"In Rainbows, the seventh studio album by alternative rock group Radiohead, has become available for download from their official website.
The band have let fans decide what to pay for the 10 MP3 files - from nothing to £100."
I decided that this would provide the perfect excuse to practice our writing and debating skills over the pros and cons of downloading music.
1 Explain about what Radiohead are doing and ask students;
a Why do you think they are doing this?
b Would you buy an album in his way (not necessarily one of Radiohead's)?
c How much would you pay?
2 Students write down their answers individually then discuss their answers in groups.
3 Elicit answers from the class.
4 Now, ask students if they have ever downloaded music from the internet without paying for it.
5 Do you consider such downloading theft? Why/why not?
6 Divide the class into two groups. Those who will argue that downloading music without paying is wrong and those who think it is acceptable.
7 Each groups writes down as many reasons as possible in 5 - 10 minutes.
8 Then divide students again into two groups with representatives of both sides and organise a formal debate.
9 As a follow up this could be used as the basis for a discursive essay lesson. Click here to see Teachit.co.uk ideas page on writing. It is full of useful activities and handouts.