The Reading / Listening - Level 1

Biologists have a new way to increase the size of crops by 20 per cent. They changed the thing in plants that is used in photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the when plants use sunlight to change carbon dioxide into oxygen. This lets us breathe. The scientists found a way for plants to use the energy they get from sunlight better. Professor Stephen Long said his team is changing the genes in crops such as rice, wheat, maize and soybean.



The scientists changed the thing plants use to protect themselves from the Sun. Plants turn energy into heat when they get too hot. However, they do this even when it is cloudy. The scientists put copies of the heat-loss gene into plants. These help plants to quickly return to using energy to grow. Professor Long said if crops can produce 20 per cent more food, it will help the food supply in the future.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Level 0 Level 2   or  Level 3

Sources
  • http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/11/how-turning-plants-sunshield-can-grow-bigger-crops
  • https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161117141231.htm
  • http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/47544/title/Genetic-Modification-Improves-Photosynthetic-Efficiency/
  • J. Kromdijk et al., "Improving photosynthesis and crop productivity by accelerating recovery from photoprotection," Science, 354:857-61, 2016.


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. Biologists have a new
  2. increase the size of crops
  3. the thing in plants that is used
  4. plants use
  5. change carbon dioxide
  6. a way for plants to
  7. his team is
  8. crops such
  1. in photosynthesis
  2. use the energy they get
  3. sunlight
  4. way
  5. changing the genes
  6. as rice
  7. by 20 per cent
  8. into oxygen

Paragraph 2

  1. the thing plants
  2. protect themselves
  3. Plants turn energy into
  4. when they get too
  5. they do this even when it
  6. scientists put copies of the heat-loss
  7. crops can produce 20 per cent
  8. food
  1. heat
  2. more food
  3. is cloudy
  4. from the Sun
  5. gene into plants
  6. use
  7. supply
  8. hot

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Biologists have (1) ___________________ increase the size of crops by 20 per cent. They changed (2) ___________________ plants that is used in photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is when plants use (3) ___________________ carbon dioxide into oxygen. This lets us breathe. The scientists (4) ___________________ plants to use the energy (5) ___________________ sunlight better. Professor Stephen Long said his team is changing the (6) ___________________ as rice, wheat, maize and soybean.

The scientists changed the thing (7) ___________________ protect themselves from the Sun. Plants (8) ___________________ heat when they get too hot. However, they do this (9) ___________________ cloudy. The scientists put copies of the heat-(10) ___________________ plants. These help plants to quickly (11) ___________________ energy to grow. Professor Long said if crops can produce 20 per cent more food, it will help the food supply (12) ___________________.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Biologistshaveanewwaytoincreasethesizeofcropsby20percent.They
changedthethinginplantsthatisusedinphotosynthesis.Photosynthesi
siswhenplantsusesunlighttochangecarbondioxideintooxygen.Th
isletsusbreathe.Thescientistsfoundawayforplantstousetheenergyth
eygetfromsunlightbetter.ProfessorStephenLongsaidhisteamischan
gingthegenesincropssuchasrice,wheat,maizeandsoybean.Thescien
tistschangedthethingplantsusetoprotectthemselvesfromtheSun.Pla
ntsturnenergyintoheatwhentheygettoohot.However,theydothiseve
nwhenitiscloudy.Thescientistsputcopiesoftheheat-lossgeneintopl
ants.Thesehelpplantstoquicklyreturntousingenergytogrow.Profess
orLongsaidifcropscanproduce20percentmorefood,itwillhelpthefood
supplyinthefuture.

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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