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Black Day: Holiday for the Loveless

Upper-Intermediate

the ARTICLE (for teachers)


Black Day: Holiday for the Loveless
Whether you love it or despise it, almost everyone around the world knows Saint Valentine's Day. Then there's
White Day on March 14th, when men who received chocolate buy sweets for women. Fewer people have heard
of Sweetest Day, though, which is a holiday crafted by candy makers in the US for mid-October. Loved ones
purchase candy and small gifts for each other on this day. But have you ever heard of Black Day?
Black Day is a uniquely Korean holiday. It was created in response to the overly sweet Valentine's Day and
White Day. Like some other countries, Koreans have adopted the tradition of obligatory chocolate for both
holidays. Women give chocolate not only to husbands or boyfriends, but to male coworkers, friends, and love
interests on Valentine's Day. Men do the same for women on White Day. The amount of chocolate one receives
gauges the popularity of the person.
Black Day, which falls on April 14th, lets the loveless sympathize with one another. People who didn't receive
any chocolate or gifts on either Valentine's Day or White Day wear black clothes. Black advertises their single
status, and sort of offers the opportunity to meet similarly single men and women. People who celebrate Black
Day also eat a noodle dish with black bean sauce, drink alcohol, and gripe about romance and love. There
aren't any presents to buy. There aren't any unfulfilled hopes. Few people know about the holiday outside of
Korea, and perhaps this is the best part about the day. It hasn't been marketed and sold to the consumer like its
opposite counterparts in February and March.

Teacher's Notes:

* Underlined words in red typeface are the recommended vocabulary for this lesson.
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Black Day: Holiday for the Loveless


Upper-Intermediate

WARM-UPS
Select one or all of the following warm-up activities.
1: Define: What does "holiday" mean? Can you use it in a sentence? Can you give examples?
2: Brainstorm: Brainstorm with a partner(s) words and ideas associated with "Valentine's Day" for 1 minute,
then brainstorm words and ideas associated with "White Day" for 1 minute. Spend another 5 minutes or less
discussing the words and ideas together.
3: Title: Speculate and/or discuss the contents of today's article from its title: "Black Day: Holiday for the
Loveless."
4: Do you agree or disagree? Why?
a. Saint Valentine's Day is the best holiday of the year!
b. If I'm single on Saint Valentine's Day, I feel lonely and depressed.
c. There's a lot of pressure to buy gifts and have romantic dinners on Valentine's Day.
d. I wish there were a holiday to celebrate being single.
e. All holidays are a complete waste of time!
5: Rank It!: Which holiday is the greatest? Rank the choices from best to worst. Remember to support your
decisions!
a. New Year's Eve and/or New Year's Day
b. Easter
c. Christmas
d. Saint Valentine's Day
e. Halloween

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Black Day: Holiday for the Loveless


Upper-Intermediate

VOCABULARY
Select one of the following vocabulary acquisition activities.
1: Vocabulary match: Individually or in pairs/groups, match the words in column A (from the article) with the
best choice in column B.
a. despise

q. required

b. craft

r.

c. unique

s. match

d. adopt

t.

e. obligatory

u. accomplish

f.

v.

gauge

original
pity
create

g. sympathize

w. determine

h. gripe

x. take on

i.

fulfill

y.

j.

counterpart

z. hate

complain

2: Fill in the Blanks: Fill in the blank with the correct word.
adopted
gripe

despise
counterparts

a. Whether you love it or (

sympathize
crafted

unfulfilled
obligatory

) it, almost everyone around the world knows Saint Valentine's Day.

b. Fewer people have heard of Sweetest Day, which is a holiday (


c. Black Day is a (

) Korean holiday.

d. Koreans have (

) the tradition of other countries.

e. They give (
f.

gauges
uniquely

) by candy makers in the US.

) chocolate for Valentine's Day and White Day.

The amount of chocolate one receives (

) the popularity of the person.

g. Black Day, which falls on April 14th, lets the loveless (

) with one another.

h. People eat a noodle dish with black bean sauce, drink alcohol, and (
i.

There aren't any (

j.

It hasn't been marketed and sold to the consumer like its opposite (

) about romance and love.

) hopes.
) in February and March.

3: Define: Define each word, correctly pronounce it, explain the meaning and/or usage, and offer an example
sentence to the class.
a. despise
b. craft

c. unique
d. adopt

e. obligatory
f. gauge

g. sympathize
h. gripe

i.
j.

fulfill
counterpart

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Black Day: Holiday for the Loveless


