this reading!

The sentences

a. Luxury chocolatiers have grand names.
b. The most Ferrero Rochers anyone has ever eaten in a minute?
c. It's not quality we like – it's volume.
d. Chocolate can kill.
e. 1657 saw the opening of London's first chocolate house.
f. Intense, rich, smooth and dark.
g. The microwave oven was discovered thanks to chocolate.
h. The dark side of chocolate: two-thirds comes from west Africa, where child labour is rife.
i. The Victorians commercialised Easter.
j. Chocolate is good for you.
k. Mini eggs are sold only at Easter and Christmas.
l. The term 'death by chocolate' is a marketing tool...
m. The first cocoa beans were brought to Europe by Columbus.
n. The very finest chocolate comes from Venezuela.
o. Three billion chocolate bars were distributed to US soldiers during the Second World War.
p. What is it about the thick, gooey, sweet, unctuous stuff that reduces writers to incoherence?
q. Cheryl Cole's favourite chocolate is the Curly-Wurly.
r. We are a nation of chocolate factories.
s. Chocolate is a force for good.

The article

Choc-o-pedia: The ultimate compendium of gooey facts

1. ____________________ Funny how the language of chocolate is the same as many a Lonely Hearts fantasy. But then, more women prefer chocolate to sex – 52 per cent, some surveys suggest. It's more satisfying, they say, and you can enjoy it anywhere and at any time. And it still gives pleasure once it's gone soft. Ahem. But chocolate is not an aphrodisiac – at least, not chemically. That myth has never been scientifically proven. The closest proof came from a group of researchers in Italy, who found that women who regularly eat chocolate also have a better sex life. No doubt they also toss back red wine and race Ferraris.

2. ____________________ Britain is the third-biggest consumer of chocolate in the world, after Switzerland and Lichtenstein. The average Briton puts away 11 kg every year – that's about 1,150 Kit Kat fingers. But what we call chocolate would be sniffed at by the milkmaids of Triesenberg: what we know as "milk chocolate", which can have less than 35 per cent cocoa solids, is called "family milk chocolate" in the EU. Good to know the bureaucrats are on top of it.

3. ____________________ The first time anyone associated this time of year with chocolate was in 1873, when Cadbury launched its first Easter egg. It was small, solid and bitter. But eggs had always been associated with resurrections, even before Christianity: the Zoroastrians painted eggs to celebrate New Year. Then Christians gave up eating eggs during Lent, though chickens didn't stop laying, so it was omelettes a go-go by Easter. Today, children are the most heroic chocolate-munchers: they will gobble an average of 13 Easter eggs each this weekend, weighing a total of 2.6kg. That's the same as a newborn baby. Must be a resurrection metaphor in there somewhere.

4. ____________________ The shop, in Bishopsgate, was an instant hit, and the fashion spread to other cities. Pepys wrote of taking his "morning draft in good Chocolatte" and dithering over whether have to it tall, grande or massimo.

5. ____________________ Although Britain is the biggest worldwide importer of retail chocolate, buying in £750bn a year, we also manufacture our fair share. From cottage factories across Wales to the great Bournville plant in Birmingham, the smell of cocoa beans has been one of the more poetic elements of our industrial landscape for almost 200 years. Roald Dahl was inspired by the great 1920s rivalry between Cadbury and Rowntree's to write Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: both firms would try to steal each other's recipes by sending spies posing as workers.

6 .____________________ In 1947, inventor Percy L Spencer was touring a factory when he suddenly felt the chocolate in his pocket melt. Realising he was standing by a device sending out waves, he had an idea...

7 .____________________ We know this as former Xtra Factor presenter Holly Willoughby once told Now! magazine, in a memorable scoop, though some might quibble over whether there are actually any cocoa solids in a Curly-Wurly. The Obamas have more refined tastes: their favourites are Smoked Salt Caramels, as supplied by Fran's Chocolates in Seattle. This is a caramel with a layer of sea salt enrobed in chocolate; apparently the salt gives "an unexpected boldness". We don't know what David Cameron likes, though it's not the Chocolate Orange. When in opposition, he once railed at WH Smith for promoting them half-price at the check-out, thus promoting obesity. Labour recently seized on the fact that they still do, and asked if Cameron can't crack the Chocolate Orange, what can he do?

8. ____________________ They were first sold by Cadbury in 1967. They come in four colours: white, yellow, pink and blue, and are the most egg-like of any Easter egg, featuring a sugary shell and delicious inside. Alas, they have become a metaphor for British industry. For years they were a product of Keynsham, Somerset; as of 2010, they have been made in Poland.

9. ____________________ Well, sort of. Obviously, if you breakfast on it, you may die young. But dark chocolate is a source of copper, which is lacking from most people's diets, and can help lower cholesterol and high-blood pressure. We're talking of traces here – not enough to melt down and sell to China. But still, 100g of dark chocolate can contain between 1mg and 1.8mg of copper, about the right daily intake. It's either that or chewing lightning conductors. k

10.____________________ If you're a dog, that is. It contains theobromine, a mild stimulant – but even a small amount can prove fatal to dogs and horses. Cats, too, though they're less likely to eat chocolate, as they don't have "sweet" detectors. Theobromine stimulates the central nervous system and causes a slight increase in blood pressure. Animals can't metabolise it as quickly as humans, so it causes their hearts to race. It's been banned in racing. So no Easter eggs for the dogs, not even a bit.

