The Reading / Listening - Spider Webs - Level 1

Researchers in Sweden know one of nature's biggest secrets. They found out how spiders make such strong silk for their webs. It is stronger than steel. Scientists have tried to find the answer to this for a long time. They found that the place the spider keeps the material for its silk has a special acid level. This helps to make the silk strong. The researchers copied this. They made enough artificial spider silk to stretch for one kilometer.



The new artificial silk could be very useful. Doctors think it can replace stitches, help the skin after a burn and replace torn ligaments. Airplane companies and clothes companies also see many uses. A researcher said her discovery was important. She said: "This is the first successful example of [copying] spider silk spinning….This may allow…production of artificial silk for bio-material applications or…advanced textiles."

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Spider Webs - Level 0 Spider Webs - Level 2   or  Spider Webs - Level 3

Sources
  • https://www.cnet.com/news/spider-web-artificial-swedish-university-agriculture/
  • http://www.livescience.com/57458-strong-spider-silk-produced.html
  • https://cosmosmagazine.com/chemistry/new-synthetic-spider-silk-that-s-almost-as-strong-as-the-real-thing


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. secrets
  2. found out
  3. tried
  4. a long time
  5. keeps
  6. copied
  7. artificial
  8. stretch
  1. duplicated
  2. ages
  3. manmade
  4. discovered
  5. extend
  6. mysteries
  7. stores
  8. attempted

Paragraph 2

  1. very
  2. think
  3. replace
  4. after
  5. companies
  6. discovery
  7. production
  8. textiles
  1. manufacture
  2. following
  3. believe
  4. finding
  5. extremely
  6. material
  7. businesses
  8. take over from

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Researchers in Sweden (1) ___________________ nature's biggest secrets. They (2) ___________________ spiders make such strong silk for their webs. It is stronger than steel. Scientists have tried to find the answer (3) ___________________ long time. They found that (4) ___________________ spider keeps the material for its silk (5) ___________________ acid level. This helps to make the silk strong. The researchers copied this. They made enough artificial spider silk (6) __________________ one kilometer.

The new artificial silk (7) ___________________ useful. Doctors think it can replace stitches, help (8) ___________________ a burn and (9) ___________________ ligaments. Airplane companies and clothes companies also see many uses. A researcher said (10) ___________________ important. She said: "This is the first successful example of [copying] spider silk spinning….This (11) ___________________…production of artificial silk for bio-material applications or… (12) ___________________."

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

ResearchersinSwedenknowoneofnature'sbiggestsecrets.Theyfound
outhowspidersmakesuchstrongsilkfortheirwebs.Itisstrongerthanst
eel.Scientistshavetriedtofindtheanswertothisforalongtime.Theyfou
ndthattheplacethespiderkeepsthematerialforitssilkhasaspecialacidl
evel.Thishelpstomakethesilkstrong.Theresearcherscopiedthis.They
madeenoughartificialspidersilktostretchforonekilometer.Thenewart
ificialsilkcouldbeveryuseful.Doctorsthinkitcanreplacestitches,helpt
heskinafteraburnandreplacetornligaments.Airplanecompaniesandc
lothescompaniesalsoseemanyuses.Aresearchersaidherdiscoverywa
simportant.Shesaid:"Thisisthefirstsuccessfulexampleof[copying]sp
idersilkspinning….Thismayallow…productionofartificialsilkforbio-
materialapplicationsor…advancedtextiles."

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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