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London whale died from dehydration

Date: Jan 26, 2006
Level: Harder (Try the easier lesson.)
Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening
Audio: (1:44 - 204.3 KB - 16kbps)
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THE ARTICLE

An autopsy on the northern bottle-nosed whale that died in London’s River Thames has determined that the creature died from dehydration. The six-meter long creature captured the world’s attention when it was spotted swimming up London’s famous river late last week. Despite concerted efforts at rescuing the adolescent whale that cost over $100,000, it died of convulsions on Sunday. Rescue teams were frantic in their efforts to turn the whale around and head it in the direction of its natural habitat, the Atlantic Ocean. Throughout the rescue attempts, veterinarians were constantly pessimistic about the whale’s chances of survival. It had gashed its head on the underside of a boat and had probably suffered eye and lung damage in the fresh water.

The stray whale galvanized the attention of the whole of Britain and made the headlines in many newspapers around the world. It virtually swam all the way through London and is the farthest such a sizeable creature has ventured up the River Thames. The noise from river craft on the busy and often congested waterway probably intensified the stress it felt and further added to its sense of disorientation. The bottle-nosed whale, one of the world's deepest diving mammals, usually swims with its family. Whale specialists have been speculating why it was so far from its natural environment. Some say it was very ill and chose to swim in shallower waters; others say it had veered from its traditional habitat after chasing food and getting lost.

WARM-UPS

1. I’M LOST: You are lost in life. Write down three reasons why. In pairs / groups, talk about the reasons you are lost. Change partners and report on what you heard from you previous partners.

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

Autopsies / whales / London / River Thames / world’s attention / $100,000 / rescue / being pessimistic / fresh water / headlines / river craft / stress / being ill / lost

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

3. PREDICTION: Talk with your partner(s) about what you think the article will be about. Use the words in the “chat” section above to help you. Change partners and share and compare your predictions.

4. RESCUE ATTEMPTS: With your partner(s), talk about the following kinds of rescue attempts. How interested are you in following news of each? Have you heard about any of these stories recently? What would you do if you were in need of rescue in each situation?

  1. Animals venturing into unfamiliar habitats
  2. Miners in mines
  3. Submariners in submarines
  4. Earthquake victims
  5. Hurricane victims
  6. Transportation accidents
  7. Cats up trees
  8. Kidnappings

5. RESCUE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word “rescue”. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

6. GETTING LOST: In pairs / groups, talk about the times you have got lost. What would you do if you got lost in the following places?

  1. In the jungle
  2. At sea
  3. In a big city in another country
  4. In the desert
  5. In the mountains
  6. At an airport

 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

A stray whale died due to a lack of water.

T / F

b.

It cost more than a million dollars to try and rescue the whale.

T / F

c.

The lost whale’s natural environment is the Pacific Ocean.

T / F

d.

Whales suffer no ill consequences for swimming in fresh water.

T / F

e.

The whale made the headlines only in a few local London newspapers.

T / F

f.

Whales often swim right the way through London.

T / F

g.

Noise from the whale caused stress to London’s boat owners.

T / F

h.

A specialist said the whale was being chased by a hungrier whale.

T / F

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

a.

autopsy

desperate

b.

concerted

pretty much

c.

frantic

deviated

d.

pessimistic

journeyed

e.

gashed

confusion

f.

virtually

strenuous

g.

ventured

gloomy

h.

congested

postmortem

i.

disorientation

clogged

j.

veered

lacerated

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

a.

An autopsy on the northern

efforts to turn the whale around

b.

The six-meter long creature

deepest diving mammals

c.

Rescue teams were frantic in their

underside of a boat

d.

constantly pessimistic about the

bottle-nosed whale

e.

It had gashed its head on the

and often congested waterway

f.

The stray whale galvanized the

creature has ever ventured

g.

the farthest such a sizeable

from its traditional habitat

h.

noise from river craft on the busy

captured the world’s attention

i.

one of the world's

whale’s chances of survival

j.

it had veered

attention of the whole of Britain

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words in the column on the right into the gaps in the text.

London whale died from dehydration

An _________ on the northern bottle-nosed whale that died in London’s River Thames has _________ that the creature died from dehydration. The six-meter long creature _________ the world’s attention when it was spotted swimming up London’s famous river late last week. Despite _________ efforts at rescuing the adolescent whale that cost over $100,000, it died of convulsions on Sunday. Rescue teams were _________ in their efforts to turn the whale around and _________ it in the direction of its natural habitat, the Atlantic Ocean. Throughout the rescue attempts, veterinarians were _________ pessimistic about the whale’s chances of survival. It had gashed its head on the _________ of a boat and had probably suffered eye and lung damage in the fresh water.

 

 

frantic
captured
constantly
autopsy
underside
concerted
determined
head

The stray whale _________ the attention of the whole of Britain and made the headlines in many newspapers around the world. It _________ swam all the way through London and is the farthest such a sizeable creature has _________ up the River Thames. The noise from river craft on the busy and often congested _________ probably intensified the stress it felt and further added to its _________ of disorientation. The bottle-nosed whale, one of the world's deepest _________ mammals, usually swims with its family. Whale specialists have been speculating why it was so far from its _________ environment. Some say it was very ill and chose to swim in shallower waters; others say it had _________ from its traditional habitat after chasing food and getting lost.

