The Reading / Listening - Centipedes - Level 6

Centipedes are the kind of creatures that are not to be messed with. Their venom packs a serious punch and can cause rapid paralysis and death in insects and small animals. They have even been known to kill people with their highly venomous sting. Scientists have now discovered a deadly toxin in centipede venom that can shut down the hearts of animals that are 15 times bigger than them. The scientists isolated a toxin in the Chinese red-headed centipede. This beast can grow to roughly eight inches in length. The toxin in its venom blocks potassium from moving in and out of cells. This blocking of potassium prevents the brain from sending signals to the heart to beat, thus causing a rapid death.



The venom is rarely fatal for humans, but it can cause agonizing pain and swelling for up to two weeks. The scientists have called it SSM Spooky Toxin. Researcher Shilong Yang, an expert in toxins at China's Kunming Institute of Zoology, explained: "The "centipede's venom has evolved to simultaneously disrupt cardiovascular, respiratory, muscular and nervous systems. This molecular strategy has not been found in other venomous animals." Despite their name (centi is "hundred" in Latin and pedis is "foot"), centipedes do not have 100 legs. They have a varying number of legs, ranging from 30 to 354. Centipedes always have an odd number of pairs of legs. This means no centipede has exactly 100 legs.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Centipedes - Level 4  or  Centipedes - Level 5

Sources
  • https://news.sky.com/story/giant-centipede-can-kill-animals-15-times-bigger-and-scientists-have-just-discovered-how-11220533
  • https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/blogs/centipede-toxin-potent-venom
  • https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2018/01/22/centipedes-eat-animals-15-times-their-size-thanks-to-this-powerful-toxin-study-finds/?utm_term=.5bb67ddc33d4


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 :-)



Warm-ups

1. CENTIPEDES: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about centipedes. Change partners often and share your findings.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?
       careful / centipedes / poisonous / deadly / small animals / venom / potassium / heart
       fatal / scientist / expert / cardiovascular / strategy / hundred / varying / odd numbers
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. INSECTS: Students A strongly believe we should never kill insects; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. CREATURES: How dangerous are these creatures? Are there good things about them? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

How dangerous?

Good things?

Centipedes

 

 

Scorpions

 

 

Snakes

 

 

Spiders

 

 

Hornets

 

 

Frogs

 

 

MY e-BOOK
ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

5. POISONOUS: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "poisonous". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. INSECTS: Rank these with your partner. Put the best insects / creatures at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • wasps
  • beetles
  • mosquitos
  • bees
  • centipedes
  • ants
  • butterflies
  • worms

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. creatures a. Has something that is capable of hitting something powerfully.
      2. messed with b. Animals, birds, insects and similar living things, except human beings.
      3. venom c. A poisonous liquid that animals such as snakes, spiders, and scorpions inject into other animals by biting or stinging them.
      4. packs d. The loss of the ability to move (and sometimes to feel anything) in part or most of the body (due to illness, poison, or injury).
      5. rapid e. Identified something and examined or dealt with it separately.
      6. paralysis f. Got involved with something that could cause you (big) trouble.
      7. isolated g. Happening in a short time or at a fast pace.

    Paragraph 2

      8. fatal h. A person who has a great deal of knowledge of or skill in a particular area.
      9. agonizing i. Causing great physical or mental pain.
      10. swelling j. Relating to or affecting breathing or the organs of breathing (i.e. the lungs).
      11. expert k. An abnormal enlargement of a part of the body, usually because of a build-up of liquid or fluid.
      12. disrupt l. Interrupt an event, activity, or process by causing a disturbance or problem.
      13. respiratory m. Causing death.
      14. varying n. Differing in size, amount, degree, or nature from something else of the same general class.

 

Before reading / listening

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if a-h below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. The article suggests people should mess with centipedes.     T / F
  2. Centipedes punch insects and small animals.     T / F
  3. Scientists looked at a toxin in a Chinese centipede.     T / F
  4. The toxin pumps potassium from cells to an animal's brain.     T / F
  5. A centipede sting can swell up for two weeks.     T / F
  6. Scientists named the toxin SSM Spooky.     T / F
  7. Centipede means 100 legs.     T / F
  8. A centipede can have fifty pairs of legs.     T / F

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

  1. creatures
  2. paralysis
  3. deadly
  4. isolated
  5. prevents
  6. agonizing
  7. expert
  8. simultaneously
  9. varying
  10. exactly
  1. differing
  2. pinpointed
  3. severe
  4. fatal
  5. concurrently
  6. beasts
  7. precisely
  8. stops
  9. immobility
  10. specialist

