The Reading / Listening - Plastic Pollution - Level 6

A BBC team has filmed disturbing footage of the devastating impact plastic pollution is having on seabirds in the Tasman Sea, which is between Australia and New Zealand. The film crew was working on the remote Lord Howe Island for a new wildlife documentary called "Drowning in Plastic". They filmed many birds that had died because their stomachs were literally too full of plastic to be able to eat any food. The birds starved to death because there was no room in their stomachs for food. The documentary team filmed marine biologists working on the island to try and save the birds. The scientists captured hundreds of chicks and physically removed plastic from their stomachs to give them a chance of survival.



Marine biologist Jennifer Lavers explained what was happening to the birds. She said the birds were predators that will eat anything. She said: "When you put plastic in the ocean, it means they have no ability to detect plastic form non-plastic, so they eat it." Adult birds feed the plastic to their chicks, oblivious to what they are feeding them. Professor Lavers lamented that most of the plastic is "entirely preventable". She said: "We find plastic clothes pegs and plastic tooth brushes. Those could easily be swapped out for other materials - aluminium or wood. My own toothbrush is made of bamboo." TV presenter Liz Bonnin said: "We saw...90 pieces of plastic come out of one of the chicks."

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Plastic Pollution - Level 4  or  Plastic Pollution - Level 5

Sources
  • https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-44579422
  • https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/birds-are-dropping-dead-off-australia-s-coast-and-it-s-all-our-fault-20180518-p4zg4t.html
  • http://en.mercopress.com/2018/06/23/seabirds-starving-to-death-because-of-plastic-pollution-reveals-documentary


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. PLASTIC POLLUTION: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about plastic pollution. 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?
       BBC / impact / plastic / pollution / wildlife / documentary / stomach / island / birds /
       biologist / predators / ability / chicks / preventable / toothbrush / materials / bamboo
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. BAN: Students A strongly believe all plastic should be banned; Students B strongly believe it shouldn't.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. ALTERNATIVES: What alternatives are there to using plastic for these things? How likely would these replace plastic? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

Alternative

Would this happen?

Pen

 

 

Toothbrush

 

 

Bottle

 

 

Toys

 

 

Straws

 

 

Glitter

 

 

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. SEABIRD: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "seabird". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. PLASTIC GOODS: Rank these with your partner. Put the plastic goods that should be replaced most at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • chairs
  • bowls
  • pipes
  • car interiors
  • toothbrushes
  • water bottles
  • straws
  • CDs / DVDs

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. disturbing a. Located or situated far from the main centers of population; distant.
      2. footage b. Causing anxiety; worrying.
      3. devastating c. Highly destructive or damaging.
      4. remote d. Suffered severely or died from hunger.
      5. literally e. Taken into one's possession or control.
      6. starved f. A length of film made for movies or television.
      7. captured g. Exactly.

    Paragraph 2

      8. predators h. An expression of regret or disappointment.
      9. detect i. Taken part in an exchange of something.
      10. oblivious j. Able to be stopped or avoided.
      11. lamented k. Not aware of or not concerned about what is happening around one.
      12. entirely l. Completely; solely.
      13. preventable m. Animals that naturally hunt and prey on others.
      14. swapped n. Discovered or identified the presence or existence of.

 

Before reading / listening

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if 1-8 below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. A documentary about seabirds was made by National Geographic.     T / F
  2. The documentary looked at seabird's on Australia's east coast.     T / F
  3. The documentary is called "Drowning in Plastic".     T / F
  4. The researchers could not remove the plastic from the chicks' stomachs. T / F
  5. The birds in the documentary were not predators.     T / F
  6. The seabirds did not know whether or not what they ate was plastic.     T / F
  7. A scientist said she used a bamboo and not a plastic toothbrush.     T / F
  8. A TV presenter counted 90 pieces of plastic in a chick's stomach.     T / F

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

  1. disturbing
  2. crew
  3. literally
  4. save
  5. chance
  6. explained
  7. detect
  8. oblivious
  9. swapped
  10. pieces
  1. actually
  2. exchanged
  3. opportunity
  4. notice
  5. rescue
  6. worrying
  7. unaware
  8. bits
  9. team
  10. described

