English Lesson on Fidel Castro

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THE LESSON ON FIDEL CASTRO

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


READ

Fidel Castro is a Cuban revolutionary leader who became one of the highest profile figures of the twentieth century. He was Cuba's leader from 1959 until his retirement in 2008. For most of his life he has fought the political and commercial influence of the United States in Cuba. He governed his country throughout decades of a US trade embargo.

Castro was born on a sugar plantation in 1926. He had a very poor upbringing. He was an extremely bright student at school and decided to study law. In 1945, Castro entered law school at the University of Havana. He became politically active and wanted to bring social justice to his country. He thought the poverty in Cuba was wholly unnecessary.

Castro graduated from law school in 1950 and began practicing as a lawyer. He became well known for despising American influence in Cuban affairs. He decided revolution was the only way to advance Cuban nationalism. He went to Mexico to plan a guerilla invasion of Cuba. There he met Che Guevara, who helped shape his political beliefs and military plans.

Castro’s rebel forces started the revolution in December 1958. They quickly seized power of the whole of Cuba and sent President Batista fleeing. The 32-year-old Castro became prime minister in February 1959. He went to the USA but was denied a meeting with President Eisenhower. He then went to the Soviet Union and became a Soviet ally. He stood firm against the USA for four decades.

248 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.

figures

a.

totally

2

influence

b.

people

3.

embargo

c.

intelligent

4.

upbringing

d.

ban

5.

bright

e.

childhood

6.

wholly

f.

control


Paragraphs 3 and 4
 

 

 

7.

practicing

g.

took over

8.

despising

h.

friend

9.

shape

i.

hating

10.

seized

j.

running away

11

fleeing

k

form

12

ally

l

working

PHRASE MATCH

Match the following phrases from the article:

1.

a Cuban revolutionary

a.

active

2

the political and commercial influence

b.

power

3.

a US trade

c.

to his country

4.

He became politically

d.

against the USA

5.

bring social justice

e.

of the United States

6.

practicing

f.

the only way

7.

revolution was

g.

embargo

8.

shape his

h.

leader

9.

They quickly seized

i.

as a lawyer

10.

He stood firm

j.

political beliefs

LISTENING GAP FILL

Fidel Castro is a Cuban revolutionary leader ________________ of the highest ________________ the twentieth century. He was Cuba's leader from 1959 until his retirement in 2008. For most of his life he has fought the political and commercial ________________ United States in Cuba. He governed his country throughout decades of a US ________________.

Castro was born on a sugar plantation in 1926. He had a very ________________. He was an extremely ________________ at school and decided to study law. In 1945, Castro entered law school at the University of Havana. He became ________________ and wanted to bring social justice to his country. He thought ________________ Cuba was wholly unnecessary.

Castro graduated from law school in 1950 and began _____________ lawyer. He became ________________ despising American influence in Cuban affairs. He decided revolution was the only way to advance Cuban nationalism. He went to Mexico to plan ________________ of Cuba. There he met Che Guevara, who helped shape his political beliefs ________________.

Castro’s ________________ started the revolution in December 1958. They quickly ________________ the whole of Cuba and sent President Batista fleeing. The 32-year-old Castro became prime minister in February 1959. He went to the USA but ________________ with President Eisenhower. He then went to the Soviet Union and became ________________. He stood firm against the USA for four decades.

CHOOSE THE CORRECT WORD

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

Fidel Castro is a Cuban revolting / revolutionary leader who became one of the highest profile figure / figures of the twentieth century. He was Cuba's leader from 1959 until his retirement / retired in 2008. For most of his life he has fought the political and commercial influence for / of the United States in Cuba. He governed his country throughout decades of a US trade embargo.

Castro was born on / at a sugar plantation in 1926. He had a very poor upbringing. He was an extremely / extreme bright student at school and decided to study law. In 1945, Castro entered law school at the University of Havana. He became politically active / activity and wanted to bring social justice to his country. He thought the poor / poverty in Cuba was wholly unnecessary.

Castro graduated from law school in 1950 and begun / began practicing as a lawyer. He became well known for despising American influence at / in Cuban affairs. He decided revolution was the only way to advance Cuban nationalism. He went to Mexico to plan a gorilla / guerilla invasion of Cuba. There he met Che Guevara, who helped shape his political beliefs and military plants / plans.

Castro’s rebel farces / forces started the revolution in December 1958. They quickly seizure / seized power of the whole of Cuba and sent President Batista flee / fleeing. The 32-year-old Castro became prime minister in February 1959. He went to the USA but was denied a meeting with President Eisenhower. He then went to the Soviet Union and became a Soviet ally / rally. He stood firm against the USA for four decades.