3. PHRASE MATCH: (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

  1. the kind of creatures that are not
  2. Their venom packs
  3. cause rapid paralysis
  4. This beast can grow to roughly
  5. prevents the brain from sending
  6. The venom is rarely fatal
  7. respiratory, muscular and
  8. found in other venomous
  9. ranging
  10. Centipedes always have an odd
  1. and death in insects
  2. number of pairs of legs
  3. signals to the heart
  4. for humans
  5. animals
  6. to be messed with
  7. from 30 to 354
  8. eight inches in length
  9. a serious punch
  10. nervous systems

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
isolated
punch
roughly
highly
rapid
creatures
shut
blocks

Centipedes are the kind of (1) ____________ that are not to be messed with. Their venom packs a serious (2) ____________ and can cause rapid paralysis and death in insects and small animals. They have even been known to kill people with their (3) ____________ venomous sting. Scientists have now discovered a deadly toxin in centipede venom that can (4) ____________ down the hearts of animals that are 15 times bigger than them. The scientists (5) ____________ a toxin in the Chinese red-headed centipede. This beast can grow to (6) ____________ eight inches in length. The toxin in its venom (7) ____________ potassium from moving in and out of cells. This blocking of potassium prevents the brain from sending signals to the heart to beat, thus causing a (8) ____________ death.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
expert
muscular
ranging
fatal
odd
swelling
venomous
evolved

The venom is rarely (9) ____________ for humans, but it can cause agonizing pain and (10) ____________ for up to two weeks. The scientists have called it SSM Spooky Toxin. Researcher Shilong Yang, an (11) ____________ in toxins at China's Kunming Institute of Zoology, explained: "The "centipede's venom has (12) ____________ to simultaneously disrupt cardiovascular, respiratory, (13) ____________ and nervous systems. This molecular strategy has not been found in other (14) ____________ animals." Despite their name (centi is "hundred" in Latin and pedis is "foot"), centipedes do not have 100 legs. They have a varying number of legs, (15) ____________ from 30 to 354. Centipedes always have an (16) ____________ number of pairs of legs. This means no centipede has exactly 100 legs.

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  Centipedes are the kind of creatures that are not to ______
     a.  be massed with
     b.  be mist with
     c.  be mess with
     d.  be messed with
2)  Their venom packs a serious punch and can cause ______
     a.  rabid paralysis
     b.  vapid paralysis
     c.  rapid paralysis
     d.  wrap it paralysis
3)  discovered a deadly toxin in centipede venom that can shut down ______ animals
     a.  the hurts of
     b.  the harts of
     c.  the heats of
     d.  the hearts of
4)  The toxin in its venom blocks potassium from moving in ______ cells
     a.  and out of
     b.  and out off
     c.  and out if
     d.  and outer
5)  blocking of potassium prevents the brain from sending signals to the ______
     a.  heart to be at
     b.  heart to be it
     c.  heart to beet
     d.  heart to beat

6)  The venom is rarely fatal for humans, but it can cause agonizing ______
     a.  pain and swell ring
     b.  pain and swelling
     c.  pain and swell in
     d.  pain and swollen
7)  disrupt cardiovascular, respiratory, muscular and ______
     a.  nervous systems
     b.  nervously systems
     c.  nerve us systems
     d.  nerve as systems
8)  This molecular strategy has not been found in ______ animals
     a.  another venom us
     b.  other venomous
     c.  others venomous
     d.  other venom as
9)  They have a varying number of legs, ______ 30 to 354
     a.  range in from
     b.  ranged in from
     c.  rain gin from
     d.  ranging from
10)  an odd number of pairs of legs. This means no centipede ______ 100 legs
     a.  had exactly
     b.  has exactly
     c.  have exactly
     d.  haste exactly

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Centipedes are the (1) ___________________ that are not to be messed with. Their venom (2) ___________________ punch and can cause rapid paralysis and death in insects and small animals. They have even been known to kill people with their (3) ___________________. Scientists have now discovered a deadly toxin in centipede venom that can shut down the (4) ___________________ that are 15 times bigger than them. The scientists isolated a toxin in the Chinese red-headed centipede. This (5) ___________________ to roughly eight inches in length. The toxin in its venom blocks potassium from moving in and out of cells. This blocking of potassium prevents the brain from sending signals to the heart to beat, thus (6) ___________________.

