The Reading / Listening - Orchids - Level 5

People believe orchids are the epitome of beauty. These colourful, delicate and fragrant blooms are often the centrepiece of floral displays. However, botanists from the Royal Botanic Gardens in the UK have just decided on the world's ugliest orchid. It was found last year in a forest in Madagascar. One saving grace for this newly-unearthed orchid is its smell. The scientists say the flower has a beautiful rose-like fragrance. There are over 25,000 individual species of orchid, so it is likely that one or two might not be so exquisite.



Researcher Johan Hermans described the "ugly" orchid. He said: "It's not very attractive...It's fleshy looking, red inside and brown on the outside." Scientists are excited at finding the plant. They believe there could be many more hiding in the undergrowth not yet discovered. The bad news for the new orchid is that it is already considered to be an endangered species. Researcher Martin Cheek warned of a "bleak reality". He said: "With two in five plants threatened with extinction, it is a race against time to find, identify, name, and conserve plants before they disappear."

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Orchids - Level 4 or  Orchids - Level 6

Sources
  • https://www.sciencealert.com/botanists-have-finally-found-it-the-ugliest-orchid-in-the-world
  • https://nerdist.com/article/royal-botanical-gardens-ugliest-orchid/
  • https://www.huffpost.com/entry/worlds-ugliest-orchid_n_5fdbb7b6c5b6aa861e5ce58d


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. the epitome of
  2. colourful, delicate and
  3. the centrepiece of floral
  4. One saving
  5. this newly-
  6. a beautiful rose-like
  7. over 25,000 individual
  8. one or two might
  1. unearthed orchid
  2. species
  3. fragrant blooms
  4. not be
  5. displays
  6. grace
  7. beauty
  8. fragrance

Paragraph 2

  1. It's fleshy
  2. many more hiding in the
  3. not yet
  4. already considered to be an
  5. warned of a bleak
  6. it is a race
  7. conserve
  8. before they
  1. undergrowth
  2. plants
  3. looking
  4. disappear
  5. discovered
  6. reality
  7. endangered species
  8. against time

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

People believe orchids are (1) ___________________ beauty. These colourful, delicate and fragrant (2) ___________________ the centrepiece of floral displays. However, (3) ___________________ Royal Botanic Gardens in the UK have just decided on the world's ugliest orchid. It was found last year (4) ___________________ in Madagascar. One saving grace for this newly-unearthed orchid is its smell. The scientists say the flower (5) ___________________ rose-like fragrance. There are over 25,000 individual species of orchid, so it is likely that one or two might not (6) ___________________.

Researcher Johan Hermans (7) ___________________ orchid. He said: "It's not very attractive...It's (8) ___________________ inside and brown on the outside." Scientists (9) ___________________ finding the plant. They believe there could be many more hiding in (10) ___________________ yet discovered. The bad news for the new orchid is that it is already (11) ___________________ an endangered species. Researcher Martin Cheek warned of a "bleak reality". He said: "With two in five plants threatened with extinction, it is a race against time to (12) ___________________, and conserve plants before they disappear."

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Peoplebelieveorchidsaretheepitomeofbeauty.Thesecolourful,delica
teandfragrantbloomsareoftenthecentrepieceoffloraldisplays.Howev
er,botanistsfromtheRoyalBotanicGardensintheUKhavejustdecidedo
ntheworld'sugliestorchid.ItwasfoundlastyearinaforestinMadagasca
r.Onesavinggraceforthisnewly-unearthedorchidisitssmell.Thescient
istssaytheflowerhasabeautifulrose-likefragrance.Thereareover25,0
00individualspeciesoforchid,soitislikelythatoneortwomightnotbeso
exquisite.ResearcherJohanHermansdescribedthe"ugly"orchid.Hesa
id:"It'snotveryattractive...It'sfleshylooking,redinsideandbrownont
heoutside."Scientistsareexcitedatfindingtheplant.Theybelievethere
couldbemanymorehidingintheundergrowthnotyetdiscovered.Theba
dnewsfortheneworchidisthatitisalreadyconsideredtobeanendanger
edspecies.ResearcherMartinCheekwarnedofa"bleakreality".Hesaid:
"Withtwoinfiveplantsthreatenedwithextinction,itisaraceagainsttime
tofind,identify,name,andconserveplantsbeforetheydisappear."

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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