The Reading / Listening - Magnetic Poles - Level 6

When doom-and-gloom merchants warn us about threats to our existence, we usually hear about climate change, asteroid strikes or nuclear war. Now scientists have warned of the potential threat from Earth's magnetic poles flipping upside down. The North Pole and South Pole are responsible for creating a special barrier around Earth that protects us from killer radiation from space. All life on Earth depends on this shield. Without it, scientists say solar rays could cause considerable damage. The poles could flip in the next thousand years. This is because a rolling layer of liquid iron under the earth's crust is changing direction. The revolving currents of this molten iron at Earth's center act as a gigantic electromagnet.



Historically, Earth's North and South magnetic poles have flipped every 200,000 to 300,000 years. The last time was 780,000 years ago, so the next flip is well overdue. Some scientists say the flip could destroy satellite communications and power grids; that dangerous solar rays would greatly multiply rates of cancer; and that climate change could kill billions of creatures. Some scientists forewarn that a polar flip could even blow Earth's atmosphere away. However, one scientist dismissed the doom-mongers. He believes that the effects of any increase in radiation would be as harmful as lying on a hot beach for a day. He suggested a "floppy hat" would be enough to protect us from any increased radiation.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Magnetic Poles - Level 4  or  Magnetic Poles - Level 5

Sources
  • http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5351589/Earths-magnetic-field-flip-upside-down.html
  • https://sciexaminer.com/news/science/beware-magnetic-poles-earth-can-switch-positions-future-warn-esa-scientists-3874.html
  • https://www.inquisitr.com/4771682/magnetic-field-reversal-doomsday-predictions-blown-out-of-proportion-experts-say/


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. MAGNETIC POLES: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about magnetic poles. 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?
       doom / gloom / existence / asteroid / barrier / radiation / poles / molten iron / flip /
       magnetic / the last time / overdue / satellite / multiply / creatures / atmosphere / hat
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. ARMAGEDDON: Students A strongly believe Armageddon will come one day; Students B strongly believe it won't. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. THREATS: How serious are these threats to our existence? How can we reduce the threat level? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

How serious?

How we can reduce the threat level

Global warming

 

 

Nuclear war

 

 

Asteroid strike

 

 

Virus

 

 

Overpopulation

 

 

Flipped poles

 

 

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. EARTH: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "Earth". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. DAMAGE: Rank these with your partner. Put the most damaging things to our existence at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • species extinction
  • global droughts
  • nuclear war
  • asteroid strike
  • no electricity
  • no satellites
  • global warming
  • increased radiation

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. doom a. Glass and rock melting at very, very, very high temperatures.
      2. gloom b. Continued survival on Earth.
      3. existence c. The harmful energy and electromagnetic waves transmitted by the Sun.
      4. potential d. Death, destruction, or some other terrible thing that will happen.
      5. radiation e. The top layer of rock of which forms the hard surface of a planet.
      6. crust f. Depression and very negative thoughts and feelings.
      7. molten g. Having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future.

    Paragraph 2

      8. overdue h. Treated something as being not worth thinking, considering or talking about.
      9. multiply i. Animals (but not humans).
      10. grids j. People who predict disaster.
      11. dismissed k. Increase or cause to increase greatly in number or quantity.
      12. creatures l. Inform someone of a danger or possible problem.
      13. forewarn m. A network of cables or pipes for distributing power, especially high-voltage lines for electricity.
      14. doom-mongers n. Not having arrived, happened, or been done by the expected time.

 

Before reading / listening

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

  1. The article reported news about an imminent asteroid strike.     T / F
  2. The article said the East and West Poles create a radiation shield.     T / F
  3. The magnetic poles could flip within the next millennium.     T / F
  4. Liquid gold inside the earth's center serves as a huge electromagnet.     T / F
  5. Earth's magnetic poles usually flip roughly every 250,000 years.     T / F
  6. The last time the poles flipped was over 700,000 years ago.     T / F
  7. Scientists said a polar flip could strengthen the Earth's atmosphere.     T / F
  8. A scientist suggested a polar flip would not cause perilous radiation.    T / F

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

  1. doom
  2. gloom
  3. threat
  4. considerable
  5. revolving
  6. overdue
  7. creatures
  8. dismissed
  9. harmful
  10. protect
  1. late
  2. sizable
  3. defend
  4. hopelessness
  5. living things
  6. hazardous
  7. destruction
  8. spinning
  9. disregarded
  10. danger

