The Reading / Listening - Ecology - Level 3

For the first time ever, plants from Earth are growing on the moon. The China National Space Administration showed photos of cotton seeds sprouting into life. The administration said the cotton plants were among several plants that were "growing well". Other plants that are now growing on the moon are potatoes, rock cress and rapeseed. The plants are part of a project on China's space mission to the far side of the moon. The project is called a "moon surface micro-ecological circle". Project leader Liu Hanlong says the cotton seeds were the first to sprout. He said the plants were chosen because they were small, strong and could grow in the difficult conditions on the moon's surface.



Professor Hanlong said the project's aim was to understand more about how plants grow outside of Earth. The long-term aim is to develop plants that can grow on the moon or on planets like Mars. The professor said: "We have given consideration to future survival in space. Learning about these plants growing in a low-gravity environment would allow us to lay the foundation for our future establishment of a space base." The project also includes yeast and fruit flies. The professor hopes the six organisms in the project will make up a mini-ecosystem. The plants will produce oxygen and food for the fruit flies, and the yeast could manage the flies' waste and the dead plants to provide another food source.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Ecology - Level 0 Ecology - Level 1   or  Ecology - Level 2

Sources
  • https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/2182111/chinese-lunar-landers-cotton-seeds-lead-way-plant-life-germinates
  • https://www.newscientist.com/article/2190704-first-moon-plants-sprout-in-chinas-change-4-biosphere-experiment/
  • https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-46873526


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. ECOLOGY: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about ecology. 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?
       the first time / Earth / cotton / seeds / plants / potatoes / project / mission / surface /
       aim / long-term / planets / survival / gravity / foundation / yeast / fruit flies / food
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. MOON FOOD: Students A strongly believe food from the moon will be important for our survival; Students B strongly believe it won't.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. THE MOON: What things could we do on the moon? What could go wrong? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

Possibilities

What could go wrong?

Growing food

 

 

Accommodation

 

 

Tourism

 

 

Mining

 

 

Waste disposal

 

 

Your idea _______

 

 

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. COTTON: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "cotton". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. PLANTS: Rank these with your partner. Put the most useful plants at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • wheat
  • bamboo
  • garlic
  • roses
  • cotton
  • potatoes
  • cactus
  • banana

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. seed a. Start growing.
      2. sprouting b. The level top of something.
      3. administration c. The people who control an organization; an organization.
      4. several d. The small thing inside a flower or plant that drops to the ground and grows a new flower or plant.
      5. plant e. A small number larger than two.
      6. mission f. A living thing (e.g. trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses, ferns, and mosses) change CO2 into O2.
      7. surface g. An important project for political, religious, or commercial reasons.

    Paragraph 2

      8. long-term h. An individual animal, plant, or single-celled life form.
      9. aim i. The basic part of something.
      10. develop j. The thing that keeps us on Earth and stops us floating away.
      11. gravity k. Happening over or about a long period of time.
      12. foundation l. What the body (or animal) puts into the toilet after eating food or drinking water.
      13. organism m. A purpose or plan; something you want to reach.
      14. waste n. Grow or cause to grow and become more mature.

 

Before reading / listening

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

  1. Plants have never grown on the moon before this mission.     T / F
  2. Chinese scientists showed photos of moss growing on the moon.     T / F
  3. The plants are growing on the far side of the moon.     T / F
  4. Cotton seeds were the first plants to sprout.     T / F
  5. Scientists said their long-term aim is to grow plants on Mars.     T / F
  6. Scientists said there are no chances of survival in space.     T / F
  7. There are sixty different organisms in the Chinese eco-system project.    T / F
  8. The article said dead plants will be used to provide oxygen for fruit flies.  T / F

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

  1. ever
  2. sprouting
  3. administration
  4. mission
  5. chosen
  6. aim
  7. consideration
  8. allow
  9. establishment
  10. provide
  1. goal
  2. trip
  3. selected
  4. setting up
  5. springing up
  6. thought
  7. in history
  8. give
  9. let
  10. management

