The Reading / Listening - Elephants - Level 6

A herd of 15 wild elephants is approaching a city of 6.6 million people in China. The group of Asian elephants has trekked nearly 500km from their habitat in a nature reserve in the south of Yunnan province, near the borders with Myanmar and Laos. China's official news agency, Xinhua, reports that there are three calves in the herd. The giant beasts are heading north to the outskirts of the provincial capital, Kunming. They have travelled along highways and through fields of crops over the past few months. A Chinese TV station said that over the past week, the animals guzzled down the water in a water tank and feasted on kilos of corn in farmers' fields. Their journey has been captivating the Chinese public.



Authorities are now attempting to ensure the herd does not enter Kunming city. Experts are coaxing the animals into taking detours that will get them to head back towards their nature reserve. It is unclear as to why the animals have migrated so far away from their original habitat. One reason could be a decline in the amount of edible plants in their reserve. Naturally growing supplies of the elephants' favorite foods, such as plume grass, have fallen. Another factor could be a rise in elephant numbers. Xinhua reports that the wild elephant population in Yunnan Province is around 300, up from 193 in the 1980s. A further explanation offered is that the leader of the herd could have simply led it astray.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Elephants - Level 4  or  Elephants - Level 5

Sources
  • https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/herd-wild-elephants-china-yunnan-kunming-14932630
  • http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202106/04/WS60b96024a31024ad0bac37b5.html
  • https://www.yahoo.com/news/china-elephants-herd-mammoth-500km-165856650.html


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. ELEPHANTS: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about elephants. 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?
       herd / wild / elephants / nature reserve / borders / news agency / crops / corn / water
       detours / migrated / habitat / edible / supplies / population / explanation / astray
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. HABITAT: Students A strongly believe all destruction of animal habitat should stop now and stop forever; Students B strongly believe otherwise. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. ANIMAL INVASION: What damage could very large numbers of these animals do in a town or city? What could authorities do about it? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

Damage

What to Do

Elephants

 

 

Cockroaches

 

 

Snakes

 

 

Rats

 

 

Lions

 

 

Locusts

 

 

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

  • Elephants
  • Cows
  • Hippopotami
  • Camels
  • Gorillas
  • Rhinoceroses
  • Polar bears
  • Komodo dragons

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. herd a. Attracting and holding the interest and attention of.
      2. approaching b. The natural home or environment of an animal, plant, or other organism.
      3. habitat c. The outer parts of a town or city.
      4. beast d. A large group of animals, especially hoofed mammals, that live, feed, or migrate together or are kept together as livestock.
      5. outskirts e. Ate large quantities of something.
      6. feasted f. Coming near or nearer to (someone or something) in distance.
      7. captivating g. An animal, especially a large or dangerous four-footed one.

    Paragraph 2

      8. ensure h. OK to be eaten.
      9. coaxing i. Something that contributes to a result or outcome.
      10. detour j. Away from the correct path or direction.
      11. edible k. Persuading someone or something gradually to do something.
      12. factor l. Additional to what already exists.
      13. further m. An alternative use.
      14. astray n. Make certain that something will occur or be the case.

 

Before reading / listening

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

  1. Asian elephants have walked almost 500km and are near a Chinese city. T / F
  2. The elephants started near China's borders with Laos and Myanmar.     T / F
  3. Three young elephants are among the travelling herd.     T / F
  4. The elephants have created very little interest among Chinese people.     T / F
  5. Authorities are creating detours to get the elephants to turn around.     T / F
  6. The elephants could have migrated because of a lack of plume grass.     T / F
  7. Elephant numbers have increased to 3,000 in Yunnan Province.     T / F
  8. A junior member of the herd could have led it astray.     T / F

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

  1. herd
  2. trekked
  3. outskirts
  4. guzzled
  5. captivating
  6. ensure
  7. detours
  8. habitat
  9. edible
  10. astray
  1. natural surroundings
  2. edges
  3. see to it
  4. off course
  5. group
  6. safe to eat
  7. gulped
  8. marched
  9. diversions
  10. enthralling

