The Reading / Listening - Orchids - Level 6

Many people believe orchids to be the epitome of beauty. The colourful, delicate and fragrant blooms of an orchid will be the centrepiece of any floral display. However, botanists have just decided on the world's ugliest orchid. The orchid family comprises more than 25,000 individual species, so there is every likelihood that one or two might not exude exquisiteness. A newly discovered variety has been awarded the label of the world's ugliest orchid by botanists at the Royal Botanic Gardens in the UK. It was found last year in a forest in Madagascar. One saving grace for the newly-unearthed plant is its smell. The scientists say the flower has a beautiful, musky, rose-like fragrance.



The 'ugly" orchid has been named "gastrodia agnicellus". Researcher Johan Hermans said: "It's not very attractive, I must say. It's fleshy looking, red inside and brown on the outside." However, scientists are excited at finding the plant because they believe there could be many more lurking in the undergrowth yet to be discovered. The bad news for the gastrodia is that even though it has just turned up, it is already considered to be an endangered species. Researcher Martin Cheek warned: "The bleak reality facing us cannot be underplayed. 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 easier levels:

    Orchids - Level 4  or  Orchids - Level 5

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 :-)



Warm-ups

1. ORCHIDS: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about orchids. 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?
       orchids / beauty / blooms / floral / display / variety / botanists / gardens / fragrance /
       researcher / attractive / plant / discovery / endangered / species / reality / extinction
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. CONSERVATION: Students A strongly believe it is more important to conserve plants than animals; Students B strongly believe the opposite. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. PLANTS: What do you know about these plants? How useful are they Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

What I Know

How Useful

Orchids

 

 

Cacti

 

 

Bamboo

 

 

Moss

 

 

Ferns

 

 

Trees

 

 

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

  • Orchids
  • Sunflowers
  • Roses
  • Lotus flowers
  • Lilies
  • Daffodils
  • Daisies
  • Carnations

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. epitome a. Extreme and lovely beauty.
      2. delicate b. Easily broken or damaged; fragile; requiring careful handling.
      3. bloom c. About flowers.
      4. floral d. A person or thing that is a perfect example of a particular quality or type.
      5. exude e. An expert in or student of the scientific study of plants.
      6. exquisiteness f. A flower, especially one grown for its beauty.
      7. botanist g. Give or put out moisture or a smell, slowly and steadily.

    Paragraph 2

      8. fleshy h. Of a species seriously at risk of totally disappearing.
      9. lurking i. A thick area of shrubs and other plants, especially under trees in woodland or forests.
      10. undergrowth j. The state or process of a species, family, or larger group disappearing from the world forever.
      11. endangered k. Of a plant or fruit issue that is soft and thick.
      12. bleak l. Remaining hidden waiting to be found.
      13. extinction m. Protect something, especially an environmentally or culturally important place or thing, from harm or destruction.
      14. conserve n. Not hopeful or encouraging.

 

Before reading / listening

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

  1. The article says orchids are the world's most beautiful flowers.     T / F
  2. There are over 25,000 kinds of orchids.     T / F
  3. The new species of orchid was found in a Madagascan forest.     T / F
  4. The newly-discovered orchid has a musty smell.     T / F
  5. The new orchid is brown on the inside and red on the outside.     T / F
  6. Scientists believe there may be more orchids waiting to be found.     T / F
  7. The new orchid has already been put on the endangered species list.     T / F
  8. A researcher says there is a race against time to conserve plants.     T / F

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

  1. epitome
  2. fragrant
  3. comprises
  4. exquisiteness
  5. unearthed
  6. excited
  7. lurking
  8. considered
  9. bleak
  10. conserve
  1. thought
  2. beauty
  3. protect
  4. thrilled
  5. sweet-smelling
  6. hiding
  7. essence
  8. gloomy
  9. discovered
  10. is made up of