Upper-Intermediate

WORD RECOGNITION
1: Word Search: Find the target words (in bold). Time yourself, and see how many words you can find in three
minutes. In five minutes. In ten minutes.
adopted
gripe

despise
counterparts
C
K
S
E
P
I
R
G
A
Q
E
E
O
A
V

L
O
A
E
W
M
Y
U
A
S
D
Z
R
D
A

sympathize
crafted
E
U
U
F
G
L
N
E
C
E
D
I
Y
O
C

V
Z
F
N
U
A
E
D
L
G
K
S
N
P
W

D
A
I
Q
T
V
U
L
U
U
X
H
E
T
W

M
E
I
H
G
E
I
G
N
A
J
T
Z
E
J

N
N
S
O
T
F
R
I
M
G
F
A
F
D
C

U
K
F
P
L
A
Q
P
V
Y
N
P
T
H
D

I
U
W
U
I
U
P
E
A
Q
T
M
V
B
K

unfulfilled
obligatory
M
E
F
A
E
S
D
M
G
R
O
Y
D
F
Z

U
N
J
L
X
F
E
X
Y
H
T
S
O
O
R

U
P
Y
N
Y
J
A
F
X
S
T
S
K
E
I

U
N
F
U
L
L
F
I
L
L
E
D
A
Q
G

Y
R
O
T
A
G
I
L
B
O
U
V
G
G
J

gauges
uniquely

C
R
A
F
T
E
D
D
R
X
N
O
B
L
A

2: Target Word Pool: Find the target words (in bold) with their exact match. Time yourself, and see how many
words you can find in three minutes. In five minutes. In ten minutes.
adopted
gripe
countenance

despise
counterparts

sympathize
crafted
fulfilled

unfulfilled
obligatory

gauges
uniquely

counter

crafting
gauged
indisposed
adoption
grapey
uniquely
obligatorily
gripe
obliging
unsympathetic
adopting
doped
unfulfilling
inequality
crafts
dispose
sympathize gauge
despised
engaged
counterpart
sympathizer
fulfilling
unique
crafty
sympathy
counterparts
adopted
crofter
obligatory
uniqueness
unfulfilled
grippe
obliged
grape
gauging
griped
despise
gauges
sympathetic
unequal
adopt
despising
fulfillment
obligated
counterculture
crafted

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Black Day: Holiday for the Loveless


Upper-Intermediate

pre- or post-COMPREHENSION
1: Word Association: Brainstorm words associated with today's topic for two minutes. Present to the class.
2: Brainstorm Questions: Brainstorm questions that you would like to ask about today's topic. Answer the
questions without looking at the article.
3: True or False?: Guess (before the article) or answer (after the article) whether the sentence is true or false.
If false, correct the sentence.
a. Most everyone around the world knows Valentine's Day, White Day, and Sweetest Day.

T/F

b. Black Day was created in response to Saint Valentine's Day and White Day.

T/F

c. The amount of chocolate received measures a person's popularity.

T/F

d. Anyone can celebrate Black Day.

T/F

e. Black Day will be marketed globally like its counterparts, Valentine's Day and White Day.

T/F

4: Questions: Answer the questions to check comprehension.


a. What information does the article give about Sweetest Day?
b. In Korea, what happens on Valentine's Day? How about White Day?
c. Who celebrates Black Day?
d. What happens on Black Day?
e. According to the article, what is the best feature of Black Day?
5: Vocabulary: In pairs/groups, remember how the words were used in today's article.
a. despise

c. uniquely

e. obligatory

b. crafted

d. adopted

f.

gauges

g. sympathize

i. unfulfilled

h. gripe

j. counterparts

6: Fragments: Remember how the fragments were used, and complete the sentence from today's article.
a. Then there's White Day on March 14th, when...
b. Fewer people have heard of Sweetest Day, though, which is...
c. Like some other countries, Koreans have adopted...
d. Women give chocolate not only to husbands or boyfriends, but to...
e. Black advertises their single status, and...

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Black Day: Holiday for the Loveless


Upper-Intermediate

post-COMPREHENSION
1: Vocabulary: Circle any additional unknown words/phrases in the article. In pairs/groups, use your
dictionaries to understand the meanings. Present to the class.
2: Class Questions: Read through the article once more, and write down any questions that you would like to
discuss in pairs/groups or as a class. Discuss.
3: Summarize: Work with a partner to summarize the article in your own words.
4: Discuss: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!
a. Did you like this article?
b. What was your general impression after reading this article?
c. How do you feel about Valentine's Day? How about White Day? Please explain.
d. How do you feel about Black Day? Please explain.
e. Would you celebrate Black Day? Why/not?
f. Will Black Day spread around the world and become a commercial holiday? Why/not?
g. Have you ever celebrated a holiday, but didn't see much point in doing so? Why/not?
h. Does your country have any unique holidays? Please explain.
i. What is a holiday, apart from possibly a day off from school or work?
j. If you could create a new holiday, what would it celebrate? Please explain.
5: Discuss: You have the chance to create a new holiday! Work with a partner/group to brainstorm possible
answers to the questions below. But don't let the questions limit your imagination! Share your new holiday.
What will it celebrate?
When will people celebrate the new holiday?
How will people celebrate it?
Will people go anywhere special? How about buy / eat / do anything special?
???