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

  1. near the borders with
  2. there are three calves
  3. to the outskirts of the
  4. feasted on
  5. Their journey has been captivating
  6. Experts are coaxing the animals
  7. the animals have migrated
  8. a decline in the amount of edible
  9. a rise in elephant
  10. led it
  1. into taking detours
  2. so far away
  3. the Chinese public
  4. astray
  5. provincial capital
  6. numbers
  7. Myanmar and Laos
  8. kilos of corn
  9. plants
  10. in the herd

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
trekked
beasts
feasted
wild
guzzled
borders
reserve
crops

A herd of 15 (1) _____________________ elephants is approaching a city of 6.6 million people in China. The group of Asian elephants has (2) _____________________ nearly 500km from their habitat in a nature (3) _____________________ in the south of Yunnan province, near the (4) _____________________ with Myanmar and Laos. China's official news agency, Xinhua, reports that there are three calves in the herd. The giant (5) _____________________ are heading north to the outskirts of the provincial capital, Kunming. They have travelled along highways and through fields of (6) _____________________ over the past few months. A Chinese TV station said that over the past week, the animals (7) _____________________ down the water in a water tank and (8) _____________________ on kilos of corn in farmers' fields. Their journey has been captivating the Chinese public.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
edible
astray
reserve
ensure
population
coaxing
rise
migrated

Authorities are now attempting to (9) _____________________ the herd does not enter Kunming city. Experts are (10) _____________________ the animals into taking detours that will get them to head back towards their nature (11) _____________________. It is unclear as to why the animals have (12) _____________________ so far away from their original habitat. One reason could be a decline in the amount of (13) _____________________ plants in their reserve. Naturally growing supplies of the elephants' favorite foods, such as plume grass, have fallen. Another factor could be a (14) _____________________ in elephant numbers. Xinhua reports that the wild elephant (15) _____________________ in Yunnan Province is around 300, up from 193 in the 1980s. A further explanation offered is that the leader of the herd could have simply led it (16) _____________________.

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  The group of Asian elephants has trekked nearly 500km ______
     a.  from them habitat
     b.  from there habitat
     c.  from their habitat
     d.  from they habitat
2)  The giant beasts are heading north to the outskirts of ______
     a.  the province capital
     b.  the province shall capital
     c.  the provincial capital
     d.  the prove initial capital
3)  They have travelled along highways and through ______
     a.  fields of clops
     b.  fields of crops
     c.  fields of crabs
     d.  fields of crofts
4)  A Chinese TV station said that over the past week, the animals ______ water
     a.  guzzled on the
     b.  guzzled own the
     c.  guzzled one the
     d.  guzzled down the
5)  Their journey has been captivating ______
     a.  the Chinese publicity
     b.  the Chinese pub lick
     c.  the Chinese public
     d.  the Chinese pup lick

6)  Experts are coaxing the animals ______
     a.  into take in detours
     b.  into staking detours
     c.  in two taking detours
     d.  into taking detours
7)  that will get them to head back towards ______
     a.  their nature reverse
     b.  their nature reserve
     c.  their nature deserve
     d.  their nature reed serve
8)  It is unclear as to why the animals ______
     a.  have migrated so far
     b.  have migrate it so far
     c.  have migraine so far
     d.  have mic rated so far
9)  One reason could be a decline in the amount ______
     a.  of eligible plants
     b.  of edible plants
     c.  of fed a ball plants
     d.  of ready ball plants
10)  A further explanation offered is that the leader of the herd could have simply ______
     a.  led it ashtray
     b.  led it as tray
     c.  led it a stray
     d.  led it astray

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

A (1) ____________________ wild elephants is approaching a city of 6.6 million people in China. The group of Asian elephants (2) ____________________ 500km from their habitat in a nature reserve in the south of Yunnan province, near (3) ____________________ Myanmar and Laos. China's official news agency, Xinhua, reports that there are three calves in the herd. The giant beasts are heading north to (4) ____________________ the provincial capital, Kunming. They have travelled along highways and through (5) ____________________ over the past few months. A Chinese TV station said that over the past week, the animals guzzled down the water in a water tank and (6) ____________________ of corn in farmers' fields. Their journey has been captivating the Chinese public.

