English Lesson on Coco Chanel

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THE LESSON ON COCO CHANEL

Try the online quiz, reading, listening, and activities on grammar, spelling and vocabulary for this lesson on Coco Chanel. Click on the links above or see the activities below this article:


READ

Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel was born in France in 1883 and died in 1971. She was a pioneering fashion designer who revolutionized women’s fashion. She designed modern and simple clothes that were often based on menswear. She was so important that she was the only designer named in ‘Time’ magazine's list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.

Chanel had a very poor upbringing. Her mother worked in the poorhouse where Gabrielle was born. She died when Gabrielle was six and then her father abandoned her. She adopted the name Coco while she was a cafe singer in 1905. Two lovers funded her first store in Paris in 1910. They also helped her hats become popular with rich women.

In the 1920s, Chanel rose to become Paris’ top fashion designer. Her comfortable, yet elegant clothes were popular across Europe. Women found her mannish clothes to be liberating. In 1922 Chanel introduced her perfume, Chanel No. 5, which is still highly profitable. Her famous Chanel suit has also stood the test of time and is part of the modern woman’s wardrobe.

At the beginning of World War II she moved into the Ritz Hotel in Paris, which became her home for 30 years. During the Nazi occupation of Paris she had a lover, a German spy. This relationship made her unpopular for a decade after the war. Her 1954 collection did badly in France. Today, however, her name is the biggest in fashion.

243 words

Sources: http://www.wikipedia.org/ and assorted biographies.

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SYNONYM MATCH

Match the words from the article on the left with their synonyms on the right. Are your answers the same as other students’?

Paragraphs 1 and 2
 

 

 

1.

pioneering

a.

financed

2

revolutionized

b.

groundbreaking

3.

influential

c.

transformed

4.

upbringing

d.

important

5.

abandoned

e.

deserted

6.

funded

f.

childhood


Paragraphs 3 and 4
 

 

 

7.

elegant

g.

invasion

8.

mannish

h.

collection of clothes

9.

wardrobe

i.

boyfriend

10.

occupation

j.

stylish

11

lover

k

love affair

12

relationship

l

masculine

PHRASE MATCH

Match the following phrases from the article:

1.

a pioneering

a.

wardrobe

2

simple clothes that were often

b.

fashion designer

3.

Chanel had a very poor

c.

her unpopular

4.

her father

d.

the name Coco

5.

She adopted

e.

abandoned her

6.

Chanel rose to become Paris’

f.

based on menswear

7.

Her famous Chanel suit has also stood

g.

biggest in fashion

8.

part of the modern woman’s

h.

upbringing

9.

This relationship made

i.

top fashion designer

10.

her name is the

j.

the test of time

LISTENING GAP FILL

Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel was born in France in ______________ 1971. She was a pioneering fashion designer who revolutionized women’s fashion. She designed modern and simple clothes ______________ based on menswear. ______________ important that she was the only designer named in ‘Time’ magazine's ______________ most influential people of the 20th century.

Chanel ___________ upbringing. Her mother worked in the poorhouse where Gabrielle was born. She died when Gabrielle was six ___________ father abandoned her. She __________ Coco while she was a cafe singer in 1905. Two lovers funded her first store in Paris in 1910. They also ___________ become popular with rich women.

In the 1920s, Chanel ______________ Paris’ top fashion designers. Her comfortable, ________________ were popular across Europe. Women found her mannish clothes to be liberating. In 1922 Chanel introduced her perfume, Chanel No. 5, ______________ highly profitable. Her famous Chanel suit has also ______________ of time and is part of the modern woman’s wardrobe.

At the beginning of World War II she ______________ Ritz Hotel in Paris, which became ______________ 30 years. During the Nazi occupation of Paris she had a lover, a German spy. This relationship made her unpopular ______________ after the war. Her 1954 collection ______________ France. Today, however, her name is the biggest in fashion.

CHOOSE THE CORRECT WORD

Delete the wrong word in each of the pairs in italics.

Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel was born in France in 1883 and death / died in 1971. She was a pioneering fashion designer whom / who revolutionized women’s fashion. She designed modern and simple clothes that were often based on / in menswear. She was so important that she was the only designer named / called in ‘Time’ magazine's list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.

Chanel had a very poor growing up / upbringing. Her mother worked in the poorhouse where Gabrielle has / was born. She died when Gabrielle was six and then her father abandoned her. She adopted the name Coco while she was a cafe singer in 1905. Two lovers funded / funding her first store in Paris in 1910. They also helped / hoped her hats become popular with rich women.

In the 1920s, Chanel rose / raised to become Paris’ top fashion designers. Her comfortable, yet / still elegant clothes were popular across Europe. Women found her mannish clothes to be liberation / liberating. In 1922 Chanel introduced her perfume, Chanel No. 5, which is still highly profitable. Her famous Chanel suit has also stood the test / taste of time and is part of the modern woman’s wardrobe.

At / On the beginning of World War II she moved into the Ritz Hotel in Paris, which became her house / home for 30 years. During / While the Nazi occupation of Paris she had a lover, a German spy. This relationship made her unpopular for a decade after the war. Her 1954 collection did / got badly in France. Today, however, her name is the biggest in fashion.

SPELLING

The underlined, jumbled words are from the text. Spell them correctly.

Paragraph 1
 

1.

She was a igprneneoi fashion designer

2.