The venom is rarely (7) ___________________, but it can cause agonizing (8) ___________________ for up to two weeks. The scientists have called it SSM Spooky Toxin. Researcher Shilong Yang, an (9) ___________________ at China's Kunming Institute of Zoology, explained: "The "centipede's venom has evolved to simultaneously disrupt cardiovascular, (10) ___________________ and nervous systems. This molecular strategy has not been found in other venomous animals." (11) ___________________ (centi is "hundred" in Latin and pedis is "foot"), centipedes do not have 100 legs. They have a varying number of legs, ranging from 30 to 354. Centipedes always have (12) ___________________ of pairs of legs. This means no centipede has exactly 100 legs.

Comprehension questions

  1. What kind of punch does the article say the venom packed?
  2. What did scientists discover in the venom?
  3. What does the venom shut down in small animals?
  4. How long can the Chinese red-headed centipede grow to?
  5. What chemical does the venom block in animals' brains?
  6. How long might humans suffer swelling after a centipede bite?
  7. What did the scientists name the toxin?
  8. What does the venom disrupt besides muscular and nervous systems?
  9. What does "pedis" mean in Latin?
  10. What do centipedes always have an odd pair of?




Multiple choice quiz

1)  What kind of punch does the article say the venom packed?
a) a hammer punch
b) a serious punch
c) a left hook
d) a soft punch
2)  What did scientists discover in the venom?
a) a new chemical
b) radiation
c) potassium
d) a toxin
3) What does the venom shut down in small animals?
a) their heart
b) their mouth
c) their lungs
d) their eyes
4) How long can the Chinese red-headed centipede grow to?
a) 7 cm
b) 8 cm
c) 8 inches
d) 7 inches
5) What chemical does the venom block in animals' brains?
a) magnesium
b) potassium
c) iron
d) calcium

6) How long might humans suffer swelling after a centipede bite?
a) two weeks
b) 10 days
c) a week
d) a few days
7) What did the scientists name the toxin?
a) SMM Moosky
b) SMS Poosky
c) SSM Spooky
d) MSM Moo Ski
8) What does the venom disrupt besides muscular and nervous systems?
a) cardiovascular and respiratory systems
b) immune and digestive systems
c) skeletal and reproductive systems
d) renal and endocrine systems
9) What does "pedis" mean in Latin?
a) foot
b) toe
c) ankle
d) heel
10) What do centipedes always have an odd pair of?
a) stingers
b) eyes
c) antenna
d) legs

Role play

Role  A – Centipedes
You think centipedes are the best creepy-crawlies. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their bugs. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): ants, worms or beetles.

Role  B – Ants
You think ants are the best creepy-crawlies. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their bugs. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): centipedes, worms or beetles.

Role  C – Worms
You think worms are the best creepy-crawlies. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their bugs. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): ants, centipedes or beetles.

Role  D – Beetles
You think beetles are the best creepy-crawlies. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their bugs. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why):  ants, worms or centipedes.

After reading / listening

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words...

'centipede'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'poison'.

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • • 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:

    • rarely
    • called
    • expert
    • evolved
    • strategy
    • exactly
    • messed
    • death
    • deadly
    • shut
    • moving
    • beat




    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 - Centipedes eat animals 15 times their size

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

    1. What did you think when you read the headline?
    2. What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'serious'?
    3. What do you think of centipedes?
    4. What is your favourite insect, and why?
    5. What other creatures should never be messed with?
    6. Why do the centipedes have such a poisonous toxin?
    7. What other ways do animals have of protecting themselves?
    8. What function do centipedes play in the natural world?
    9. What do you know about centipedes?
    10. What would you do if a centipede was on you?

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

    1. Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
    2. What do you think of when you hear the word 'punch'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. How painful do you think a centipede might be?
    5. What would it be like to be an expert in zoology?
    6. How could scientists use the centipede venom to help humans?
    7. What do you think of the name "centipede"?
    8. What would life be like with more legs?
    9. Why do centipedes need so many legs?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the researchers?

    Discussion — Write your own questions

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

    (a) ________________

    (b) ________________

    (c) ________________

    (d) ________________

    (e) ________________

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

    (f) ________________

    (g) ________________

    (h) ________________

    (i) ________________

    (j) ________________





    Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

    Centipedes are the (1) ____ of creatures that are not to be messed with. Their venom packs a serious punch and can cause rapid (2) ____ and death in insects and small animals. They have even been known to kill people with their highly venomous sting. Scientists have now discovered a deadly toxin (3) ____ centipede venom that can shut (4) ____ the hearts of animals that are 15 times bigger than them. The scientists isolated a toxin in the Chinese red-headed centipede. This beast can grow to (5) ____ eight inches in length. The toxin in its venom blocks potassium from moving in and out of cells. This blocking of potassium prevents the brain from sending signals to the heart to beat, (6) ____ causing a rapid death.

