The Reading / Listening - Balloons - Level 6

Scientists have made an alarming discovery about what kinds of pollution are most harmful to seabirds. A study led by Australia's Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies discovered that balloons were the deadliest kind of plastic for seabirds. The research team said balloons were 32 times more likely to kill seabirds than hard plastics. They found that while balloons and other soft plastics accounted for only 5 per cent of plastics ingested, they were responsible for more than 40 per cent of deaths among seabirds. Lead researcher Lauren Roman 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 and found that more than a quarter of the deaths were attributed to eating plastic. Ms Roman explained that plastic is becoming an increasing threat to seabirds. She 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." LiveScience.com said: "With an estimated 280,000 tons of floating marine debris worldwide, about half of all seabird species are thought to ingest plastic on a daily basis. Birds are especially likely to swallow dangerous balloons because they closely resemble squid, according to the study."

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Balloons - Level 4  or  Balloons - Level 5

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 :-)



Warm-ups

1. BALLOONS: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about balloons. 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?
       scientists / alarming / discovery / plastic / seabirds / responsible / researcher / fatal /
       quarter / eating / threat / presence / mortalities / marine / debris / species / squid
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. BAN: Students A strongly believe governments must ban balloons; Students B strongly believe they shouldn't.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. POLLUTION: How bad are these kinds of pollution? How can we reduce them? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

How Bad?

Solutions

Plastic

 

 

Noise

 

 

Air

 

 

River

 

 

Nuclear

 

 

Litter

 

 

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

  • food trays
  • carrier bags
  • food packaging
  • toys
  • balloons
  • bottles
  • glitter
  • pens

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. alarming a. A society or organization having a particular object or common factor, especially a scientific, educational, or social one.
      2. institute b. Took food, drink, or another substance into the body by swallowing or absorbing it.
      3. accounted for c. The action of blocking something or the state of being blocked.
      4. ingested d. Supplied or made up a specified amount or proportion.
      5. fragments e. The stomach or belly.
      6. gut f. Worrying or disturbing.
      7. obstructions g. Small parts broken or separated off something.

    Paragraph 2

      8. attributed to h. A person or thing likely to cause damage or danger.
      9. threat i. The state or fact of existing, occurring, or being in a place or thing.
      10. presence j. Look or seem like someone or something else.
      11. mortalities k. Buoyant or suspended in water or air.
      12. floating l. Deaths.
      13. swallow m. Regarded something as being caused by someone or something.
      14. resemble n. Cause or allow something, especially food or drink to pass down the throat.

 

Before reading / listening

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

  1. Scientists started alarm clock bells ringing about a discovery.     T / F
  2. Research was done on seabirds in the North Pole.     T / F
  3. Balloons accounted for over 40% of plastic-related seabird deaths.     T / F
  4. A researcher said hard plastics pass more slowly through the gut.     T / F
  5. Around 25% of dead seabirds in the research died because of plastic.     T / F
  6. A researcher said marine debris is becoming less of a threat to birds.     T / F
  7. There are about 280,000 tons of debris floating on our oceans.     T / F
  8. Seabirds could eat balloons because they think they look like squid.     T / F

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

  1. alarming
  2. harmful
  3. likely
  4. ingested
  5. fatal
  6. attributed to
  7. increasing
  8. mortalities
  9. worldwide
  10. resemble
  1. probable
  2. look like
  3. consumed
  4. growing
  5. damaging
  6. deaths
  7. globally
  8. worrying
  9. pinned on
  10. deadly

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

  1. Scientists have made an alarming
  2. balloons were 32 times more
  3. responsible for more than 40 per cent
  4. fragments may pass quickly
  5. cause fatal
  6. a quarter of the deaths were
  7. plastic is becoming an increasing threat
  8. reduce seabird
  9. 280,000 tons of floating marine
  10. swallow dangerous balloons because they
  1. of deaths
  2. closely resemble squid
  3. obstructions
  4. mortalities
  5. to seabirds
  6. discovery
  7. likely to kill
  8. debris
  9. through the gut
  10. attributed to eating plastic