Authorities are now (7) ____________________ the herd does not enter Kunming city. (8) ____________________ the animals into taking detours that will get them to head back towards their nature reserve. It is unclear as to why the animals have (9) ____________________ away from their original habitat. One reason could be a decline in the amount (10) ____________________ in their reserve. Naturally growing supplies of the elephants' favorite foods, such as plume grass, have fallen. (11) ____________________ be a rise in elephant numbers. Xinhua reports that the wild elephant population in Yunnan Province is around 300, up from 193 in the 1980s. A further explanation offered is that the leader of the herd could have simply (12) ____________________.

Comprehension questions

  1. How many people does the article say live in Kunming?
  2. Which of China's borders did the elephants live near?
  3. How many young elephants are there in the herd?
  4. What crops does the article say the elephants have been eating?
  5. What have the elephants been captivating?
  6. What are experts coaxing the animals to take?
  7. Where do experts want the elephants to go?
  8. What does the article say is one of the elephants' favourite foods?
  9. When were there 193 elephants in Yunnan Province?
  10. Who could have led the herd of elephants astray?




Multiple choice quiz

1) How many people does the article say live in Kunming?
a) 60 million
b) 66 million
c) 6.6 million
d) 6 million
2) Which of China's borders did the elephants live near?
a) Laos and Myanmar
b) Laos and Bhutan
c) Bhutan and India
d) Mongolia and North Korea
3) How many young elephants are there in the herd?
a) 6
b) 5
c) 4
d) 3
4) What crops does the article say the elephants have been eating?
a) bananas
b) corn
c) rice
d) wheat
5) What have the elephants been captivating?
a) TikTok users
b) children
c) the Chinese public
d) zoologists

6) What are experts coaxing the animals to take?
a) advice
b) detours
c) drugs
d) the next exit
7) Where do experts want the elephants to go?
a) anywhere they want
b) into cages
c) to a zoo
d) their nature reserve
8) What does the article say is one of the elephants' favourite foods?
a) rice
b) plume grass
c) bamboo shoots
d) bananas
9) When were there 193 elephants in Yunnan Province?
a) in the 1980s
b) in the 1990s
c) in the noughties
d) in the 2010s
10) Who could have led the herd of elephants astray?
a) tourists
b) a junior member of the herd
c) a calf
d) the herd's leader

Role play

Role  A – Elephants
You think elephants are the most interesting animals. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their animals. Also, tell the others which is the least interesting of these (and why): gorillas, polar bears or Komodo dragons.

Role  B – Gorillas
You think gorillas are the most interesting animals. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their animals. Also, tell the others which is the least interesting of these (and why): elephants, polar bears or Komodo dragons.

Role  C – Polar Bears
You think polar bears are the most interesting animals. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their animals. Also, tell the others which is the least interesting of these (and why): gorillas, elephants or Komodo dragons.

Role  D – Komodo Dragons
You think Komodo dragons are the most interesting animals. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their animals. Also, tell the others which is the least interesting of these (and why): gorillas, polar bears or elephants.

After reading / listening

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

'wild'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'elephant'.

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

    • 15
    • 500
    • official
    • crops
    • past
    • corn
    • now
    • head
    • decline
    • grass
    • population
    • simply




    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 - Elephants

    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 'wild'?
    3. What do you think of elephants?
    4. What do you think of nature reserves?
    5. What do you think of elephant calves?
    6. Would you be worried if elephants were heading your way?
    7. What giant beasts do you like?
    8. What damage could the elephants do?
    9. Should the farmers get compensated for the elephant damage?
    10. What was the last thing that left you captivated?

    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 'elephants'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What do you know about elephants?
    5. What would happen if the elephants entered the city?
    6. How interesting are elephants?
    7. Should governments ban the destruction of animal habitat?
    8. Have you ever been led astray?
    9. Where do you think the elephants will end up?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the elephant experts?

