The Reading / Listening - Polar Vortex - Level 2

A lot of America is in the middle of a deadly cold snap. Many states from the north to the south have freezing temperatures. This hasn't happened for decades. It is currently colder in some parts of the USA than in Antarctica. The cold spell is because of a polar vortex. This is freezing air and wind from the Arctic. The government has declared a state of emergency in Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan. Many schools and businesses have closed because of the extreme cold. People were warned not to travel, and even not to go outside or breathe in the icy air.



A weather website said that the temperature in one part of Minnesota fell to a real-feel -60º Celsius. Many parts of the Chicago River and Niagara Falls turned to ice. Parts of Lake Michigan froze over. The big freeze is responsible for the deaths of at least eight people. Health officials are telling people to go outside only if it is necessary. They warned that letting the freezing air get on the skin was dangerous. It could lead to frostbite or breathing problems. People were also told to be careful when shoveling snow outside. People should be careful of snow and ice falling from the roof.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Polar Vortex - Level 0 Polar Vortex - Level 1   or  Polar Vortex - Level 3

Sources
  • https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/30/us/extreme-cold-weather.html
  • https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/427652-how-dangerous-and-historic-is-the-polar-vortex-hitting-the-midwest
  • https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/75-below-zero-polar-vortex-yields-deadly-cold-as-thousands-endure-power-cuts-travel-issues-mount-in-midwest/70007291


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. in the middle of a
  2. Many states from the
  3. The cold spell is because of
  4. declared a state
  5. closed because
  6. People were warned not
  7. not to go
  8. breathe in the
  1. outside
  2. of emergency
  3. of the extreme cold
  4. icy air
  5. north to the south
  6. deadly cold snap
  7. a polar vortex
  8. to travel

Paragraph 2

  1. the temperature in one
  2. Lake Michigan froze
  3. The big freeze is
  4. letting the freezing air
  5. breathing
  6. be careful when shoveling
  7. People should
  8. snow and ice falling
  1. be careful
  2. problems
  3. from the roof
  4. over
  5. get on the skin
  6. part of Minnesota
  7. responsible
  8. snow outside

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

A lot of America is in (1) ___________________ a deadly cold snap. Many states from the (2) ___________________ south have freezing temperatures. This hasn't happened for decades. It is currently colder (3) ___________________ of the USA than in Antarctica. The cold spell is because of a polar vortex. This is freezing (4) ___________________ from the Arctic. The government has declared a state (5) ___________________ Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan. Many schools and businesses have closed because of the extreme cold. People were warned not to travel, and even not to go (6) ___________________ in the icy air.

A weather website said that the temperature (7) ___________________ of Minnesota fell to a real-feel -60º Celsius. Many (8) ___________________ Chicago River and Niagara Falls turned to ice. Parts of Lake Michigan froze over. The big freeze is responsible for the deaths (9) ___________________ eight people. Health officials are telling people to go outside only if it is necessary. They (10) ___________________ the freezing air get on the skin was dangerous. It could lead to frostbite or breathing problems. People (11) ___________________ to be careful when shoveling snow outside. People should be careful of snow and ice falling (12) ___________________.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

AlotofAmericaisinthemiddleofadeadlycoldsnap.Manystatesfromthe
northtothesouthhavefreezingtemperatures.Thishasn'thappenedfor
decades.ItiscurrentlycolderinsomepartsoftheUSAthaninAntarctica.
Thecoldspellisbecauseofapolarvortex.Thisisfreezingairandwindfro
mtheArctic.ThegovernmenthasdeclaredastateofemergencyinWisco
nsin,IllinoisandMichigan.Manyschoolsandbusinesseshaveclosedbec
auseoftheextremecold.Peoplewerewarnednottotravel,andevennott
ogooutsideorbreatheintheicyair.Aweatherwebsitesaidthatthetempe
ratureinonepartofMinnesotafelltoareal-feel-60ºCelsius.Manypartso
ftheChicagoRiverandNiagaraFallsturnedtoice.PartsofLakeMichiganf
rozeover.Thebigfreezeisresponsibleforthedeathsofatleasteightpeop
le.Healthofficialsaretellingpeopletogooutsideonlyifitisnecessary.Th
eywarnedthatlettingthefreezingairgetontheskinwasdangerous.Itco
uldleadtofrostbiteorbreathingproblems.Peoplewerealsotoldtobecar
efulwhenshovelingsnowoutside.Peopleshouldbecarefulofsnowandic
efallingfromtheroof.

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

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

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

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

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

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

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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