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

  1. For the first
  2. among several plants that
  3. the far side
  4. grow in the difficult
  5. on the moon's
  6. understand more
  7. growing in a low-
  8. lay the foundation
  9. The plants will produce oxygen
  10. provide another food
  1. conditions
  2. and food
  3. surface
  4. about how plants grow
  5. of the moon
  6. for our future
  7. time ever
  8. source
  9. gravity environment
  10. were "growing well"

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
among
growing
first
project
chosen
life
surface
circle

For the first time ever, plants from Earth are (1) ____________ on the moon. The China National Space Administration showed photos of cotton seeds sprouting into (2) ____________. The administration said the cotton plants were (3) ____________ several plants that were "growing well". Other plants that are now growing on the moon are potatoes, rock cress and rapeseed. The plants are part of a (4) ____________ on China's space mission to the far side of the moon. The project is called a "moon surface micro-ecological (5) ____________". Project leader Liu Hanlong says the cotton seeds were the (6) ____________ to sprout. He said the plants were (7) ____________ because they were small, strong and could grow in the difficult conditions on the moon's (8) ____________.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
organisms
develop
gravity
source
aim
waste
base
survival

Professor Hanlong said the project's (9) ____________ was to understand more about how plants grow outside of Earth. The long-term aim is to (10) ____________ plants that can grow on the moon or on planets like Mars. The professor said: "We have given consideration to future (11) ____________ in space. Learning about these plants growing in a low-(12) ____________ environment would allow us to lay the foundation for our future establishment of a space (13) ____________." The project also includes yeast and fruit flies. The professor hopes the six (14) ____________ in the project will make up a mini-ecosystem. The plants will produce oxygen and food for the fruit flies, and the yeast could manage the flies' (15) ____________ and the dead plants to provide another food (16) ____________.

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  For the first time ever, plants from Earth are ______ moon
     a.  grown on the
     b.  grow in on the
     c.  growing on the
     d.  grown in on the
2)  China National Space Administration showed photos of cotton seeds ______ life
     a.  sprouting in two
     b.  sprout in into
     c.  sprout thing into
     d.  sprouting into
3)  The administration said the cotton plants were among ______
     a.  several supplants
     b.  several implants
     c.  several plants
     d.  several complaints
4)  Project leader Liu Hanlong says the cotton seeds were ______ sprout
     a.  the first thru
     b.  the first two
     c.  the first too
     d.  the first to
5)  strong and could grow in the difficult conditions on ______
     a.  the moon's surf ice
     b.  the moon's surf face
     c.  the moon's surface
     d.  the moon's serf ace

6)  the project's aim was to understand more about how plants ______ Earth
     a.  grown outside of
     b.  growth outside of
     c.  growing outside of
     d.  grow outside of
7)  long-term aim is to develop plants that can grow on the moon or ______ Mars
     a.  on planets like
     b.  on plants like
     c.  on plan nets like
     d.  on plain nets like
8)  allow us to lay the foundation for our future establishment of ______
     a.  a space pace
     b.  a space face
     c.  a space race
     d.  a space base
9)  The professor hopes the six organisms in the project will make up a ______
     a.  mini key system
     b.  mini-echo system
     c.  mini ego system
     d.  mini-ecosystem
10) yeast could manage the flies' waste and the dead plants to provide another ______
     a.  food source
     b.  food sauce
     c.  food sours
     d.  food sass

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

For the (1) ___________________, plants from Earth are growing on the moon. The China National Space Administration showed photos of cotton seeds (2) ___________________. The administration said the cotton plants were among several plants that were "growing well". Other plants that are now (3) ___________________ moon are potatoes, rock cress and rapeseed. The plants are part (4) ___________________ on China's space mission to (5) ___________________ of the moon. The project is called a "moon surface micro-ecological circle". Project leader Liu Hanlong says the cotton seeds were the first to sprout. He said the plants were chosen because they were small, strong and could grow in the difficult conditions on (6) ___________________.