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

  1. Many people believe orchids to be the epitome
  2. The colourful, delicate and fragrant blooms of
  3. the centrepiece of any floral
  4. The orchid family comprises more than 25,000
  5. One saving
  6. many more lurking in
  7. considered to be an endangered
  8. The bleak reality
  9. it is a race against
  10. conserve plants before they
  1. individual species
  2. time
  3. grace
  4. species
  5. an orchid
  6. disappear
  7. the undergrowth
  8. of beauty
  9. facing us
  10. display

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
individual
label
blooms
like
epitome
grace
botanists
exude

Many people believe orchids to be the (1) _____________________ of beauty. The colourful, delicate and fragrant (2) _____________________ of an orchid will be the centrepiece of any floral display. However, (3) _____________________ have just decided on the world's ugliest orchid. The orchid family comprises more than 25,000 (4) _____________________ species, so there is every likelihood that one or two might not (5) _____________________ exquisiteness. A newly discovered variety has been awarded the (6) _____________________ of the world's ugliest orchid by botanists at the Royal Botanic Gardens in the UK. It was found last year in a forest in Madagascar. One saving (7) _____________________ for the newly-unearthed plant is its smell. The scientists say the flower has a beautiful, musky, rose-(8) _____________________ fragrance.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
reality
lurking
attractive
conserve
endangered
extinction
fleshy
news

The 'ugly" orchid has been named "gastrodia agnicellus". Researcher Johan Hermans said: "It's not very (9) _____________________, I must say. It's (10) _____________________ looking, red inside and brown on the outside." However, scientists are excited at finding the plant because they believe there could be many more (11) _____________________ in the undergrowth yet to be discovered. The bad (12) _____________________ for the gastrodia is that even though it has just turned up, it is already considered to be an (13) _____________________ species. Researcher Martin Cheek warned: "The bleak (14) _____________________ facing us cannot be underplayed. With two in five plants threatened with (15) _____________________, it is a race against time to find, identify, name, and (16) _____________________ plants before they disappear."

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  Many people believe orchids to be the ______
     a.  epitomise of beauty
     b.  epic tome of beauty
     c.  a pit of me of beauty
     d.  epitome of beauty
2)  fragrant blooms of an orchid will be the centrepiece of ______
     a.  any floor all display
     b.  any flare all display
     c.  any floral display
     d.  any four all display
3)  The orchid family comprises more than 25,000 ______
     a.  individuals species
     b.  individual species
     c.  individualise species
     d.  individualism species
4)  A newly discovered variety has been awarded the label of the world's ______ botanists
     a.  ugliest orchid by
     b.  ugliest orchid bye
     c.  ugliest orchid buy
     d.  ugliest orchid be
5)  The scientists say the flower has a beautiful, musky, ______
     a.  rose-like fragrant
     b.  rose-like flagrance
     c.  rose-like flagrant
     d.  rose-like fragrance

6)  Johan Hermans said: "It's not very attractive, I must say. It's ______"
     a.  freshly looking
     b.  flesh is looking
     c.  flashy looking
     d.  fleshy looking
7)  they believe there could be many more lurking ______
     a.  in the under grown
     b.  in the undergrowth
     c.  in an undergrowth
     d.  in the under grown
8)  yet to be discovered. The bad news for the gastrodia is that even though it has ______
     a.  just turned up
     b.  justly turned up
     c.  justice turned up
     d.  adjust turned up
9)  With two in five plants threatened ______
     a.  with extinct on
     b.  with extant on
     c.  with ex tincture
     d.  with extinction
10)  a race against time to find, identify, name, ______
     a.  and conserve plant
     b.  and conserve plants
     c.  and conserve planters
     d.  and conserve plans

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Many people believe orchids to be the (1) ____________________. The colourful, delicate and (2) ____________________ an orchid will be the centrepiece of any floral display. However, botanists have just decided on the world's ugliest orchid. The (3) ____________________ more than 25,000 individual species, so there is every likelihood that one or two might not exude exquisiteness. A newly discovered (4) ____________________ awarded the label of the world's ugliest orchid by botanists at the Royal Botanic Gardens in the UK. It was found last year in a forest in Madagascar. One (5) ____________________ the newly-unearthed plant is its smell. The scientists say the flower has a beautiful, musky, (6) ____________________.

