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The object of the activity is to do some reading with a purpose and to provoke class discussion, while at the same time having some fun.
To begin with, let students tell you about their favourite magazines and their contents. Then explain that many popular magazines include a `problem´ page and read the following:
Mr. Smith is in trouble. What´s your advice?
I´m a regular reader of your column and I would appreciate your advice on a family matter that worries me very much. My son Mike (8) would like to have a pet dog for his birthday. He is our only child and I think he feels lonely at times. If you must know, I hate dogs. I think they are a nuisance. I want to get home in the evening and find some peace and quiet, not a fussy four-legged beast. But then my dear mother says it would be a good idea. In short, dogs remind her of the good old days when we used to live in the country. My wife quite likes dogs, but she is annoyed with the child, as his last school report was terrible. She says he should work harder, and a pet would only distract him. She also says that my mother is an incurable romantic. Well, Peggy, Mum may have her faults, but my wife is certainly very unreasonable at times (even bossy, if you believe my mother.) I´m completely at a loss. What do you think we should do? Please reply promptly.
PS We made a list of alternative presents, which includes a computer, an encyclopaedia and a two-weeks´ holiday at a children´s summer camp in France. But none seemed good enough. Help!
To round off the activity, talk about the different sections in a magazine and, in groups, make a school/local mag.
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