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

  1. warn us about threats
  2. asteroid
  3. All life on Earth
  4. under the earth's
  5. molten
  6. the next flip is well
  7. satellite communications and power
  8. one scientist dismissed
  9. any increase in radiation would be
  10. a floppy
  1. depends on this shield
  2. the doom-mongers
  3. crust
  4. hat
  5. grids
  6. to our existence
  7. as harmful
  8. iron
  9. strikes
  10. overdue

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
radiation
merchants
liquid
potential
gigantic
strikes
rays
flipping

When doom-and-gloom (1) ____________ warn us about threats to our existence, we usually hear about climate change, asteroid (2) ____________ or nuclear war. Now scientists have warned of the (3) ____________ threat from Earth's magnetic poles (4) ____________ upside down. The North Pole and South Pole are responsible for creating a special barrier around Earth that protects us from killer (5) ____________ from space. All life on Earth depends on this shield. Without it, scientists say solar (6) ____________ could cause considerable damage. The poles could flip in the next thousand years. This is because a rolling layer of (7) ____________ iron under the earth's crust is changing direction. The revolving currents of this molten iron at Earth's center act as a (8) ____________ electromagnet.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
overdue
floppy
multiply
dismissed
flipped
effects
grids
blow

Historically, Earth's North and South magnetic poles have (9) ____________ every 200,000 to 300,000 years. The last time was 780,000 years ago, so the next flip is well (10) ____________. Some scientists say the flip could destroy satellite communications and power (11) ____________; that dangerous solar rays would greatly (12) ____________ rates of cancer; and that climate change could kill billions of creatures. Some scientists forewarn that a polar flip could even (13) ____________ Earth's atmosphere away. However, one scientist (14) ____________ the doom-mongers. He believes that the (15) ____________ of any increase in radiation would be as harmful as lying on a hot beach for a day. He suggested a "(16) ____________ hat" would be enough to protect us from any increased radiation.

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  When doom-and-gloom merchants warn us about threats to ______
     a.  our exist stance
     b.  our exist tents
     c.  our exist ants
     d.  our existence
2)  we usually hear about climate change, asteroid strikes ______
     a.  nor nuclear war
     b.  or nuclear war
     c.  all nuclear war
     d.  ore nuclear war
3) scientists have warned of the potential threat from Earth's magnetic poles ______
     a.  flipping upside by side
     b.  flipping upside side
     c.  flipping downside up
     d.  flipping upside down
4)  All life on Earth depends on ______
     a.  this shied
     b.  this should
     c.  this shade
     d.  this shield
5) revolving currents of this molten iron at Earth's center act ______ electromagnet
     a.  was a giant tick
     b.  has a gigantic
     c.  as a gigantic
     d.  as a giant tick

6)  The last time was 780,000 years ago, so the next flip ______
     a.  is well overdue
     b.  is welled overdue
     c.  is wells overdue
     d.  is welling overdue
7)  Some scientists say the flip could destroy satellite communications ______
     a.  and power grids
     b.  and power grits
     c.  and power grads
     d.  and power glides
8)  Some scientists forewarn that a polar flip could even blow Earth's ______
     a.  at most fear away
     b.  at moss sphere away
     c.  at moss fear away
     d.  atmosphere away
9)  He believes that the effects of any increase in radiation would ______
     a.  be as harm full
     b.  be as harm fool
     c.  be as harm foul
     d.  be as harmful
10)  He suggested a "floppy hat" would be enough to protect us from any ______
     a.  increased ray dilation
     b.  increased radiate shun
     c.  increased radiation
     d.  increased raid action

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

When doom-and-gloom merchants warn (1) ___________________ to our existence, we usually hear about climate change, asteroid strikes or nuclear war. Now scientists have warned of (2) ___________________ from Earth's magnetic poles flipping upside down. The North Pole and South Pole are responsible for creating (3) ___________________ around Earth that protects us from killer radiation from space. All life on Earth (4) ___________________ shield. Without it, scientists say solar rays could cause considerable damage. The poles could flip in the next thousand years. This is because a (5) ___________________ liquid iron under the earth's crust is changing direction. The revolving currents of this (6) ___________________ Earth's center act as a gigantic electromagnet.

