The
1,000 IDEAS
e-Book

Breaking News English

HOME  |  HELP MY SITE  |  000s MORE FREE LESSONS
 
 

 

E-mail this lesson to someone who would like to use it in classroom or study with it.

Follow this site on Facebook.

 

000's more free lessons.

   

 


 
 

PRINT

13-Page PDF
Handout

  

LISTEN

MP3 (1 minute 50 seconds)

QUIZZES

Fill-in-the-blank 

Matching  

Hangman  

Flash cards

QUIZZES

Sentence jumble

Missing words

No letters

Crossword


        

Batman Could Fly, but He'd Crash and Die (12th July, 2012)


 

Scientists have finally answered one of life's mysteries – whether Batman can really fly. Researchers from Leicester University in the U.K. conducted tests on the type of cape Batman wears as he flies around Gotham City watching for mischief and criminals. They concluded that he would be able to glide pretty well, but would crash at high speed and die once he tried to land. The researchers say this is because the wingspan of his cape is too short to allow him to land smoothly. Researcher and superhero addict David Marshall said: "If Batman wanted to survive the flight, he would definitely need a bigger cape. Or if he preferred to keep his style intact he could opt for…jets to keep himself aloft."

The research paper is called 'Trajectory of a Falling Batman'. The research team tested the physics behind the cape worn in the 2005 movie "Batman Begins". The wingspan of the cape is 4.7 metres, which is around half that needed for a human to land safely. The research team said that if Batman jumped from a building about 150 metres high, he would be able to glide for about 350 metres. The problem would come when he attempted to land. The impact would be the equivalent of being hit by a car driving at 80kph. The team concluded that: "Clearly gliding using a batcape is not a safe way to travel, unless a method to rapidly slow down is used such as a parachute."

WARM-UPS

1. SUPERHEROES: Walk around the class and talk to other students about Batman  and other superheroes. Change partners often. Share your findings with your first partner.

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

 

scientists / mysteries / Batman's cape / glide / high speed / superhero / addict / trajectory / wingspan / land safely / equivalent / safe way to travel / parachute

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

3. SUPER POWERS: Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

Super power

How useful?

What would you do with this power?

Ability to fly

 

 

X-ray vision

 

 

Read minds

 

 

Turn into anything

 

 

Superhuman strength

 

 

Hypnosis

 

 

4. BATCAPE: Students A strongly believe everyone will have a kind of batcape one day so we can fly to work / school; Students B strongly believe this is impossible.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. HERO: Rank these heroes and share your rankings with your partner. Put the best at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • your favourite sports star
  • Superman
  • Powerpuff girls
  • Aung San Suu Kyi
  • your country's leader
  • Wonder Woman
  • Usain Bolt
  • Gandhi

6. MYSTERY: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word 'mystery'. 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.

Batman has answered one of life's mysteries about scientists.

T / F

b.

Scientists say anyone using Batman's cape would drop to the ground.

T / F

c.

The wingspan of Batman's cape is too short to be able to fly well.

T / F

d.

A scientist said the cape could work if it had jets in it.

T / F

e.

The study into Batman's ability to fly was a real research paper.

T / F

f.

A cape capable of flying needs to be 10 times bigger than Batman's.

T / F

g.

Batman could glide for 350 metres from a 150-metre high jump site.

T / F

h.

The scientists said a batcape is safer than a parachute.

T / F

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

1.

finally

a.

touch down

2

conducted

b.

devotee

3.

mischief

c.

carried out

4.

addict

d.

course

5.

intact

e.

at last

6.

trajectory

f.

tried

7.

land

g.

collision

8.

attempted

h.

wrongdoing

9.

impact

i.

quickly

10.

rapidly

j.

unbroken

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

1.

Scientists have finally answered

a.

to keep himself aloft

2

watching for mischief

b.

hit by a car

3.

crash at high speed and die

c.

slow down

4.

land

d.

the physics

5.

he could opt for jets

e.

one of life's mysteries

6.

