The Reading / Listening - Rivers - Level 3

A new study shows that 86 per cent of the world's rivers have been damaged by human activity. The study was conducted by researchers from a university in Toulouse, France. They examined data on over 2,500 rivers around the world. They did not look at rivers in the polar regions of the Arctic and Antarctica or in deserts. The scientists looked into changes to biodiversity over the past 200 years. They discovered that biodiversity in over half of rivers has been seriously damaged by humans. The researchers said there were many reasons for this damage. A big reason is the introduction of new species of fish into rivers. Other reasons include pollution, dams, overfishing, farming and climate change.



The researchers say the worst-hit rivers are in western Europe and North America. This is because these regions have large and rich towns and cities. The lead researcher said: "Rivers which have the most economic development around them, like the Mississippi River, are the most strongly impacted." The River Thames in London was one of the worst-affected rivers in the study. The least-impacted rivers are in Africa and Australia. The researcher said: "This is probably due to a slower rate of industrialisation in Africa and low population density around rivers in Australia." He added that rivers in many rich nations are unrecognisable compared with how they were 200 years ago.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Rivers - Level 0 Rivers - Level 1   or  Rivers - Level 2

Sources
  • https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/feb/18/very-few-of-worlds-rivers-undamaged-by-humanity-study-finds
  • https://www.newscientist.com/article/2268348-humans-have-severely-affected-fish-biodiversity-in-half-of-all-rivers
  • https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-18/human-caused-climate-change-threatens-a-quarter-of-freshwater-fish


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. RIVERS: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about rivers. 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?
       study / rivers / human activity / data / polar regions / deserts / biodiversity / climate /
       regions / towns / cities / development / industrialisation / population / 200 years ago
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. RESPONSIBILITY: Students A strongly believe it is the responsibility of people who live next to a river to look after it; Students B strongly believe otherwise. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. POLLUTION: How harmful are these kinds of pollution? How can we deal with them? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

How Harmful?

How to Deal with It

River pollution

 

 

Ocean pollution

 

 

Air pollution

 

 

Noise pollution

 

 

Light pollution

 

 

Space pollution

 

 

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. HUMAN: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "human". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. HUMAN ACTIVITY: Rank these with your partner. Put the things we should protect from human activity at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • Space
  • Antarctica
  • Amazon River
  • Ancient sites
  • Deserts
  • Mount Everest
  • Oceans
  • Rainforests

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. study a. The variety of life in the world or in a particular habitat or ecosystem.
      2. conducted b. Organized and carried out.
      3. examined c. Facts and statistics.
      4. data d. A detailed checking and look of a subject or situation.
      5. polar e. Dirty, harmful or poisonous things in the air, rivers, countryside, etc.
      6. biodiversity f. Looked at in detail.
      7. pollution g. About the North or South Pole.

    Paragraph 2

      8. region h. Had a strong effect on someone or something.
      9. lead i. The process of growing and getting more advanced.
      10. development j. The development of factories in a country or region on a wide scale.
      11. impacted k. An area or part of a country or the world having easy-to-understand characteristics.
      12. due l. Main; top; most important.
      13. industrialisation m. Looked at the things that are the same and things that are different between different things.
      14. compared n. Because of.

 

Before reading / listening

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

  1. Humans have damaged over 85% of the world's rivers.   T / F
  2. Researchers looked at data on more than 2,500 rivers.     T / F
  3. Scientists looked at biodiversity loss over the past 2,000 years.     T / F
  4. Farming is one reason for the damage done to rivers.     T / F
  5. The worst-hit rivers are those in South America.     T / F
  6. The River Thames in London is now very clean.     T / F
  7. The rivers with the least damage are in Africa and Australia.     T / F
  8. Rivers today look very different to how they looked 200 years ago.     T / F

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

  1. damaged
  2. conducted
  3. regions
  4. discovered
  5. reason
  6. rich
  7. impacted
  8. due to
  9. rate
  10. unrecognisable
  1. wealthy
  2. found
  3. unidentifiable
  4. areas
  5. affected
  6. harmed
  7. cause
  8. speed
  9. carried out
  10. because of