    The venom is rarely fatal for humans, but it can cause agonizing pain and swelling for (7) ____ to two weeks. The scientists have called it SSM Spooky Toxin. Researcher Shilong Yang, an expert (8) ____ toxins at China's Kunming Institute of Zoology, explained: "The "centipede's venom has evolved to simultaneously disrupt cardiovascular, (9) ____, muscular and nervous systems. This molecular strategy has not been found in other venomous animals." (10) ____ their name (centi is "hundred" in Latin and pedis is "foot"), centipedes do not have 100 legs. They have a (11) ____ number of legs, ranging from 30 to 354. Centipedes always have an (12) ____ number of pairs of legs. This means no centipede has exactly 100 legs.

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     kindness     (b)     kindly     (c)     kind     (d)     kinds    
    2. (a)     paralysis     (b)     paralyze     (c)     paralytic     (d)     parallel    
    3. (a)     in     (b)     on     (c)     at     (d)     to    
    4. (a)     down     (b)     on     (c)     up     (d)     in    
    5. (a)     rough-up     (b)     rough     (c)     rougher     (d)     roughly    
    6. (a)     those     (b)     this     (c)     these     (d)     thus    
    7. (a)     up     (b)     as     (c)     for     (d)     by    
    8. (a)     by     (b)     to     (c)     at     (d)     in    
    9. (a)     respiratory     (b)     perspiration     (c)     constipation     (d)     contamination    
    10. (a)     Spite     (b)     Despite     (c)     Spiteful     (d)     In spite    
    11. (a)     varies     (b)     varying     (c)     variety     (d)     various    
    12. (a)     odd     (b)     add     (c)     udder     (d)     eddy

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. eesucrtra that are not to be messed with
    2. cause rapid rsaiysalp
    3. highly uonsoevm sting
    4. The scientists ioeatdls a toxin
    5. grow to rulgyoh eight inches in length
    6. prevents the brain from sending ilsgasn

    Paragraph 2

    1. it can cause nagiionzg pain
    2. wsilgenl for up to two weeks
    3. an rtpeex in toxins
    4. The centipede's venom has eovldve
    5. respiratory, arsumulc and nervous systems
    6. They have a nvgayri number of legs

    Put the text back together

    (   )  known to kill people with their highly venomous sting. Scientists have now discovered a deadly
    (   )  (centi is "hundred" in Latin and pedis is "foot"), centipedes do not have 100 legs. They have a varying
    (   )  in length. The toxin in its venom blocks potassium from moving in and out of cells. This blocking of potassium prevents
    (   )  in the Chinese red-headed centipede. This beast can grow to roughly eight inches
    (   )  and nervous systems. This molecular strategy has not been found in other venomous animals." Despite their name
    1  ) Centipedes are the kind of creatures that are not to be messed with. Their venom packs a serious
    (   )  punch and can cause rapid paralysis and death in insects and small animals. They have even been
    (   )  weeks. The scientists have called it SSM Spooky Toxin. Researcher Shilong Yang, an expert in toxins at China's Kunming Institute
    (   )  number of pairs of legs. This means no centipede has exactly 100 legs.
    (   )  of Zoology, explained: "The "centipede's venom has evolved to simultaneously disrupt cardiovascular, respiratory, muscular
    (   )  toxin in centipede venom that can shut down the hearts of animals that are 15 times bigger than them. The scientists isolated a toxin
    (   )  the brain from sending signals to the heart to beat, thus causing a rapid death.
    (   )  number of legs, ranging from 30 to 354. Centipedes always have an odd
    (   )  The venom is rarely fatal for humans, but it can cause agonizing pain and swelling for up to two

    Put the words in the right order

    1. to   Creatures   be   with   .   are   that   messed   not
    2. known   to   even   been   people   .   kill   They   have
    3. 15   that   times   than   them   .   bigger   Animals   are
    4. The   potassium   .   in   its   venom   blocks   toxin
    5. prevents   Potassium   brain   the   from   signals   .   sending
    6. is   humans   .   fatal   for   The   venom   rarely
    7. two   pain   weeks   .   to   up   Cause   for   agonizing
    8. number   They   have   legs   .   of   a   varying
    9. of   always   number   odd   have   an   pairs   .   Centipedes
    10. exactly   no   100   centipede   has   This   legs   .   means