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

  1. filmed disturbing footage of the
  2. The film crew was working on the
  3. The birds starved
  4. physically removed
  5. give them a chance
  6. the birds were predators
  7. they have no ability
  8. oblivious to what they
  9. entirely
  10. My own toothbrush
  1. plastic
  2. of survival
  3. is made of bamboo
  4. to detect plastic
  5. remote Lord Howe Island
  6. preventable
  7. to death
  8. devastating impact
  9. that will eat anything
  10. are feeding them

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
impact
literally
physically
remote
survival
save
footage
starved

A BBC team has filmed disturbing (1) ____________ of the devastating (2) ____________ plastic pollution is having on seabirds in the Tasman Sea, which is between Australia and New Zealand. The film crew was working on the (3) ____________ Lord Howe Island for a new wildlife documentary called "Drowning in Plastic". They filmed many birds that had died because their stomachs were (4) ____________ too full of plastic to be able to eat any food. The birds (5) ____________ to death because there was no room in their stomachs for food. The documentary team filmed marine biologists working on the island to try and (6) ____________ the birds. The scientists captured hundreds of chicks and (7) ____________ removed plastic from their stomachs to give them a chance of (8) ____________.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
bamboo
ability
entirely
oblivious
pieces
predators
swapped
lamented

Marine biologist Jennifer Lavers explained what was happening to the birds. She said the birds were (9) ____________ that will eat anything. She said: "When you put plastic in the ocean, it means they have no (10) ____________ to detect plastic from non-plastic, so they eat it." Adult birds feed the plastic to their chicks, (11) ____________ to what they are feeding them. Professor Lavers (12) ____________ that most of the plastic is "(13) ____________ preventable". She said: "We find plastic clothes pegs and plastic tooth brushes. Those could easily be (14) ____________ out for other materials - aluminium or wood. My own toothbrush is made of (15) ____________." TV presenter Liz Bonnin said: "We saw...90 (16) ____________ of plastic come out of one of the chicks."

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  A BBC team has filmed disturbing footage of the ______
     a.  devastating in pact
     b.  devastating imp act
     c.  devastating in packed
     d.  devastating impact
2)  The film crew was working on the remote Lord Howe Island for a new ______
     a.  wildlife document try
     b.  wildlife dock you meant a tree
     c.  wildlife document a tree
     d.  wildlife documentary
3)  They filmed many birds that had died because their stomachs were literally too ______
     a.  full of plastic
     b.  full off plastic
     c.  fill of plastic
     d.  fuel off plastic
4)  The documentary team filmed marine biologists working on the island to try ______
     a.  and saved the birds
     b.  and save the birds
     c.  and saves the birds
     d.  and suave the birds
5)  physically removed plastic from their stomachs to give them a ______
     a.  chances of survival
     b.  chance of survival
     c.  chanced of survival
     d.  chancing of survival

6)  Marine biologist Jennifer Lavers explained what was ______ birds
     a.  happen in to the
     b.  happened to the
     c.  happening to the
     d.  happens in to the
7)  When you put plastic in the ocean, it means they have no ability ______
     a.  to detect plastic
     b.  to defect plastic
     c.  to detract plastic
     d.  to dissect plastic
8)  Professor Lavers lamented that most of the plastic is "______"
     a.  entirely preventable
     b.  entry preventable
     c.  entire lea preventable
     d.  entry lea preventable
9)  We find plastic clothes pegs and plastic tooth brushes. Those could easily ______
     a.  be swaggered
     b.  be swabbed
     c.  be swapped
     d.  be swatted
10)  TV presenter Liz Bonnin said: "We saw...90 pieces of plastic come ______ the chicks
     a.  out off one of
     b.  out of one off
     c.  out of one of
     d.  out off one off

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

A BBC team (1) ___________________ footage of the devastating impact plastic pollution is having on seabirds in the Tasman Sea, which is between Australia and New Zealand. The film crew was working (2) ___________________ Lord Howe Island for a new wildlife documentary called "Drowning in Plastic". They filmed many birds that had died because their stomachs were (3) ___________________ of plastic to be able to eat any food. The birds starved to death because there was (4) ___________________ their stomachs for food. The documentary team filmed marine biologists working on (5) ___________________ try and save the birds. The scientists captured hundreds of chicks and physically removed plastic from their stomachs to give (6) ___________________ of survival.