Historically, Earth's North and (7) ___________________ have flipped every 200,000 to 300,000 years. The last time was 780,000 years ago, so the next flip (8) ___________________. Some scientists say the flip could destroy satellite communications and power grids; that dangerous solar rays would (9) ___________________ of cancer; and that climate change could kill billions of creatures. Some (10) ___________________ a polar flip could even blow Earth's atmosphere away. However, one scientist dismissed the doom-mongers. He believes that the effects of any increase in radiation would be as (11) ___________________ on a hot beach for a day. He suggested a "floppy hat" would be enough to protect us from (12) ___________________.

Comprehension questions

  1. What do we sometimes hear about hitting the earth?
  2. What does a magnetic shield protect Earth from?
  3. When did the article say the poles could flip?
  4. What is happening to the molten iron at the center of the earth?
  5. What does the molten iron act like?
  6. When did Earth's magnetic poles last flip?
  7. What did scientists say a polar flip could increase rates of?
  8. What could get blown away because of a polar flip?
  9. What did a scientist compare increased radiation after a polar flip to?
  10. What did a scientist say could protect us after a post-polar flip?




Multiple choice quiz

1)  What do we sometimes hear about hitting the earth?
a) comets
b) asteroids
c) space debris
d) falling satellites
2)  What does a magnetic shield protect Earth from?
a) black holes
b) magnetic waves
c) aliens
d) radiation
3) When did the article say the poles could flip?
a) in the next 1,000 years
b) within the next century
c) in the next decade
d) later this year
4) What is happening to the molten iron at the center of the earth?
a) it is hardening
b) it is getting hotter
c) it is changing direction
d) it is mixing with water
5) What does the molten iron act like?
a) a compass
b) an electromagnet
c) a geological fondue
d) a gyroscope

6) When did Earth's magnetic poles last flip?
a) 780,000 years ago
b) 78,000 years ago
c) 7,800 years ago
d) 780 years ago
7) What did scientists say a polar flip could increase rates of?
a) blood moons
b) Northern Lights
c) cancer
d) asteroid strikes
8) What could get blown away because of a polar flip?
a) Earth's atmosphere
b) mountaintops
c) all the trees in the world
d) pollution
9) What did a scientist compare increased radiation after a polar flip to?
a) a day on a hot beach
b) having two X-rays in one day
c) living near a nuclear power station
d) life on Mars
10) What did a scientist say could protect us after a post-polar flip?
a) rain
b) special windows
c) sun cream
d) a hat

Role play

Role  A – No Electricity
You think no electricity is the most damaging thing to our existence. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as bad. Also, tell the others which is the least damaging of these (and why): global warming, no satellites or an asteroid strike.

Role  B – Global Warming
You think global warming is the most damaging thing to our existence. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as bad. Also, tell the others which is the least damaging of these (and why): no electricity, no satellites or an asteroid strike.

Role  C – No Satellites
You think no satellites is the most damaging thing to our existence. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as bad. Also, tell the others which is the least damaging of these (and why): global warming, no electricity or an asteroid strike.

Role  D – Asteroid Strike
You think an asteroid strike is the most damaging thing to our existence. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as bad. Also, tell the others which is the least damaging of these (and why): global warming, no satellites or no electricity.

After reading / listening

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

'magnetic'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'pole'.

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

    • last
    • destroy
    • rates
    • blow
    • effects
    • hat
    • threats
    • warned
    • special
    • depends
    • next
    • currents




    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 - Earth's magnetic poles are about to flip

    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 'magnetic'?
    3. What do you think of doom-and-gloom merchants?
    4. What threats are there to our existence?
    5. What do you know about Earth's magnetic poles?
    6. How worried are you about climate change?
    7. What do you know about the harm solar rays can do?
    8. What do you know about magnets?
    9. What would you do the day the magnetic poles flipped?
    10. Are you ever a doom-and-gloom merchant?

    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 'pole'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What is the biggest threat to our existence?
    5. How worried are you about Armageddon?
    6. What would happen if all our electricity failed?
    7. What would happen if our atmosphere blew away?
    8. How dangerous is lying on a beach?
    9. How useful is a floppy hat?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the scientists?