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Centipedes are the kind of creatures / creatives that are not to be messed with. Their venom packs a serious / seriously punch and can cause rapid / rapidly paralysis and death in insects and small animals. They have even been knowing / known to kill people with their highly / high venomous sting. Scientists have now discovered a deadly toxin in centipede venom that can shut up / down the hearts of animals that are 15 times bigger than these / them. The scientists isolated a toxin in the Chinese red-headed centipede. This baste / beast can grow to roughly eight inches on / in length. The toxin in its venom blocks potassium from moving in and / to out of cells. This blocking of potassium prevents the brain from sending signals to the heart to beat, thus causing / cause a rapid death.
    The venom is rare / rarely fatal for humans, but it can cause agonizing / agony pain and swelling for up to two weeks. The scientists have called it SSM Spooky Toxin. Researcher Shilong Yang, an expertly / expert in toxins at China's Kunming Institute of Zoology, explained: "The "centipede's venom has evolved / evolution to simultaneously depart / disrupt cardiovascular, respiratory, muscular and nervous systems. This molecular strategy has not been found in another / other venomous animals." Despite / Spite their name (centi is "hundred" in Latin and pedis is "foot"), centipedes do not have 100 legs. They have a vary / varying number of legs, ranging / range from 30 to 354. Centipedes always have an odd number of / from pairs of legs. This means no centipede has exactly 100 legs.

    Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

    Insert the vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

    C _ n t _ p _ d _ s _ r _ t h _ k _ n d _ f c r _ _ t _ r _ s t h _ t _ r _ n _ t t _ b _ m _ s s _ d w _ t h . T h _ _ r v _ n _ m p _ c k s _ s _ r _ _ _ s p _ n c h _ n d c _ n c _ _ s _ r _ p _ d p _ r _ l y s _ s _ n d d _ _ t h _ n _ n s _ c t s _ n d s m _ l l _ n _ m _ l s . T h _ y h _ v _ _ v _ n b _ _ n k n _ w n t _ k _ l l p _ _ p l _ w _ t h t h _ _ r h _ g h l y v _ n _ m _ _ s s t _ n g . S c _ _ n t _ s t s h _ v _ n _ w d _ s c _ v _ r _ d _ d _ _ d l y t _ x _ n _ n c _ n t _ p _ d _ v _ n _ m t h _ t c _ n s h _ t d _ w n t h _ h _ _ r t s _ f _ n _ m _ l s t h _ t _ r _ 1 5 t _ m _ s b _ g g _ r t h _ n t h _ m . T h _ s c _ _ n t _ s t s _ s _ l _ t _ d _ t _ x _ n _ n t h _ C h _ n _ s _ r _ d - h _ _ d _ d c _ n t _ p _ d _ . T h _ s b _ _ s t c _ n g r _ w t _ r _ _ g h l y _ _ g h t _ n c h _ s _ n l _ n g t h . T h _ t _ x _ n _ n _ t s v _ n _ m b l _ c k s p _ t _ s s _ _ m f r _ m m _ v _ n g _ n _ n d _ _ t _ f c _ l l s . T h _ s b l _ c k _ n g _ f p _ t _ s s _ _ m p r _ v _ n t s t h _ b r _ _ n f r _ m s _ n d _ n g s _ g n _ l s t _ t h _ h _ _ r t t _ b _ _ t , t h _ s c _ _ s _ n g _ r _ p _ d d _ _ t h .
    T h _ v _ n _ m _ s r _ r _ l y f _ t _ l f _ r h _ m _ n s , b _ t _ t c _ n c _ _ s _ _ g _ n _ z _ n g p _ _ n _ n d s w _ l l _ n g f _ r _ p t _ t w _ w _ _ k s . T h _ s c _ _ n t _ s t s h _ v _ c _ l l _ d _ t S S M S p _ _ k y T _ x _ n . R _ s _ _ r c h _ r S h _ l _ n g Y _ n g , _ n _ x p _ r t _ n t _ x _ n s _ t C h _ n _ ' s K _ n m _ n g I n s t _ t _ t _ _ f Z _ _ l _ g y , _ x p l _ _ n _ d : " T h _ " c _ n t _ p _ d _ ' s v _ n _ m h _ s _ v _ l v _ d t _ s _ m _ l t _ n _ _ _ s l y d _ s r _ p t c _ r d _ _ v _ s c _ l _ r , r _ s p _ r _ t _ r y , m _ s c _ l _ r _ n d n _ r v _ _ s s y s t _ m s . T h _ s m _ l _ c _ l _ r s t r _ t _ g y h _ s n _ t b _ _ n f _ _ n d _ n _ t h _ r v _ n _ m _ _ s _ n _ m _ l s . " D _ s p _ t _ t h _ _ r n _ m _ ( c _ n t _ _ s " h _ n d r _ d " _ n L _ t _ n _ n d p _ d _ s _ s " f _ _ t " ) , c _ n t _ p _ d _ s d _ n _ t h _ v _ 1 0 0 l _ g s . T h _ y h _ v _ _ v _ r y _ n g n _ m b _ r _ f l _ g s , r _ n g _ n g f r _ m 3 0 t _ 3 5 4 . C _ n t _ p _ d _ s _ l w _ y s h _ v _ _ n _ d d n _ m b _ r _ f p _ _ r s _ f l _ g s . T h _ s m _ _ n s n _ c _ n t _ p _ d _ h _ s _ x _ c t l y 1 0 0 l _ g s .