She designed enmodr and simple clothes

3.

based on rsmenaew

4.

She was so aotrpmtni


Paragraph 2
 

5.

Chanel had a very poor gginunpirb

6.

her father enbodaand her

7.

She eoddtpa the name Coco

8.

her hats become aulropp with rich women


Paragraph 3
 

9.

comfortable, yet entleag clothes

10.

hnsainm clothes

11.

In 1922 Chanel introduced her uremepf

12.

part of the modern woman’s ewarrodb


Paragraph 4
 

13.

At the nebngiing of World War II

14.

rgiuDn the Nazi occupation of Paris

15.

This alhiopnestir made her unpopular

16.

Her 1954 itoloclenc did badly

PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

 

revolutionized women’s fashion. She designed modern and simple clothes that were often based on

(    )

 

the test of time and is part of the modern woman’s wardrobe.

(    )

 

when Gabrielle was six and then her father abandoned her. She adopted the name Coco while

( 1 )

 

Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel was born in France in 1883 and died in 1971. She was a pioneering fashion designer who

(    )

 

she was a cafe singer in 1905. Two lovers funded her first store in Paris in 1910. They also

(    )

 

after the war. Her 1954 collection did badly in France. Today, however, her name is the biggest in fashion.

(    )

 

the Nazi occupation of Paris she had a lover, a German spy. This relationship made her unpopular for a decade

(    )

 

At the beginning of World War II she moved into the Ritz Hotel in Paris, which became her home for 30 years. During

(    )

 

Chanel had a very poor upbringing. Her mother worked in the poorhouse where Gabrielle was born. She died

(    )

 

elegant clothes were popular across Europe. Women found her mannish clothes to be liberating. In 1922 Chanel introduced

(    )

 

helped her hats become popular with rich women.

(    )

 

menswear. She was so important that she was the only designer named in ‘Time’ magazine's list of the

(    )

 

In the 1920s, Chanel rose to become Paris’ top fashion designer. Her comfortable, yet

(    )

 

her perfume, Chanel No. 5, which is still highly profitable. Her famous Chanel suit has also stood

(    )

 

100 most influential people of the 20th century.

SCRAMBLED SENTENCES

With your partner, put the words back into the correct order.

1.

pioneering   a   was   She   designer   fashion

2.

on   based   often   were   that   clothes   simple   menswear

3.

upbringing   poor   very   a   had   Chanel

4.

was   a   cafe   singer   She   adopted   the   name   Coco   while   she

5.

Paris   in   store   first   her   funded   lovers   Two

6.

designer   fashion   top   Paris’   become   to   rose   Chanel

7.

stood   the   test   of   time   Her   famous   Chanel   suit   has   also

8.

wardrobe   woman’s   modern   the   of   part

9.

her   made   relationship   This   decade   a   for   unpopular

10.

however   ,   her   name   is   the   biggest   in   fashion   Today   ,

COCO CHANEL DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

1.

What do you know about Coco Chanel?

2.

Would you like to have met Coco Chanel?

3.

What would you like to know about Coco Chanel and why?

4.

___________________________________________________

5.

___________________________________________________

6.

___________________________________________________

7.

___________________________________________________

8.

___________________________________________________

------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

1.

What did you learn from this text about Coco Chanel?

2.

What questions would you like to have asked Coco Chanel?

3.

What would her answers have been to those questions?

4.

___________________________________________________

5.

___________________________________________________

6.

___________________________________________________

7.

___________________________________________________

8.

___________________________________________________

COCO CHANEL SURVEY

Write five questions about Coco Chanel in the table. Do this in pairs/groups. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

Without your partner, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

Return to your original partner(s) and share and talk about what you found out.  Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

WRITING

Write about Coco Chanel for 10 minutes. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information about Coco Chanel. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. COCO CHANEL POSTER: Make a poster showing the different stages of the life of Coco Chanel. Show your poster to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all find out similar things?

4. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about Coco Chanel. Include an imaginary interview with her. Write about what she did every day and what she thought about.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

5. LETTER: Write a letter to Coco Chanel. Ask her three questions about her life. Tell her how important she is in today’s world. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your “Coco Chanel expert” partner(s) will try and answer your questions.

ANSWERS

SYNONYM MATCH:

Paragraphs 1 and 2
 

 

 

1.

pioneering

a.

groundbreaking

2

revolutionized

b.

transformed

3.

influential

c.

important

4.

upbringing

d.

childhood

5.

abandoned

e.

deserted

6.

funded

f.

financed


Paragraphs 3 and 4
 

 

 

7.

elegant

g.

stylish

8.

mannish

h.

masculine

9.

wardrobe

i.

collection of clothes

10.

occupation

j.

invasion

11

lover

k

boyfriend

12

relationship

l

love affair

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

a pioneering

a.

fashion designer

2

simple clothes that were often

b.

based on menswear

3.

Chanel had a very poor

c.

upbringing

4.

her father

d.

abandoned her

5.

She adopted

e.

the name Coco

6.

Chanel rose to become Paris’

f.

top fashion designer

7.

Her famous Chanel suit has also stood

g.

the test of time

8.

part of the modern woman’s

h.

wardrobe

9.

This relationship made

i.

her unpopular

10.

her name is the

j.

biggest in fashion

ALL OTHER EXERCISES:

Look at the text in "THE READING / TAPESCRIPT" section at the top of this page.

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