Marine biologist Jennifer Lavers explained what was happening to the birds. She said the birds were (7) ___________________ eat anything. She said: "When you put plastic in the ocean, it means they have no (8) ___________________ plastic from non-plastic, so they eat it." Adult birds feed the plastic to their chicks, (9) ___________________ they are feeding them. Professor Lavers lamented that most of the plastic is "entirely preventable". She said: "We find plastic clothes (10) ___________________ tooth brushes. Those could (11) ___________________ out for other materials - aluminium or wood. My own toothbrush is made of bamboo." TV presenter Liz Bonnin said: "We saw... (12) ___________________ plastic come out of one of the chicks."

Comprehension questions

  1. What agency made the documentary?
  2. What is the name of the island the documentary was filmed on?
  3. What is the name of the documentary?
  4. What kind of scientists did the documentary team film?
  5. How many chicks did the scientists capture?
  6. What kind of creature did a scientist say the birds were?
  7. What can't the sea birds detect?
  8. What two things did a scientist say she found?
  9. What is the scientist's toothbrush made of?
  10. How many pieces of plastic did a TV presenter find in a chick?




Multiple choice quiz

1) What agency made the documentary?
a) CNN
b) BBC
c) Nat Geo
d) Disney
2) What is the name of the island the documentary was filmed on?
a) Lord Ham
b) Lord Halifax
c) Lord Huron
d) Lord Howe
3) What is the name of the documentary?
a) Drowning in Plastic
b) Plastic for Dinner
c) Plastic Death
d) Plastic Birds
4) What kind of scientists did the documentary team film?
a) ornithologists
b) zoologists
c) marine biologists
d) plasticologists
5) How many chicks did the scientists capture?
a) dozens
b) hundreds
c) thousands
d) 99

6) What kind of creature did a scientist say the birds were?
a) beautiful
b) streamlined
c) predators
d) endangered
7) What can't the sea birds detect?
a) danger
b) storms
c) fish
d) plastic
8) What two things did a scientist say she found?
a) clothes pegs and toothbrushes
b) Lego blocks and straws
c) water bottles and pens
d) DVDs and CDs
9) What is the scientist's toothbrush made of?
a) bamboo
b) aluminium
c) wood
d) carbon
10) How many pieces of plastic did a TV presenter find in a chick?
a) 80
b) 90
c) 70
d) 50

Role play

Role  A – Toothbrushes
You think toothbrushes are the biggest plastic things that should be replaced. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the last of these to be replaced of these (and why): water bottles, pipes or straws.

Role  B – Water Bottles
You think water bottles are the biggest plastic things that should be replaced. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the last of these to be replaced of these (and why): toothbrushes, pipes or straws.

Role  C – Pipes
You think pipes are the biggest plastic things that should be replaced. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the last of these to be replaced of these (and why): water bottles, toothbrushes or straws.

Role  D – Straws
You think straws are the biggest plastic things that should be replaced. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the last of these to be replaced of these (and why): water bottles, pipes or toothbrushes.

After reading / listening

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

'plastic'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'pollution'.

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

    • happening
    • put
    • oblivious
    • pegs
    • own
    • 90
    • impact
    • new
    • literally
    • starved
    • try
    • chance




    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 - Birds' stomachs too full of plastic to eat

    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 'plastic'?
    3. How damaging is plastic to the environment?
    4. What can we do to reduce our use of plastic?
    5. What would it be like to be on the documentary team?
    6. To what degree are we "drowning in plastic"?
    7. How sad is this news?
    8. Should anyone be punished for the plastic problem?
    9. Who has the biggest responsibility to reduce plastic use?
    10. What do you think of the chances of the birds surviving?