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    centipedes are the kind of creatures that are not to be messed with their venom packs a serious punch and can cause rapid paralysis and death in insects and small animals they have even been known to kill people with their highly venomous sting scientists have now discovered a deadly toxin in centipede venom that can shut down the hearts of animals that are 15 times bigger than them the scientists isolated a toxin in the chinese redheaded centipede this beast can grow to roughly eight inches in length the toxin in its venom blocks potassium from moving in and out of cells this blocking of potassium prevents the brain from sending signals to the heart to beat thus causing a rapid death
    the venom is rarely fatal for humans but it can cause agonizing pain and swelling for up to two weeks the scientists have called it ssm spooky toxin researcher shilong yang an expert in toxins at chinas kunming institute of zoology explained the centipedes venom has evolved to simultaneously disrupt cardiovascular respiratory muscular and nervous systems this molecular strategy has not been found in other venomous animals despite their name centi is hundred in latin and pedis is foot centipedes do not have 100 legs they have a varying number of legs ranging from 30 to 354 centipedes always have an odd number of pairs of legs this means no centipede has exactly 100 legs.

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Centipedesarethekindofcreaturesthatarenottobemessedwith.Their
    venompacksaseriouspunchandcancauserapidparalysisanddeathini
    nsectsandsmallanimals.Theyhaveevenbeenknowntokillpeoplewitht
    heirhighlyvenomoussting.Scientistshavenowdiscoveredadeadlytoxi
    nincentipedevenomthatcanshutdowntheheartsofanimalsthatare15t
    imesbiggerthanthem.ThescientistsisolatedatoxinintheChinesered-
    headedcentipede.Thisbeastcangrowtoroughlyeightinchesinlength.T
    hetoxininitsvenomblockspotassiumfrommovinginandoutofcells.Thi
    sblockingofpotassiumpreventsthebrainfromsendingsignalstothehe
    arttobeat,thuscausingarapiddeath.Thevenomisrarelyfatalforhuman
    s,butitcancauseagonizingpainandswellingforuptotwoweeks.Thescie
    ntistshavecalleditSSMSpookyToxin.ResearcherShilongYang,anexp
    ertintoxinsatChina'sKunmingInstituteofZoology,explained:"The"ce
    ntipede'svenomhasevolvedtosimultaneouslydisruptcardiovascular,
    respiratory,muscularandnervoussystems.Thismolecularstrategyha
    snotbeenfoundinothervenomousanimals."Despitetheirname(centii
    s"hundred"inLatinandpedisis"foot"),centipedesdonothave100legs.
    Theyhaveavaryingnumberoflegs,rangingfrom30to354.Centipedesa
    lwayshaveanoddnumberofpairsoflegs.Thismeansnocentipedehasex
    actly100legs.

    Free writing

    Write about centipede for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    We should never kill centipedes and insects. Discuss.

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    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 more about this news story. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
    3. CENTIPEDES: Make a poster about centipedes. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. INSECT KILLER: Write a magazine article about insect killers (sprays, etc.) and whether we should ban them. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against this.
    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. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.
    6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on centipedes. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three of your ideas on what we can learn from insects. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

    Answers

    (Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

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