    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)

    When (1) ____-and-gloom merchants warn us about threats to our (2) ____, we usually hear about climate change, asteroid strikes or nuclear war. Now scientists have warned (3) ____ the potential threat from Earth's magnetic poles flipping upside down. The North Pole and South Pole are responsible for creating a special barrier around Earth that protects (4) ____ from killer radiation from space. All life on Earth depends on this shield. Without it, scientists say solar rays could cause considerable damage. The poles could flip in the next thousand years. This is because a rolling (5) ____ of liquid iron under the earth's crust is changing direction. The revolving currents of this (6) ____ iron at Earth's center act as a gigantic electromagnet.

    Historically, Earth's North and South magnetic poles have flipped every 200,000 to 300,000 years. The last time was 780,000 years ago, (7) ____ the next flip is well overdue. Some scientists say the flip could destroy satellite communications and power (8) ____; that dangerous solar rays would greatly multiply (9) ____ of cancer; and that climate change could kill billions of creatures. Some scientists forewarn that a polar flip could even (10) ____ Earth's atmosphere away. However, one scientist dismissed the doom-mongers. He believes that the effects (11) ____ any increase in radiation would be as harmful as lying on a hot beach for a day. He suggested a "floppy hat" would be enough to protect us from (12) ____ increased radiation.

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     doom     (b)     dome     (c)     dame     (d)     mood    
    2. (a)     exist     (b)     exists     (c)     existence     (d)     existed    
    3. (a)     for     (b)     by     (c)     of     (d)     at    
    4. (a)     them     (b)     all     (c)     we     (d)     us    
    5. (a)     ladder     (b)     laver     (c)     layer     (d)     laser    
    6. (a)     gluten     (b)     molten     (c)     hasten     (d)     fasten    
    7. (a)     as     (b)     so     (c)     but     (d)     because    
    8. (a)     girds     (b)     grids     (c)     grits     (d)     girths    
    9. (a)     ratios     (b)     rotes     (c)     rates     (d)     rites    
    10. (a)     gust     (b)     puff     (c)     suck     (d)     blow    
    11. (a)     to     (b)     on     (c)     as     (d)     of    
    12. (a)     anything     (b)     many     (c)     at     (d)     any

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. doom-and-gloom srteanhcm
    2. threats to our enixetcse
    3. rsoteaid strikes
    4. warned of the lonieptta threat
    5. The lroevngiv currents
    6. a itinaggc electromagnet

    Paragraph 2

    1. the next flip is well deorvue
    2. destroy tslleiate communications
    3. kill billions of racuteres
    4. blow Earth's tmsahpoere away
    5. one scientist isidssmed the doom-mongers
    6. any increased adirtiaon

    Put the text back together

    (   )  Earth's atmosphere away. However, one scientist dismissed the doom-mongers. He believes that the
    (   )  strikes or nuclear war. Now scientists have warned of the potential threat from Earth's magnetic poles flipping upside
    (   )  time was 780,000 years ago, so the next flip is well overdue. Some scientists say the flip could destroy satellite
    (   )  Historically, Earth's North and South magnetic poles have flipped every 200,000 to 300,000 years. The last
    (   )  communications and power grids; that dangerous solar rays would greatly multiply rates
    (   )  years. This is because a rolling layer of liquid iron under the earth's crust is changing
    (   )  direction. The revolving currents of this molten iron at Earth's center act as a gigantic electromagnet.
    (   )  of cancer; and that climate change could kill billions of creatures. Some scientists forewarn that a polar flip could even blow
    (   )  effects of any increase in radiation would be as harmful as lying on a hot beach for a day. He suggested a "floppy
    (   )  us from killer radiation from space. All life on Earth depends on this shield. Without it, scientists say solar
    (   )  down. The North Pole and South Pole are responsible for creating a special barrier around Earth that protects
    1  )  When doom-and-gloom merchants warn us about threats to our existence, we usually hear about climate change, asteroid
    (   )  hat" would be enough to protect us from any increased radiation.
    (   )  rays could cause considerable damage. The poles could flip in the next thousand