    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 'pollution'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What do marine biologists do?
    5. How can we better protect seabirds?
    6. How easy is it to live without plastic?
    7. Will you buy bamboo toothbrushes from now?
    8. Why is plastic so damaging?
    9. Is it too late to reverse the damage done by plastic to wildlife?
    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)

    A BBC team has filmed disturbing footage of the devastating (1) ____ plastic pollution is having (2) ____ seabirds in the Tasman Sea, which is between Australia and New Zealand. The film crew was working on the (3) ____ Lord Howe Island for a new wildlife documentary called "Drowning in Plastic". They filmed many birds that had died because their stomachs were (4) ____ too full of plastic to be able to eat any food. The birds starved (5) ____ death because there was no room in their stomachs for food. The documentary team filmed marine biologists working on the island to try and save the birds. The scientists captured hundreds of chicks and physically removed plastic from their stomachs to give them a (6) ____ of survival.

    Marine biologist Jennifer Lavers explained what was happening to the birds. She said the birds were (7) ____ that will eat anything. She said: "When you put plastic in the ocean, it means they have no ability to (8) ____ plastic form non-plastic, so they eat it." Adult birds feed the plastic to their chicks, (9) ____ to what they are feeding them. Professor Lavers lamented that most of the plastic is "entirely preventable". She said: "We find plastic clothes pegs and plastic tooth brushes. Those could easily (10) ____ swapped out for other materials - aluminium or wood. My own toothbrush is made (11) ____ bamboo." TV presenter Liz Bonnin said: "We saw...90 pieces of plastic come (12) ____ of one of the chicks."

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     compact     (b)     pact     (c)     impact     (d)     epact    
    2. (a)     on     (b)     at     (c)     to     (d)     as    
    3. (a)     remote     (b)     demote     (c)     emote     (d)     promote    
    4. (a)     literally     (b)     literal     (c)     literary     (d)     illiterate    
    5. (a)     of     (b)     to     (c)     as     (d)     at    
    6. (a)     charts     (b)     chants     (c)     choice     (d)     chance    
    7. (a)     reptiles     (b)     mammals     (c)     predators     (d)     invertebrates    
    8. (a)     detain     (b)     detract     (c)     detail     (d)     detect    
    9. (a)     oblivious     (b)     curious     (c)     spurious     (d)     cautious    
    10. (a)     get     (b)     be     (c)     have     (d)     make    
    11. (a)     out     (b)     of     (c)     by     (d)     to    
    12. (a)     in     (b)     from     (c)     out     (d)     at

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. disturbing oogtafe
    2. the devastating pmitac
    3. their stomachs were rylaitell too full of plastic
    4. marine stliibsogo
    5. scientists rectpadu hundreds of chicks
    6. give them a chance of uislrvva

    Paragraph 2

    1. the birds were dtaporsre
    2. no ability to dceett plastic
    3. oiuolbsvi to what they are feeding
    4. the plastic is erinytle preventable
    5. Those could easily be dpspwea
    6. made of omabob

    Put the text back together

    (...)  "We find plastic clothes pegs and plastic tooth brushes. Those could easily
    (...)  working on the remote Lord Howe Island for a new wildlife documentary called "Drowning in Plastic". They filmed
    (...)  Marine biologist Jennifer Lavers explained what was happening to the birds. She said the birds were predators that will
    (...)  eat any food. The birds starved to death because there was no room in their stomachs for food. The documentary team filmed
    (...)  feeding them. Professor Lavers lamented that most of the plastic is "entirely preventable". She said:
    (...)  on seabirds in the Tasman Sea, which is between Australia and New Zealand. The film crew was
    (...)  marine biologists working on the island to try and save the birds. The scientists captured hundreds
    (...)  of chicks and physically removed plastic from their stomachs to give them a chance of survival.
    (...)  many birds that had died because their stomachs were literally too full of plastic to be able to
    (...)  plastic form non-plastic, so they eat it." Adult birds feed the plastic to their chicks, oblivious to what they are
    (...)  bamboo." TV presenter Liz Bonnin said: "We saw...90 pieces of plastic come out of one of the chicks."
    (...)  be swapped out for other materials - aluminium or wood. My own toothbrush is made of
    1  ) A BBC team has filmed disturbing footage of the devastating impact plastic pollution is having
    (...)  eat anything. She said: "When you put plastic in the ocean, it means they have no ability to detect

