The Reading / Listening - Eggs - Level 2

Scientists think they know why birds' eggs are different shapes. Some are round, some are potato-shaped, and others are pointy. Two thousand years ago, Aristotle said flatter eggs had female chicks inside and rounder eggs contained male chicks. But he was wrong. A new study says that the shape of the egg depends on how well the female bird flies. A professor said she noticed that birds have evolved to lay eggs that have different shapes. They are all different in form, "everything from a spherical owl egg to a pointy sandpiper egg".



The professor and her team made a formula for the shape of different eggs. They looked at 50,000 eggs from 1,400 different bird species. They put the shape, length and height of the eggs into a computer. They also looked at how oval the eggs were. The researchers found that the birds with the most-oval-shaped eggs were the best fliers. The professor said: "We were shocked to see that one of the best explanations for egg shape [difference] was flight ability." Hummingbirds laid the most-oval-shaped eggs; owls laid the roundest eggs; and sea birds laid the pointiest eggs.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Eggs - Level 0 Eggs - Level 1   or  Eggs - Level 3

Sources
  • http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/06/bird-eggs-shapes-flight-evolution/
  • http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-06/23/c_136387440.htm
  • http://www.popsci.com/bird-flight-egg-shape#page-2


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. Scientists think they
  2. birds' eggs are different
  3. flatter eggs had female
  4. rounder eggs contained
  5. how well the female
  6. birds have
  7. lay
  8. a spherical owl
  1. chicks
  2. male chicks
  3. shapes
  4. evolved
  5. know why
  6. egg
  7. bird flies
  8. eggs

Paragraph 2

  1. The professor and
  2. They looked
  3. 1,400 different bird
  4. the shape, length and height
  5. They also looked at how
  6. one of the best
  7. owls laid
  8. sea
  1. species
  2. the roundest eggs
  3. oval the eggs were
  4. birds
  5. explanations
  6. her team
  7. at 50,000 eggs
  8. of the eggs

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Scientists think (1) ___________________ birds' eggs are different shapes. Some are round, some are potato-shaped, and others are pointy. Two thousand years ago, Aristotle said (2) ___________________ female chicks inside and rounder eggs contained male chicks. But (3) ___________________. A new study says that the shape of the egg (4) ___________________ well the female bird flies. A professor said she noticed that birds have (5) ___________________ eggs that have different shapes. They are all (6) ___________________, "everything from a spherical owl egg to a pointy sandpiper egg".

The professor and (7) ___________________ a formula for the shape of different eggs. They looked at 50,000 eggs from 1,400 different (8) ___________________. They put the shape, length and height of the eggs into a computer. They also looked (9) ___________________ the eggs were. The researchers found that the birds with the most-oval-shaped eggs were (10) ___________________. The professor said: "We were shocked to see that one of the best explanations for egg shape [difference] was (11) ___________________." Hummingbirds laid the most-oval-shaped eggs; owls laid the roundest eggs; and (12) ___________________ the pointiest eggs.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Scientiststhinktheyknowwhybirds'eggsaredifferentshapes.Somear
eround,somearepotato-shaped,andothersarepointy.Twothousan
dyearsago,Aristotlesaidflattereggshadfemalechicksinsideandround
ereggscontainedmalechicks.Buthewaswrong.Anewstudysaysthatth
eshapeoftheeggdependsonhowwellthefemalebirdflies.Aprofessorsa
idshenoticedthatbirdshaveevolvedtolayeggsthathavedifferentshap
es.Theyarealldifferentinform,"everythingfromasphericalowleggtoa
pointysandpiperegg".Theprofessorandherteammadeaformulaforth
eshapeofdifferenteggs.Theylookedat50,000eggsfrom1,400differen
tbirdspecies.Theyputtheshape,lengthandheightoftheeggsintoacom
puter.Theyalsolookedathowovaltheeggswere.Theresearchersfound
thatthebirdswiththemost-oval-shapedeggswerethebestfliers.Thep
rofessorsaid:"Wewereshockedtoseethatoneofthebestexplanationsf
oreggshape[difference]wasflightability."Hummingbirdslaidthemost
-oval-shapedeggs;owlslaidtheroundesteggs;andseabirdslaidthepo
intiesteggs.

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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