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My 1,000
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Date: Jul 27, 2005

Level: Easier (Try the harder lesson.)

Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening

Audio: (1:57 - 230.3 KB - 16kbps)

THE ARTICLE

The 114th Space Shuttle flight has blasted off from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. America’s mission to explore space is now back on track. The shuttle Discovery is 25 years old but carries the hopes of all Americans and the lives of seven astronauts. It is America's first manned space mission since the 2003 Columbia disaster. NASA has spent two years making sure everything is safe for this launch. It has overcome many hurdles but engineers are confident of a safe return to Earth.

Safety has been a major concern with this launch. A broken fuel gauge sensor stopped the original lift-off attempt two weeks ago. NASA technicians decided it was not a danger and gave the go-ahead for today’s mission. Hundreds of hi-tech cameras are photographing the launch from every angle to spot possible problems. There has already been one worry. “Something” fell off of the shuttle soon after the fuel tanks dropped off. NASA refuses to speculate on this until it has studied the videos.

WARM-UPS

1. ASTRONAUTS: You are astronauts on the Space Shuttle mission. Walk around the classroom and meet the other “astronauts” in your class. Talk about your daily lives, your training, your fears and hopes. Why did you become an astronaut? Is it a good job?

2. QUICK DEBATE: Students A think money should be spent on feeding hungry African children, not space missions. Students B think spending money on space missions is more important than feeding hungry African children. Change partners often.

3. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words are most interesting and which are most boring.

Space Shuttle / space / Kennedy Space Centre / space exploration / astronauts / safety / NASA / safety / fuel tanks / possible problems

Have a chat about the topics you liked. For more conversation, change topics and partners frequently.

4. SPACE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with space. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

5. OVERCOMING HURDLES: Write down three hurdles you have overcome in your life. In pairs / groups, talk about these. Repeat this activity by talking about three hurdles you will have to overcome in the future.

6. ASTRONAUTS: What would you like to know about astronauts? Discuss these points about being an astronaut:

  1. The astronaut interview / selection process
  2. Fitness training
  3. Education regarding the technology of the Space Shuttle
  4. Safety / Emergency procedures
  5. Scientific research
  6. Weightlessness in space
  7. Living in a tiny area
  8. Being far from home
  9. Other

Change partners and compare what you talked about.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

America’s journey into the unknown is back on track.

T / F

b.

The shuttle Discovery is brand new.

T / F

c.

It is the first manned U.S. space mission since 1999.

T / F

d.

NASA astronauts must jump over hurdles as part of their training.

T / F

e.

A broken fuel sensor stopped the original lift-off two weeks ago.

T / F

f.

NASA bent the rules a little and ignored the fuel sensor problem.

T / F

g.

There was nothing to worry about with the launch.

T / F

h.

Something fell off of the shuttle soon after it took off.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

a.

blasted

thumbs-up

b.

mission

go into

c.

explore

guess

d.

disaster

worry

e.

hurdles

quest

f.

concern

detect

g.

go-ahead

lifted

h.

spot

catastrophe

i.

speculate

examined

j.

studied

obstacles

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

a.

blasted

mission since…

b.

mission to explore space is now

from every angle

c.

carries the hopes

a major concern

d.

America's first manned space

back on track

e.

It has overcome

stopped the original lift-off

f.

Safety has been

off

g.

A broken fuel gauge sensor

to speculate on this

h.

gave the go-ahead

many hurdles

i.

photographing the launch

of all Americans

j.

NASA refuses

for today’s mission

WHILE READING / LISTENING

WORD ORDER: Put the underlined words back into the correct order.

Shuttle Discovery launches successfully

The 114th Space Shuttle flight from blasted has off the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. America’s mission to explore space track back is on now. The shuttle Discovery is 25 years old but carries the hopes of all Americans seven of the lives and astronauts. It is America's first manned space mission since the 2003 Columbia disaster. NASA has spent two years sure safe everything is making for this launch. It has overcome many hurdles but engineers are confident of a safe return to Earth.

Safety has concern with a major been this launch. A broken fuel gauge sensor stopped the original lift-off attempt two weeks ago. NASA technicians decided it was not a go-ahead gave the danger and for today’s mission. Hundreds of hi-tech cameras are photographing the launch to angle from every possible spot problems. There has already been one worry. “Something” fell off of the shuttle soon after the fuel tanks dropped off. NASA on to speculate this refuses until it has studied the videos.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘space’ and ‘shuttle’.

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. WORD ORDER: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers.

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. STUDENT “SPACE EXPLORATION” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about space exploration and the Space Shuttle.