The research team tested

f.

safe way to travel

7.

around half that needed for a

g.

once he tried to land

8.

the equivalent of being

h.

and criminals

9.

using a batcape is not a

i.

human to land safely

10.

a method to rapidly

j.

smoothly


 


 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Scientists have (1) ____________ answered one of life's mysteries – whether Batman can really fly. Researchers from Leicester University in the U.K. (2) ____________ tests on the type of cape Batman wears as he flies around Gotham City watching for (3) ____________ and criminals. They concluded that he would be able to (4) ____________ pretty well, but would crash at high speed and die once he tried to land. The researchers say this is because the (5) ____________ of his cape is too short to allow him to land (6) ____________. Researcher and superhero addict David Marshall said: "If Batman wanted to survive the     (7) ____________, he would definitely need a bigger cape. Or if he preferred to keep his style (8) ____________ he could opt for…jets to keep himself aloft."

 

 

 

glide
smoothly
conducted
intact
finally
flight
mischief
wingspan

The research paper is called 'Trajectory of a Falling Batman'. The research team tested the (9) ____________ behind the cape worn in the 2005 movie "Batman Begins". The wingspan of the cape is 4.7 metres, which is around (10) ____________ that needed for a human to land safely. The research team said that if Batman   (11) ____________ from a building about 150 metres high, he would be able to (12) ____________ for about 350 metres. The problem would come when he attempted to land. The              (13) ____________ would be the (14) ____________ of being hit by a car driving at 80kph. The team concluded that: "Clearly gliding using a batcape is not a (15) ____________ way to travel, unless a method to (16) ____________ slow down is used such as a parachute."

 

 

glide
half
safe
equivalent
physics
rapidly
jumped
impact

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

Scientists have finally answered (1) _____________________ – whether Batman can really fly. Researchers from Leicester University in the U.K. conducted tests (2) _____________________ Batman wears as he flies around Gotham City (3) _____________________ and criminals. They concluded that he would be able to glide pretty well, but would crash at high (4) _____________________ he tried to land. The researchers say this is because the wingspan of his cape is (5) _____________________ to land smoothly. Researcher and superhero addict David Marshall said: "If Batman wanted to survive the flight, he would definitely need a bigger cape. Or if he preferred to (6) _____________________ he could opt for…jets to keep himself aloft."

The research paper is called 'Trajectory of a Falling Batman'. The research team (7) _____________________ the cape worn in the 2005 movie "Batman Begins". The wingspan of the cape is 4.7 metres, which is around  (8) _____________________ for a human to land safely. The research team said that if Batman jumped from a building about 150 metres high, he would (9) _____________________ about 350 metres. The problem would come when (10) _____________________. The impact would be the         (11) _____________________ a car driving at 80kph. The team concluded that: "Clearly gliding using a batcape is not a safe way to travel, unless a    (12) _____________________ down is used such as a parachute."


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words 'bat' and 'man'.

bat

man

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • finally
  • flies
  • pretty
  • short
  • survive
  • keep
  • tested
  • movie
  • half
  • 350
  • impact
  • rapidly

SUPERHEROES SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about superheroes 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.


 
 

SUPERHEROES 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 'Batman'?

c)

What do you think of Batman?

d)

Who is your favourite superhero?

e)

Why do you think superheroes are so popular?

f)

Are you surprised a story about a man with the powers of a bat has been a worldwide success for half a century?

g)

Would you like a cape like Batman's?

h)

If you had Batman's powers, would you use them for good or bad things?

i)

Are you addicted to anything (music, sport, coffee, shopping…)?

j)

Which is safer – a cape or jets?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Are there enough female superheroes?

c)

How do the superheroes in your culture compare to Batman, Superman, Spiderman, etc.?

d)

Do you think the movie studios ever did a study on the physics behind their superheroes' powers?

e)

Which superhero's power would you like?

f)

Would you use a batcape if it worked? Where would you go

g)

Do you know any real-life superheroes?

h)

What superhero would you invent if a Hollywood story paid you?

i)

What questions would you like to ask Batman?

j)

What do you think his answers would be?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

Scientists have finally answered one of life's (1) ____ – whether Batman can really fly. Researchers from Leicester University in the U.K. conducted tests (2) ____ the type of cape Batman wears as he flies around Gotham City watching for mischief and criminals. They concluded that he would be able to glide (3) ____ well, but would crash at high speed and die once he tried to (4) ____. The researchers say this is because the wingspan of his cape is too short to allow him to land smoothly. Researcher and superhero (5) ____ David Marshall said: "If Batman wanted to survive the (6) ____, he would definitely need a bigger cape. Or if he preferred to keep his style intact he could opt for…jets to keep himself aloft."

