The Reading / Listening - Level 5

Scientists have invented a revolutionary new use for wood. They have found a way to make it transparent. This could change the way we use and make many things. See-through wood could one day replace glass in windows and tables, iPhone screens, and in a whole assortment of other areas of building. Researchers at the University of Maryland experimented with different ways to remove the chemicals from wood that give it colour. A researcher said: "We were very surprised by how transparent it could go. This can really open applications that can potentially replace glass."



The researchers boiled small blocks of wood in water, sodium hydroxide and other chemicals for about two hours. The molecule that gives wood its colour disappeared during this process. The colourless cells left behind meant the wood became transparent. The see-through wood is a lot stronger than glass. It is better at insulating against the cold. It is also biodegradable. Research is still in its early stages. Researchers have only used small, thin blocks of wood so far. They will now focus on applying the process on bigger pieces of wood.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Level 4 or  Level 6

Sources
  • http://www.techtimes.com/articles/158759/20160516/scientists-create-transparent-wood-stronger-more-insulating-glass.htm
  • http://www.engadget.com/2016/05/16/see-through-wood/
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/12/science/see-through-wood.html


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. a revolutionary new
  2. They have found a way to
  3. See-through
  4. a whole
  5. remove the chemicals from wood
  6. surprised by how transparent
  7. This can really
  8. potentially replace
  1. that give it colour
  2. use
  3. open applications
  4. wood
  5. glass
  6. make it transparent
  7. assortment
  8. it could go

Paragraph 2

  1. small blocks
  2. sodium hydroxide
  3. The molecule that gives
  4. The colourless cells left
  5. better at insulating
  6. It is also
  7. still in its
  8. focus on
  1. against the cold
  2. early stages
  3. behind
  4. applying the process
  5. wood its colour
  6. of wood
  7. and other chemicals
  8. biodegradable

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Scientists have invented (1) ___________________ use for wood. They have found a way to (2) ___________________. This could change the way we use and make many things. See-through wood (3) ___________________ glass in windows and tables, iPhone screens, and in a whole assortment of other (4) ___________________. Researchers at the University of Maryland experimented with different ways to (5) ___________________ from wood that give it colour. A researcher said: "We were very surprised by how transparent it could go. This (6) ___________________ applications that can potentially replace glass."

The researchers boiled (7) ___________________ in water, sodium hydroxide and (8) ___________________ for about two hours. The molecule that gives wood its colour disappeared (9) ___________________. The colourless cells (10) ___________________ the wood became transparent. The see-through wood is a lot stronger than glass. It is better at insulating against the cold. It (11) ___________________. Research is still in its early stages. Researchers have only used small, thin blocks of wood so far. They will now focus on (12) ___________________ on bigger pieces of wood.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Scientistshaveinventedarevolutionarynewuseforwood.Theyhavefo
undawaytomakeittransparent.Thiscouldchangethewayweuseandm
akemanythings.See-throughwoodcouldonedayreplaceglassinw
indowsandtables,iPhonescreens,andinawholeassortmentofotherare
asofbuilding.ResearchersattheUniversityofMarylandexperimented
withdifferentwaystoremovethechemicalsfromwoodthatgiveitcolour
.Aresearchersaid:"Wewereverysurprisedbyhowtransparentitcouldg
o.Thiscanreallyopenapplicationsthatcanpotentiallyreplaceglass."Th
eresearchersboiledsmallblocksofwoodinwater,sodiumhydroxideand
otherchemicalsforabouttwohours.Themoleculethatgiveswooditscol
ourdisappearedduringthisprocess.Thecolourlesscellsleftbehindmea
ntthewoodbecametransparent.Thesee-throughwoodisalotstrongert
hanglass.Itisbetteratinsulatingagainstthecold.Itisalsobiodegradabl
e.Researchisstillinitsearlystages.Researchershaveonlyusedsmall,th
inblocksofwoodsofar.Theywillnowfocusonapplyingtheprocessonbig
gerpiecesofwood.

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic 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.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

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

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

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

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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