The 'ugly" orchid has been named "gastrodia agnicellus". Researcher Johan Hermans said: "It's (7) ____________________, I must say. (8) ____________________, red inside and brown on the outside." However, scientists are excited at finding the plant because they believe there could be many (9) ____________________ the undergrowth yet to be discovered. The bad news for the gastrodia is that even though it has just turned up, it is already considered to be (10) ____________________. Researcher Martin Cheek warned: "The bleak reality facing us cannot be underplayed. With two in five plants threatened with extinction, it is a (11) ____________________ to find, identify, name, and (12) ____________________ they disappear."

Comprehension questions

  1. What does the article say people believe orchids to be the epitome of?
  2. How many species of orchid are there in the world?
  3. Who gave the "ugliest orchid" label?
  4. In which country was the orchid found?
  5. What does the article say is a saving grace for the orchid?
  6. What is the colour of the inside of the new orchid?
  7. Where could there be more undiscovered orchids hiding?
  8. What is the new orchid already considered to be?
  9. How many of the world's plants face extinction?
  10. What did a researcher say there is a race against?




Multiple choice quiz

1) What does the article say people believe orchids to be the epitome of?
a) flora
b) flowers
c) beauty
d) art
2) How many species of orchid are there in the world?
a) over 25,000
b) exactly 25,000
c) fewer than 25,000
d) around 25,000
3) Who gave the "ugliest orchid" label?
a) the Royal Botanic Gardens
b) the Royal Botanic Park
c) the Royal Botanic Museum
d) the Royal Botanic Centre
4) In which country was the orchid found?
a) Mozambique
b) Madagascar
c) Mongolia
d) Malta
5) What does the article say is a saving grace for the orchid?
a) its colour
b) its price
c) its attractiveness
d) its smell

6) What is the colour of the inside of the new orchid?
a) blue
b) red
c) gold
d) multi-coloured
7) Where could there be more undiscovered orchids hiding?
a) the undergrowth
b) in museums
c) people's gardens
d) Brazil
8) What is the new orchid already considered to be?
a) a rarity
b) much sought after
c) an endangered species
d) medicinal
9) How many of the world's plants face extinction?
a) three in four
b) two in three
c) seven in ten
d) two in five
10) What did a researcher say there is a race against?
a) time
b) the climate
c) the weather
d) the rain

Role play

Role  A – Orchids
You think orchids are the best flowers. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their flowers. Also, tell the others which is the least lovely of these (and why): sunflowers, lotus flowers or roses.

Role  B – Sunflowers
You think sunflowers are the best flowers. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their flowers. Also, tell the others which is the least lovely of these (and why): orchids, lotus flowers or roses.

Role  C – Lotus Flowers
You think lotus flowers are the best flowers. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their flowers. Also, tell the others which is the least lovely of these (and why): sunflowers, orchids or roses.

Role  D – Roses
You think roses are the best flowers. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their flowers. Also, tell the others which is the least lovely of these (and why): sunflowers, lotus flowers or orchids.

After reading / listening

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

'ugly'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'plant'.

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

    • epitome
    • floral
    • likelihood
    • label
    • forest
    • rose
    • attractive
    • outside
    • believe
    • just
    • reality
    • time




    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 - Orchids

    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 'orchid'?
    3. What do you know about orchids?
    4. What are your favourite flowers?
    5. How can a flower be ugly?
    6. Why do people like flowers so much?
    7. Have you ever received or given flowers?
    8. What does a botanist do every day?
    9. What flowers have the best smell?
    10. How good are you at growing flowers and plants?

    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. How worried are you about the extinction of plants?
    5. Would you like a job where you search forests for new species?
    6. How sad is it that plants are disappearing?
    7. What are the consequences for us of plants becoming extinct?
    8. What three adjectives best describe this story, and why?
    9. How can the world win the race against time?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the botanists?

