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Virgin Voyage to the Bottom of the Ocean (7th April, 2011)


 

The boss of the Virgin group Richard Branson has unveiled his latest adventure project. He plans to explore the deepest parts of the ocean in a high-tech submarine. Virgin Oceanic will conduct five test dives over two years. His team plans to explore the deepest part of any ocean – the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench. At a depth of almost 11,000 metres, the trench is deeper than Mount Everest is high. Branson showed the specially-built vessel to reporters at a news conference in California. He plans to pilot one of the dives himself. Branson also said he hoped Virgin Oceanic would one day take wealthy passengers on deep sea dives to explore the ocean depths.

Branson is a famed entrepreneur. He started off by selling used music records at university, which led to his opening of the Virgin Records stores. He has since become well known for pushing things to the limit. He has used his wealth to finance such feats as hot-air ballooning around the world and has set sailing records. As well as his Virgin airline company, he also operates Virgin Galactic, which will allow tourists to fly into space. He told reporters: "There is just so much to explore, so much to discover. We are going to obviously come across some fascinating creatures and learn some fascinating things that will hopefully be useful for mankind."


WARM-UPS

1. SUBMARINE TOURS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about submarine tours. Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

boss / adventure / project / explore / ocean / vessel / news conference / passengers / entrepreneur / records / record stores / to the limit / hot-air ballooning / creatures

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. ADVENTURE: Which would you go on? Complete this table and share what you wrote with your partner(s). Change partners and share again.

 

Yes / No  (Why?)

What would you learn?

Submarine tour

 

 

Space flight

 

 

Amazon stay

 

 

South Pole walk

 

 

Climb Mt. Everest

 

 

Walk across Sahara

 

 

4. EXPLORATION: Students A strongly believe there’ll be nowhere left on Earth to explore one day; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. SUBMARINE: What would you worry about most in a submarine 11.000 metres under the ocean? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the best at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • the confined space
  • sharks
  • oxygen running out
  • the pressure
  • mechanical failure
  • unknown deep-sea monsters
  • the dark
  • the cost

6. OCEAN: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘ocean’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

A group of virgin sailors are heading to the bottom of the ocean.

T / F

b.

A submarine will explore the deepest part of the ocean.

T / F

c.

The deepest part of the ocean isn’t as deep as Mt. Everest is high.

T / F

d.

The boss of the submarine project hopes to attract sightseers one day.

T / F

e.

The submarine project boss became rich by opening record stores.

T / F

f.

The boss has also funded other record-breaking attempts.

T / F

g.

He said there isn’t much left to discover in the ocean..

T / F

h.

He doubted if he’d find new species of ocean life.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

1.

boss

a.

do

2

unveiled

b.

runs

3.

conduct

c.

well known

4.

vessel

d.

animals

5.

wealthy

e.

chief

6.

famed

f.

clearly

7.

limit

g.

craft

8.

operates

h.

showed off

9.

obviously

i.

maximum

10.

creatures

j.

rich

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

unveiled his

a.

on deep sea dives

2

explore the deepest

b.

the dives himself

3.

the trench is deeper than

c.

much to explore

4.

He plans to pilot one of

d.

parts of the ocean

5.

take wealthy passengers

e.

some fascinating creatures

6.

He started off by

f.

latest adventure project

7.

pushing things

g.

mankind

8.

There is just so

h.

to the limit

9.

come across

i.

Mount Everest is high

10.

useful for

j.

selling used music

 


 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

The boss of the Virgin group Richard Branson has (1) ____________ his latest adventure project. He plans to (2) ____________ the deepest parts of the ocean in a high-tech submarine. Virgin Oceanic will (3) ____________ five test dives over two years. His team plans to explore the deepest part of any ocean – the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench. At a (4) ____________ of almost 11,000 metres, the trench is deeper than Mount Everest is (5) ____________. Branson showed the (6) ____________ -built vessel to reporters at a news conference in California. He plans to (7) ____________ one of the dives himself. Branson also said he hoped Virgin Oceanic would one day take (8) ____________ passengers on deep sea dives to explore the ocean depths.