  • Ask other classmates your questions and note down their answers.
  • Go back to your original partner / group and compare your findings.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

6. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall exactly how these were used in the text:

  • blasted
  • track
  • carries
  • manned
  • sure
  • return
  • concern
  • attempt
  • go-ahead
  • angle
  • worry
  • speculate

DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

  1. What were your feelings when you read this headline?
  2. Did the headline make you want to read the article?
  3. Have you been following the news of the Space Shuttle?
  4. Are you interested in the Space Shuttle?
  5. What do you remember about other launches and missions?
  6. What you like to go into space on a shuttle?
  7. Do you think money should be spent on space exploration?
  8. What is the benefit of space exploration for ordinary people?
  9. What kind of person is required to become an astronaut?
  10. Do you think people will ever live in space?

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. What did you think about what you read?
  3. What do you think when you see a rocket head into space?
  4. Is space travel humankind’s greatest achievement?
  5. Are you interested in space?
  6. What will space exploration be like in fifty years?
  7. Do you think there will be wars in space one day?
  8. What do you know about the International Space Station?
  9. Do you have any major concerns at the moment?
  10. Did you like this discussion?

AFTER DISCUSSION: Join another partner / group and tell them what you talked about.

  1. What question would you like to ask about this topic?
  2. What was the most interesting thing you heard?
  3. Was there a question you didn’t like?
  4. Was there something you totally disagreed with?
  5. What did you like talking about?
  6. Do you want to know how anyone else answered the questions?
  7. Which was the most difficult question?

SPEAKING

ASTRONAUT INTERVIEW: You want to be an astronaut. Look at these interview questions and think about your answers. Take turns in role playing the interviewer and interviewee. Interview two or more people.

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

  1. Why do you want to become an astronaut?
  2. What skills do you have that would make you a good astronaut?
  3. What experiments would you like to do in space?
  4. What will you do to become physically fit enough to go into space?
  5. Tell me about a time when you didn’t panic in a stressful situation.
  6. Give me an example of your ability to work as part of a team.
  7. What do you think are the hard parts of life as an astronaut?
  8. What do you feel about the dangers of the job?
  9. What questions would you like to ask me?
  10. Other ____________________________________________________

Return to the partners you interviewed and tell them whether or not they got the job and why (not).

Find a new partner and talk about who you interviewed and the quality of their answers.

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Shuttle Discovery launches successfully

The 114th Space Shuttle flight has _______ ____ from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. America’s mission to _______ space is now back on track. The shuttle Discovery is 25 years old but carries the _______ of all Americans and the lives of seven astronauts. It is America's first _______ space mission since the 2003 Columbia disaster. NASA has spent two years making sure everything is safe for this _______. It has overcome many _______ but engineers are confident of a safe return to Earth.

Safety has been a major _______ with this launch. A broken fuel gauge sensor stopped the original lift-off _______ two weeks ago. NASA technicians decided it was not a danger and gave the _______ for today’s mission. Hundreds of hi-tech cameras are photographing the launch from every _______ to spot possible problems. There has already been one worry. “Something” fell off of the shuttle _______ _______ the fuel tanks dropped off. NASA refuses to speculate on this until it has _______ the videos.


HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information on the Space Shuttle Discovery’s mission. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. SPACE SHUTTLE: Make a poster outlining the history of the Space Shuttle. Show your posters to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all find out different things?

4. LETTER TO THE ASTRONAUTS: Write a letter to the astronauts of the Discovery. Tell them what you think of them and their work. Read your letter to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all write about similar things?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. F

c. F

d. F

e. T

f. T

g. F

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

blasted

lifted

b.

mission

quest

c.

explore

go into

d.

disaster

catastrophe

e.

hurdles

obstacles

f.

concern

worry

g.

go-ahead

thumbs-up

h.

spot

detect

i.

speculate

guess

j.

studied

examined

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

blasted

off

b.

mission to explore space is now

back on track

c.

carries the hopes

of all Americans

d.

America’s first manned space

mission since…

e.

It has overcome

many hurdles

f.

Safety has been

a major concern

g.

A broken fuel gauge sensor

stopped the original lift-off

h.

gave the go-ahead

for today’s mission

i.

photographing the launch

from every angle

j.

NASA refuses

to speculate on this

WORD ORDER:

Shuttle Discovery launches successfully

The 114th Space Shuttle flight has blasted off from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. America’s mission to explore space is now back on track. The shuttle Discovery is 25 years old but carries the hopes of all Americans and the lives of seven astronauts. It is America's first manned space mission since the 2003 Columbia disaster. NASA has spent two years making sure everything is safe for this launch. It has overcome many hurdles but engineers are confident of a safe return to Earth.

Safety has been a major concern with this launch. A broken fuel gauge sensor stopped the original lift-off attempt two weeks ago. NASA technicians decided it was not a danger and gave the go-ahead for today’s mission. Hundreds of hi-tech cameras are photographing the launch from every angle to spot possible problems. There has already been one worry. “Something” fell off of the shuttle soon after the fuel tanks dropped off. NASA refuses to speculate on this until it has studied the videos.

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