    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 herd of 15 wild elephants is approaching a city (1) ____ 6.6 million people in China. The group of Asian elephants has trekked nearly 500km from their habitat in a nature (2) ____ in the south of Yunnan province, near the borders with Myanmar and Laos. China's official news agency, Xinhua, reports that there are three (3) ____ in the herd. The giant beasts are heading north to the (4) ____ of the provincial capital, Kunming. They have travelled along highways and through fields of crops over the past few months. A Chinese TV station said that over the past week, the animals (5) ____ down the water in a water tank and feasted on kilos of corn in farmers' fields. Their journey has been (6) ____ the Chinese public.

    Authorities are now attempting to ensure the herd does not enter Kunming city. Experts are coaxing the animals (7) ____ taking detours that will get them to head back towards their nature reserve. It is unclear (8) ____ to why the animals have migrated so far away from their original habitat. One reason could be a decline (9) ____ the amount of edible plants in their reserve. Naturally growing supplies of the elephants' favorite foods, such as plume grass, (10) ____ fallen. Another factor could be a (11) ____ in elephant numbers. Xinhua reports that the wild elephant population in Yunnan Province is around 300, up from 193 in the 1980s. A further explanation offered is that the leader of the herd could have simply (12) ____ it astray.

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     to     (b)     up     (c)     of     (d)     around    
    2. (a)     reserve     (b)     server     (c)     reverse     (d)     service    
    3. (a)     calves     (b)     foals     (c)     pups     (d)     cubs    
    4. (a)     outskirts     (b)     skittish     (c)     skittles     (d)     outlandish    
    5. (a)     gazumped     (b)     guzzled     (c)     gazebo     (d)     gazpacho    
    6. (a)     captive     (b)     captives     (c)     captivation     (d)     captivating    
    7. (a)     unto     (b)     onto     (c)     into     (d)     up to    
    8. (a)     has     (b)     is     (c)     was     (d)     as    
    9. (a)     in     (b)     on     (c)     to     (d)     down    
    10. (a)     have     (b)     having     (c)     has     (d)     half    
    11. (a)     height     (b)     rise     (c)     up     (d)     arose    
    12. (a)     migrated     (b)     walked     (c)     led     (d)     trampled

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. ighpoapnacr a city of 6.6 million people
    2. nearly 500km from their htatiab
    3. heading north to the ursktoist
    4. the ncivoarlpi capital, Kunming
    5. the animals zuegldz down the water
    6. tpatgvacnii the Chinese public

    Paragraph 2

    1. Experts are xanicog the animals
    2. taking ruedsto
    3. the animals have mgetarid so far away
    4. delibe plants
    5. A further aenlpaxitno
    6. led it aysatr

    Put the text back together

    (...)  reserve. It is unclear as to why the animals have migrated so far away from their original habitat. One reason could be a
    (...)  calves in the herd. The giant beasts are heading north to the outskirts of the provincial capital, Kunming. They have travelled along
    (...)  decline in the amount of edible plants in their reserve. Naturally growing supplies of the elephants' favorite foods, such
    (...)  coaxing the animals into taking detours that will get them to head back towards their nature
    (...)  1980s. A further explanation offered is that the leader of the herd could have simply led it astray.
    1  ) A herd of 15 wild elephants is approaching a city of 6.6 million people in China. The group of Asian elephants has trekked
    (...)  as plume grass, have fallen. Another factor could be a rise in elephant numbers. Xinhua
    (...)  nearly 500km from their habitat in a nature reserve in the south of Yunnan province, near the
    (...)  reports that the wild elephant population in Yunnan Province is around 300, up from 193 in the
    (...)  that over the past week, the animals guzzled down the water in a water tank and
    (...)  Authorities are now attempting to ensure the herd does not enter Kunming city. Experts are
    (...)  feasted on kilos of corn in farmers' fields. Their journey has been captivating the Chinese public.
    (...)  highways and through fields of crops over the past few months. A Chinese TV station said
    (...)  borders with Myanmar and Laos. China's official news agency, Xinhua, reports that there are three