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

  1. 86 per cent of the world's rivers
  2. They examined data on
  3. the polar regions of
  4. The scientists looked into changes
  5. the introduction of new species
  6. the worst-hit rivers are
  7. these regions have large
  8. economic
  9. due to a slower rate
  10. compared with how they were
  1. development
  2. the Arctic
  3. and rich towns
  4. of fish
  5. 200 years ago
  6. have been damaged
  7. to biodiversity
  8. of industrialisation
  9. over 2,500 rivers
  10. in western Europe

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
polar
seriously
species
activity
biodiversity
overfishing
data
reasons

A new study shows that 86 per cent of the world's rivers have been damaged by human (1) _____________________. The study was conducted by researchers from a university in Toulouse, France. They examined (2) _____________________ on over 2,500 rivers around the world. They did not look at rivers in the (3) _____________________ regions of the Arctic and Antarctica or in deserts. The scientists looked into changes to (4) _____________________ over the past 200 years. They discovered that biodiversity in over half of rivers has been (5) _____________________ damaged by humans. The researchers said there were many (6) _____________________ for this damage. A big reason is the introduction of new (7) _____________________ of fish into rivers. Other reasons include pollution, dams, (8) _____________________, farming and climate change.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
lead
study
density
regions
western
compared
strongly
due

The researchers say the worst-hit rivers are in (9) _____________________ Europe and North America. This is because these (10) _____________________ have large and rich towns and cities. The (11) _____________________ researcher said: "Rivers which have the most economic development around them, like the Mississippi River, are the most (12) _____________________ impacted." The River Thames in London was one of the worst-affected rivers in the (13) _____________________. The least-impacted rivers are in Africa and Australia. The researcher said: "This is probably (14) _____________________ to a slower rate of industrialisation in Africa and low population (15) _____________________ around rivers in Australia." He added that rivers in many rich nations are unrecognisable (16) _____________________ with how they were 200 years ago.

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1) shows that 86 per cent of the world's rivers have been damaged ______
     a.  by human activity
     b.  by human active ability
     c.  by human act ability
     d.  by human active vitality
2)  They did not look at rivers in ______
     a.  the pole are regions
     b.  the pole all regions
     c.  the polar regions
     d.  the poll are regions
3)  over half of rivers has been seriously ______
     a.  damaged of humans
     b.  damaged at humans
     c.  damaged on humans
     d.  damaged by humans
4)  A big reason is the introduction of new species of ______
     a.  fish onto rivers
     b.  fish into rivers
     c.  fish unto rivers
     d.  fish as to rivers
5)  reasons include pollution, dams, overfishing, farming ______
     a.  and climactic change
     b.  and climates change
     c.  and climate change
     d.  and climatise change

6)  This is because these regions have large and rich ______
     a.  town and cities
     b.  towns and city
     c.  town and city
     d.  towns and cities
7)  like the Mississippi River, are the most ______
     a.  strongly impact it
     b.  strongly imp pact it
     c.  strongly impacted
     d.  strongly imp packed
8)  The River Thames in London was one of the ______
     a.  worst-infected rivers
     b.  worst-reflected rivers
     c.  worst-affection rivers
     d.  worst-affected rivers
9)  a slower rate of industrialisation in Africa and ______
     a.  low population dense city
     b.  low population denser tea
     c.  low population den city
     d.  low population density
10)  rich nations are unrecognisable compared with how they ______
     a.  wire 200 years ago
     b.  we're 200 years ago
     c.  were 200 years ago
     d.  where 200 years ago

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

A new (1) ____________________ 86 per cent of the world's rivers have been damaged by human activity. The study (2) ____________________ researchers from a university in Toulouse, France. They examined data on over 2,500 rivers around the world. They did not look at rivers in the (3) ____________________ the Arctic and Antarctica or in deserts. The scientists looked into changes to biodiversity over the past 200 years. They discovered (4) ____________________ over half of rivers has been seriously damaged by humans. The researchers said there were (5) ____________________ this damage. A big reason is the introduction of new species of fish into rivers. Other reasons (6) ____________________, overfishing, farming and climate change.