SPELLING

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

Paragraph 1
 

1.

revolutionary edlear

2.

gfresui of the twentieth century

3.

He rvneegdo his country

4.

ceedads of a US trade embargo


Paragraph 2
 

5.

He had a very poor ngniuirpgb

6.

an extremely igtrhb student

7.

He became politically vetaci

8.

bring social sjecitu to his country


Paragraph 3
 

9.

practicing as a wyaelr

10.

He decided ntouvreoli was the only way

11.

plan a rllaugei invasion of Cuba

12.

atyimilr plans


Paragraph 4
 

13.

rebel cfoesr

14.

They quickly dzeise power

15.

dindee a meeting with President Eisenhower

16.

He stood firm ganitas the USA

PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

 

politically active and wanted to bring social justice to his country. He thought the poverty in Cuba was wholly unnecessary.

(    )

 

figures of the twentieth century. He was Cuba's leader from 1959 until his retirement in 2008. For most of his

(    )

 

Castro graduated from law school in 1950 and began practicing as a lawyer. He became well known for despising

(    )

 

life he has fought the political and commercial influence of the United States in Cuba. He governed

(    )

 

power of the whole of Cuba and sent President Batista fleeing. The 32-year-old Castro became prime

(    )

 

the Soviet Union and became a Soviet ally. He stood firm against the USA for four decades.

( 1 )

 

Fidel Castro is a Cuban revolutionary leader who became one of the highest profile

(    )

 

student at school and decided to study law. In 1945, Castro entered law school at the University of Havana. He became

(    )

 

minister in February 1959. He went to the USA but was denied a meeting with President Eisenhower. He then went to

(    )

 

Che Guevara, who helped shape his political beliefs and military plans.

(    )

 

nationalism. He went to Mexico to plan a guerilla invasion of Cuba. There he met

(    )

 

his country throughout decades of a US trade embargo.

(    )

 

Castro’s rebel forces started the revolution in December 1958. They quickly seized

(    )

 

Castro was born on a sugar plantation in 1926. He had a very poor upbringing. He was an extremely bright

(    )

 

American influence in Cuban affairs. He decided revolution was the only way to advance Cuban

SCRAMBLED SENTENCES

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

1.

of   century   the   figures    twentieth    of   profile   the   one    highest

2.

political    the    and   United   commercial   States   influence    the    of

3.

school    at    student    bright    extremely    an    was    He

4.

country    his    to    justice    social    bring

5.

Cuba    thought    was    the    wholly    poverty   unnecessary    in    He

6.

the    way    decided    was    only    He    revolution

7.

a    plan    Cuba    of    invasion    guerilla

8.

and    beliefs    political    his    shape    helped    plans    military

9.

seized    of    power    Cuba    of    They    the    quickly    whole

10.

the    He    USA    stood    for    firm    four    against    decades

FIDEL CASTRO DISCUSSION

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

1.

What do you know about Fidel Castro?

2.

Would you like to meet Fidel Castro?

3.

What would you like to know about Fidel Castro 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 Fidel Castro?

2.

What questions would you like to ask Fidel Castro?

3.

What would his answers be to those questions?

4.

___________________________________________________

5.

___________________________________________________

6.

___________________________________________________

7.

___________________________________________________

8.

___________________________________________________

FIDEL CASTRO SURVEY

Write five questions about Fidel Castro 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 Fidel Castro 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 Fidel Castro. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. FIDEL CASTRO POSTER: Make a poster showing the different stages of the life of Fidel Castro. 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 Fidel Castro. Include an imaginary interview with him. Write about what he does every day and what he thinks 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 Fidel Castro. Ask him three questions about his life. Give him three suggestions on what he should do in his future. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your “Fidel Castro expert” partner(s) will try and answer your questions.

ANSWERS

SYNONYM MATCH:

Paragraphs 1 and 2
 

 

 

1.

figures

a.

people

2

influence

b.

control

3.

embargo

c.

ban

4.

upbringing

d.

childhood

5.

bright

e.

intelligent

6.

wholly

f.

totally


Paragraphs 3 and 4
 

 

 

7.

practicing

g.

working

8.

despising

h.

hating

9.

shape

i.

form

10.

seized

j.

took over

11

fleeing

k

running away

12

ally

l

friend

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

a Cuban revolutionary

a.

leader

2

the political and commercial influence

b.

of the United States

3.

a US trade

c.

embargo

4.

He became politically

d.

active

5.

bring social justice

e.

to his country

6.

practicing

f.

as a lawyer

7.

revolution was

g.

the only way

8.

shape his

h.

political beliefs

9.

They quickly seized

i.

power

10.

He stood firm

j.

against the USA

ALL OTHER EXERCISES:

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

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