The Reading / Listening - Zero - Level 4

Oxford University has found that the written use of the zero is 500 years older than we thought. Scientists carbon dated the zero to the ancient Bakhshali Manuscript. Scientists found this dates back to the third century. Scientists used to believe the manuscript was from the eighth century. It was found in 1881. The zero we use today started from a round dot that was often used in India. There are several of these zeroes on the manuscript.



A professor explained the importance of the zero. He said we take it for granted. It is now "a key building block of the digital world". He said the zero evolved from a dot symbol found on the Bakhshali manuscript. He said it "was one of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of mathematics". Zero has many names in English, including nought and nil. It is often said as "oh" in telephone numbers. Slang terms for zero include nowt, nada, zilch and zip.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Zero - Level 5 or  Zero - Level 6

Sources
  • http://metro.co.uk/2017/09/15/earliest-use-of-zero-ever-discovered-on-ancient-manuscript-6929859/
  • https://phys.org/news/2017-09-video-earliest-centuries-older-thought.html
  • https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/sep/14/much-ado-about-nothing-ancient-indian-text-contains-earliest-zero-symbol


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. the written use
  2. Scientists carbon
  3. the ancient
  4. this dates back
  5. the manuscript was from the
  6. It was found
  7. a round
  8. several of these zeroes
  1. Bakhshali Manuscript
  2. dot
  3. on the manuscript
  4. dated the zero
  5. in 1881
  6. to the third century
  7. of the zero
  8. eighth century

Paragraph 2

  1. A professor explained the importance
  2. He said we take it for
  3. a key building block
  4. the zero evolved from
  5. one of the greatest
  6. Zero has many names in English,
  7. It is often said as "oh" in
  8. Slang terms for zero include
  1. telephone numbers
  2. breakthroughs
  3. a dot
  4. nada, zilch and zip
  5. granted
  6. of the zero
  7. of the digital world
  8. including nought

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Oxford University has found (1) ___________________ use of the zero is 500 years older than we thought. Scientists carbon (2) ___________________ to the ancient Bakhshali Manuscript. Scientists found this (3) ___________________ the third century. Scientists used to believe the manuscript was from (4) ___________________. It was found in 1881. The zero we use today started (5) ___________________ dot that was often used in India. There are (6) ___________________ zeroes on the manuscript.

A professor explained (7) ___________________ the zero. He said we take it for granted. It is now "a key building (8) ___________________ digital world". He said the (9) ___________________ from a dot symbol found on the Bakhshali manuscript. He said it "was (10) ___________________ breakthroughs in the history of mathematics". Zero has many names in English, including (11) ___________________. It is often said as "oh" in telephone numbers. (12) ___________________ zero include nowt, nada, zilch and zip.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

OxfordUniversityhasfoundthatthewrittenuseofthezerois500yearsol
derthanwethought.ScientistscarbondatedthezerototheancientBakh
shaliManuscript.Scientistsfoundthisdatesbacktothethirdcentury.Sci
entistsusedtobelievethemanuscriptwasfromtheeighthcentury.Itwa
sfoundin1881.Thezeroweusetodaystartedfromarounddotthatwasof
tenusedinIndia.Thereareseveralofthesezeroesonthemanuscript.Ap
rofessorexplainedtheimportanceofthezero.Hesaidwetakeitforgrant
ed.Itisnow"akeybuildingblockofthedigitalworld".Hesaidthezeroevol
vedfromadotsymbolfoundontheBakhshalimanuscript.Hesaidit"was
oneofthegreatestbreakthroughsinthehistoryofmathematics".Zeroh
asmanynamesinEnglish,includingnoughtandnil.Itisoftensaidas"oh"i
ntelephonenumbers.Slangtermsforzeroincludenowt,nada,zilchandz
ip.

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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