The researchers say the worst-hit rivers are in western Europe and North America. This is because (7) ____________________ large and rich towns and cities. The lead researcher said: "Rivers which have the most economic development around them, like the Mississippi River, are (8) ____________________ impacted." The River Thames in London was one of the worst-affected rivers in the study. The (9) ____________________ are in Africa and Australia. The researcher said: "This is (10) ____________________ a slower rate of industrialisation in Africa and low population (11) ____________________ in Australia." He added that rivers in many rich nations are unrecognisable (12) ____________________ they were 200 years ago.

Comprehension questions

  1. What percentage of the world's rivers have been damaged by humans?
  2. How many rivers did researchers look at?
  3. Where were rivers scientists did not look at besides the polar regions?
  4. What have humans seriously damaged in over half of rivers?
  5. What was introduced into rivers that caused damage to biodiversity?
  6. Where are the worst-hit areas besides North America?
  7. What kind of development strongly impacts rivers?
  8. What does the article say is one of the worst-affected rivers?
  9. What is low around rivers in Australia?
  10. What are today's rivers very different from?




Multiple choice quiz

1) What percentage of the world's rivers have been damaged by humans?
a) 85%
b) 86%
c) 84%
d) 80%
2) How many rivers did researchers look at?
a) about 2,500
b) less than 2,500
c) exactly 2,500
d) over 2,500
3) Where were rivers scientists did not look at besides the polar regions?
a) mountains
b) rainforests
c) deserts
d) valleys
4) What have humans seriously damaged in over half of rivers?
a) biodiversity
b) water quality
c) river banks
d) river beds
5) What was introduced into rivers that caused damage to biodiversity?
a) poisons
b) new species of fish
c) flood barriers
d) animals

6) Where are the worst-hit areas besides North America?
a) Western Europe
b) Eastern Europe
c) Africa
d) South America
7) What kind of development strongly impacts rivers?
a) social development
b) regional development
c) economic development
d) personal development
8) What does the article say is one of the worst-affected rivers?
a) the River Thames
b) the River Nile
c) the Seine
d) the Amazon
9) What is low around rivers in Australia?
a) oxygen levels
b) land
c) frogs
d) population density
10) What are today's rivers very different from?
a) lakes
b) pre-historic rivers
c) rivers 200 years ago
d) rivers on Mars

Role play

Role  A – Space
You think space is the thing we most need to protect from human activity. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which of these is the least in need of protection (and why): Antarctica, oceans or rainforests.

Role  B – Antarctica
You think Antarctica is the thing we most need to protect from human activity. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which of these is the least in need of protection (and why): space, oceans or rainforests.

Role  C – Oceans
You think oceans are the things we most need to protect from human activity. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which of these is the least in need of protection (and why): Antarctica, space or rainforests.

Role  D – Rainforests
You think rainforests are the things we most need to protect from human activity. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which of these is the least in need of protection (and why): Antarctica, oceans or space.

After reading / listening

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

'world'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'river'.

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

    • shows
    • conducted
    • data
    • changes
    • seriously
    • other
    • regions
    • like
    • worst
    • due
    • low
    • 200




    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 - Rivers

    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 'river'?
    3. What do you think of rivers?
    4. What is your favourite river?
    5. What childhood memories do you have of rivers?
    6. How do humans damage rivers?
    7. What do you think of your country's rivers?
    8. What rivers around the world would you like to see?
    9. What do you know about biodiversity loss?
    10. How do you feel when you see polluted rivers?