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
likely
ingested
alarming
fatal
deadliest
gut
led
accounted

Scientists have made an (1) ____________ discovery about what kinds of pollution are most harmful to seabirds. A study (2) ____________ by Australia's Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies discovered that balloons were the (3) ____________ kind of plastic for seabirds. The research team said balloons were 32 times more (4) ____________ to kill seabirds than hard plastics. They found that while balloons and other soft plastics (5) ____________ for only 5 per cent of plastics (6) ____________, they were responsible for more than 40 per cent of deaths among seabirds. Lead researcher Lauren Roman said: "Hard plastic fragments may pass quickly through the (7) ____________, but soft plastics are more likely to become compacted and cause (8) ____________ obstructions."

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
mortalities
swallow
threat
debris
resemble
species
quarter
presence

The study examined 1,733 dead seabirds and found that more than a (9) ____________ of the deaths were attributed to eating plastic. Ms Roman explained that plastic is becoming an increasing (10) ____________ to seabirds. She said: "Marine (11) ____________ ingestion is now a globally recognized threat....We suggest that reducing the (12) ____________ of balloons and balloon fragments in the ocean would directly reduce seabird (13) ____________." LiveScience.com said: "With an estimated 280,000 tons of floating marine debris worldwide, about half of all seabird (14) ____________ are thought to ingest plastic on a daily basis. Birds are especially likely to (15) ____________ dangerous balloons because they closely (16) ____________ squid, according to the study."

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  Scientists have made an alarming discovery about what kinds of pollution ______
     a.  are most harmfully
     b.  are most harmed full
     c.  are most armful
     d.  are most harmful
2)  They found that while balloons and other soft plastics ______ 5%
     a.  accounted four only
     b.  account it for only
     c.  accounted for only
     d.  a count it for only
3)  they were responsible for more than 40 per cent of deaths ______
     a.  aiming seabird
     b.  among seabird
     c.  among seabirds
     d.  aiming seabirds
4)  Hard plastic fragments may pass quickly through ______
     a.  the gut
     b.  the but
     c.  the jut
     d.  the tut
5)  but soft plastics are more likely to become compacted and cause ______
     a.  fatally obstructs shuns
     b.  fatal abstractions
     c.  fatally obstetricians
     d.  fatal obstructions

6)  more than a quarter of the deaths were ______ eating plastic
     a.  attribute it to
     b.  attributed too
     c.  attributed to
     d.  a tribute to
7)  balloons and balloon fragments in the ocean would directly reduce ______
     a.  seabird mortalities
     b.  seabird immortalize
     c.  seabird immoralities
     d.  seabird moralities
8)  With an estimated 280,000 tons of floating ______
     a.  marine day brie
     b.  marine debris
     c.  marine deb brie
     d.  marine debut
9)  half of all seabird species are thought to ingest plastic on ______
     a.  a daily basics
     b.  a daily bay sis
     c.  a daily basis
     d.  a daily base is
10)  Birds are especially likely to swallow dangerous balloons because they ______
     a.  closely resembled squid
     b.  closely resemble squids
     c.  closely resemble squidgy
     d.  closely resemble squid

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Scientists have (1) ___________________ discovery about what kinds of pollution are most harmful to seabirds. A study led by Australia's Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies discovered that balloons (2) ___________________ kind of plastic for seabirds. The research team said balloons were 32 times (3) ___________________ kill seabirds than hard plastics. They found that while balloons and other soft plastics accounted for only 5 per cent (4) ___________________, they were responsible for more than 40 per cent of deaths among seabirds. Lead researcher Lauren Roman said: "Hard plastic fragments may pass quickly (5) ___________________, but soft plastics are more likely to become compacted (6) ___________________ obstructions."