    Put the words in the right order

    1. 15   herd   elephants   approaching   .   wild   is   of   A
    2. nearly   has   of   group   The   trekked   elephants   500km   .
    3. beasts   to   the   outskirts   .   heading   north   are   The
    4. a   in   down   animals   water   tank   .   The   the   guzzled
    5. been   the   journey   Chinese   Their   captivating   has   public   .
    6. animals   are   the   detours   .   into   coaxing   taking   Experts
    7. so   far   away   .   The   migrated   have   beasts   giant
    8. plants   .   edible   amount   in   decline   of   the   A
    9. could   factor   numbers   .   rise   Another   be   in   a
    10. could   herd   have   led   leader   astray   .   The   the

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    A herd / heard of 15 wild elephants is approaching a city of 6.6 million people in China. The group of Asian elephants has tracked / trekked nearly 500km from their habits / habitat in a nature reserve in the south of Yunnan province, near the bordering / borders with Myanmar and Laos. China's official news agency, Xinhua, reports that there are three calves in the nerd / herd. The giant beasts are facing / heading north to the outskirts of the provincial capital, Kunming. They have travelled along highways and through fields of crops / clops over the past few months. A Chinese TV station said that over the past week, the animals guzzled / gazumped down the water in a water tank and feasted / fasted on kilos of corn in farmers' fields. Their journey has been capturing / captivating the Chinese public.

    Authorities are now attempting to insure / ensure the herd does not enter Kunming city. Experts are coaxing / hoaxing the animals into taking detours that will get them to head / skull back towards their nature reserve. It is unclear as / has to why the animals have migrated so far away from their originally / original habitat. One reason could be a decline in the amount of edible plans / plants in their reserve. Naturally growing supplies of the elephants' favorite foods, such as plume grass, have felled / fallen. Another factor could be a rise in / on elephant numbers. Xinhua reports that the wild elephant population in Yunnan Province is around / round 300, up from 193 in the 1980s. A further explanation offered is that the leader of the herd could have simply led it astray / ashtray.

    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)

    _  h_rd  _f  15  w_ld  _l_ph_nts  _s  _ppr__ch_ng  _  c_ty  _f  6.6  m_ll__n  p__pl_  _n  Ch_n_.  Th_  gr__p  _f  _s__n  _l_ph_nts  h_s  tr_kk_d  n__rly  500km  fr_m  th__r  h_b_t_t  _n  _  n_t_r_  r_s_rv_  _n  th_  s__th  _f  Y_nn_n  pr_v_nc_,  n__r  th_  b_rd_rs  w_th  My_nm_r  _nd  L__s.  Ch_n_'s  _ff_c__l  n_ws  _g_ncy,  X_nh__,  r_p_rts  th_t  th_r_  _r_  thr__  c_lv_s  _n  th_  h_rd.  Th_  g__nt  b__sts  _r_  h__d_ng  n_rth  t_  th_  __tsk_rts  _f  th_  pr_v_nc__l  c_p_t_l,  K_nm_ng.  Th_y  h_v_  tr_v_ll_d  _l_ng  h_ghw_ys  _nd  thr__gh  f__lds  _f  cr_ps  _v_r  th_  p_st  f_w  m_nths.  _  Ch_n_s_  TV  st_t__n  s__d  th_t  _v_r  th_  p_st  w__k,  th_  _n_m_ls  g_zzl_d  d_wn  th_  w_t_r  _n  _  w_t_r  t_nk  _nd  f__st_d  _n  k_l_s  _f  c_rn  _n  f_rm_rs'  f__lds.  Th__r  j__rn_y  h_s  b__n  c_pt_v_t_ng  th_  Ch_n_s_  p_bl_c.