    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 'human'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What do you think of rivers in cities?
    5. What responsibility do city people have for their rivers?
    6. What should polluting companies do to clean up rivers?
    7. What activities do you like doing in rivers?
    8. What damage is done when a river dies?
    9. How might rivers have looked 200 years ago?
    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)

    A new study shows that 86 per cent of the world's rivers have been (1) ____ by human activity. The study was conducted (2) ____ researchers from a university in Toulouse, France. They examined (3) ____ on over 2,500 rivers around the world. They did not look at rivers in the polar regions of the Arctic and Antarctica or in deserts. The scientists looked into changes to biodiversity over the (4) ____ 200 years. They discovered that biodiversity in over half of rivers has been (5) ____ damaged by humans. The researchers said there were many reasons for this damage. A big reason is the introduction (6) ____ new species of fish into rivers. Other reasons include pollution, dams, overfishing, farming and climate change.

    The researchers say the worst-hit rivers are in western Europe and North America. This is because (7) ____ regions have large and rich towns and cities. The lead researcher said: "Rivers which have the (8) ____ economic development around them, like the Mississippi River, are the most (9) ____ impacted." The River Thames in London was one of the worst-affected rivers in the study. The least-impacted rivers are in Africa and Australia. The researcher said: "This is probably (10) ____ to a slower rate of industrialisation in Africa and low population density around rivers in Australia." He (11) ____ that rivers in many rich nations are unrecognisable compared with how they (12) ____ 200 years ago.

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     damaged     (b)     damages     (c)     damage     (d)     damaging    
    2. (a)     of     (b)     in     (c)     by     (d)     at    
    3. (a)     statistic     (b)     number     (c)     data     (d)     formula    
    4. (a)     passed     (b)     parsed     (c)     psst     (d)     past    
    5. (a)     serious     (b)     seriousness     (c)     seriously     (d)     series    
    6. (a)     of     (b)     to     (c)     at     (d)     on    
    7. (a)     their     (b)     these     (c)     that     (d)     them    
    8. (a)     most     (b)     many     (c)     much     (d)     mere    
    9. (a)     strengthen     (b)     strongly     (c)     strong     (d)     strengthening    
    10. (a)     dew     (b)     dual     (c)     due     (d)     duel    
    11. (a)     divided     (b)     subtracted     (c)     added     (d)     multiplied    
    12. (a)     been     (b)     must     (c)     could     (d)     were

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. The study was dtcneocdu by researchers
    2. in the polar segiorn
    3. the Arctic and Antarctica or in steerds
    4. osbvdtiieyri in over half of rivers
    5. Other reasons include uonlpliot
    6. letmica change

    Paragraph 2

    1. eetnswr Europe
    2. the most niecmoco development
    3. one of the worst-eadtcffe rivers
    4. The least-mitadpec rivers
    5. low onopuptlia density
    6. paercomd with how they were

    Put the text back together

    (...)  rivers. Other reasons include pollution, dams, overfishing, farming and climate change.
    (...)  are in Africa and Australia. The researcher said: "This is probably due to a slower
    (...)  reasons for this damage. A big reason is the introduction of new species of fish into
    (...)  impacted." The River Thames in London was one of the worst-affected rivers in the study. The least-impacted rivers
    (...)  half of rivers has been seriously damaged by humans. The researchers said there were many
    (...)  rate of industrialisation in Africa and low population density around rivers in Australia." He
    (...)  activity. The study was conducted by researchers from a university in Toulouse, France. They examined data
    (...)  because these regions have large and rich towns and cities. The lead researcher said: "Rivers which have
    (...)  The researchers say the worst-hit rivers are in western Europe and North America. This is
    (...)  the most economic development around them, like the Mississippi River, are the most strongly
    1  ) A new study shows that 86 per cent of the world's rivers have been damaged by human
    (...)  added that rivers in many rich nations are unrecognisable compared with how they were 200 years ago.
    (...)  on over 2,500 rivers around the world. They did not look at rivers in the polar regions of the Arctic and Antarctica or
    (...)  in deserts. The scientists looked into changes to biodiversity over the past 200 years. They discovered that biodiversity in over