The study examined 1,733 dead seabirds and found that more than a quarter of the deaths (7) ___________________ eating plastic. Ms Roman explained that plastic is becoming an increasing threat to seabirds. She said: "Marine (8) ___________________ now a globally recognized threat....We suggest that (9) ___________________ of balloons and balloon fragments in the ocean would directly reduce seabird mortalities." LiveScience.com said: "With an estimated 280,000 (10) ___________________ marine debris worldwide, about half of all seabird species are (11) ___________________ plastic on a daily basis. Birds are especially likely to swallow dangerous balloons because they (12) ___________________, according to the study."

Comprehension questions

  1. What adjective did the article use to describe the discovery?
  2. Where is the institute that conducted this research?
  3. How many times are balloons more likely to kill seabirds than hard plastic?
  4. What percentage of ingested plastic is made up of balloons?
  5. What do hard plastic fragments pass through quickly?
  6. How many dead seabirds did the researchers examine?
  7. What did a researcher say was a globally recognized threat?
  8. How much marine debris is floating on Earth's oceans?
  9. How many seabirds are estimated to ingest balloons on a daily basis?
  10. What do seabirds think balloons look like?




Multiple choice quiz

1) What adjective did the article use to describe the discovery?
a) amazing
b) banging
c) ringing
d) alarming
2) Where is the institute that conducted this research?
a) Japan
b) Australia
c) Chile
d) the USA
3) How many times are balloons more likely to kill seabirds than hard plastic?
a) 5
b) 40
c) 32
d) 60
4) What percentage of ingested plastic is made up of balloons?
a) 5
b) 6
c) 7
d) 8
5) What do hard plastic fragments pass through quickly?
a) sand
b) the ecosystem
c) the gut
d) the ocean

6) How many dead seabirds did the researchers examine?
a) 7,133
b) 1,733
c) 1,373
d) 3,713
7) What did a researcher say was a globally recognized threat?
a) eating plastic
b) balloon production
c) balloon fragmentation
d) marine debris ingestion
8) How much marine debris is floating on Earth's oceans?
a) 280,000 tons
b) 208,000 tons
c) 800,000 tons
d) 820,000 tons
9) How many seabirds are estimated to ingest balloons on a daily basis?
a) about a quarter
b) about a third
c) about half
d) about two thirds
10) What do seabirds think balloons look like?
a) bags
b) squid
c) fish
d) water

Role play

Role  A – Balloons
You think balloons are the worst pollutants. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as polluting. Also, tell the others which is the least damaging of these (and why): glitter, bottles or carrier bags.

Role  B – Glitter
You think glitter are the worst pollutants. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as polluting. Also, tell the others which is the least damaging of these (and why): balloons, bottles or carrier bags.

Role  C – Bottles
You think bottles are the worst pollutants. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as polluting. Also, tell the others which is the least damaging of these (and why): glitter, balloons or carrier bags.

Role  D – Carrier Bags
You think carrier bags are the worst pollutants. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as polluting. Also, tell the others which is the least damaging of these (and why): glitter, bottles or balloons.

After reading / listening

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

'plastic'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'balloons'.

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

    • 1,733
    • becoming
    • now
    • directly
    • tons
    • squid
    • alarming
    • deadliest
    • 32
    • 5
    • among
    • fatal




    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 - Balloons deadliest plastic for seabirds

    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 'balloon'?
    3. What do you think of balloons?
    4. Should governments ban all plastics?
    5. How sad is the sight of a bird killed by a balloon?
    6. What should governments now do about this problem?
    7. What could you do to reduce the use of plastics?
    8. How much plastic is there in our food chain?
    9. Should balloons be banned?
    10. Would you like to do research in Antarctica?

    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 'plastic'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. Why do we need balloons in this world?
    5. How can we educate people about the danger of balloons?
    6. How much of a threat are humans to birds?
    7. What can be done to clean up marine debris?
    8. What will you do from today to use less plastic?
    9. How do you feel when you see a beach covered in plastic?
    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)

    Scientists have made an (1) ____ discovery about what kinds of pollution are most harmful to seabirds. A study (2) ____ by Australia's Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies discovered that balloons were the deadliest kind of plastic for seabirds. The research team said balloons were 32 times more (3) ____ to kill seabirds than hard plastics. They found that while balloons and other soft plastics accounted (4) ____ only 5 per cent of plastics ingested, they were responsible for more than 40 per cent of deaths (5) ____ seabirds. Lead researcher Lauren Roman said: "Hard plastic fragments may pass quickly through the gut, but soft plastics are more likely to become (6) ____ and cause fatal obstructions."

