The Reading / Listening - Christmas Cake - Level 4

Christmas cake is a centuries-old tradition. The majority of people who enjoy this festive treat may not know the science behind slicing it. A professor of mathematics and geometry tested the best way to cut a Christmas cake into slices. He focused on cutting it while leaving the insides as moist as possible. He said it is best to cut across the middle into two semicircles, then cut slices and push the remaining halves together.



Christmas cake is an English tradition. It is full of raisins, orange rind and other dried fruit. The fruit is often soaked in brandy. It is common to cover the fruitcake base in a layer of marzipan, then coat the top and sides in a one-centimetre layer of icing. People decorate the top of the cake with Christmas symbols like fir trees or snowmen and women. Christmas cakes vary around the world. In Japan, they are simple sponge cakes with whipped cream and strawberries.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Christmas Cake - Level 5 or  Christmas Cake - Level 6

Sources
  • https://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/maths-says-theres-a-right-and-wrong-way-to-cut-christmas-cake/
  • https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-9068307/Christmas-cake-cut-without-letting-dry-according-114-year-old-study.html
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_cake


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. Christmas cake is a centuries-
  2. people who enjoy this festive
  3. know the science
  4. mathematics and
  5. cut a Christmas cake into
  6. as moist as
  7. cut across the middle
  8. push the remaining
  1. behind slicing it
  2. into two semicircles
  3. treat
  4. halves together
  5. geometry
  6. slices
  7. old tradition
  8. possible

Paragraph 2

  1. orange rind and
  2. The fruit is often soaked
  3. cover the fruitcake base in a
  4. coat the top and
  5. People decorate the top
  6. Christmas cakes vary
  7. simple sponge
  8. whipped
  1. cakes
  2. layer of marzipan
  3. of the cake
  4. cream
  5. in brandy
  6. sides
  7. around the world
  8. other dried fruit

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Christmas cake (1) ___________________ -old tradition. The majority of people who enjoy (2) ___________________ may not know the science behind slicing it. A professor of mathematics (3) ___________________ the best way to cut a Christmas cake into slices. He focused on cutting it while leaving the (4) ___________________ as possible. He said it is best to cut (5) ___________________ into two semicircles, then cut slices and push the (6) ___________________.

Christmas cake is an English tradition. It is full of (7) ___________________ and other dried fruit. The fruit (8) ___________________ in brandy. It is common to cover the fruitcake base in a layer of marzipan, then coat the (9) ___________________ in a one-centimetre layer of icing. People (10) ___________________ of the cake with Christmas symbols like fir trees or snowmen and women. Christmas cakes (11) ___________________ world. In Japan, they (12) ___________________ cakes with whipped cream and strawberries.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Christmascakeisacenturies-oldtradition.Themajorityofpeoplewhoe
njoythisfestivetreatmaynotknowthesciencebehindslicingit.Aprofess
orofmathematicsandgeometrytestedthebestwaytocutaChristmasca
keintoslices.Hefocusedoncuttingitwhileleavingtheinsidesasmoistas
possible.Hesaiditisbesttocutacrossthemiddleintotwosemicircles,the
ncutslicesandpushtheremaininghalvestogether.Christmascakeisan
Englishtradition.Itisfullofraisins,orangerindandotherdriedfruit.Thef
ruitisoftensoakedinbrandy.Itiscommontocoverthefruitcakebaseinal
ayerofmarzipan,thencoatthetopandsidesinaone-centimetrelayero
ficing.PeopledecoratethetopofthecakewithChristmassymbolslikefirt
reesorsnowmenandwomen.Christmascakesvaryaroundtheworld.In
Japan,theyaresimplespongecakeswithwhippedcreamandstrawberri
es.

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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