The Reading / Listening - Spider Webs - Level 2

Researchers in Sweden have unlocked one of nature's biggest secrets. They worked out how spiders make such strong silk for their spider webs. The spider's silk is very strong. It is tougher than steel. For decades, scientists looked into what makes spider silk so amazing. Finally, researchers in Sweden have found the answer. They found that a spider's silk gland has a special acid level. This helps to make the silk very strong. The researchers copied this process and made enough artificial spider-web silk to stretch for one kilometer.



The new artificial silk could be very useful. Doctors are interested in it for stitches. They also think it can help the skin after a burn and replace torn ligaments in the body. Airplane companies and makers of protective clothes also see many uses for the new silk. A researcher spoke about how important the discovery could be. She said: "This is the first successful example of [copying] spider silk spinning….This may allow industrial production of artificial silk for bio-material applications or…advanced textiles." The silk could be an important new material for us in the future.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Spider Webs - Level 0 Spider Webs - Level 1   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. unlocked
  2. secrets
  3. amazing
  4. found
  5. copied
  6. process
  7. artificial
  8. stretch
  1. man made
  2. incredible
  3. duplicated
  4. extend
  5. opened
  6. discovered
  7. mysteries
  8. method

Paragraph 2

  1. useful
  2. think
  3. help
  4. makers
  5. discovery
  6. copying
  7. production
  8. advanced
  1. manufacture
  2. manufacturers
  3. finding
  4. believe
  5. reproducing
  6. helpful
  7. modern
  8. heal

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Researchers in Sweden have (1) ___________________ of nature's biggest secrets. They worked out how spiders (2) ___________________ strong silk for their spider webs. The spider's silk is very strong. It is (3) ___________________ steel. For decades, scientists looked into what makes spider silk (4) ___________________. Finally, researchers in Sweden have found the answer. They found that a spider's silk gland has a special acid level. This (5) ___________________ the silk very strong. The researchers copied this process and made enough artificial spider-web silk (6) ___________________ one kilometer.

The new artificial silk (7) ___________________ useful. Doctors are interested in it for stitches. They also think it can help the skin after a burn and (8) ___________________ ligaments in the body. Airplane companies (9) ___________________ protective clothes also see many uses for the new silk. A researcher spoke about how important the discovery could be. She said: "(10) ___________________ successful example of [copying] spider silk spinning….This may allow industrial production (11) ___________________ for bio-material applications or…advanced textiles." The silk could be an important new material (12) ___________________ future.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

ResearchersinSwedenhaveunlockedoneofnature'sbiggestsecrets.T
heyworkedouthowspidersmakesuchstrongsilkfortheirspiderwebs.T
hespider'ssilkisverystrong.Itistougherthansteel.Fordecades,scienti
stslookedintowhatmakesspidersilksoamazing.Finally,researchersin
Swedenhavefoundtheanswer.Theyfoundthataspider'ssilkglandhasa
specialacidlevel.Thishelpstomakethesilkverystrong.Theresearchers
copiedthisprocessandmadeenoughartificialspider-websilktostretchf
oronekilometer.Thenewartificialsilkcouldbeveryuseful.Doctorsarein
terestedinitforstitches.Theyalsothinkitcanhelptheskinafteraburnan
dreplacetornligamentsinthebody.Airplanecompaniesandmakersofp
rotectiveclothesalsoseemanyusesforthenewsilk.Aresearcherspokea
bouthowimportantthediscoverycouldbe.Shesaid:"Thisisthefirstsucc
essfulexampleof[copying]spidersilkspinning….Thismayallowindustr
ialproductionofartificialsilkforbio-materialapplicationsor…advance
edtextiles."Thesilkcouldbeanimportantnewmaterialforusinthefutur
e.

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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