    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)

    Many people believe orchids to (1) ____ the epitome of beauty. The colourful, delicate and fragrant (2) ____ of an orchid will be the centrepiece of any floral display. However, botanists have just decided on the world's ugliest orchid. The orchid family (3) ____ more than 25,000 individual species, so there is every likelihood that one or two might not (4) ____ exquisiteness. A newly discovered variety has been awarded the label of the world's ugliest orchid by botanists at the Royal Botanic Gardens in the UK. It was found last year in a forest in Madagascar. One saving (5) ____ for the newly-unearthed plant is its smell. The scientists say the flower has a beautiful, (6) ____, rose-like fragrance.

    The 'ugly" orchid has been named "gastrodia agnicellus". Researcher Johan Hermans said: "It's not very attractive, I must say. It's (7) ____ looking, red inside and brown on the outside." However, scientists are excited at finding the plant because they believe there could be many more (8) ____ in the undergrowth yet to be discovered. The bad news for the gastrodia is that even though it has just turned (9) ____, it is already considered to be an endangered species. Researcher Martin Cheek warned: "The (10) ____ reality facing us cannot be underplayed. With two in five plants threatened (11) ____ extinction, it is a race against (12) ____ to find, identify, name, and conserve plants before they disappear."

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     be     (b)     do     (c)     smell     (d)     fragrant    
    2. (a)     blossom     (b)     blames     (c)     blooms     (d)     brooms    
    3. (a)     surprise     (b)     reprise     (c)     comprise     (d)     appraise    
    4. (a)     deduce     (b)     denude     (c)     exclude     (d)     exude    
    5. (a)     glee     (b)     greetings     (c)     grace     (d)     grants    
    6. (a)     masked     (b)     musky     (c)     murky     (d)     mucky    
    7. (a)     skinny     (b)     fleshy     (c)     heady     (d)     bony    
    8. (a)     lacking     (b)     lurking     (c)     looking     (d)     liking    
    9. (a)     out     (b)     over     (c)     up     (d)     on    
    10. (a)     block     (b)     blank     (c)     bloke     (d)     bleak    
    11. (a)     as     (b)     of     (c)     on     (d)     with    
    12. (a)     clocks     (b)     century     (c)     hours     (d)     time

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. believe orchids to be the pitemoe of beauty
    2. delicate and afrgrant blooms
    3. the centrepiece of any lfroal display
    4. The orchid family opcirmses more than 25,000
    5. one or two might not dxuee exquisiteness
    6. One saving cegra

    Paragraph 2

    1. It's lesfhy looking
    2. likurng in the undergrowth
    3. an endangered escpeis
    4. The kbale reality
    5. threatened with xtnetciion
    6. ncesorve plants before they disappear

    Put the text back together

    (...)  excited at finding the plant because they believe there could be many more lurking in the undergrowth yet to
    (...)  in the UK. It was found last year in a forest in Madagascar. One saving grace for the newly-
    (...)  blooms of an orchid will be the centrepiece of any floral display. However, botanists have just decided
    (...)  on the world's ugliest orchid. The orchid family comprises more than 25,000 individual
    (...)  time to find, identify, name, and conserve plants before they disappear."
    (...)  be discovered. The bad news for the gastrodia is that even though it has just turned up, it is already considered to be an
    (...)  The 'ugly" orchid has been named "gastrodia agnicellus". Researcher Johan Hermans said: "It's not very
    (...)  species, so there is every likelihood that one or two might not exude exquisiteness. A newly discovered
    (...)  attractive, I must say. It's fleshy looking, red inside and brown on the outside." However, scientists are
    (...)  variety has been awarded the label of the world's ugliest orchid by botanists at the Royal Botanic Gardens
    (...)  unearthed plant is its smell. The scientists say the flower has a beautiful, musky, rose-like fragrance.
    (...)  endangered species. Researcher Martin Cheek warned: "The bleak reality
    (...)  facing us cannot be underplayed. With two in five plants threatened with extinction, it is a race against
    1  ) Many people believe orchids to be the epitome of beauty. The colourful, delicate and fragrant

