The Iceberg Project: LC, Worksheets (Oral/Written), PTT & more

Teachers can also consult our page ESL Materials to Discuss Global Warming
for further information.

The ecological issue

One of the main issues confronting our society today is ecology, e.g., the preservation of our environment. In the future, the world will have to face a scarcity of drinking water. This huge problem will be due to three factors: climate change with increased temperatures, pollution from chemical substances and an ever-growing world population.

This lesson (in a series of timeless listening comprehensions) is intended to introduce a variety of subjects such as projects to provide fresh water, measures to react against global warming and means to curb any mass consumption that is detrimental to the environment.

Materials found below: a listening comprehension audio file with a worksheet, oral pairwork exercises, debate subjects, and links to a video related to the issue. Files in DOC are found in QualityTime-ESL: The Digital Resource Book 2.0.

New projects to bring drinking water to the driest regions of the planet

This theme is very topical today with the Ice Dream Project about to be launched with a new documentary on the work of engineer Georges Mougin and Dassault Systèmes, a French IT enterprise. This project was first proposed by the French explorer Paul Emile Victor.

The narrative—in "Your English" Podcasts 23 and 24—has been cut into two parts with an introduction and a listen-and-repeat section for each part. There are also "debate" questions in each recording that students can take down in dictation and prepare orally or silently after completing each part. These exercises are appropriate for all levels from A2 to C1—thus good for mixed level classes. The oral files can be used in labs, in class or as "oral" homework when students have access to computers.

Two podcasts from "Your English" on the "Iceberg Project"

You can download them here:

  • Your English No.23 for "Iceberg Project Part 1"


MP3 - 12 Mb
Your English 23 Iceberg Project 1
  • Your English No.24 for "Iceberg Project Part 2"


MP3 - 9.7 Mb
Your English 24 Iceberg Project 2
  • If you prefer you can go to iTunes, type my name "Marianne Raynaud" or "Your English" and get the whole series of podcasts including #23 & #24 on the Iceberg Project.

Worksheet with fIll ins, vocabulary and question

PDF - 171.4 kb
When the_Iceberg-Fill ins+vocab+questions


PDF - 73.9 kb
When the_Iceberg-Key LC

You can complete the worksheets by adding vocabulary in your students’ native tongue by typing into the DOC files. The above files in DOC (Word) are found in QualityTime-ESL: The Digital Resource Book Version, which you can purchase in the store on a DVD or in a lighter downloadable version. There are also packs of listening comprehension exercises in the store.

New Oral Pair Work Activity with Key

As many teachers have to deal with large classes with 20 or more students, I thought it might be good for the students to work on the listening comprehension in pairs—after listening to the recorded version once or twice. This way of working on listening comprehension "orally" instead of using a gap-fill grid can add novelty to the training.

One recto-verso paper for part one

After playing the recording of part one to the class (or reading it aloud yourself) and having the students complete the fill-ins, you hand out one recto-verso paper (worksheet number one below) to each pair of students. They take turns at being the "teacher", i.e., they read the text aloud (without letting their partner see the script). They do the listen-and-repeat part having their partner repeat, and then they ask the sort of questions we teachers tend to put to the whole class. It is even better to have the students do this activity on Day 2 once they have learned the text by heart.

PDF - 213.9 kb
Iceberg - Part 1 L&R+Qs

"Easy" questions

On the paper, the questions to be asked by the “student teacher” are printed with (in parentheses) some words that the “student” should use when answering. Again the “student teacher” is instructed not to show the script to his to her partner.

The teacher will have to walk around to see and hear whether the students are speaking correctly, but I can assure you they will all be active and they will enjoy this activity much more than having the teacher put the questions to the whole class and answering one after another.

A short list of debate questions

There is an additional page (below), which the teacher should not print out or give to the students—a page of advice. It also has the short list of debate questions found at the end of the recording (Podcast 18) that the teacher can write on the board or project to the class. I strongly suggest that before discussing these questions in pair work the students should change partners. These activities (reading aloud, repeating, asking and answering questions, and then having a debate) should take about 30 minutes. After this pairwork, which the teacher may decide to open up the discussion to the whole class. In that case, do look at the suggestions on the "Questions for Debate" page.

PDF - 156 kb
Iceberg - Part 1 Qs for Debate

The assignment

The assignment after the first session should be to learn that second part by heart and answer the questions in the worksheet.