    Put the words in the right order

    1. about   us   Doom-and-gloom   merchants   warn   threats   .
    2. Earth's   poles   .   magnetic   The   from   potential   threat
    3. for   Earth   .   Responsible   special   a   barrier   around   creating
    4. life   this   All   Earth   on   on   depends   shield   .
    5. crust   .   under   iron   the   layer   of   A   liquid   earth's   rolling
    6. satellite   Scientists   flip   the   could   destroy   say   communications  .
    7. would   of   Solar   rays   multiply   cancer   .   rates   greatly
    8. flip   blow   A   could   polar   atmosphere   Earth's   away   .
    9. a   harmful   as   As   beach   .   hot   on   lying
    10. suggested   a   be   floppy   hat   enough   .   would   He

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    When doom-and-gloom merchants / merchandise warn us about threats to our existence, we usually hear about climate change, asteroid stricken / strikes or nuclear war. Now scientists have warned of the potentially / potential threat from Earth's magnetic poles flipping / flapping upside down. The North Pole and South Pole are responsibility / responsible for creating a special barrier around Earth that protects them / us from killer radiation from space. All life on Earth depends on / off this shield. Without it, scientists say solar rays could cause considerably / considerable damage. The poles could flip in the next thousand years. This is because a rolling layer of liquid irons / iron under the earth's crust is changing direction. The revolving currents of this molten iron at Earth's center acts / act as a gigantic electromagnet.

    Historically / History, Earth's North and South magnetic poles have flipped every 200,000 to 300,000 years. The last time was 780,000 years ago, so / as the next flip is well overdue / overdone. Some scientists say the flip could destroy satellite communications and powerful / power grids; that dangerous solar rays would greatly multiply rates by / of cancer; and that climate change could kill billions of creatures. Some scientists forward / forewarn that a polar flip could even / ever blow Earth's atmosphere away. However, one scientist dismissed the doom-mongers. He believes that the affects / effects of any increase in radiation would be as harmful / harm as lying on a hot beach for a day. He suggested a "floppy hat" would be enough to protect / project us from any increased radiation.

    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)

    W h_n   d__ m -_n d - g l__ m   m_r c h_n t s   w_r n  _s  _b__ t   t h r__ t s   t_ __ r  _x_s t_n c_,   w_ _s__ l l y   h__ r  _b__ t   c l_m_t_  c h_n g_,  _s t_r__ d   s t r_k_s  _r   n_c l__ r   w_r .   N_w   s c__ n t_s t s   h_v_  w_r n_d  _f   t h_  p_t_n t__ l   t h r__ t   f r_m   E_r t h ' s   m_g n_t_c   p_l_s   f l_p p_n g  _p s_d_  d_w n .   T h_  N_r t h   P_l_ _n d   S__ t h   P_l_ _r_  r_s p_n s_b l_  f_r   c r__ t_n g  _  s p_c__ l   b_r r__ r  _r__ n d   E_r t h   t h_t   p r_t_c t s  _s   f r_m   k_l l_r   r_d__ t__ n   f r_m   s p_c_.   A l l   l_f_ _n   E_r t h   d_p_n d s  _n   t h_s   s h__ l d .   W_t h__ t  _t ,   s c__ n t_s t s   s_y   s_l_r   r_y s   c__ l d   c__ s_  c_n s_d_r_b l_  d_m_g_.   T h_  p_l_s   c__ l d   f l_p  _n   t h_  n_x t   t h__ s_n d   y__ r s .   T h_s  _s   b_c__ s_ _  r_l l_n g   l_y_r  _f   l_q__ d  _r_n  _n d_r   t h_ __ r t h ' s   c r_s t  _s   c h_n g_n g   d_r_c t__ n .   T h_  r_v_l v_n g   c_r r_n t s  _f   t h_s   m_l t_n  _r_n  _t   E_r t h ' s   c_n t_r  _c t  _s  _  g_g_n t_c  _l_c t r_m_g n_t .

