Monday, May 27, 2013

Centenarians & Supercentenarians - ESL Worksheet

Good morning & Happy Monday!

This morning I have a simple article with activities about people who have lived to be over 100 years old, including veteran and centenarian Richard Arvine Overton and supercentenarian Walter Breuning. As with most of the worksheets on this blog, you can pick and choose the activities you want to do, based on your students' abilities and available time

Thank you for visiting my blog and have a great week!


Do you know any centenarians? A centenarian is a person who has lived for 100 years or more. There are more than 50,000 centenarians in America today and more than 300,000 centenarians in the world. Below is a list of some famous people who lived to be over 100.

·       Grandma Moses started painting at the age of 77. She painted more than 1,600 pictures until her death at age 101.
Grandma Moses (Anna Mary Robertson Moses)

·       Bob Hope was a famous singer, actor and author. He appeared in more than 70 short and long film projects.
Black and White Photo of Bob Hope ( Leslie Townes Hope)

·       George Burns was a famous performer who worked in radio, television and comedy. He was active until his death.
George Burns (Nathan Birnbaum)

·       Rose Kennedy was the mother of former President John F. Kennedy. She had several famous sons. Tragically, she also witnessed the death of four of them. Two of Rose's children were killed, including President Kennedy.
Rose Kennedy

·       Richard Arvine Overton is a famous centenarian and veteran. He served in the South Pacific during World War II.

Richard Arvine Overton


Supercentenarians are people who have lived for 110 years or more. Supercentenarians are rare. There are only about 60 supercentenarians in the world. Most of them live in the United States or Japan.
Supercentenarian Walter Breuning speaking with Montana Governor Schweitzer

Walter Breuning was a famous supercentenarian. He lived to be 114 years old. Walter was born in 1896 and died in 2011. He grew up in South Dakota without running water or electricity. Walter was born into a poor family and had to leave school to start work at age 14. Even so, Walter enjoyed his life and was active until his death. 

Like most people who have lived a long time, Walter practiced some healthy habits, as well as some unhealthy habits. Walter ate only two meals a day, breakfast and lunch. He usually had fruit for dinner. Like most supercentenarians, Walter also smoked, quitting at age 105. It was common for people of Walter's age to smoke. Walter believed that the keys to being happy are to be active and to help people He retired from his last job at age 99.

1.    How many centenarians are living in your country, do you think?
2.    Why are there so few supercentenarians, as compared to centenarians?
3.    How long do people usually live, in your country?
4.    Do you think that people who live to be very old are lucky or unlucky? Why?


·       What are some adjectives that you would use to describe young people? Middle-aged people? Old people?

·       How is life different today than it was 100 years ago?

·       What are some ways that life is better today? What are some ways that life was better 100 years ago?

·       Even though there are more conveniences and better technology today, there is more crime, more suicides and more depression. People say this is because modern life is too stressful. Do you agree? Why or why not?

·       What is some advice you would give to people who wish to life a long life?

·       What are some problems that older people face? What can be done to solve these problems?

·       THINK & WRITE People say that wisdom comes with age. Because of this, young people are naturally foolish and impatient while older people are more patient and knowledgeable. Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?

Click below to download the worksheet for this activity.

 Centenarians & Supercentanarians - PDF Worksheet - Faiza Raintree

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