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Date: Apr 27, 2008
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1,000 IDEAS FOR ESL CLASSES: Breaking News English.com's e-Book

THE ARTICLE

Cloned dogs in training to sniff for drugs

The world’s first purpose-cloned dogs have started training for their future careers. South Korea’s customs service ordered clones of its very best sniffer dog last year. It hopes the cloned canines will become experts at finding explosives and drugs at its airports. The cloning will reduce the costs involved in the months of training normal dogs. Only thirty per cent of dogs selected for training actually make the grade and become a sniffer dog. The seven cloned puppies, all named Toppy (short for Tomorrow’s Puppy), were born in October and November 2007. Cells were taken from their Labrador retriever father, called Chase, to clone them. Project manager Lim Jae-Yong believes the clones will be easier to train than ordinary dogs, because of their genes from expert sniffer Chase.


 
 

The $300,000 project was carried out by Lee Byung-Chun, who cloned the world’s first dog from a three-year-old Afghan hound. Each Toppy cost $60,000, which is half the cost of training a normal sniffer dog. All seven Toppies have been in training since they were born. They have successfully passed their first round of sniffer-dog tests, although one had to drop out with a bad leg. The dogs train together and all come running when their name is called. Their trainers only know who’s who via a microchip in each puppy’s ear. Lead trainer Kim Nak-seung said: "The differences [between them] are so small that I really can't tell the puppies apart." The Toppies should complete their training by early 2009 and start work sniffing baggage in the nation’s airports soon after.

WARM-UPS

1. CLONING: Walk around the class and talk to other students about cloning. Change partners often. After you finish, sit with your original partner(s) and share what you found out.

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

 

dogs / future career / explosives / drugs / make the grade / puppies / cells / genes / projects / tests / dropping out / bad leg / microchips / baggage / airports

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. CLONING OPINIONS: Discuss these opinions with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you heard and talked about.

  1. Cloning will save the world.
  2. Cloning is playing God and we should never do it.
  3. Test clones of humans can be sent to do research on Mars and beyond.
  4. We need clones to fight future wars and do manual work.
  5. I think it’d be fun to have a clone of myself.
  6. Cloned people are not real people.
  7. We need to clone all animals that are becoming extinct.
  8. If scientists continue cloning, we will have a Frankenstein world full of monsters.

4. CLONES: Talk with your partner(s) about cloning the people / animals in the table.  What are the pros and cons of each? Change partners and share your ideas.

_____  dogs to sniff out drugs at airports

_____  yourself

_____  super-intelligent scientists

_____  expert soldiers

_____  cows that produce lots of milk

_____  world class sports stars

_____  very kind voluntary workers

_____  endangered species

5. HEADLINE PREDICTION: With your partner(s), use the words in the “Chat” activity above to predict what the news article will be about. Once you have your story, change partners and share them. Who was closest to the real story?

6. QUICK DEBATE: Students A strongly believe scientists should clone more animals, and then people; Students B strongly believe that cloning should be made illegal forever. Change partners again and talk about your roles and conversations.

7. TRAINING: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘training’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

Cloned canines in S. Korea will soon start sniffing for drugs at airports.

T / F

b.

The clones’ training is more expensive than using normal dogs.

T / F

c.

Seventy per cent of dogs that start training do not make it to the end

T / F

d.

Scientists say the clones have genes to make them good sniffer dogs.

T / F

e.

This is the first time anyone has cloned dogs.

T / F

f.

Each of the seven cloned puppies cost $60,000.

T / F

g.

The clones are not identical so the trainers can easily see who’s who.

T / F

h.

The cloned puppies will begin work around the beginning of 2009.

T / F

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

1.

canines

a.

chosen

2

drugs

b.

dogs

3.

selected

c.

finish

4.

make the grade

d.

fifty per cent of

5.

expert

e.

narcotics

6.

carried out

f.

luggage

7.

half

g.

specialist

8.

drop out

h.

conducted

9.

complete

i.

withdraw

10.

baggage

j.

succeed

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

1.

The world’s first purpose-

a.

out by Lee Byung-Chun

2

the cloned canines will become experts

b.

cloned dogs

3.

dogs selected for training actually make

c.

the puppies apart

4.

Cells were taken from their Labrador

d.

the grade

5.

the clones will be easier to

e.

in the nation’s airports

6.

The $300,000 project was carried

f.

at finding explosives

7.

half

g.

with a bad leg

8.

one had to drop out

h.

train than ordinary dogs

9.

