Warm Up

Helpful Words and Phrases

Listen and repeat.

    • ex. The birds migrate from Canada to Florida every fall.
    • ex. I voluntarily gave my seat on the train to an old man.
  1. dim
    • ex. I use thin curtains to dim the bright morning sunlight.
    • ex. The calm lake reflects the sky above.
  2. a win-win situation
    • ex. The business deal was a win-win situation, so everyone was happy.


Read the article below and answer your tutor's questions.

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The city of Philadelphia – commonly known as Philly – has started a new program to help stop migrating birds from crashing into skyscrapers. Called Lights Out Philly, the program asks building owners and renters to voluntarily turn off or dim lights between midnight and 6 a.m. The program will run twice a year, once from April 1 through May 31 and again from August 15 through November 15.

According to scientists, over 365 million birds die in the US every year because they crash into buildings. One expert said that Philadelphia’s rainy weather and bright night lights are dangerous for migrating birds. He explained that the birds get confused by the lights when they can’t see the stars on cloudy nights. Windows are also a problem for the birds because they can reflect trees or the sky.

The Building Owners and Managers Association of Philadelphia (BOMA) supports the program. According to one BOMA official, it’s a win-win situation. She explained that turning off or dimming the lights can help birds migrate safely and also help people save money.


Choose a topic and discuss the questions with your tutor.

City Environments

  • Other than helping birds and saving money, are there more good reasons to turn off or dim lights in cities at night? Why? Discuss.
  • Some people say that cities have too much light and noise. Do you think these are big problems in your country's cities too? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In general, do you think that cities are good environments for people to live in? Why or why not? Discuss.

Animals in Cities

  • The Lights Out Philly program asks people to voluntarily turn off or dim lights. Do you think that most people will? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think other cities should also start a Lights Out program? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Other than bright lights, what else in cities can hurt animals (ex. traffic, noise)? Why? Discuss.