The Reading / Listening - Level 4

Plants are smarter than we think. They can make 'intelligent' decisions. The simple pea plant can decide how best to survive, but it does not have a brain. Researchers grew several pea plants that had roots in two different pots, each containing different amounts of nutrients. One pot always had the same amount, while the other had different amounts. The plants were very consistent. Their roots almost always went to the pot with the most nutrients.



The research paper will be published soon. A researcher said it, "raises a question, not about plants, but about animals and humans". He thought the pea plant might be more efficient when making decisions than humans. He said: "We have a very fancy brain, but maybe most of the time we're not using it." It would be interesting to see how our lives would be different if we made decisions like the pea plant.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Level 5 or  Level 6

Sources
  • http://gizmodo.com/plants-can-make-some-decisions-better-than-humans-1782946737
  • http://www.techtimes.com/articles/168007/20160701/pea-plants-show-ability-to-take-risks-and-gamble-for-nutrients.htm
  • http://www.wired.co.uk/article/pea-plants-can-gamble


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. decide how
  2. it does not have a
  3. pea
  4. two different pots, each containing
  5. One pot always had the same
  6. the other
  7. The plants were very
  8. the pot with the
  1. different amounts
  2. amount
  3. consistent
  4. plants
  5. most nutrients
  6. best to survive
  7. brain
  8. had different amounts

Paragraph 2

  1. research
  2. published
  3. it raises a
  4. be more
  5. We have a very fancy
  6. most of the time we're not
  7. see how our
  8. made decisions
  1. lives would be different
  2. question
  3. like the pea plant
  4. soon
  5. paper
  6. efficient
  7. using it
  8. brain

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Plants are (1) ___________________ think. They can make 'intelligent' decisions. The simple pea plant can (2) ___________________ to survive, but it does not have a brain. Researchers (3) ___________________ pea plants that had roots in two different pots, each containing different amounts of nutrients. One pot always had (4) ___________________, while the other had different amounts. The plants were (5) ___________________. Their roots almost always went to the pot (6) ___________________ nutrients.

The research paper will be (7) ___________________. A researcher said it, "(8) ___________________, not about plants, but about animals and humans". He thought the pea plant might (9) ___________________ when making decisions than humans. He said: "We have (10) ___________________, but maybe most of the time we're not using it." It would be interesting (11) ___________________ lives would be different if we made (12) ___________________ pea plant.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Plantsaresmarterthanwethink.Theycanmake'intelligent'decisions.T
hesimplepeaplantcandecidehowbesttosurvive,butitdoesnothaveabr
ain.Researchersgrewseveralpeaplantsthathadrootsintwodifferentp
ots,eachcontainingdifferentamountsofnutrients.Onepotalwayshadt
hesameamount,whiletheotherhaddifferentamounts.Theplantswere
veryconsistent.Theirrootsalmostalwayswenttothepotwiththemostn
utrients.Theresearchpaperwillbepublishedsoon.Aresearchersaidit,"
raisesaquestion,notaboutplants,butaboutanimalsandhumans".Het
houghtthepeaplantmightbemoreefficientwhenmakingdecisionsthan
humans.Hesaid:"Wehaveaveryfancybrain,butmaybemostofthetime
we'renotusingit."Itwouldbeinterestingtoseehowourliveswouldbediff
erentifwemadedecisionslikethepeaplant.

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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