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Lesson 5: USA Today

Lesson 5: USA Today

Students read a USA Today article and discuss the topic of Halloween costumes in western countries.

Level:  Advanced

Topic:  Halloween

Time:  90 minutes



  1. Explain the situation of Halloween costumes US.
  2. Exchange ideas about Halloween costumes in the US.
  3. Compare ideas about Halloween costumes in the US/UK to that in China.
  4. Formulate an opinion about Halloween costumes. 


  1. Students summarize the article in their groups and report to the class.
  2. Students discuss the article, the title, and their homework questions and responses in their groups and report to the class.
  3. Students discuss the author’s opinion and ask questions during the Q&A.
  4. Students give their opinion about their discussion questions in their groups and whole class discussion.  



Warm up (10 minutes)

  • Ask the students to get a partner and discuss the question while you check the homework.
    • “What is Halloween and why is it celebrated?”
  • Discuss together as a class.  


Halloween Costumes  (15 minutes)

  • The USA Today is the largest and one of the most popular daily newspapers in the US. It is distributed to all 50 states and sells for $2.00. Americans like this newspaper because it is very easy to read and is in color.  It is at all the airports and usually at hotels, too. The newspaper has four sections; News, Money, Sports, and Life. It started in 1982.
  • Ask the students to get into groups and choose a role. If there are only 4 people in a group, then the Facilitator can also keep track of time.
    • Facilitator: leads the group discussion
    • Note-taker: write things down as needed
    • Reporter: presents information to the class
    • English monitor: makes sure everyone is speaking English
    • Time keeper: keeps track of how much time is remaining for an activity
  • Ask the students to discuss the article in their groups.
    Guide the students by putting the following headings on the board. 
    • Summarize the article
    • Talk about the title
    • What is the author’s opinion?
    • Homework questions
    • Discussion:
      • “What are similarities and differences of dressing up in costumes between China and the US?”
      • “What is a good idea for a Halloween costume?”


Whole Class Discussion (10 minutes)

  • Ask each reporter to comment about one of the topics on the board. Use the Article Notes as a guide.


Q&A (10 minutes)

  • Ask the students to look at their homework questions and/or responses to ask additional questions about the article.


Halloween Party (45 minutes)

Printable Worksheets

Article Notes


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