    The study examined 1,733 dead seabirds and found that more than a (7) ____ of the deaths were attributed to eating plastic. Ms Roman explained that plastic is becoming an increasing (8) ____ to seabirds. She said: "Marine debris ingestion is now a globally recognized threat....We suggest that (9) ____ the presence of balloons and balloon fragments in the ocean would directly reduce seabird mortalities." LiveScience.com said: "With an (10) ____ 280,000 tons of floating marine debris worldwide, about half of all seabird species are thought to ingest plastic (11) ____ a daily basis. Birds are especially likely to swallow dangerous balloons because they closely (12) ____ squid, according to the study."

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     alarmed     (b)     alarms     (c)     alarming     (d)     alarm    
    2. (a)     led     (b)     fed     (c)     wed     (d)     bed    
    3. (a)     likely     (b)     likelier     (c)     likelihood     (d)     liked    
    4. (a)     for     (b)     by     (c)     on     (d)     at    
    5. (a)     from     (b)     between     (c)     ranging     (d)     among    
    6. (a)     comprised     (b)     cemented     (c)     commented     (d)     compacted    
    7. (a)     quarter     (b)     quartile     (c)     quart     (d)     quartered    
    8. (a)     treaty     (b)     throat     (c)     treat     (d)     threat    
    9. (a)     reducing     (b)     reduced     (c)     reduction     (d)     reduces    
    10. (a)     estimates     (b)     estimated     (c)     estimation     (d)     estimating    
    11. (a)     to     (b)     on     (c)     of     (d)     in    
    12. (a)     resemble     (b)     assemble     (c)     ensemble     (d)     semblance

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. Scientists have made an alarming coedrvisy
    2. Institute for Marine and traAticnc Studies
    3. plastics noeuactdc for only 5%
    4. Hard plastic smrgtafne
    5. more likely to become cmdctopea
    6. cause fatal outncrobssit

    Paragraph 2

    1. becoming an increasing tteahr
    2. now a globally cedrenzoig ...
    3. 280,000 tons of floating marine rsibed
    4. thought to gnites plastic
    5. likely to waollsw dangerous balloons
    6. they closely mesblere squid

    Put the text back together

    (...)  estimated 280,000 tons of floating marine debris worldwide, about half of all seabird species are
    (...)  to eating plastic. Ms Roman explained that plastic is becoming an increasing threat to seabirds. She said: "Marine debris
    (...)  ingestion is now a globally recognized threat....We suggest that reducing the presence of balloons and balloon
    (...)  plastics. They found that while balloons and other soft plastics accounted for only 5 per cent of plastics
    (...)  balloons because they closely resemble squid, according to the study."
    (...)  by Australia's Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies discovered that balloons were the deadliest kind
    (...)  are more likely to become compacted and cause fatal obstructions."
    (...)  The study examined 1,733 dead seabirds and found that more than a quarter of the deaths were attributed
    1  ) Scientists have made an alarming discovery about what kinds of pollution are most harmful to seabirds. A study led
    (...)  researcher Lauren Roman said: "Hard plastic fragments may pass quickly through the gut, but soft plastics
    (...)  thought to ingest plastic on a daily basis. Birds are especially likely to swallow dangerous
    (...)  ingested, they were responsible for more than 40 per cent of deaths among seabirds. Lead
    (...)  fragments in the ocean would directly reduce seabird mortalities." LiveScience.com said: "With an
    (...)  of plastic for seabirds. The research team said balloons were 32 times more likely to kill seabirds than hard