I really can't tell

i.

retriever father

10.

start work sniffing baggage

j.

the cost

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

The world’s first __________-cloned dogs have started training for their future careers. South Korea’s customs service __________ clones of its very best sniffer dog last year. It hopes the cloned canines will become __________ at finding explosives and drugs at its airports. The cloning will reduce the costs __________ in the months of training normal dogs. Only thirty per cent of dogs selected for training actually make the __________ and become a sniffer dog. The seven cloned puppies, all named Toppy (__________ for Tomorrow’s Puppy), were born in October and November 2007. Cells were taken from their Labrador retriever __________, called Chase, to clone them. Project manager Lim Jae-Yong believes the clones will be easier to train than ordinary dogs, because of their __________ from expert sniffer Chase.

 

father
involved
ordered
short
purpose
genes
grade
experts

The $300,000 project was __________ out by Lee Byung-Chun, who cloned the world’s first dog from a three-year-old Afghan hound. Each Toppy cost $60,000, which is __________ the cost of training a normal sniffer dog. All seven Toppies have been in training __________ they were born. They have successfully passed their first __________ of sniffer-dog tests, although one had to __________ out with a bad leg. The dogs train together and all come running when their name is called. Their trainers only know who’s __________ via a microchip in each puppy’s ear. Lead trainer Kim Nak-seung said: "The differences [between them] are so small that I really can't tell the puppies __________." The Toppies should complete their training by early 2009 and start work sniffing __________ in the nation’s airports soon after.

 

round
 baggage

half
who
drop
since
carried
apart

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

The world’s first ________________________ have started training for their future careers. South Korea’s customs service ordered ________________________ sniffer dog last year. It hopes the cloned canines will ________________________ explosives and drugs at its airports. The cloning will reduce the costs involved in the months of training normal dogs. Only thirty per cent of dogs selected for training ________________________ and become a sniffer dog. The seven cloned puppies, all named Toppy (short for Tomorrow’s Puppy), were born in October and November 2007. Cells ________________________ Labrador retriever father, called Chase, to clone them. Project manager Lim Jae-Yong believes the clones will ________________________ ordinary dogs, because of their genes from expert sniffer Chase.

The $300,000 ________________________ Lee Byung-Chun, who cloned the world’s first dog from a three-year-old Afghan hound. Each Toppy cost $60,000, ________________________ training a normal sniffer dog. All seven Toppies have been in training since they were born. They have ________________________ round of sniffer-dog tests, although ________________________ a bad leg. The dogs train together and all come running when their name is called. Their trainers ________________________ microchip in each puppy’s ear. Lead trainer Kim Nak-seung said: "The differences [between them] are so small that I ________________________." The Toppies should complete their training by early 2009 and start work sniffing baggage in the nation’s airports soon after.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

make

grade

 

 

 

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

  • purpose
  • ordered
  • drugs
  • grade
  • father
  • genes
  • carried
  • half
  • born
  • drop
  • via
  • baggage

STUDENT CLONING SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about cloning 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.

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

Q.2.

Q.3.

Q.4.

Q.5.

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

TOPPY DISCUSSION

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

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘clone’?

c)

What are the pros and cons of cloning?

d)

A majority of pet owners want their pet cloned after it dies? What do you think of this?

e)

Are you surprised at what you read about the cost of training sniffer dogs?

f)

What do you think of the name Toppy?

g)

What other ways can cloning be used to fight drugs and terror?

h)

Would you like to work as a trainer of sniffer dogs?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

TOPPY DISCUSSION

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What do you think of the $60,000 price tag of each puppy?

c)

Do you think there are better ways to find drugs and explosives than using dogs?

d)

Is it easy for you to quickly tell people apart and know who’s who?

e)

Would you like a Toppy?

f)

When was the last time you dropped out of something?

g)

What questions would you like to ask project leader Lee Byung-Chun?

h)

Did you like this discussion?

LANGUAGE

The world’s first purpose-cloned dogs have started training (1) ____ their future careers. South Korea’s customs service ordered clones of its (2) ____ best sniffer dog last year. It hopes the cloned canines will become experts (3) ____ finding explosives and drugs at its airports. The cloning will reduce the costs involved in the months of training normal dogs. Only thirty per cent of dogs selected for training actually (4) ____ the grade and become a sniffer dog. The seven cloned puppies, all named Toppy (5) ____ for Tomorrow’s Puppy), were born in October and November 2007. Cells were taken from their Labrador retriever father, called Chase, to clone them. Project manager Lim Jae-Yong believes the clones will be easier to train than ordinary dogs, because of their (6) ____ from expert sniffer Chase.