    H_s t_r_c_l l y ,   E_r t h ' s   N_r t h  _n d   S__ t h   m_g n_t_c   p_l_s   h_v_  f l_p p_d  _v_r y   2 0 0 , 0 0 0   t_  3 0 0 , 0 0 0   y__ r s .   T h_  l_s t   t_m_  w_s   7 8 0 , 0 0 0   y__ r s  _g_,   s_  t h_  n_x t   f l_p  _s   w_l l  _v_r d__ .   S_m_  s c__ n t_s t s   s_y   t h_  f l_p   c__ l d   d_s t r_y   s_t_l l_t_  c_m m_n_c_t__ n s  _n d   p_w_r   g r_d s ;   t h_t   d_n g_r__ s   s_l_r   r_y s   w__ l d   g r__ t l y   m_l t_p l y   r_t_s  _f   c_n c_r ;  _n d   t h_t   c l_m_t_  c h_n g_  c__ l d   k_l l   b_l l__ n s  _f   c r__ t_r_s .   S_m_  s c__ n t_s t s   f_r_w_r n   t h_t  _  p_l_r   f l_p   c__ l d  _v_n   b l_w   E_r t h ' s  _t m_s p h_r_ _w_y .   H_w_v_r ,  _n_  s c__ n t_s t   d_s m_s s_d   t h_  d__ m - m_n g_r s .   H_  b_l__ v_s   t h_t   t h_ _f f_c t s  _f  _n y  _n c r__ s_ _n   r_d__ t__ n   w__ l d   b_ _s   h_r m f_l  _s   l y_n g  _n  _  h_t   b__ c h   f_r  _  d_y .   H_  s_g g_s t_d  _  " f l_p p y   h_t "   w__ l d   b_ _n__ g h   t_  p r_t_c t  _s   f r_m  _n y  _n c r__ s_d   r_d__ t__ n .

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    when doomandgloom merchants warn us about threats to our existence we usually hear about climate change asteroid strikes or nuclear war now scientists have warned of the potential threat from earths magnetic poles flipping upside down the north pole and south pole are responsible for creating a special barrier around earth that protects us from killer radiation from space all life on earth depends on this shield without it scientists say solar rays could cause considerable damage the poles could flip in the next thousand years this is because a rolling layer of liquid iron under the earths crust is changing direction the revolving currents of this molten iron at earths center act as a gigantic electromagnet

    historically earths north and south magnetic poles have flipped every 200000 to 300000 years the last time was 780000 years ago so the next flip is well overdue some scientists say the flip could destroy satellite communications and power grids that dangerous solar rays would greatly multiply rates of cancer and that climate change could kill billions of creatures some scientists forewarn that a polar flip could even blow earths atmosphere away however one scientist dismissed the doommongers he believes that the effects of any increase in radiation would be as harmful as lying on a hot beach for a day he suggested a floppy hat would be enough to protect us from any increased radiation.

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Whendoom-and-gloommerchantswarnusaboutthreatstoourexiste
    nce,weusuallyhearaboutclimatechange,asteroidstrikesornuclearwa
    r.NowscientistshavewarnedofthepotentialthreatfromEarth'smagnet
    icpolesflippingupsidedown.TheNorthPoleandSouthPoleareresponsi
    bleforcreatingaspecialbarrieraroundEarththatprotectsusfromkillerr
    adiationfromspace.AlllifeonEarthdependsonthisshield.Withoutit,sci
    entistssaysolarrayscouldcauseconsiderabledamage.Thepolescouldf
    lipinthenextthousandyears.Thisisbecausearollinglayerofliquidironu
    ndertheearth'scrustischangingdirection.Therevolvingcurrentsofthis
    moltenironatEarth'scenteractasagiganticelectromagnet.Historically
    ,Earth'sNorthandSouthmagneticpoleshaveflippedevery200,000to3
    00,000years.Thelasttimewas780,000yearsago,sothenextflipiswello
    verdue.Somescientistssaytheflipcoulddestroysatellitecommunicati
    onsandpowergrids;thatdangeroussolarrayswouldgreatlymultiplyrat
    esofcancer;andthatclimatechangecouldkillbillionsofcreatures.Some
    scientistsforewarnthatapolarflipcouldevenblowEarth'satmospherea
    way.However,onescientistdismissedthedoom-mongers.Hebelieve
    sthattheeffectsofanyincreaseinradiationwouldbeasharmfulaslyingo
    nahotbeachforaday.Hesuggesteda"floppyhat"wouldbeenoughtopro
    tectusfromanyincreasedradiation.

    Free writing

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

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    Academic writing

    What are the three biggest threats to Earth? How can we combat them?

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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. MAGNETIC POLES: Make a poster about Earth's magnetic poles. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. ARMAGEDDON: Write a magazine article about the possibilities of Armageddon. Include imaginary interviews with people who believe it will happen and with people who think it will never happen.
    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 Armageddon. Ask him/her three questions about it. Give him/her three of your opinions on it. 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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