    __th_r_t__s  _r_  n_w  _tt_mpt_ng  t_  _ns_r_  th_  h_rd  d__s  n_t  _nt_r  K_nm_ng  c_ty.  _xp_rts  _r_  c__x_ng  th_  _n_m_ls  _nt_  t_k_ng  d_t__rs  th_t  w_ll  g_t  th_m  t_  h__d  b_ck  t_w_rds  th__r  n_t_r_  r_s_rv_.  _t  _s  _ncl__r  _s  t_  why  th_  _n_m_ls  h_v_  m_gr_t_d  s_  f_r  _w_y  fr_m  th__r  _r_g_n_l  h_b_t_t.  _n_  r__s_n  c__ld  b_  _  d_cl_n_  _n  th_  _m__nt  _f  _d_bl_  pl_nts  _n  th__r  r_s_rv_.  N_t_r_lly  gr_w_ng  s_ppl__s  _f  th_  _l_ph_nts'  f_v_r_t_  f__ds,  s_ch  _s  pl_m_  gr_ss,  h_v_  f_ll_n.  _n_th_r  f_ct_r  c__ld  b_  _  r_s_  _n  _l_ph_nt  n_mb_rs.  X_nh__  r_p_rts  th_t  th_  w_ld  _l_ph_nt  p_p_l_t__n  _n  Y_nn_n  Pr_v_nc_  _s  _r__nd  300,  _p  fr_m  193  _n  th_  1980s.  _  f_rth_r  _xpl_n_t__n  _ff_r_d  _s  th_t  th_  l__d_r  _f  th_  h_rd  c__ld  h_v_  s_mply  l_d  _t  _str_y.

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    a herd of 15 wild elephants is approaching a city of 6.6 million people in china. the group of asian elephants has trekked nearly 500km from their habitat in a nature reserve in the south of yunnan province, near the borders with myanmar and laos. china's official news agency, xinhua, reports that there are three calves in the herd. the giant beasts are heading north to the outskirts of the provincial capital, kunming. they have travelled along highways and through fields of crops over the past few months. a chinese tv station said that over the past week, the animals guzzled down the water in a water tank and feasted on kilos of corn in farmers' fields. their journey has been captivating the chinese public

    authorities are now attempting to ensure the herd does not enter kunming city. experts are coaxing the animals into taking detours that will get them to head back towards their nature reserve. it is unclear as to why the animals have migrated so far away from their original habitat. one reason could be a decline in the amount of edible plants in their reserve. naturally growing supplies of the elephants' favorite foods, such as plume grass, have fallen. another factor could be a rise in elephant numbers. xinhua reports that the wild elephant population in yunnan province is around 300, up from 193 in the 1980s. a further explanation offered is that the leader of the herd could have simply led it astray

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Aherdof15wildelephantsisapproachingacityof6.6millionpeopleinChi
    na.ThegroupofAsianelephantshastrekkednearly500kmfromtheirha
    bitatinanaturereserveinthesouthofYunnanprovince,neartheborders
    withMyanmarandLaos.China'sofficialnewsagency,Xinhua,reportsth
    attherearethreecalvesintheherd.Thegiantbeastsareheadingnorthto
    theoutskirtsoftheprovincialcapital,Kunming.Theyhavetravelledalon
    ghighwaysandthroughfieldsofcropsoverthepastfewmonths.AChines
    eTVstationsaidthatoverthepastweek,theanimalsguzzleddownthewa
    terinawatertankandfeastedonkilosofcorninfarmers'fields.Theirjour
    neyhasbeencaptivatingtheChinesepublic.Authoritiesarenowattemp
    tingtoensuretheherddoesnotenterKunmingcity.Expertsarecoaxingt
    heanimalsintotakingdetoursthatwillgetthemtoheadbacktowardsthe
    irnaturereserve.Itisunclearastowhytheanimalshavemigratedsofara
    wayfromtheiroriginalhabitat.Onereasoncouldbeadeclineintheamou
    ntofedibleplantsintheirreserve.Naturallygrowingsuppliesoftheeleph
    ants'favoritefoods,suchasplumegrass,havefallen.Anotherfactorcoul
    dbeariseinelephantnumbers.Xinhuareportsthatthewildelephantpop
    ulationinYunnanProvinceisaround300,upfrom193inthe1980s.Afurt
    herexplanationofferedisthattheleaderoftheherdcouldhavesimplyled
    itastray.

    Free writing

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

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    Academic writing

    All countries should immediately stop destroying animals' habitats.  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. ELEPHANTS: Make a poster about elephants. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. HABITAT PROTECTION: Write a magazine article about a law enforcing the protection of all animal habitats. 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 elephants. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three of your opinions on elephants. 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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