In the United States, the news has been saturated with information about the big oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. I've created a printable activity that helps students understand what has happened through reading and vocabulary practice, with some letter writing practice at the end to help them work through some of the worry and sadness they may be feeling.
You can download it here:
The BP Oil Spill – Questions and Answers - Learn English Communicatively - WordSpark
at the link that says - "Teachers: Click here to download a printable PDF version of this activity for use in class".
I also invite your students to post their letters in the comment section of that post so that they can interact with other English learners around the world. I have found that having an authentic audience motivates students greatly.