    Put the words in the right order

    1. be   beauty   .   to   the   of   epitome   Believe   orchids
    2. floral   any   Orchids   the   display   .   are   centrepiece   of
    3. orchid   individual   The   comprises   25,000   family   species   .
    4. exquisiteness   .   not   or   exude   One   two   might
    5. grace   One   the   saving   newly-unearthed   plant   .   for
    6. the   at   plant   .   However,   scientists   excited   are   finding
    7. discovered   .   be   Lurking   the   to   undergrowth   in   yet
    8. species   .   is   to   an   considered   endangered   It   be
    9. with   five   With   in   extinction   .   plants   two   threatened
    10. and   before   disappear   .   conserve   plants   they   Name

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Many people believe orchids to be the epitomise / epitome of beauty. The colourful, delicate and fragrant brooms / blooms of an orchid will be the centrepiece of any floral display. However, botanists have just decided in / on the world's ugliest orchid. The orchid family comprising / comprises more than 25,000 individual species, so there is every liking / likelihood that one or two might not exude exquisiteness. A newly discovered / discovery variety has been awarded the ladle / label of the world's ugliest orchid by botany / botanists at the Royal Botanic Gardens in the UK. It was found last year in a forest in Madagascar. One saving glaze / grace for the newly-unearthed plant is its smell. The scientists say the flower has a beautiful, musky / murky, rose-like fragrance.

    The 'ugly" orchid has been named "gastrodia agnicellus". Researcher Johan Hermans said: "It's not verily / very attractive, I must say. It's fleshy / freshly looking, red inside and brown on the outside." However, scientists are excited at / to finding the plant because they believe there could be many more looking / lurking in the undergrowth yet to be discovery / discovered. The bad news for the gastrodia is that even though / through it has just turned up, it is already considering / considered to be an endangered species. Researcher Martin Cheek warned: "The bleak reality / realism facing us cannot be underplayed. With two in five plants threatened with extinction / extraction, it is a race against time to find, identify, name, and conserve plants before / afore they disappear."

    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)

    M_ny  p__pl_  b_l__v_  _rch_ds  t_  b_  th_  _p_t_m_  _f  b___ty.  Th_  c_l__rf_l,  d_l_c_t_  _nd  fr_gr_nt  bl__ms  _f  _n  _rch_d  w_ll  b_  th_  c_ntr_p__c_  _f  _ny  fl_r_l  d_spl_y.  H_w_v_r,  b_t_n_sts  h_v_  j_st  d_c_d_d  _n  th_  w_rld's  _gl__st  _rch_d.  Th_  _rch_d  f_m_ly  c_mpr_s_s  m_r_  th_n  25,000  _nd_v_d__l  sp_c__s,  s_  th_r_  _s  _v_ry  l_k_l_h__d  th_t  _n_  _r  tw_  m_ght  n_t  _x_d_  _xq__s_t_n_ss.  _  n_wly  d_sc_v_r_d  v_r__ty  h_s  b__n  _w_rd_d  th_  l_b_l  _f  th_  w_rld's  _gl__st  _rch_d  by  b_t_n_sts  _t  th_  R_y_l  B_t_n_c  G_rd_ns  _n  th_  _K.  _t  w_s  f__nd  l_st  y__r  _n  _  f_r_st  _n  M_d_g_sc_r.  _n_  s_v_ng  gr_c_  f_r  th_  n_wly-_n__rth_d  pl_nt  _s  _ts  sm_ll.  Th_  sc__nt_sts  s_y  th_  fl_w_r  h_s  _  b___t_f_l,  m_sky,  r_s_-l_k_  fr_gr_nc_.