 

 

 

depth
pilot
explore
wealthy
high
unveiled
specially
conduct

Branson is a (9) ____________ entrepreneur. He started off by selling used music records at university, which (10) ____________ to his opening of the Virgin Records stores. He has since become well known for pushing things to the (11) ____________. He has used his wealth to finance such (12) ____________ as hot-air ballooning around the world and has set sailing records. As well as his Virgin airline company, he also (13) ____________ Virgin Galactic, which will allow tourists to fly into space. He told reporters: "There is just so much to explore, so much to (14) ____________. We are going to obviously come across some fascinating (15) ____________ and learn some fascinating things that will hopefully be useful for (16) ____________."

 

 

limit
operates
famed
creatures
mankind
discover
led
feats

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

From  http://www.BreakingNewsEnglish.com/1104/110407-virgin_submarine.html

The boss of the Virgin group Richard Branson has _____________________ adventure project. He plans _____________________ parts of the ocean in a high-tech submarine. Virgin Oceanic will conduct five test dives over two years. His team plans to explore the deepest part of any ocean – the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench. At _____________________ 11,000 metres, the _____________________ Mount Everest is high. Branson showed the specially-built vessel to reporters at a news conference in California. He _____________________ the dives himself. Branson also said he hoped Virgin Oceanic would one day take wealthy passengers _____________________ explore the ocean depths.

Branson is _____________________. He started off by selling used music records at university, which led to his opening of the Virgin Records stores. He has since become well known _____________________ the limit. He has used his wealth _____________________ as hot-air ballooning around the world and has set sailing records. As well as his Virgin airline company, he also operates Virgin Galactic, which will allow _____________________ space. He told reporters: "There is just so much to explore, so much to discover. We are _____________________ come across some fascinating creatures and learn some fascinating things that will hopefully be _____________________."

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘ocean’ and ‘dive’.

ocean

dive

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • latest
  • tech
  • test
  • high
  • pilot
  • wealthy
  • famed
  • opening
  • since
  • set
  • space
  • creatures

STUDENT SUBMARINE TOURS SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about submarine tours in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

SUBMARINE TOURS DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘submarine’?

c)

Would you like to do a submarine tour?

d)

What do you think of Richard Branson’s plans?

e)

What do you think they’ll find at the bottom of the ocean?

f)

What are the dangers involved in this project?

g)

Do you think deep-sea dives to the bottom of the ocean would be popular?

h)

Would you rather stand on top of Everest or see the bottom of the world’s deepest ocean? Why?

i)

Is this Earth’s last frontier to be discovered?

j)

What adventure would you like to go on?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What do you know about Richard Branson?

c)

Would you call yourself an adventurer?

d)

Have you ever pushed things to the limit?

e)

What’s the longest amount of time you could spend in a submarine?

f)

What do you think motivates Richard Branson to keep trying new adventures?

g)

What’s the max you would pay to take a tour into space?

h)

Do you think the Virgin Oceanic project will find lots of fascinating creatures?

i)

Which will be more popular, Virgin Oceanic or Virgin Galactic? Why?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Richard Branson?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

The boss of the Virgin group Richard Branson has (1) ____ his latest adventure project. He plans to explore the (2) ____ parts of the ocean in a high-tech submarine. Virgin Oceanic will (3) ____ five test dives over two years. His team plans to explore the deepest part of any ocean – the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench. At a (4) ____ of almost 11,000 metres, the trench is deeper than Mount Everest is high. Branson showed the specially-built (5) ____ to reporters at a news conference in California. He plans to pilot one of the dives himself. Branson also said he hoped Virgin Oceanic would one day take (6) ____ passengers on deep sea dives to explore the ocean depths.

