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photo Tara Benwell Instructions:
  1. Preview the vocabulary and read the gapfill text.
  2. Play the news report and try to fill in the blanks.
  3. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full sentences.
  4. Use the discussion question to write an essay or discuss the story with other students.
  5. Click "show Answers" to see the full text.
  6. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading each story out loud.

Balloons Replace Grenades In Nairobi

dateline: 08 November 2011

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • enlist: to recruit a person to help with a service or mission
  • commuter: a person who travels a significant distance to get to work
  • militant: a fighter
  • recipient: a person who receives something such as a gift or an award
  • counter: to create the opposite effect
  • grenade: a small bomb; usually thrown by hand

Balloons Replace Grenades In Nairobi

American artist Yazmany Arboleda enlisted dozens of Kenyan artists to help hand out 10,000 balloons in Nairobi on Monday morning. The artist’s goal was to to commuters’ faces. The balloon giveaway, which is part of a global called “Monday Morning”, took place near a bus stop that was the site of of terrorist attack in October. The terrorist group Al-Shabab has threatened further attacks in Nairobi since moved into South Somalia to search for militants. Recipients of the yellow balloons smiled and carried their balloons proudly, calling the gift a blessing and an energy booster. Arboleda told reporters that balloons are symbolic of happy times like birthdays and that countering grenades with balloons is a message. Previous “Monday Morning” balloon giveaways took place in Japan and India.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Who is Yazmany Arboleda?
  2. Why was this location chosen for the giveaway?
  3. Why are the balloons symbolic?

Discussion Question: Monday mornings are typically associated with “the blues”. Do you experience the Monday morning blues? Why or Why not? Would a random act of kindness like this one help you have a better day?

show Answers

Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.

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