    Put the words in the right order

    1. devastating   plastic   is   pollution   The   impact   having   .
    2. island   .   was   crew   remote   The   the   working   on
    3. were   literally   too   stomachs   of   full   plastic   .   Their
    4. died   .   birds   They   had   that   many   filmed
    5. a   give   them   chance   To   of   survival   .
    6. will   birds   that   predators   anything   .   The   eat   were
    7. to   have   detect   .   It   ability   no   they   means
    8. the   feed   birds   Adult   plastic   their   to   chicks   .
    9. be   other   for   could   easily   Those   materials   .   swapped
    10. pieces   come   We   of   saw   out   .   plastic   90

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    A BBC team has filmed disturbing footing / footage of the devastating impact plastic pollution is having in / on seabirds in the Tasman Sea, which is between Australia and New Zealand. The film crew was working on the remotely / remote Lord Howe Island for a new wildlife documentary / documented called "Drowning in Plastic". They filmed many birds that had died because their stomachs were literal / literally too full of plastic to be able to eat any / many food. The birds starved to death / dead because there was no room in their stomachs for food. The documentary team filming / filmed marine biologists working on the island to try and save the birds. The scientists raptured / captured hundreds of chicks and physically removed plastic from their stomachs to give them a chance of survive / survival.

    Marine biologist Jennifer Lavers explained what was happening / happened to the birds. She said the birds were predators / prey that will eat anything. She said: "When you put plastic in the ocean, it means they have no able / ability to detect / defect plastic from non-plastic, so they eat it." Adult birds feed the plastic to their chicks, obvious / oblivious to what they are feeding it / them. Professor Lavers lamented / placated that most of the plastic is "entirely preventable". She said: "We find plastic clothes pegs and plastic tooth brushes. Those could easily be shaped / swapped out for other materials - aluminium or wood. My own toothbrush is made by / of bamboo." TV presenter Liz Bonnin said: "We saw...90 pieces of plastic come out of / off one of the chicks."

    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)

    A B B C t__ m h_s f_l m_d d_s t_r b_n g f__ t_g_ _f t h_ d_v_s t_t_n g _m p_c t p l_s t_c p_l l_t__ n _s h_v_n g _n s__ b_r d s _n t h_ T_s m_n S__ , w h_c h _s b_t w__ n A_s t r_l__ _n d N_w Z__ l_n d . T h_ f_l m c r_w w_s w_r k_n g _n t h_ r_m_t_ L_r d H_w_ I s l_n d f_r _ n_w w_l d l_f_ d_c_m_n t_r y c_l l_d " D r_w n_n g _n P l_s t_c " . T h_y f_l m_d m_n y b_r d s t h_t h_d d__ d b_c__ s_ t h__ r s t_m_c h s w_r_ l_t_r_l l y t__ f_l l _f p l_s t_c t_ b_ _b l_ t_ __ t _n y f__ d . T h_ b_r d s s t_r v_d t_ d__ t h b_c__ s_ t h_r_ w_s n_ r__ m _n t h__ r s t_m_c h s f_r f__ d . T h_ d_c_m_n t_r y t__ m f_l m_d m_r_n_ b__ l_g_s t s w_r k_n g _n t h_ _s l_n d t_ t r y _n d s_v_ t h_ b_r d s . T h_ s c__ n t_s t s c_p t_r_d h_n d r_d s _f c h_c k s _n d p h y s_c_l l y r_m_v_d p l_s t_c f r_m t h__ r s t_m_c h s t_ g_v_ t h_m _ c h_n c_ _f s_r v_v_l .