 

virtually
diving
galvanized
waterway
veered
ventured
natural
sense

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

London whale died from dehydration

An _________ on the northern bottle-nosed whale that died in London’s River Thames has ___________ that the creature died from dehydration. The six-meter long creature __________ the world’s attention when it was spotted swimming up London’s famous river late last week. Despite __________ efforts at rescuing the adolescent whale that cost over $100,000, it died of convulsions on Sunday. Rescue teams were ________ in their efforts to turn the whale around and head it in the direction of its natural habitat, the Atlantic Ocean. Throughout the rescue attempts, veterinarians were constantly _____________ about the whale’s chances of survival. It had _________ its head on the underside of a boat and had probably suffered eye and lung damage in the fresh water.

The stray whale ___________ the attention of the whole of Britain and made the headlines in many newspapers around the world. It virtually swam all the way through London and is the farthest such a ___________ creature has ventured up the River Thames. The noise from river craft on the busy and often ___________ waterway probably intensified the stress it felt and further added to its sense of ________________. The bottle-nosed whale, one of the world's deepest diving ___________,usually swims with its family. Whale specialists have been speculating why it was so far from its natural environment. Some say it was very ill and chose to swim in ___________ waters; others say it had ___________ from its traditional habitat after chasing food and getting lost.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

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

5. STUDENT “LOST” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about getting lost and rescue efforts.

  • 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:

  • determined
  • captured
  • adolescent
  • head
  • constantly
  • underside
  • galvanized
  • virtually
  • sizeable
  • sense
  • diving
  • waters

DISCUSSION

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

  1. Did the headline make you want to read the article?
  2. How often do you get lost?
  3. Did you follow the news of this whale?
  4. Are you surprised that the rescuers couldn’t save the whale’s life?
  5. Do you think so much money should have been spent on rescuing the whale?
  6. What do you think the rescuers could have done to increase the whale’s chances of survival?
  7. Have you ever been dehydrated or thought you were close to dehydration?
  8. Are you more pessimistic than optimistic when you see rescue efforts in progress?
  9. Do you always follow the news of rescue efforts of disasters or manmade calamities?
  10. What adjectives describe your feelings about this article?

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

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. What do you think about what you read?
  3. What do you now about whales?
  4. Why do you think the whale tried to venture up the River Thames?
  5. Which do you prefer reading, this kind of news or news about politics and wars?
  6. Has an animal ever galvanized the attention of the people in your town?
  7. Would you have given money to save the stricken whale?
  8. Have you ever been totally disorientated?
  9. What do you do when you find yourself outside of your natural habitat?
  10. Did you like this discussion?

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

  1. What was the most interesting thing you heard?
  2. Was there a question you didn’t like?
  3. Was there something you totally disagreed with?
  4. What did you like talking about?
  5. Which was the most difficult question?

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 bottle-nosed whales. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson. Did you all find out similar things?

3. GETTING LOST: Write an essay about a time you got very lost. How did you feel? Read your essay to your partner(s) in your next class. Did you all write about similar things?

4. A DAY IN THE LIFE: You are a whale. Write an account of one day in your life. What are your thoughts on what is happening in the world today? Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Did everyone have similar days and thoughts?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. F

c. F

d. F

e. F

f. F

g. F

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

autopsy

postmortem

b.

concerted

strenuous

c.

frantic

desperate

d.

pessimistic

gloomy

e.

gashed

lacerated

f.

virtually

pretty much

g.

ventured

journeyed

h.

congested

clogged

i.

disorientation

confusion

j.

veered

deviated

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

An autopsy on the northern

bottle-nosed whale

b.

The six-meter long creature

captured the world’s attention

c.

Rescue teams were frantic in their

efforts to turn the whale around

d.

constantly pessimistic about the

whale’s chances of survival

e.

It had gashed its head on the

underside of a boat

f.

The stray whale galvanized the

attention of the whole of Britain

g.

the farthest such a sizeable

creature has ever ventured

h.

noise from river craft on the busy

and often congested waterway

i.

one of the world's

deepest diving mammals

j.

it had veered

from its traditional habitat

GAP FILL:

London whale died from dehydration

An autopsy on the northern bottle-nosed whale that died in London’s River Thames has determined that the creature died from dehydration. The six-meter long creature captured the world’s attention when it was spotted swimming up London’s famous river late last week. Despite concerted efforts at rescuing the adolescent whale that cost over $100,000, it died of convulsions on Sunday. Rescue teams were frantic in their efforts to turn the whale around and head it in the direction of its natural habitat, the Atlantic Ocean. Throughout the rescue attempts, veterinarians were constantly pessimistic about the whale’s chances of survival. It had gashed its head on the underside of a boat and had probably suffered eye and lung damage in the fresh water.

The stray whale galvanized the attention of the whole of Britain and made the headlines in many newspapers around the world. It virtually swam all the way through London and is the farthest such a sizeable creature has ventured up the River Thames. The noise from river craft on the busy and often congested waterway probably intensified the stress it felt and further added to its sense of disorientation. The bottle-nosed whale, one of the world's deepest diving mammals, usually swims with its family. Whale specialists have been speculating why it was so far from its natural environment. Some say it was very ill and chose to swim in shallower waters; others say it had veered from its traditional habitat after chasing food and getting lost.

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