Professor Hanlong said the project's aim (7) ___________________ more about how plants grow outside of Earth. The long-term aim is to develop plants that can grow on the moon (8) ___________________ like Mars. The professor said: "We have given consideration to (9) ___________________ space. Learning about these plants growing in a low-gravity environment would allow us to lay the foundation for our future establishment of a space base." The project (10) ___________________ and fruit flies. The professor hopes the six (11) ___________________ project will make up a mini-ecosystem. The plants will produce oxygen and food for the fruit flies, and the yeast could manage the (12) ___________________ the dead plants to provide another food source.

Comprehension questions

  1. What seeds were the first to sprout?
  2. What is the largest vegetable that is now growing on the moon?
  3. Where on the moon are the plants growing?
  4. Why were the plants chosen for this mission?
  5. What did the article say about the conditions on the moon's surface?
  6. Where do the scientists hope to grow vegetables in the future?
  7. What have the scientists considered regarding the future?
  8. What do the scientists want to establish in the future?
  9. How many organisms did the scientists take to the moon?
  10. What will the plants provide for the fruit flies besides food?




Multiple choice quiz

1) What seeds were the first to sprout?
a) rapeseed
b) potatoes
c) cress
d) cotton seeds
2) What is the largest vegetable that is now growing on the moon?
a) pumpkins
b) potatoes
c) carrots
d) tomatoes
3) Where on the moon are the plants growing?
a) where an Apollo spacecraft landed
b) the part nearest to Earth
c) the far side of the moon
d) in a crater
4) Why were the plants chosen for this mission?
a) they were small and strong
b) they were tasty
c) they can grow without water
d) they don't need light
5) What did the article say about the conditions on the moon's surface?
a) they are favorable
b) nothing
c) they are difficult
d) they are hostile

6) Where do the scientists hope to grow vegetables in the future?
a) in the desert
b) the moon, or planets like Mars
c) in space
d) on a space station
7) What have the scientists considered regarding the future?
a) creating new types of vegetables
b) moon farms
c) space farms
d) out future survival in space
8) What do the scientists want to establish in the future?
a) a moon base
b) a giant potato
c) moon farms
d) a new vegetable
9) How many organisms did the scientists take to the moon?
a) four
b) five
c) six
d) seven
10) What will the plants provide for the fruit flies besides food?
a) nitrogen
b) oxygen
c) CO2
d) NaCl

Role play

Role  A – Cotton
You think cotton is the world's most useful plant. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their plants. Also, tell the others which is the least useful of these (and why): potatoes, bamboo or roses.

Role  B – Potatoes
You think potatoes are the world's most useful plant. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their plants. Also, tell the others which is the least useful of these (and why): cotton, bamboo or roses.

Role  C – Bamboo
You think bamboo is the world's most useful plant. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their plants. Also, tell the others which is the least useful of these (and why): potatoes, cotton or roses.

Role  D – Roses
You think roses is the world's most useful plant. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their plants. Also, tell the others which is the least useful of these (and why): potatoes, bamboo or cotton.

After reading / listening

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

'grow'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'plants'.

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

    • understand
    • planets
    • survival
    • low
    • six
    • dead
    • ever
    • life
    • other
    • part
    • circle
    • difficult




    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 - China grows plants on the moon

    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 'grow'?
    3. What do you think of plants growing on the moon?
    4. Would you eat plants grown on the moon?
    5. What do you know about the cotton plant?
    6. What problems might plants have growing on the moon?
    7. What are your favorite plants?
    8. Why might moon plants be dangerous?
    9. What do you think of starting farms on the moon?
    10. Would you like to live on the moon?

    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 'plant'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. Why are scientists doing this project?
    5. Will we have to live in space in the future?
    6. What do you think of space tourism?
    7. What do you know about yeast?
    8. What do you know about eco-systems?
    9. Would you eat a new food source developed on the moon?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the project leader?

