The Reading / Listening - Plastic-Eating Worm - Level 4

A natural answer to plastic waste may be near. Researchers found that a tiny caterpillar called a waxworm likes to eat plastic. The waxworm eats plastic at "uniquely high speeds". Scientists could use millions of waxworms as an environmentally-friendly solution to global waste. Waxworms could eat the trillions of plastic bags, bottles, household items and other waste that end up in the ground around the world each year. They take centuries to biodegrade.



A researcher said: "It's extremely…exciting because breaking down plastic has proved so challenging." Waxworms break down very tough plastics more than 1,400 times faster than other insects. They use their saliva to digest the plastic. It might be possible to copy this and spray it on waste to break it down. Another researcher said this, "could be a solution to save our oceans, rivers, and all the environment from the unavoidable consequences of plastic accumulation".

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Plastic-Eating Worm - Level 5 or  Plastic-Eating Worm - Level 6

Sources
  • http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/04/24/plastic-eating-wax-worm-extremely-exciting-global-pollution/?WT.mc_id=tmgliveapp_iosshare_AntqGjhPTrbZ
  • https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170424141338.htm
  • http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/04/wax-worms-eat-plastic-polyethylene-trash-pollution-cleanup/


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. A natural
  2. a tiny
  3. eats plastic at uniquely
  4. an environmentally-
  5. eat the trillions
  6. household
  7. end up
  8. They take centuries
  1. friendly solution
  2. high speeds
  3. items
  4. to biodegrade
  5. in the ground
  6. of plastic bags
  7. answer
  8. caterpillar

Paragraph 2

  1. breaking down plastic has proved
  2. break down very
  3. more than 1,400
  4. use their saliva to digest
  5. It might be possible
  6. spray it on waste to
  7. a solution to save
  8. unavoidable
  1. our oceans
  2. so challenging
  3. consequences
  4. tough plastics
  5. the plastic
  6. to copy this
  7. break it down
  8. times faster

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

A (1) ___________________ plastic waste may be near. Researchers found that a tiny caterpillar called a waxworm (2) ___________________ plastic. The waxworm eats plastic (3) ___________________ speeds". Scientists could use millions of waxworms as an environmentally-friendly solution to global waste. Waxworms could (4) ___________________ of plastic bags, bottles, household items and other waste (5) ___________________ the (6) ___________________ world each year. They take centuries to biodegrade.

A researcher said: "It's (7) ___________________ because breaking down plastic has proved (8) ___________________." Waxworms break down very tough plastics more than 1,400 times faster than other insects. They use their (9) ___________________ the plastic. It might be possible to copy this and spray it on waste to (10) ___________________. Another researcher said this, "could be a solution (11) ___________________ oceans, rivers, and all the environment from (12) ___________________ consequences of plastic accumulation".

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Anaturalanswertoplasticwastemaybenear.Researchersfoundthatati
nycaterpillarcalledawaxwormlikestoeatplastic.Thewaxwormeatspla
sticat"uniquelyhighspeeds".Scientistscouldusemillionsofwaxworms
asanenvironmentally-friendlysolutiontoglobalwaste.Waxwormsco
uldeatthetrillionsofplasticbags,bottles,householditemsandotherwa
stethatendupinthegroundaroundtheworldeachyear.Theytakecentur
iestobiodegrade.Aresearchersaid:"It'sextremely…excitingbecauseb
reakingdownplastichasprovedsochallenging."Waxwormsbreakdow
nverytoughplasticsmorethan1,400timesfasterthanotherinsects.Th
eyusetheirsalivatodigesttheplastic.Itmightbepossibletocopythisand
sprayitonwastetobreakitdown.Anotherresearchersaidthis,"couldbe
asolutiontosaveouroceans,rivers,andalltheenvironmentfromtheuna
voidableconsequencesofplasticaccumulation".

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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