    Put the words in the right order

    1. been   have   Rivers   by   damaged   activity   .   human
    2. of   region   the   polar   in   the   Rivers   Arctic   .
    3. past   the   biodiversity   200   to   over   years   .   Changes
    4. there   reasons   .   The   said   were   many   researchers
    5. into   introduction   species   The   rivers   .   fish   of   of
    6. have   these   regions   is   towns   .   large   because   This
    7. economic   have   which   the   development   .   most   Rivers
    8. the   was   Thames   The   one   worst-affected   .   River   of
    9. is   This   probably   due   to   rate   .   a   slower
    10. nations   Rivers   are   many   unrecognisable   .   in   rich

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    A new study shows that 86 per cent of the world's rivers have been damaged by human active / activity. The study was conduct / conducted by researchers from a university in Toulouse, France. They exam / examined data on over 2,500 rivers about / around the world. They did not look at rivers in the polar regions of / at the Arctic and Antarctica or in deserts. The scientists looked into changes to biodiversity under / over the past 200 years. They discovered that biodiversity in over half of rivers has been seriously / serious damaged by humans. The researchers said there were many reason / reasons for this damage. A big reason is the introduction of new species of / to fish into rivers. Other reasons include pollution, dams, overfishing, farming and climate change / charge.

    The researchers say the worst-hit rivers are on / in western Europe and North America. This is because these regions have large and rich / richly towns and city / cities. The lead researcher said: "Rivers which have the most economic / economical development around them, like the Mississippi River, are the most strongly impact / impacted." The River Thames in London was one of the worst-affected rivers in / at the study. The least-impacted rivers are in Africa and Australia. The researcher said: "This is probably dew / due to a slower rate of industrialisation in Africa and lone / low population density around rivers in Australia." He added / adding that rivers in many rich nations are unrecognisable compared with how they were 200 years ago / age.

    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)

    _  n_w  st_dy  sh_ws  th_t  86  p_r  c_nt  _f  th_  w_rld's  r_v_rs  h_v_  b__n  d_m_g_d  by  h_m_n  _ct_v_ty.  Th_  st_dy  w_s  c_nd_ct_d  by  r_s__rch_rs  fr_m  _  _n_v_rs_ty  _n  T__l__s_,  Fr_nc_.  Th_y  _x_m_n_d  d_t_  _n  _v_r  2,500  r_v_rs  _r__nd  th_  w_rld.  Th_y  d_d  n_t  l__k  _t  r_v_rs  _n  th_  p_l_r  r_g__ns  _f  th_  _rct_c  _nd  _nt_rct_c_  _r  _n  d_s_rts.  Th_  sc__nt_sts  l__k_d  _nt_  ch_ng_s  t_  b__d_v_rs_ty  _v_r  th_  p_st  200  y__rs.  Th_y  d_sc_v_r_d  th_t  b__d_v_rs_ty  _n  _v_r  h_lf  _f  r_v_rs  h_v_  b__n  s_r___sly  d_m_g_d  by  h_m_ns.  Th_  r_s__rch_rs  s__d  th_r_  w_r_  m_ny  r__s_ns  f_r  th_s  d_m_g_.  _  b_g  r__s_n  _s  th_  _ntr_d_ct__n  _f  n_w  sp_c__s  _f  f_sh  _nt_  r_v_rs.  _th_r  r__s_ns  _ncl_d_  p_ll_t__n,  d_ms,  _v_rf_sh_ng,  f_rm_ng  _nd  cl_m_t_  ch_ng_.