    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)

    For the first time (1) ____, plants from Earth are growing on the moon. The China National Space Administration showed photos of cotton seeds (2) ____ into life. The administration said the cotton plants were (3) ____ several plants that were "growing well". Other plants that are now growing on the moon are potatoes, rock cress and rapeseed. The plants are (4) ____ of a project on China's space mission to the far side of the moon. The project is called a "moon surface micro-ecological circle". Project leader Liu Hanlong says the cotton seeds were the (5) ____ to sprout. He said the plants were chosen because they were small, strong and could grow in the difficult conditions on the moon's (6) ____.

    Professor Hanlong said the project's aim was to understand more about how plants (7) ____ outside of Earth. The long-term aim is to develop plants that can grow on the moon or on planets like Mars. The professor said: "We have (8) ____ consideration to future survival in space. Learning about these plants grow in a low-gravity environment would allow us to (9) ____ the foundation for our future establishment of a space base." The project also includes yeast and fruit flies. Professor hopes the six organisms in the project will make (10) ____ a mini-ecosystem. The plants will (11) ____ oxygen and food for the fruit flies, and the yeast could manage the flies' (12) ____ and the dead plants to provide another food source.

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     ever     (b)     every     (c)     never     (d)     overall    
    2. (a)     sprouted     (b)     sprouts     (c)     sprouting     (d)     sprout    
    3. (a)     between     (b)     inside     (c)     among     (d)     under    
    4. (a)     parts     (b)     party     (c)     partner     (d)     part    
    5. (a)     first     (b)     firstly     (c)     firsts     (d)     firsthand    
    6. (a)     level     (b)     surface     (c)     flat     (d)     top    
    7. (a)     grown     (b)     grower     (c)     growth     (d)     grow    
    8. (a)     done     (b)     given     (c)     taken     (d)     had    
    9. (a)     lie     (b)     let     (c)     lay     (d)     lab    
    10. (a)     down     (b)     on     (c)     in     (d)     up    
    11. (a)     mix     (b)     blend     (c)     manufacture     (d)     produce    
    12. (a)     swat     (b)     waste     (c)     waster     (d)     wasted

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. photos of cotton edsse sprouting
    2. among eavsrel plants
    3. part of a ceprtoj
    4. space sinsimo to the far side of the moon
    5. grow in the difficult incsntodio
    6. on the moon's cfsaure

    Paragraph 2

    1. leevdpo plants that can grow
    2. future vrsivula in space
    3. a low-gayirtv environment
    4. lay the toofdnunia for our future
    5. The plants will odcurep oxygen
    6. provide another food sruoce

    Put the text back together

    (...)  were small, strong and could grow in the difficult conditions on the moon's surface.
    (...)  in the project will make up a mini-ecosystem. The plants will produce oxygen and food for the fruit
    (...)  of the moon. The project is called a "moon surface micro-ecological circle". Project
    (...)  like Mars. The professor said: "We have given consideration to future survival in space. Learning about these
    1  ) For the first time ever, plants from Earth are growing on the moon. The China National Space Administration showed
    (...)  leader Liu Hanlong says the cotton seeds were the first to sprout. He said the plants were chosen because they
    (...)  Professor Hanlong said the project's aim was to understand more about how plants grow
    (...)  base." The project also includes yeast and fruit flies. The professor hopes the six organisms
    (...)  several plants that were "growing well". Other plants that are now growing on the moon are potatoes, rock cress
    (...)  and rapeseed. The plants are part of a project on China's space mission to the far side
    (...)  outside of Earth. The long-term aim is to develop plants that can grow on the moon or on planets
    (...)  flies, and the yeast could manage the flies' waste and the dead plants to provide another food source.
    (...)  photos of cotton seeds sprouting into life. The administration said the cotton plants were among
    (...)  plants growing in a low-gravity environment would allow us to lay the foundation for our future establishment of a space