The $300,000 project was (7) ____ out by Lee Byung-Chun, who cloned the world’s first dog from a three-year-old Afghan hound. Each Toppy cost $60,000, which is half the cost (8) ____ training a normal sniffer dog. All seven Toppies have been in training since they were born. They have successfully passed their first round of sniffer-dog tests, although one had to (9) ____ out with a bad leg. The dogs (10) ____ together and all come running when their name is called. Their trainers only know who’s (11) ____ via a microchip in each puppy’s ear. Lead trainer Kim Nak-seung said: "The differences [between them] are so small that I really can't tell the puppies (12) ____." The Toppies should complete their training by early 2009 and start work sniffing baggage in the nation’s airports soon after.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

from

(b)

by

(c)

with

(d)

for

2.

(a)

total

(b)

all

(c)

very

(d)

so

3.

(a)

on

(b)

at

(c)

to

(d)

for

4.

(a)

make

(b)

do

(c)

mark

(d)

fail

5.

(a)

tiny

(b)

little

(c)

short

(d)

small

6.

(a)

genre

(b)

genie

(c)

jeans

(d)

genes

7.

(a)

moved

(b)

carried

(c)

shifted

(d)

conducted

8.

(a)

of

(b)

at

(c)

to

(d)

by

9.

(a)

fall

(b)

drop

(c)

dive

(d)

tumble

10.

(a)

bus

(b)

coach

(c)

train

(d)

ferry

11.

(a)

who

(b)

which

(c)

whom

(d)

whoever

12.

(a)

parted

(b)

parts

(c)

partly

(d)

apart

WRITING: 

Write about cloning for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

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 out about South Korea’s Toppies. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. CLONING: Make a poster about the pros and cons of cloning. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. CLONED: Write a magazine article about two people - one is the clone of the other. Include imaginary interviews with them.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to a scientist involved in cloning. Give him/her three pieces of advice on what (s)he should do to make sure cloning is safe. Ask him/her three questions about cloning. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

6. DIARY / JOURNAL: You have a clone. Your clone is 13 years old. Write your diary entry for one day you spent with him/her. Include the conversations you had and the advice you gave him/her. Read your entry to your classmates in the next lesson.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. F

c. T

d. F

e. F

f. T

g. F

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

canines

a.

dogs

2

drugs

b.

narcotics

3.

selected

c.

chosen

4.

make the grade

d.

succeed

5.

expert

e.

specialist

6.

carried out

f.

conducted

7.

half

g.

fifty per cent of

8.

drop out

h.

withdraw

9.

complete

i.

finish

10.

baggage

j.

luggage

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

The world’s first purpose-

a.

cloned dogs

2

the cloned canines will become experts

b.

at finding explosives

3.

dogs selected for training actually make

c.

the grade

4.

Cells were taken from their Labrador

d.

retriever father

5.

the clones will be easier to

e.

train than ordinary dogs

6.

The $300,000 project was carried

f.

out by Lee Byung-Chun

7.

half

g.

the cost

8.

one had to drop out

h.

with a bad leg

9.

I really can't tell

i.

the puppies apart

10.

start work sniffing baggage

j.

in the nation’s airports

GAP FILL:

Cloned dogs in training to sniff for drugs

The world’s first purpose-cloned dogs have started training for their future careers. South Korea’s customs service ordered clones of its very best sniffer dog last year. It hopes the cloned canines will become experts at finding explosives and drugs at its airports. The cloning will reduce the costs involved in the months of training normal dogs. Only thirty per cent of dogs selected for training actually make the grade and become a sniffer dog. The seven cloned puppies, all named Toppy (short for Tomorrow’s Puppy), were born in October and November 2007. Cells were taken from their Labrador retriever father, called Chase, to clone them. Project manager Lim Jae-Yong believes the clones will be easier to train than ordinary dogs, because of their genes from expert sniffer Chase.

The $300,000 project was carried out by Lee Byung-Chun, who cloned the world’s first dog from a three-year-old Afghan hound. Each Toppy cost $60,000, which is half the cost of training a normal sniffer dog. All seven Toppies have been in training since they were born. They have successfully passed their first round of sniffer-dog tests, although one had to drop out with a bad leg. The dogs train together and all come running when their name is called. Their trainers only know who’s who via a microchip in each puppy’s ear. Lead trainer Kim Nak-seung said: "The differences [between them] are so small that I really can't tell the puppies apart." The Toppies should complete their training by early 2009 and start work sniffing baggage in the nation’s airports soon after.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - c

3 - b

4 - a

5 - c

6 - d

7 - b

8 - a

9 - b

10 - c

11 - a

12 - d

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