Branson is a (7) ____ entrepreneur. He started off by selling used music records at university, which led to his opening of the Virgin Records stores. He has (8) ____ become well known for pushing (9) ____ to the limit. He has used his wealth to finance such feats as hot-air ballooning around the world and has (10) ____ sailing records. As well as his Virgin airline company, he also operates Virgin Galactic, which will allow tourists to fly into space. He told reporters: "There is just so much to explore, so much to discover. We are going to (11) ____ come (12) ____ some fascinating creatures and learn some fascinating things that will hopefully be useful for mankind."

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

veils

(b)

veiled

(c)

veil

(d)

unveiled

2.

(a)

deepening

(b)

deepen

(c)

deepest

(d)

deepens

3.

(a)

induct

(b)

conduct

(c)

obstruct

(d)

duct

4.

(a)

depth

(b)

deep

(c)

depend

(d)

deep end

5.

(a)

missal

(b)

tinsel

(c)

vessel

(d)

colossal

6.

(a)

wealth

(b)

wealthiest

(c)

the wealthy

(d)

wealthy

7.

(a)

framed

(b)

famed

(c)

flamed

(d)

foamed

8.

(a)

since

(b)

for

(c)

ago

(d)

then

9.

(a)

think

(b)

things

(c)

thing

(d)

thinks

10.

(a)

do

(b)

have

(c)

set

(d)

take

11.

(a)

obviously

(b)

obvious

(c)

oblivious

(d)

oblivion

12.

(a)

over

(b)

down

(c)

in

(d)

across

WRITING

Write about submarine tours for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. SUBMARINE TOURS: Make a poster about submarine tours. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. VIRGING OCEANIC: Write a magazine article about Virgin Oceanic. Include imaginary interviews with Richard Branson and an environmentalist who is against the idea.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to Richard Branson. Ask him three questions about his submarine project. Give him three of your opinions on it. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

T

c.

F

d.

T

e.

T

f.

T

g.

F

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

boss

a.

chief

2

unveiled

b.

showed off

3.

conduct

c.

do

4.

vessel

d.

craft

5.

wealthy

e.

rich

6.

famed

f.

well known

7.

limit

g.

maximum

8.

operates

h.

runs

9.

obviously

i.

clearly

10.

creatures

j.

animals

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

unveiled his

a.

latest adventure project

2

explore the deepest

b.

parts of the ocean

3.

the trench is deeper than

c.

Mount Everest is high

4.

He plans to pilot one of

d.

the dives himself

5.

take wealthy passengers

e.

on deep sea dives

6.

He started off by

f.

selling used music

7.

pushing things

g.

to the limit

8.

There is just so

h.

much to explore

9.

come across

i.

some fascinating creatures

10.

useful for

j.

mankind

GAP FILL:

Virgin voyage to the bottom of the ocean

The boss of the Virgin group Richard Branson has (1) unveiled his latest adventure project. He plans to (2) explore the deepest parts of the ocean in a high-tech submarine. Virgin Oceanic will (3) conduct five test dives over two years. His team plans to explore the deepest part of any ocean – the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench. At a (4) depth of almost 11,000 metres, the trench is deeper than Mount Everest is (5) high. Branson showed the (6) specially-built vessel to reporters at a news conference in California. He plans to (7) pilot one of the dives himself. Branson also said he hoped Virgin Oceanic would one day take (8) wealthy passengers on deep sea dives to explore the ocean depths.

Branson is a (9) famed entrepreneur. He started off by selling used music records at university, which (10) led to his opening of the Virgin Records stores. He has since become well known for pushing things to the (11) limit. He has used his wealth to finance such (12) feats as hot-air ballooning around the world and has set sailing records. As well as his Virgin airline company, he also (13) operates Virgin Galactic, which will allow tourists to fly into space. He told reporters: "There is just so much to explore, so much to (14) discover. We are going to obviously come across some fascinating (15) creatures and learn some fascinating things that will hopefully be useful for (16) mankind."

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - c

3 - b

4 - a

5 - c

6 - d

7 - b

8 - a

9 - b

10 - c

11 - a

12 - d

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