    Put the words in the right order

    1. on   growing   that   moon   .   Other   are   the   plants
    2. of   side   moon   .   far   the   Mission   the   to
    3. sprout   .   The   first   were   seeds   to   the   cotton
    4. because   The   were   they   small   .   chosen   plants   were
    5. difficult   the   on   surface   .   conditions   the   In   moon's
    6. was   to   understand   more   .   aim   project's   The
    7. environment   .   growing   These   a   in   plants   low-gravity
    8. base   .   future   space   a   of   establishment   our   For
    9. organisms   in   the   mini-ecosystem   .   Six   a   project   make
    10. yeast   flies'   manage   The   the   could   waste   .

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    For the first time never / ever, plants from Earth are growing on the moon. The China National Space Administration showed photo / photos of cotton seeds sprouting / sprouted into life. The administration said the cotton plants were among / between several plants that were "growing well". Other plants that are now growing / growth on the moon are potatoes, rock cress and rapeseed. The plants are part / party of a project on China's space mission to the far / farm side of the moon. The project is called a "moon surface micro-ecological circle". Project leadership / leader Liu Hanlong says the cotton seeds were / was the first to sprout. He said the plants were chosen because they were small, strong and could grow in the difficult conditions on / in the moon's surface.

    Professor Hanlong said the project's arm / aim was to understand more about how plants growing / grow outside of Earth. The long-term aim is to develop plants that can grow on the moon or on plants / planets like Mars. The professor said: "We have given / lack consideration to future survival on / in space. Learning about these plants growing in a low-gravity environment would allow us to play / lay the foundation for our future establishment of a space base." The project also includes yeast and fruit flies. The professor hopes the six organisms in the project will make up a mini-ecosystem. The plants will produce oxygen and food for the fruit flies, and the yeast could manage the flies' waste and the dead plants to provide another food source.

    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)

    F_r t h_ f_r s t t_m_ _v_r , p l_n t s f r_m E_r t h _r_ g r_w_n g _n t h_ m__ n . T h_ C h_n_ N_t__ n_l S p_c_ A d m_n_s t r_t__ n s h_w_d p h_t_s _f c_t t_n s__ d s s p r__ t_n g _n t_ l_f_. T h_ _d m_n_s t r_t__ n s__ d t h_ c_t t_n p l_n t s w_r_ _m_n g s_v_r_l p l_n t s t h_t w_r_ " g r_w_n g w_l l " . O t h_r p l_n t s t h_t _r_ n_w g r_w_n g _n t h_ m__ n _r_ p_t_t__ s , r_c k c r_s s _n d r_p_s__ d . T h_ p l_n t s _r_ p_r t _f _ p r_j_c t _n C h_n_' s s p_c_ m_s s__ n t_ t h_ f_r s_d_ _f t h_ m__ n . T h_ p r_j_c t _s c_l l_d _ " m__ n s_r f_c_ m_c r_-_c_l_g_c_l c_r c l_" . P r_j_c t l__ d_r L__ H_n l_n g s_y s t h_ c_t t_n s__ d s w_r_ t h_ f_r s t t_ s p r__ t . H_ s__ d t h_ p l_n t s w_r_ c h_s_n b_c__ s_ t h_y w_r_ s m_l l , s t r_n g _n d c__ l d g r_w _n t h_ d_f f_c_l t c_n d_t__ n s _n t h_ m__ n ' s s_r f_c_.