    M_r_n_ b__ l_g_s t J_n n_f_r L_v_r s _x p l__ n_d w h_t w_s h_p p_n_n g t_ t h_ b_r d s . S h_ s__ d t h_ b_r d s w_r_ p r_d_t_r s t h_t w_l l __ t _n y t h_n g . S h_ s__ d : " W h_n y__ p_t p l_s t_c _n t h_ _c__ n , _t m__ n s t h_y h_v_ n_ _b_l_t y t_ d_t_c t p l_s t_c f r_m n_n - p l_s t_c , s_ t h_y __ t _t . " A d_l t b_r d s f__ d t h_ p l_s t_c t_ t h__ r c h_c k s , _b l_v___s t_ w h_t t h_y _r_ f__ d_n g t h_m . P r_f_s s_r L_v_r s l_m_n t_d t h_t m_s t _f t h_ p l_s t_c _s "_n t_r_l y p r_v_n t_b l_" . S h_ s__ d : " W_ f_n d p l_s t_c c l_t h_s p_g s _n d p l_s t_c t__ t h b r_s h_s . T h_s_ c__ l d __ s_l y b_ s w_p p_d __ t f_r _t h_r m_t_r__ l s - _l_m_n__ m _r w__ d . M y _w n t__ t h b r_s h _s m_d_ _f b_m b__ . " T V p r_s_n t_r L_z B_n n_n s__ d : " W_ s_w . . . 9 0 p__ c_s _f p l_s t_c c_m_ __ t _f _n_ _f t h_ c h_c k s . "

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    a bbc team has filmed disturbing footage of the devastating impact plastic pollution is having on seabirds in the tasman sea which is between australia and new zealand the film crew was working on the remote lord howe island for a new wildlife documentary called drowning in plastic they filmed many birds that had died because their stomachs were literally too full of plastic to be able to eat any food the birds starved to death because there was no room in their stomachs for food the documentary team filmed marine biologists working on the island to try and save the birds the scientists captured hundreds of chicks and physically removed plastic from their stomachs to give them a chance of survival

    marine biologist jennifer lavers explained what was happening to the birds she said the birds were predators that will eat anything she said when you put plastic in the ocean it means they have no ability to detect plastic from nonplastic so they eat it adult birds feed the plastic to their chicks oblivious to what they are feeding them professor lavers lamented that most of the plastic is entirely preventable she said we find plastic clothes pegs and plastic tooth brushes those could easily be swapped out for other materials  aluminium or wood my own toothbrush is made of bamboo tv presenter liz bonnin said we saw90 pieces of plastic come out of one of the chicks"

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    ABBCteamhasfilmeddisturbingfootageofthedevastatingimpactplast
    icpollutionishavingonseabirdsintheTasmanSea,whichisbetweenAus
    traliaandNewZealand.ThefilmcrewwasworkingontheremoteLordHo
    weIslandforanewwildlifedocumentarycalled"DrowninginPlastic".Th
    eyfilmedmanybirdsthathaddiedbecausetheirstomachswereliterallyt
    oofullofplastictobeabletoeatanyfood.Thebirdsstarvedtodeathbecau
    setherewasnoroomintheirstomachsforfood.Thedocumentaryteamfil
    medmarinebiologistsworkingontheislandtotryandsavethebirds.The
    scientistscapturedhundredsofchicksandphysicallyremovedplasticfr
    omtheirstomachstogivethemachanceofsurvival.MarinebiologistJen
    niferLaversexplainedwhatwashappeningtothebirds.Shesaidthebird
    swerepredatorsthatwilleatanything.Shesaid:"Whenyouputplasticin
    theocean,itmeanstheyhavenoabilitytodetectplasticformnon-plast
    ic,sotheyeatit."Adultbirdsfeedtheplastictotheirchicks,oblivioustowh
    attheyarefeedingthem.ProfessorLaverslamentedthatmostoftheplas
    ticis"entirelypreventable".Shesaid:"Wefindplasticclothespegsandpl
    astictoothbrushes.Thosecouldeasilybeswappedoutforothermaterial
    s-aluminiumorwood.Myowntoothbrushismadeofbamboo."TVpresen
    terLizBonninsaid:"Wesaw...90piecesofplasticcomeoutofoneofthech
    icks."

    Free writing

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

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    Academic writing

    Plastic should be banned. 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. PLASTIC POLLUTION: Make a poster about plastic pollution. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. PLASTIC BAN: Write a magazine article about a ban on plastic. 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 plastic pollution. Ask him/her three questions about it. Give him/her three of your ideas on how we can deal with plastic pollution. 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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