Part 2 of the "Iceberg Project" on a different day

Personally, I think it is advisable to do "Honesty part 2" on a different day. The students should first be asked to memorize part one and be ready to recite it to a partner at the next session. If they seem reluctant, tell them that this narrative is full of the type of expressions that are on international tests and that they will be reciting to a partner and not in front of the whole class. That should reassure and motivate them. I would like to point out that all the verbs in part one are in the simple present (giving opinions and information) and all the verbs in part two are in the simple past (telling what happened). So this narrative provides practice with useful structures and essential tenses.

One recto-verso paper for part two & debate questions

During the second class, you put the students in pairs. First, they recite part one to each other—very important. Second, they listen to the recording of part two (or you read it aloud yourself). Then you give out the worksheet for part two (below), and they start the different exercises leading up the debate questions that you project or write on the board. It is best to ask the students to change partners for this second pair work activity.

PDF - 211.5 kb
Iceberg - Part 2 L&R+Qs
PDF - 211.5 kb
Iceberg - Part 2 Qs for Debate

A written cloze exercise to enhance semi-scientific vocabulary

As homework or as a pair-work activity in class you can have your students do this fill-in exercise on this topic to broaden their knowledge of more "scientific" words.

PDF - 117.2 kb
Will Deserts Drink Icebergs? Worksheet
PDF - 79.6 kb
Will Deserts Drink Icebergs? Key

Videos about the Ice Dream Project with George Mougin of Dassault Systems and also information about icebergs

Videos you may want to watch after the second podcast:

IceDream: The Iceberg project

Iceberg, the incredible journey - no commentary but an interesting film

Tracking the World’s Largest Iceberg B 15 - again no commentary but you and your students can talk about what they see

Groups of three or four to "talk" about their essays

At the end of the second session, instead of having a whole class discussion this time you can ask the students to get up and form different groups of three or four. While they are standing, the students will discuss what they said to their partners concerning the debate questions and how they reacted to the films (if you showed them the video clips).

The assignment

The assignment after the second session should be to learn that second part by heart. Another option is to ask the students to find an on-going project on the Internet and present it in four slides using the vocabulary of "The Iceberg Project."

A PowerPoint presentation on glaciology

I have also made a PowerPoint presentation that demonstrates the drilling techniques and the analysis methods developed by scientists. Teachers can show this PowerPoint in class. I have provided a text, which gives most of the information, which my colleagues and I would convey to our students. The idea is to explain how scientists drill through the Antarctic ice cap to extract cores that can be as deep as 5 km. In these ice cores, the ancient atmosphere has been entrapped. Thus it is a way to find and then analyze the air that existed in the past, even 800,000 years ago. Scientists can thus determine much about the air when it was imprisoned. They can calculate the temperature that prevailed at the time in the ice as well as the various components of the Earth’s atmosphere particularly its CO2 concentrations. You will see graphs that show through time the rise in the planet’s temperature, which has accelerated exponentially over the last 50 years.

PowerPoint - 839 kb
Global Warming-PowerPoint
PDF - 770.5 kb
Global Warming-Just Slides
PDF - 102.6 kb
Global Warming-Text

Great success with this theme

I have always had great success with this theme of providing drinking water for all populations of the world, which today seems just as valid and up-to-date as in the past. Moreover, global warming is a problem all nations will have to confront together!

With the lesson plan mentioned above, all the students will be participating actively and will wind up expressing their ideas far more than when the teacher asks them to express their personal opinion in front of everyone else.

I’d love some feedback

I would really enjoy getting some feedback from teachers using these podcasts and worksheets. Just write to Marianne Raynaud. You can also contact me if you have any questions.

Additional exercises to make the most of the "Iceberg Project"

I have written many more exercises to learn we call "semi-scientiifc" vocabulary of the kind above and some even more specific to the sciences. All these exercises are to be found in MS Word in QualityTime-ESL: The Digital Resource Book Version 2.0.

All the files on this page available in MS Word

If you purchase the digital book (see below), you will get all the files mentioned on this page in DOC. Then you’ll be able to customize them, i.e., add vocabulary in your students’ native language, additional explanations, or instructions like the due date of the essay assignment.

Effective teaching materials

If you are looking for useful teaching materials, read about QualityTime-ESL: The Digital Resource Book Version 2.0, which includes more than 1,500 other files (MS Word, MP3, PPT, and video). Go to the store for information about the three zip files that compose this unique manual for dedicated teachers.

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