The Reading / Listening - Level 2

Scientists from NASA want to get humans to Mars. Researchers are currently trying to find out what plants can grow in the soil on Mars. They hope that astronauts will grow their own food on the Red Planet. The journey to Mars could take two-and-a-half years. The astronauts will need to take a lot of food with them to last for the journey. They will never be able to come back to Earth. This means they will need to grow their own fruit, vegetables, etc. from seeds. NASA said there could be a problem because Mars doesn't have soil that is good for growing things. It just has red dust.



Humans could be on Mars in the next 15 years. NASA has been testing "Martian gardens" to see what might grow on Mars. They used a soil made of crushed volcanic rock. It contains no nutrients or organic material, so it is similar to the dust on Mars. The scientists grew lettuce in it. The lettuce tasted normal, but it had weaker roots and took longer to grow. A NASA spokesman said: "Discoveries made in these Earth-based 'Martian gardens' will pave the way for future studies and technology development in terms of reliable, efficient food production a long way from [Earth]."

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Level 0 Level 1   or  Level 3

Sources
  • http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/1006/NASA-s-Martian-gardens-What-kinds-of-veggies-can-we-grow-on-Mars
  • http://www.techtimes.com/articles/181178/20161007/martian-gardens-key-to-surviving-mars-colonization-nasa.htm
  • http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/29858/20161008/survival-in-mars-nasa-scientists-developing-martian-garden.htm


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. Scientists from NASA want to get
  2. Researchers are currently
  3. plants can grow
  4. astronauts will grow
  5. The journey to Mars could take
  6. take a
  7. grow their own fruit, vegetables, etc.
  8. Mars doesn't have soil that is good
  1. in the soil on Mars
  2. lot of food with them
  3. two-and-a-half years
  4. for growing things
  5. humans to Mars
  6. their own food
  7. trying to find out
  8. from seeds

Paragraph 2

  1. Humans could be on Mars in the
  2. see what might
  3. They used a soil made of crushed
  4. It contains no nutrients
  5. it is similar to the dust
  6. The lettuce tasted
  7. pave the way
  8. efficient food
  1. on Mars
  2. volcanic rock
  3. for future studies
  4. normal
  5. grow on Mars
  6. production
  7. next 15 years
  8. or organic material

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Scientists from NASA (1) ___________________ humans to Mars. Researchers are currently trying (2) ___________________ plants can grow in the soil on Mars. They hope that astronauts will grow (3) ___________________ the Red Planet. The journey to Mars could take two-and-a-half years. The astronauts (4) ___________________ take a lot of food with them to last for the journey. They will never be able to come back to Earth. This means they will need to grow (5) ___________________, vegetables, etc. from seeds. NASA said there could be a problem because Mars doesn't have soil (6) ___________________ growing things. It just has red dust.

Humans (7) ___________________ Mars in the next 15 years. NASA has been testing "Martian gardens" (8) ___________________ grow on Mars. They used a soil made of crushed volcanic rock. It contains no nutrients or organic material, (9) ___________________ to the dust on Mars. The scientists grew lettuce in it. The lettuce tasted normal, (10) ___________________ roots and took longer to grow. A NASA spokesman said: "Discoveries made in these Earth-based 'Martian gardens' will (11) ___________________ for future studies and technology development in (12) ___________________, efficient food production a long way from [Earth]."

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

ScientistsfromNASAwanttogethumanstoMars.Researchersarecurre
ntlytryingtofindoutwhatplantscangrowinthesoilonMars.Theyhopeth
atastronautswillgrowtheirownfoodontheRedPlanet.ThejourneytoMa
rscouldtaketwo-and-a-halfyears.Theastronautswillneedtotakealoto
ffoodwiththemtolastforthejourney.Theywillneverbeabletocomebac
ktoEarth.Thismeanstheywillneedtogrowtheirownfruit,vegetables,et
c.fromseeds.NASAsaidtherecouldbeaproblembecauseMarsdoesn'th
avesoilthatisgoodforgrowingthings.Itjusthasreddust.Humanscould
beonMarsinthenext15years.NASAhasbeentesting"Martiangardens"
toseewhatmightgrowonMars.Theyusedasoilmadeofcrushedvolcanic
rock.Itcontainsnonutrientsororganicmaterial,soitissimilartothedust
onMars.Thescientistsgrewlettuceinit.Thelettucetastednormal,butit
hadweakerrootsandtooklongertogrow.ANASAspokesmansaid:"Disc
overiesmadeintheseEarth-based'Martiangardens'willpavethewayfo
rfuturestudiesandtechnologydevelopmentintermsofreliable,efficien
tfoodproductionalongwayfrom[Earth]."

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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