    Th_  '_gly"  _rch_d  h_s  b__n  n_m_d  "g_str_d__  _gn_c_ll_s".  R_s__rch_r  J_h_n  H_rm_ns  s__d:  "_t's  n_t  v_ry  _ttr_ct_v_,  _  m_st  s_y.  _t's  fl_shy  l__k_ng,  r_d  _ns_d_  _nd  br_wn  _n  th_  __ts_d_."  H_w_v_r,  sc__nt_sts  _r_  _xc_t_d  _t  f_nd_ng  th_  pl_nt  b_c__s_  th_y  b_l__v_  th_r_  c__ld  b_  m_ny  m_r_  l_rk_ng  _n  th_  _nd_rgr_wth  y_t  t_  b_  d_sc_v_r_d.  Th_  b_d  n_ws  f_r  th_  g_str_d__  _s  th_t  _v_n  th__gh  _t  h_s  j_st  t_rn_d  _p,  _t  _s  _lr__dy  c_ns_d_r_d  t_  b_  _n  _nd_ng_r_d  sp_c__s.  R_s__rch_r  M_rt_n  Ch__k  w_rn_d:  "Th_  bl__k  r__l_ty  f_c_ng  _s  c_nn_t  b_  _nd_rpl_y_d.  W_th  tw_  _n  f_v_  pl_nts  thr__t_n_d  w_th  _xt_nct__n,  _t  _s  _  r_c_  _g__nst  t_m_  t_  f_nd,  _d_nt_fy,  n_m_,  _nd  c_ns_rv_  pl_nts  b_f_r_  th_y  d_s_pp__r."

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    many people believe orchids to be the epitome of beauty the colourful delicate and fragrant blooms of an orchid will be the centrepiece of any floral display however botanists have just decided on the worlds ugliest orchid the orchid family comprises more than 25000 individual species so there is every likelihood that one or two might not exude exquisiteness a newly discovered variety has been awarded the label of the worlds ugliest orchid by botanists at the royal botanic gardens in the uk it was found last year in a forest in madagascar one saving grace for the newlyunearthed plant is its smell the scientists say the flower has a beautiful musky roselike fragrance

    the ugly orchid has been named gastrodia agnicellus researcher johan hermans said its not very attractive i must say its fleshy looking red inside and brown on the outside however scientists are excited at finding the plant because they believe there could be many more lurking in the undergrowth yet to be discovered the bad news for the gastrodia is that even though it has just turned up it is already considered to be an endangered species researcher martin cheek warned the bleak reality facing us cannot be underplayed with two in five plants threatened with extinction it is a race against time to find identify name and conserve plants before they disappear

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Manypeoplebelieveorchidstobetheepitomeofbeauty.Thecolourful,d
    elicateandfragrantbloomsofanorchidwillbethecentrepieceofanyflora
    ldisplay.However,botanistshavejustdecidedontheworld'sugliestorc
    hid.Theorchidfamilycomprisesmorethan25,000individualspecies,so
    thereiseverylikelihoodthatoneortwomightnotexudeexquisiteness.A
    newlydiscoveredvarietyhasbeenawardedthelabeloftheworld'suglies
    torchidbybotanistsattheRoyalBotanicGardensintheUK.Itwasfoundla
    styearinaforestinMadagascar.Onesavinggraceforthenewly-uneart
    hedplantisitssmell.Thescientistssaytheflowerhasabeautiful,musky,
    rose-likefragrance.The'ugly"orchidhasbeennamed"gastrodiaagn
    icellus".ResearcherJohanHermanssaid:"It'snotveryattractive,Imus
    tsay.It'sfleshylooking,redinsideandbrownontheoutside."However,s
    cientistsareexcitedatfindingtheplantbecausetheybelievetherecould
    bemanymorelurkingintheundergrowthyettobediscovered.Thebadn
    ewsforthegastrodiaisthateventhoughithasjustturnedup,itisalreadyc
    onsideredtobeanendangeredspecies.ResearcherMartinCheekwarne
    d:"Thebleakrealityfacinguscannotbeunderplayed.Withtwoinfivepla
    ntsthreatenedwithextinction,itisaraceagainsttimetofind,identify,na
    me,andconserveplantsbeforetheydisappear."

    Free writing

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

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    Academic writing

    It is more important to conserve plants than animals. 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. ORCHIDS: Make a poster about orchids. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. PLANT CONSERVATION: Write a magazine article about prioritising plant conservation over animal conservation. 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 orchids. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three of your ideas on how to conserve plants. 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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