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photo Tara Benwell Listen to News with 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.

dateline: 13 March 2019

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Great Lake Granted “Right to Exist”

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • the Great Lakes: a group of interconnected freshwater lakes along the Canada-US border
  • bill: a proposed law
  • pollution: the introduction of harmful substances to an environment
  • referendum: a special vote about a specific issue
  • flourish: to grow in a healthy way
  • ecosystem: a group of plants and animals and the living space they rely on

Great Lake Granted “Right to Exist”

Citizens of Toledo, Ohio voted to give legal rights to Lake Erie, one of North America’s Great Lakes. Locals who support the bill claim that pollution is a major threat to their region’s drinking water. In a special referendum this month, decided that Lake Erie has the right to “exist, flourish, and naturally evolve.” The Lake Erie Bill of Rights gives citizens the power to for the rights of the lake on behalf. This is not the first time a natural resource has been given legal in the US. Other countries including New Zealand, India, and Chile have also granted legal rights to certain ecosystems. In , Bolivia passed the Law of the Rights of Mother Earth, giving nature legal rights that usually apply to humans.

Comprehension Questions

  1. What group of lakes does Lake Erie belong to?
  2. What are Toledo citizens concerned about?
  3. Why does the report mention Bolivia?

Discussion Questions

Do you think a lake has a legal right to exist like a human does? If yes, what about forests and animals? Should humans have the right to enforce the rights of nature?

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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