11. ____________________ ...and has been given to hundreds of chocolate puddings, but many people have in fact died because of it. Pope Clement XIV was poisoned in 1774, and chocolate was rumoured to be the medium of its administration. In the 1800s, Christiana Edmunds would buy chocolate, lace it with strychnine, and return it to the shop. One child was killed and many fell very ill before she was caught. Several 20th-century murders involved poisoned chocolate; suspected terrorist Wadia Haddad is thought to have had his chocs poisoned by Mossad. Nobody is thought to have actually died from overindulgence.

12. ____________________ But he was much more interested in gold and other treasure. It was his fellow conqueror, Hernan Cortés, who got the chocolate trade going. He visited the Aztec emperor Montezuma in 1519, and was served chocolatl, a drink made of ground cocoa beans meaning "bitter water". Cortés added sugar, heated it up, and sent the recipe home. It was a hit. Then he slaughtered the Aztecs.

13. ____________________ Eight. Attempts to break the world record at last year's Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival came to nothing. They should invite some ambassadors.

14. ____________________ Hershey created the Ration D bar in 1937, and the firm still provides chocolate in military rations to boost morale.

15. ____________________ Well, not all writers. Some have spotted that, like sex, chocolate sells. Joanne Harris kept it simple with the title of her romantic novel, Chocolat, about a woman who brings sensuality to a stuffy little French town by opening a chocolate shop. It became a hit film staring Juliette Binoche. Like Water for Chocolate was Laura Esquivel's debut, about a woman who can only express herself when she cooks – the title is apparently a Spanish pun on sexual arousal. It became the highest-grossing Spanish-language film in the US. Then there's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl's 1964 work, which sold millions and spawned two mega box-office hits. There's also an opera, a stage play, and a ride at Alton Towers, where you get to shoot through the roof in Wonka's glass lift. And Sam Mendes is working on a musical, scheduled to open next year. Maybe it could be called Charlie and the Wonga Factory?

16. ____________________ Cacao can only grow in hot, wet climates, which tend to be where the world's poorest live, within 20 degrees either side of the equator. Harvesting techniques have barely changed since Aztec days: workers use knives to hack the ripe pods from trees, careful not to damage the bark. Then they split the pods by whacking them with mallets, and scrape out the beans and sticky pulp. The good news is that cacao provides a livelihood for 50 million people worldwide. The bad news is that many are exploited, which is why the Fairtrade label was launched.

17. ____________________ But they are not always what they seem. Bendicks, for instance, is an amalgamation of its founders' names: Oscar Benson and Colonel "Bertie" Dickson. And Prestat was named after founder Antoine Dufour's nephew; he couldn't use his own name, as he was still working for a rival.

18. ____________________ No, really. In the 19th century, Quaker brothers Richard and George Cadbury (right) created a highly profitable factory, and used the proceeds to build Bournville, a suburban utopia on the south side of Birmingham. Like many philanthropists, they had grand ideas of improving the workers' lot through fresh air and plenty of exercise. So starting with 120 acres in 1893, they built a model village of spacious half-timbered cottages, arranged round croquet lawns and tennis courts, and soon everyone wanted to live there. By 1900 it had grown to cover 330 acres. Even today it's still a sought-after address: in 2003, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found it was one of the nicest places to live in England. Which is ironic, given Joseph Rowntree was Cadbury's rival.

19. ____________________ It's called Criollo, and is made from a special cocoa bean that boasts a delicate, bitter-free taste. It represents less than 10 per cent of the world's production, though the area around Chuao on Venezuela's north coast has become a mini-mecca for serious chocaholics. Day-trippers flock to see the red-burnt cocoa drying in the sun, and to sample the bean in its many permutations: as a drink, ice-cream or liqueur. You'll find Chuao just north of El Paraiso, though you could easily confuse the two.
facts- 7618997.html


Order of first sentences:

1. Intense, rich, smooth and dark.
2. It's not quality we like – it's volume.
3. The Victorians commercialised Easter.
4. 1657 saw the opening of London's first chocolate house.
5. We are a nation of chocolate factories.
6. The microwave oven was discovered thanks to chocolate.
7. Cheryl Cole's favourite chocolate is the Curly-Wurly.
8. Mini eggs are sold only at Easter and Christmas.
9. Chocolate is good for you.
10. Chocolate can kill.
11. The term 'death by chocolate' is a marketing tool and...
12. The first cocoa beans were brought to Europe by Columbus.
13. The most Ferrero Rochers anyone has ever eaten in a minute?
14. Three billion chocolate bars were distributed to US soldiers during the Second World War.
15. What is it about the thick, gooey, sweet, unctuous stuff that reduces writers to incoherence?
16. The dark side of chocolate: two-thirds comes from west Africa, where child labour is rife.
17. Luxury chocolatiers have grand names.
18. Chocolate is a force for good.
19. The very finest chocolate comes from Venezuela.

Back to the contents

To the Past Teaching Tips

Back to the top

Tips & Newsletter Sign up —  Current Tip —  Past Tips 
Train with us Online Development Courses    Lesson Plan Index
 Phonology — Articles Books  LinksContact
Advertising — Web Hosting — Front page

Copyright 2000-2016© Developing