    Put the words in the right order

    1. An   of   what   alarming   discovery   pollution   .   about   kinds
    2. seabirds   .   were   the   plastic   deadliest   for   Balloons
    3. were   Balloons   likely   more   kill   .   to   32   times
    4. pass   may   through   fragments   the   quickly   gut   .   Plastic
    5. more   become   compacted   .   to   are   Soft   plastics   likely
    6. globally   a   ingestion   threat   .   debris   recognized   Marine   is
    7. estimated   280,000   An   floating   of   debris   .   marine   tons
    8. basis   .   daily   plastic   ingest   to   Thought   a   on
    9. to   balloons   .   especially   likely   swallow   dangerous   Birds   are
    10. closely   squid,   the   study   .   to   resemble   according   They

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Scientists have made an alarm / alarming discovery about what kinds of pollution are most harmful / harmed to seabirds. A study led by Australia's Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies discovered that balloons were the deadliest kind of plastic to / for seabirds. The research team said balloons were 32 times more likelihood / likely to kill seabirds than hard plastics. They found that while / thorough balloons and other soft plastics accounted to / for only 5 per cent of plastics ingested, they were responsibility / responsible for more than 40 per cent of deaths between / among seabirds. Lead researcher Lauren Roman said: "Hard plastic fragments may pass / meander quickly through the gut, but soft plastics are more likely to become compacted and cause fatal / vital obstructions."

    The study contained / examined 1,733 dead seabirds and found that more than a quartile / quarter of the deaths were attributed / tribute to eating plastic. Ms Roman explained that plastic is / are becoming an increasing threat to seabirds. She said: "Marine debris congestion / ingestion is now a globally recognized threat....We suggest that reducing the presents / presence of balloons and balloon fragments in the ocean would directly reduce seabird mortals / mortalities." LiveScience.com said: "With an estimated 280,000 tons of floating  praline / marine debris worldwide, about half of all seabird species are thought to ingest plastic on a date / daily basis. Birds are especially likely to swallow dangerous balloons because they closely resemble squid / squidgy, according to the study."

    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)

    S c__ n t_s t s h_v_ m_d_ _n _l_r m_n g d_s c_v_r y _b__ t w h_t k_n d s _f p_l l_t__ n _r_ m_s t h_r m f_l t_ s__ b_r d s . A s t_d y l_d b y A_s t r_l__ ' s I n s t_t_t_ f_r M_r_n_ _n d A n t_r c t_c S t_d__ s d_s c_v_r_d t h_t b_l l__ n s w_r_ t h_ d__ d l__ s t k_n d _f p l_s t_c f_r s__ b_r d s . T h_ r_s__ r c h t__ m s__ d b_l l__ n s w_r_ 3 2 t_m_s m_r_ l_k_l y t_ k_l l s__ b_r d s t h_n h_r d p l_s t_c s . T h_y f__ n d t h_t w h_l_ b_l l__ n s _n d _t h_r s_f t p l_s t_c s _c c__ n t_d f_r _n l y 5 p_r c_n t _f p l_s t_c s _n g_s t_d , t h_y w_r_ r_s p_n s_b l_ f_r m_r_ t h_n 4 0 p_r c_n t _f d__ t h s _m_n g s__ b_r d s . L__ d r_s__ r c h_r L__ r_n R_m_n s__ d : " H_r d p l_s t_c f r_g m_n t s m_y p_s s q__ c k l y t h r__ g h t h_ g_t , b_t s_f t p l_s t_c s _r_ m_r_ l_k_l y t_ b_c_m_ c_m p_c t_d _n d c__ s_ f_t_l _b s t r_c t__ n s . "

