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“Silver Lining” to the mining disaster

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DISASTER PUTS COPIAPO ON THE MAP

When a copper mine collapses trapping 33 miners, it’s a terrible tragedy.

However, in the case of the recent Chilean mine collapse, there is a silver lining. In fact, the mayor of Copiapo, Chile, calls the incident “a blessing from heaven” for his town.

Before Aug. 5, not very many people from outside of Chile knew about Copiapo. Then the tragedy struck. The miners were trapped underground for two months while millions of people around the world watched and waited, and thousands of reporters descended on Copiapo.

Now the small town is very well known. And that has improved its economy. All of the reporters and mining experts who spent months in Copiapo spent a lot of money there, on things like hotels, rental cars and food. The city’s mayor estimates that more than $20-million has been spent there since the mine collapse.

Now, tourists are visiting the city that the miners made famous. The city’s tourism board is talking about building a museum about local miners, with a focus on “los 33,” which would feature the rescue capsule.

“Copiapo is not the same place it was on Aug. 5,” the mayor said.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS

Writing/Discussion Prompt
If you were in charge of designing the museum in Copiapo, what would you include in it to make it appealing for children to visit?

Reading Prompt
The tourism board and the mayor of Copiapo are very excited about the attention and money the town has received in the months surrounding the mining tragedy. Do you think residents of the town and the miners who were trapped feel the same way? If so, why do you think they would have a similar point of view? If you think they may feel differently, support your answer using evidence from the article and your own ideas.

Primary
identify the point of view presented in a text and suggest some possible alternative perspectives (OME, Reading: 1.9)

Junior
identify the point of view presented in texts; determine whether they can agree with the view, in whole or in part; and suggest some other possible perspectives (OME, Reading: 1.9).

Grammar Feature: Idiom
An idiom is an expression that cannot be understood when someone just looks at the words that make it up. For example, if someone has a chip on their shoulder, it means that they are upset; and if something is a piece of cake, it means that it is easy.

There are three idioms in this article (“on the map”; “is not the same place it was on Aug. 5.”; “silver lining”). What do you think these idioms mean?