6: Google Search: Type "Black Day" into Google news and read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or
write an essay about your findings.
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Black Day: Holiday for the Loveless


Upper-Intermediate

STUDENT HANDOUT (the article)


Black Day: Holiday for the Loveless
Whether you love it or despise it, almost everyone around the world knows Saint Valentine's Day. Then there's
White Day on March 14th, when men who received chocolate buy sweets for women. Fewer people have heard
of Sweetest Day, though, which is a holiday crafted by candy makers in the US for mid-October. Loved ones
purchase candy and small gifts for each other on this day. But have you ever heard of Black Day?
Black Day is a uniquely Korean holiday. It was created in response to the overly sweet Valentine's Day and
White Day. Like some other countries, Koreans have adopted the tradition of obligatory chocolate for both
holidays. Women give chocolate not only to husbands or boyfriends, but to male coworkers, friends, and love
interests on Valentine's Day. Men do the same for women on White Day. The amount of chocolate one receives
gauges the popularity of the person.
Black Day, which falls on April 14th, lets the loveless sympathize with one another. People who didn't receive
any chocolate or gifts on either Valentine's Day or White Day wear black clothes. Black advertises their single
status, and sort of offers the opportunity to meet similarly single men and women. People who celebrate Black
Day also eat a noodle dish with black bean sauce, drink alcohol, and gripe about romance and love. There
aren't any presents to buy. There aren't any unfulfilled hopes. Few people know about the holiday outside of
Korea, and perhaps this is the best part about the day. It hasn't been marketed and sold to the consumer like its
opposite counterparts in February and March.

Notes:

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Black Day: Holiday for the Loveless


Upper-Intermediate

STUDENT HANDOUT (fill in the blank)


Fill in the blank with the correct word.
marketed
sympathize
uniquely

despise
counterparts
obligatory

celebrate
adopted
unfulfilled

Black Day: Holiday for the Loveless

gripe
single
ones

crafted
gauges
opportunity

Whether you love it or (a. _______________) it, almost everyone around the world knows Saint Valentine's
Day. Then there's White Day on March 14th, when men who received chocolate buy sweets for women.
Fewer people have heard of Sweetest Day, though, which is a holiday (b. _______________) by candy
makers in the US for mid-October. Loved (c. _______________) purchase candy and small gifts for each
other on this day. But have you ever heard of Black Day?
Black Day is a (d. _______________) Korean holiday. It was created in response to the overly sweet
Valentine's Day and White Day. Like some other countries, Koreans have (e. _______________) the
tradition of (f. _______________) chocolate for both holidays. Women give chocolate not only to husbands
or boyfriends, but to male coworkers, friends, and love interests on Valentine's Day. Men do the same for
women on White Day. The amount of chocolate one receives (g. _______________) the popularity of the
person.
Black Day, which falls on April 14th, lets the loveless (h. _______________) with one another. People who
didn't receive any chocolate or gifts on either Valentine's Day or White Day wear black clothes. Black
advertises their (i. _______________) status, and sort of offers the (j. _______________) to meet similarly
single men and women. People who (k. _______________) Black Day also eat a noodle dish with black
bean sauce, drink alcohol, and (l. _______________) about romance and love. There aren't any presents
to buy. There aren't any (m. _______________) hopes. Few people know about the holiday outside of
Korea, and perhaps this is the best part about the day. It hasn't been (n. _______________) and sold to the
consumer like its opposite (o. _______________) in February and March.

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Black Day: Holiday for the Loveless


Upper-Intermediate

STUDENT HANDOUT (notes)

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Black Day: Holiday for the Loveless


Upper-Intermediate

ANSWER KEY
Vocabulary
1. Vocabulary Match:

2. Fill in the Blanks:

a.

f.

a.

despise

f.

gauges

b.

g.

b.

crafted

g.

sympathize

c.

h.

c.

uniquely

h.

gripe

d.

i.

d.

adopted

i.

unfulfilled

e.

j.

e.

obligatory

j.

counterparts

pre- or post-Comprehension
1. True or False:

2. Fragments:

a.

a.

men who received chocolate buy sweets for women.

b.

b.

a holiday crafted by candy makers in the US for mid-October.

c.

c.

the tradition of obligatory chocolate for both holidays.

d.

d.

male coworkers, friends, and love interests on Valentine's Day.

e.

e.

sort of offers the opportunity to meet similarly single men and women.

Student Handout
1. Fill in the Blanks
a.

despise

i.

single

b.

crafted

j.

opportunity

c.

ones

k.

celebrate

d.

uniquely

l.

gripe

e.

adopted

m.

unfulfilled

f.

obligatory

n.

marketed

g.

gauges

o.

counterparts

h.

sympathize

2. Extended Listening
a.

Loved ones purchase candy and small gifts for each other on this day

b.

It was created in response to the overly sweet Valentine's Day and White Day

c.

The amount of chocolate one receives gauges the popularity of the person

d.

People who didn't receive any chocolate or gifts on either Valentine's Day or White Day wear black clothes

e.

It hasn't been marketed and sold to the consumer like its opposite counterparts in February and March

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