The Reading / Listening - Balloons - Level 5

Scientists made an alarming discovery about what plastic is most harmful to seabirds. Australia's Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies discovered that balloons were deadliest. The research team said balloons were 32 times likelier to kill seabirds than hard plastics. They said that while balloons and soft plastics accounted for 5 per cent of plastics ingested, they were responsible for more than 40 per cent of seabird deaths. A researcher said: "Hard plastic fragments may pass quickly through the gut, but soft plastics are more likely to become compacted and cause fatal obstructions."



The study examined 1,733 dead seabirds. Researchers found that over a quarter of the deaths were because of plastic, which is becoming an increasing threat to seabirds. A researcher said: "Marine debris ingestion is now a globally recognized threat....We suggest that reducing the presence of balloons and balloon fragments in the ocean would directly reduce seabird mortalities." There is 280,000 tons of marine debris worldwide. The researcher said about half of seabirds eat plastic daily. Seabirds will swallow balloons because they think they look like squid.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Balloons - Level 4 or  Balloons - Level 6

Sources
  • https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/balloons-the-biggest-risk-to-seabirds
  • https://www.livescience.com/64918-balloons-killing-seabirds.html
  • https://m.health24.com/Lifestyle/Environmental-health/Animals/the-deadliest-plastic-for-seabirds-balloons-20190305


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. Scientists made an alarming
  2. plastic is most harmful
  3. balloons were 32 times
  4. 5 per cent of plastics
  5. they were responsible for
  6. pass quickly through
  7. more likely to become
  8. cause fatal
  1. more than 40%
  2. ingested
  3. obstructions
  4. discovery
  5. compacted
  6. to seabirds
  7. likelier to kill
  8. the gut

Paragraph 2

  1. examined 1,733 dead
  2. a quarter
  3. an increasing threat
  4. a globally recognized
  5. reducing the presence
  6. There is 280,000 tons of marine
  7. Seabirds will
  8. Seabirds think balloons
  1. of balloons
  2. swallow balloons
  3. of the deaths
  4. look like squid
  5. to seabirds
  6. threat
  7. seabirds
  8. debris worldwide

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Scientists (1) ___________________ discovery about what plastic is most harmful to seabirds. Australia's Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies discovered (2) ___________________ deadliest. The research team said balloons were 32 (3) ___________________ kill seabirds than hard plastics. They said that while balloons and soft plastics (4) ___________________ per cent of plastics ingested, they were responsible (5) ___________________ 40 per cent of seabird deaths. A researcher said: "Hard plastic fragments may pass quickly through the gut, but soft plastics are more likely to become compacted (6) ___________________ obstructions."

The study examined 1,733 dead seabirds. Researchers found that over a quarter of the deaths (7) ___________________ plastic, which is becoming an increasing (8) ___________________. A researcher said: "Marine debris ingestion is (9) ___________________ recognized threat....We suggest that reducing the presence of balloons (10) ___________________ in the ocean would directly (11) ___________________." There is 280,000 tons of marine debris worldwide. The researcher said about half of seabirds eat plastic daily. Seabirds will swallow balloons because they think they (12) ___________________.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Scientistsmadeanalarmingdiscoveryaboutwhatplasticismostharmfu
ltoseabirds.Australia'sInstituteforMarineandAntarcticStudiesdiscov
eredthatballoonsweredeadliest.Theresearchteamsaidballoonswere
32timeslikeliertokillseabirdsthanhardplastics.Theysaidthatwhileball
oonsandsoftplasticsaccountedfor5percentofplasticsingested,theyw
ereresponsibleformorethan40percentofseabirddeaths.Aresearcher
said:"Hardplasticfragmentsmaypassquicklythroughthegut,butsoftp
lasticsaremorelikelytobecomecompactedandcausefatalobstructions
."Thestudyexamined1,733deadseabirds.Researchersfoundthatove
raquarterofthedeathswerebecauseofplastic,whichisbecominganincr
easingthreattoseabirds.Aresearchersaid:"Marinedebrisingestionisn
owagloballyrecognizedthreat....Wesuggestthatreducingthepresenc
eofballoonsandballoonfragmentsintheoceanwoulddirectlyreducese
abirdmortalities."Thereis280,000tonsofmarinedebrisworldwide.Th
eresearchersaidabouthalfofseabirdseatplasticdaily.Seabirdswillswa
llowballoonsbecausetheythinktheylooklikesquid.

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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