    P r_f_s s_r H_n l_n g s__ d t h_ p r_j_c t ' s __ m w_s t_ _n d_r s t_n d m_r_ _b__ t h_w p l_n t s g r_w __ t s_d_ _f E_r t h . T h_ l_n g - t_r m __ m _s t_ d_v_l_p p l_n t s t h_t c_n g r_w _n t h_ m__ n _r _n p l_n_t s l_k_ M_r s . T h_ p r_f_s s_r s__ d : " W_ h_v_ g_v_n c_n s_d_r_t__ n t_ f_t_r_ s_r v_v_l _n s p_c_. L__ r n_n g _b__ t t h_s_ p l_n t s g r_w _n _ l_w - g r_v_t y _n v_r_n m_n t w__ l d _l l_w _s t_ l_y t h_ f__ n d_t__ n f_r __ r f_t_r_ _s t_b l_s h m_n t _f _ s p_c_ b_s_. " T h_ p r_j_c t _l s_ _n c l_d_s y__ s t _n d f r__ t f l__ s . P r_f_s s_r h_p_s t h_ s_x _r g_n_s m s _n t h_ p r_j_c t w_l l m_k_ _p _ m_n_-_c_s y s t_m . T h_ p l_n t s w_l l p r_d_c_ _x y g_n _n d f__ d f_r t h_ f r__ t f l__ s , _n d t h_ y__ s t c__ l d m_n_g_ t h_ f l__ s ' w_s t_ _n d t h_ d__ d p l_n t s t_ p r_v_d_ _n_t h_r f__ d s__ r c_.

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    for the first time ever plants from earth are growing on the moon the china national space administration showed photos of cotton seeds sprouting into life the administration said the cotton plants were among several plants that were growing well other plants that are now growing on the moon are potatoes rock cress and rapeseed the plants are part of a project on chinas space mission to the far side of the moon the project is called a moon surface microecological circle project leader liu hanlong says the cotton seeds were the first to sprout he said the plants were chosen because they were small strong and could grow in the difficult conditions on the moons surface

    professor hanlong said the projects aim was to understand more about how plants grow outside of earth the longterm aim is to develop plants that can grow on the moon or on planets like mars the professor said we have given consideration to future survival in space learning about these plants growing in a lowgravity environment would allow us to lay the foundation for our future establishment of a space base the project also includes yeast and fruit flies The professor hopes the six organisms in the project will make up a miniecosystem the plants will produce oxygen and food for the fruit flies and the yeast could manage the flies waste and the dead plants to provide another food source

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Forthefirsttimeever,plantsfromEartharegrowingonthemoon.TheChi
    naNationalSpaceAdministrationshowedphotosofcottonseedssprouti
    ngintolife.Theadministrationsaidthecottonplantswereamongseveral
    plantsthatwere"growingwell".Otherplantsthatarenowgrowingonthe
    moonarepotatoes,rockcressandrapeseed.Theplantsarepartofaproje
    ctonChina'sspacemissiontothefarsideofthemoon.Theprojectiscalled
    a"moonsurfacemicro-ecologicalcircle".ProjectleaderLiuHanlongsay
    sthecottonseedswerethefirsttosprout.Hesaidtheplantswerechosenb
    ecausetheyweresmall,strongandcouldgrowinthedifficultconditionso
    nthemoon'ssurface.ProfessorHanlongsaidtheproject'saimwastound
    erstandmoreabouthowplantsgrowoutsideofEarth.Thelong-termai
    mistodevelopplantsthatcangrowonthemoonoronplanetslikeMars.Th
    eprofessorsaid:"Wehavegivenconsiderationtofuturesurvivalinspace
    .Learningabouttheseplantsgrowinginalow-gravityenvironmentwou
    ldallowustolaythefoundationforourfutureestablishmentofaspacebas
    e."Theprojectalsoincludesyeastandfruitflies.Theprofessorhopesthe
    sixorganismsintheprojectwillmakeupamini-ecosystem.Theplantsw
    illproduceoxygenandfoodforthefruitflies,andtheyeastcouldmanaget
    heflies'wasteandthedeadplantstoprovideanotherfoodsource.

    Free writing

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

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    Academic writing

    It is essential to try and grow food in space. 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. ECOLOGY: Make a poster about ecology. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. SPACE: Write a magazine article about making farms in space. 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 farms in space. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three of your opinions on this. 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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