Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills.

Voltaire (1694-1778)


Here's a quick idea based on the acronym "Complete Verifiable Irreversible Denuclearisation". What a mouthful! Why not come up with an alternative?

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cute very interesting doctors

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carrot violently impales donkey

A-Bombs in Trash Bin

Suggested Procedure

Start by drawing a mushroom cloud on the board and write the number 9 next to it. Invite students to interpret the image. Can anyone work out it refers to the number of countries that have nuclear weapons? Next get the students to name the countries giving hints if necessary so that they can come up with the full list: the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel. Point out that it is generally assumed that Israel has nuclear weapons but it is Israeli policy to neither confirm nor deny their existence. Perhaps mention that through NATO Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey have access to nuclear weapons under US control. After this write C.V.I.D. on the board and see if the group can work out any of the letters. Write the full version up and explain the meaning of any new words. Then tell the class that they are going to invent their own version.

To do this do four rounds of brainstorming, one for each letter. Clean the board and divide it into four sections labelled C, V, I and D. Give the group one minute for each letter. Write the words down as they are called out and add one or two of your own. Give the students a chance to ask about any words they are uncertain about. Finally give the students a couple of minutes to work out complete acronyms in pairs before sharing them with the class.

End by asking if anyone can remember the meaning of the original acronym. Then write up the letters C.R.V.I.D and intro the word reciprocal. Wonder aloud about what the possibility is that all countries with Nuclear Weapons will give them up.


Do three rounds of brainstorming. Clean the board and divide it into three sections, one for adjectives, one for nouns and one for verbs. Give the group one minute for each to call out words beginning with C, V, I or D. Write the words down. If students call out the wrong form of a word either write it into the correct group or change the word and write down the correct form. Eg You are doing adjectives and someone calls out violence, either write violence into the noun list or violent into the adjective list. After the three rounds proceed as above.


Decide in advance whether to allow the students access to dictionaries while calling out words or be restricted to ones they can recall.