The Reading / Listening - Ants - Level 2

Ants are impressive creatures. There are many things we do not know about them. Scientists have just found an amazing new fact about these tiny insects. It is about how ants get from A to B, without getting lost. Scientists say ants can go in a straight line, whatever direction they are facing. The BBC said it is the same as, "trying to find your way home while walking backwards or even spinning round and round". Ants do this by using the position of the Sun, their memories, and what they can see around them. Professor Barbara Webb said ants get around like a self-driving car.



The scientists studied desert ants in Spain. Their report is in the journal 'Current Biology'. They said ants could travel over long distances from their nest even when there are obstacles in their way. They can also do this if they have to drag food while walking backwards. Professor Webb said: "Ants have a…tiny brain…yet they can navigate successfully under many difficult conditions, including going backwards." She said: "Understanding their behaviour gives us new [ideas] into brain function and has inspired us to build robot systems that [copy] their functions."

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Ants - Level 0 Ants - Level 1   or  Ants - Level 3

Sources
  • http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38665058
  • http://www.popsci.com/ants-find-way-walk-backwards-navigation
  • http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(16)31466-X


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. Ants are impressive creatures
  2. many things we do not
  3. how ants get
  4. without getting
  5. ants can go in a
  6. whatever direction they
  7. while walking
  8. like a self-
  1. backwards
  2. lost
  3. straight line
  4. know about them
  5. driving car
  6. creatures
  7. are facing
  8. from A to B

Paragraph 2

  1. Their report is in the journal
  2. travel over long
  3. there are obstacles
  4. if they have to drag
  5. navigate
  6. under many difficult
  7. Understanding their
  8. inspired us to build
  1. food
  2. robot systems
  3. conditions
  4. distances
  5. behaviour
  6. in their way
  7. successfully
  8. 'Current Biology'

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Ants are (1) ___________________. There are many things we do not know about them. Scientists have just (2) ___________________ new fact about these tiny insects. It is about how ants get from A to B, without getting lost. Scientists say ants can go (3) ___________________, whatever direction they are facing. The BBC said it is the same as, "trying to find your way home while (4) ___________________ or even spinning round and round". Ants do this (5) ___________________ position of the Sun, their memories, and what they can (6) ___________________. Professor Barbara Webb said ants get around like a self-driving car.

The scientists (7) ___________________ in Spain. Their report is in the journal 'Current Biology'. They said ants (8) ___________________ long distances from their nest even when there are obstacles (9) ___________________. They can also do this if they have to drag food while walking backwards. Professor Webb said: "Ants (10) ___________________ …yet they can navigate successfully under many (11) ___________________, including going backwards." She said: "Understanding their behaviour gives us new [ideas] into brain function (12) ___________________ us to build robot systems that [copy] their functions."

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Antsareimpressivecreatures.Therearemanythingswedonotknowab
outthem.Scientistshavejustfoundanamazingnewfactaboutthesetin
yinsects.ItisabouthowantsgetfromAtoB,withoutgettinglost.Scientis
tssayantscangoinastraightline,whateverdirectiontheyarefacing.The
BBCsaiditisthesameas,"tryingtofindyourwayhomewhilewalkingbac
kwardsorevenspinningroundandround".Antsdothisbyusingthepositi
onoftheSun,theirmemories,andwhattheycanseearoundthem.Profes
sorBarbaraWebbsaidantsgetaroundlikeaself-drivingcar.Thescientis
tsstudieddesertantsinSpain.Theirreportisinthejournal'CurrentBiolo
gy'.Theysaidantscouldtraveloverlongdistancesfromtheirnestevenw
henthereareobstaclesintheirway.Theycanalsodothisiftheyhavetodr
agfoodwhilewalkingbackwards.ProfessorWebbsaid:"Antshavea…tin
ybrain…yettheycannavigatesuccessfullyundermanydifficultconditio
ns,includinggoingbackwards."Shesaid:"Understandingtheirbehavio
urgivesusnew[ideas]intobrainfunctionandhasinspiredustobuildrobo
tsystemsthat[copy]theirfunctions."

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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