    Th_  r_s__rch_rs  s_y  th_  w_rst-h_t  r_v_rs  _r_  _n  w_st_rn  __r_p_  _nd  N_rth  _m_r_c_.  Th_s  _s  b_c__s_  th_s_  r_g__ns  h_v_  l_rg_  _nd  r_ch  t_wns  _nd  c_t__s.  Th_  l__d  r_s__rch_r  s__d:  "R_v_rs  wh_ch  h_v_  th_  m_st  _c_n_m_c  d_v_l_pm_nt  _r__nd  th_m,  l_k_  th_  M_ss_ss_pp_  r_v_r,  _r_  th_  m_st  str_ngly  _mp_ct_d."  Th_  R_v_r  Th_m_s  _n  L_nd_n  w_s  _n_  _f  th_  w_rst-_ff_ct_d  r_v_rs  _n  th_  st_dy.  Th_  l__st-_mp_ct_d  r_v_rs  _r_  _n  _fr_c_  _nd  __str_l__.  Th_  r_s__rch_r  s__d:  "Th_s  _s  pr_b_bly  d__  t_  _  sl_w_r  r_t_  _f  _nd_str__l_s_t__n  _n  _fr_c_  _nd  l_w  p_p_l_t__n  d_ns_ty  _r__nd  r_v_rs  _n  __str_l__."  H_  _dd_d  th_t  r_v_rs  _n  m_ny  r_ch  n_t__ns  _r_  _nr_c_gn_s_bl_  c_mp_r_d  w_th  h_w  th_y  w_r_  200  y__rs  _g_.

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    a new study shows that 86 per cent of the worlds rivers have been damaged by human activity the study was conducted by researchers from a university in toulouse france they examined data on over 2500 rivers around the world they did not look at rivers in the polar regions of the arctic and antarctica or in deserts the scientists looked into changes to biodiversity over the past 200 years they discovered that biodiversity in over half of rivers has been seriously damaged by humans the researchers said there were many reasons for this damage a big reason is the introduction of new species of fish into rivers other reasons include pollution dams overfishing farming and climate change

    the researchers say the worst hit rivers are in western europe and north america this is because these regions have large and rich towns and cities the lead researcher said rivers which have the most economic development around them like the Mississippi River are the most strongly impacted the river thames in london was one of the worst affected rivers in the study the least impacted rivers are in africa and australia the researcher said this is probably due to a slower rate of industrialisation in africa and low population density around rivers in australia he added that rivers in many rich nations are unrecognisable compared with how they were 200 years ago

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Anewstudyshowsthat86percentoftheworld'srivershavebeendamag
    edbyhumanactivity.Thestudywasconductedbyresearchersfromauni
    versityinToulouse,France.Theyexamineddataonover2,500riversaro
    undtheworld.TheydidnotlookatriversinthepolarregionsoftheArctica
    ndAntarcticaorindeserts.Thescientistslookedintochangestobiodiver
    sityoverthepast200years.Theydiscoveredthatbiodiversityinoverhalf
    ofrivershasbeenseriouslydamagedbyhumans.Theresearcherssaidth
    ereweremanyreasonsforthisdamage.Abigreasonistheintroductionof
    newspeciesoffishintorivers.Otherreasonsincludepollution,dams,ove
    rfishing,farmingandclimatechange.Theresearcherssaytheworst-hi
    triversareinwesternEuropeandNorthAmerica.Thisisbecausethesere
    gionshavelargeandrichtownsandcities.Theleadresearchersaid:"Riv
    erswhichhavethemosteconomicdevelopmentaroundthem,liketheMi
    ssissippiriver,arethemoststronglyimpacted."TheRiverThamesinLon
    donwasoneoftheworst-affectedriversinthestudy.Theleast-impacte
    driversareinAfricaandAustralia.Theresearchersaid:"Thisisprobablyd
    uetoaslowerrateofindustrialisationinAfricaandlowpopulationdensity
    aroundriversinAustralia."Headdedthatriversinmanyrichnationsareu
    nrecognisablecomparedwithhowtheywere200yearsago.

    Free writing

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

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    Academic writing

    Everybody should spend time cleaning up rivers. 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. RIVERS: Make a poster about rivers. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. BIODIVERSITY: Write a magazine article about biodiversity in rivers and how governments should spend huge amounts of money cleaning them up. 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 rivers. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three of your ideas on how to keep rivers clean. 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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