The research paper is called 'Trajectory of a Falling Batman'. The research team tested the physics (7) ____ the cape worn in the 2005 movie "Batman Begins". The wingspan of the cape is 4.7 metres, which is around half (8) ____ needed for a human to land safely. The research team said that if Batman jumped from a building about 150 metres high, he would be able to glide for about 350 metres. The problem would (9) ____ when he attempted to land. The (10) ____ would be the equivalent of being hit by a car driving at 80kph. The team concluded that: "Clearly gliding using a batcape is not a safe way to travel, (11) ____ a method to (12) ____ slow down is used such as a parachute."

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

1.

(a)

mysterious

(b)

mysticism

(c)

mysteriously

(d)

mysteries

2.

(a)

in

(b)

of

(c)

on

(d)

as

3.

(a)

cute

(b)

pretty

(c)

lovely

(d)

beautiful

4.

(a)

land

(b)

ground

(c)

earth

(d)

dirt

5.

(a)

user

(b)

abuser

(c)

addict

(d)

hero

6.

(a)

flint

(b)

freight

(c)

fright

(d)

flight

7.

(a)

next to

(b)

behind

(c)

in front of

(d)

between

8.

(a)

that

(b)

which

(c)

from

(d)

whether

9.

(a)

go

(b)

come

(c)

depart

(d)

arrive

10.

(a)

compact

(b)

pact

(c)

impact

(d)

repacked

11.

(a)

unless

(b)

although

(c)

even though

(d)

though

12.

(a)

rapids

(b)

rapidity

(c)

rabidly

(d)

rapidly


 
 

WRITING

Write about superheroes 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 Batman. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. SUPERHEROES: Make a poster about superheroes. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. BATMAN: Write a magazine article about Batman. Include imaginary interviews with him.

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 Batman. Ask him three questions about his life. Give him three things he should focus on doing from now. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.


 


 
 

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

F

c.

T

d.

T

e.

T

f.

F

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

finally

a.

at last

2

conducted

b.

carried out

3.

mischief

c.

wrongdoing

4.

addict

d.

devotee

5.

intact

e.

unbroken

6.

trajectory

f.

course

7.

land

g.

touch down

8.

attempted

h.

tried

9.

impact

i.

collision

10.

rapidly

j.

quickly

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

Scientists have finally answered

a.

one of life's mysteries

2

watching for mischief

b.

and criminals

3.

crash at high speed and die

c.

once he tried to land

4.

land

d.

smoothly

5.

he could opt for jets

e.

to keep himself aloft

6.

The research team tested

f.

the physics

7.

around half that needed for a

g.

human to land safely

8.

the equivalent of being

h.

hit by a car

9.

using a batcape is not a

i.

safe way to travel

10.

a method to rapidly

j.

slow down

GAP FILL:

Batman could fly, but he'd crash and die

Scientists have (1) finally answered one of life's mysteries – whether Batman can really fly. Researchers from Leicester University in the U.K. (2) conducted tests on the type of cape Batman wears as he flies around Gotham City watching for (3) mischief and criminals. They concluded that he would be able to (4) glide pretty well, but would crash at high speed and die once he tried to land. The researchers say this is because the (5) wingspan of his cape is too short to allow him to land (6) smoothly. Researcher and superhero addict David Marshall said: "If Batman wanted to survive the (7) flight, he would definitely need a bigger cape. Or if he preferred to keep his style (8) intact he could opt for…jets to keep himself aloft."

The research paper is called 'Trajectory of a Falling Batman'. The research team tested the (9) physics behind the cape worn in the 2005 movie "Batman Begins". The wingspan of the cape is 4.7 metres, which is around (10) half that needed for a human to land safely. The research team said that if Batman (11) jumped from a building about 150 metres high, he would be able to (12) glide for about 350 metres. The problem would come when he attempted to land. The (13) impact would be the (14) equivalent of being hit by a car driving at 80kph. The team concluded that: "Clearly gliding using a batcape is not a (15) safe way to travel, unless a method to (16) rapidly slow down is used such as a parachute."

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

Back to the top

Help Support This Web Site

  • Please consider helping Breaking News English.com

Sean Banville's Book

Thank You