    T h_ s t_d y _x_m_n_d 1 , 7 3 3 d__ d s__ b_r d s _n d f__ n d t h_t m_r_ t h_n _ q__ r t_r _f t h_ d__ t h s w_r_ _t t r_b_t_d t_ __ t_n g p l_s t_c . M s R_m_n _x p l__ n_d t h_t p l_s t_c _s b_c_m_n g _n _n c r__ s_n g t h r__ t t_ s__ b_r d s . S h_ s__ d : " M_r_n_ d_b r_s _n g_s t__ n _s n_w _ g l_b_l l y r_c_g n_z_d t h r__ t . . . . W_ s_g g_s t t h_t r_d_c_n g t h_ p r_s_n c_ _f b_l l__ n s _n d b_l l__ n f r_g m_n t s _n t h_ _c__ n w__ l d d_r_c t l y r_d_c_ s__ b_r d m_r t_l_t__ s . " L_v_S c__ n c_. c_m s__ d : " W_t h _n _s t_m_t_d 2 8 0 , 0 0 0 t_n s _f f l__ t_n g m_r_n_ d_b r_s w_r l d w_d_, _b__ t h_l f _f _l l s__ b_r d s p_c__ s _r_ t h__ g h t t_ _n g_s t p l_s t_c _n _ d__ l y b_s_s . B_r d s _r_ _s p_c__ l l y l_k_l y t_ s w_l l_w d_n g_r__ s b_l l__ n s b_c__ s_ t h_y c l_s_l y r_s_m b l_ s q__ d , _c c_r d_n g t_ t h_ s t_d y . "

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    scientists have made an alarming discovery about what kinds of pollution are most harmful to seabirds a study led by australias institute for marine and antarctic studies discovered that balloons were the deadliest kind of plastic for seabirds the research team said balloons were 32 times more likely to kill seabirds than hard plastics they found that while balloons and other soft plastics accounted for only 5 per cent of plastics ingested they were responsible for more than 40 per cent of deaths among seabirds lead researcher lauren roman 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 1733 dead seabirds and found that more than a quarter of the deaths were attributed to eating plastic ms roman explained that plastic is becoming an increasing threat to seabirds she said marine debris ingestion is now a globally recognized threatwe suggest that reducing the presence of balloons and balloon fragments in the ocean would directly reduce seabird mortalities livesciencecom said with an estimated 280000 tons of floating marine debris worldwide about half of all seabird species are thought to ingest plastic on a daily basis birds are especially likely to swallow dangerous balloons because they closely resemble squid according to the study"

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Scientistshavemadeanalarmingdiscoveryaboutwhatkindsofpollutio
    naremostharmfultoseabirds.AstudyledbyAustralia'sInstituteforMari
    neandAntarcticStudiesdiscoveredthatballoonswerethedeadliestkin
    dofplasticforseabirds.Theresearchteamsaidballoonswere32timesm
    orelikelytokillseabirdsthanhardplastics.Theyfoundthatwhileballoon
    sandothersoftplasticsaccountedforonly5percentofplasticsingested,t
    heywereresponsibleformorethan40percentofdeathsamongseabirds
    .LeadresearcherLaurenRomansaid:"Hardplasticfragmentsmaypass
    quicklythroughthegut,butsoftplasticsaremorelikelytobecomecompa
    ctedandcausefatalobstructions."Thestudyexamined1,733deadseab
    irdsandfoundthatmorethanaquarterofthedeathswereattributedtoea
    tingplastic.MsRomanexplainedthatplasticisbecominganincreasingth
    reattoseabirds.Shesaid:"Marinedebrisingestionisnowagloballyreco
    gnizedthreat....Wesuggestthatreducingthepresenceofballoonsandb
    alloonfragmentsintheoceanwoulddirectlyreduceseabirdmortalities.
    "LiveScience.comsaid:"Withanestimated280,000tonsoffloatingmar
    inedebrisworldwide,abouthalfofallseabirdspeciesarethoughttoinges
    tplasticonadailybasis.Birdsareespeciallylikelytoswallowdangerousb
    alloonsbecausetheycloselyresemblesquid,accordingtothestudy."

    Free writing

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

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    Academic writing

    All balloons and other "party" plastics 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. BALLOONS: Make a poster about balloons. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. PLASTICS: Write a magazine article about ending the use of plastics. 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 balloons. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three of your ideas on banning plastics. 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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