The Reading / Listening - Insect Loss - Level 6

Scientists have discovered that street lights and other forms of artificial lighting could be behind a decline in insect populations. Researchers from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology conducted studies on the number of insects living near sources of white light from light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The researchers said LEDs are responsible for disrupting insect behaviour and for causing a drop in their numbers. Lead researcher Douglas Boyes said the results of his study were "eye-opening". He was surprised at the extent of the insect loss due to LEDs. He found a 47 per cent reduction in insect populations at hedgerow test sites and a 37 per cent reduction at roadside grassy areas.

Mr Boyes and his team set up LEDs at 26 roadside sites in the countryside that contained either hedges or grass verges. The researchers counted the numbers of moth caterpillars found at these sites and compared these with insects found at unlit sites. Boyes commented on the difference. He said: "We were really quite taken aback by just how stark it was." He posited that LEDs led to two drastic changes in behaviour. He said the most alarming discovery was that the lights stopped female insects laying eggs in the lit areas. Another disruption was that the lighting disturbed the feeding behaviour of the insects. The caterpillars in the unlit areas were heavier than those in the areas lit by LEDs.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Insect Loss - Level 4  or  Insect Loss - Level 5

Sources
  • https://phys.org/news/2021-08-streetlights-contribute-insect-population-declines.html
  • https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-58333233
  • https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/led-streetlights-contribute-to-insect-population-declines-study/ar-AANJSIE


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice activities, drag and drop activities, sentence jumbles, which word activities, text reconstructions, spelling, gap fills and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)





Warm-ups

1. INSECT LOSS: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about insect loss. 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?
       scientists / street lights / artificial / lighting / LEDs / insects / study / hedgerow /
       team / grass / moth / caterpillars / changes / behaviour / female / behaviour / unlit
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. STREET LIGHTS: Students A strongly believe the number of street lights should be reduced; Students B strongly believe the opposite. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. THREATS: How do these things threaten insects? What can we do to help insects? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

Threats

What We Can Do

Light

 

 

Pesticides

 

 

Habitat loss

 

 

Invasive species

 

 

Climate change

 

 

Human activity

 

 

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

  • Moths
  • Ants
  • Worms
  • Dragonflies
  • Beetles
  • Bees
  • Spiders
  • Ladybirds

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. form a. A gradual and continuous loss of strength, numbers, or value.
      2. artificial b. Interrupting an event, activity, or process by causing a disturbance or problem.
      3. decline c. The particular way in which a thing exists or appears.
      4. hydrology d. Made or produced by human beings rather than occurring naturally, especially as a copy of something natural.
      5. diode e. The branch of science concerned with the earth's water.
      6. disrupting f. A semiconductor device.
      7. extent g. The size or scale of something.

    Paragraph 2

      8. hedge h. Put forward as fact or as a basis for argument.
      9. verge i. A fence or boundary formed by closely growing bushes or shrubs.
      10. taken aback j. Unpleasantly or sharply clear.
      11. stark k. Likely to have a strong or far-reaching effect; radical and extreme.
      12. posited l. A grass edging such as that by the side of a road or path.
      13. drastic m. Getting regular nourishment from a particular substance.
      14. feeding n. Shock or surprise someone.

 

Before reading / listening

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

  1. Scientists say artificial lighting is cutting numbers of insects.     T / F
  2. A scientist said blue light is the biggest culprit in harming insects.     T / F
  3. The researcher said people needed to open their eyes regarding insects.  T / F
  4. The researcher said LEDs led to a 47% decline in insects at hedgerows.   T / F
  5. Researchers counted the numbers of butterfly caterpillars.     T / F
  6. A researcher said his findings did not surprise him.     T / F
  7. The researcher said LED lighting stopped insects laying eggs.     T / F
  8. Caterpillars were heavier in places with no LED lighting.     T / F

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

  1. artificial
  2. decline
  3. conducted
  4. eye-opening
  5. extent
  6. set up
  7. counted
  8. taken aback
  9. disruption
  10. lit
  1. shocked
  2. scale
  3. amazing
  4. disturbance
  5. fall
  6. illuminated
  7. established
  8. manmade
  9. added up
  10. carried out

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

  1. street lights and other forms of artificial
  2. a decline
  3. insects living near
  4. the results of his study were
  5. He was surprised at the extent
  6. We were really quite taken
  7. two drastic changes
  8. the lights stopped female insects
  9. lighting disturbed the feeding
  10. caterpillars in the unlit areas
  1. behaviour of the insects
  2. "eye-opening"
  3. laying eggs
  4. of the insect loss
  5. in insect populations
  6. in behaviour
  7. sources of white light
  8. were heavier
  9. aback
  10. lighting

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
disrupting
opening
conducted
reduction
artificial
extent
sources
numbers

Scientists have discovered that street lights and other forms of (1) _____________________ lighting could be behind a decline in insect populations. Researchers from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (2) _____________________ studies on the number of insects living near (3) _____________________ of white light from light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The researchers said LEDs are responsible for (4) _____________________ insect behaviour and for causing a drop in their (5) _____________________. Lead researcher Douglas Boyes said the results of his study were "eye-(6) _____________________". He was surprised at the (7) _____________________ of the insect loss due to LEDs. He found a 47 per cent reduction in insect populations at hedgerow test sites and a 37 per cent (8) _____________________ at roadside grassy areas.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
compared
posited
feeding
moth
aback
disruption
roadside
discovery

Mr Boyes and his team set up LEDs at 26 (9) _____________________ sites in the countryside that contained either hedges or grass verges. The researchers counted the numbers of (10) _____________________ caterpillars found at these sites and (11) _____________________ these with insects found at unlit sites. Boyes commented on the difference. He said: "We were really quite taken (12) _____________________ by just how stark it was." He (13) _____________________ that LEDs led to two drastic changes in behaviour. He said the most alarming (14) _____________________ was that the lights stopped female insects laying eggs in the lit areas. Another (15) _____________________ was that the lighting disturbed the (16) _____________________ behaviour of the insects. The caterpillars in the unlit areas were heavier than those in the areas lit by LEDs.

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  Scientists have discovered that street lights and other ______ lighting
     a.  forms of art official
     b.  forms of arty fissure
     c.  forms of artificial
     d.  forms of are typical
2) responsible for disrupting insect behaviour and for causing a ______ numbers
     a.  drip in their
     b.  droop in their
     c.  drop in their
     d.  drape in their
3)  Lead researcher Douglas Boyes said the results of his study ______
     a.  were eye-opening
     b.  were eyes-opening
     c.  were eyed-opening
     d.  were eying-opening
4)   surprised at the extent of the insect loss due to LEDs. He found a 47 ______
     a.  per cent redaction
     b.  per cent reed action
     c.  per cent red ducting
     d.  per cent reduction
5) populations at hedgerow test sites and a 37 per cent reduction at ______
     a.  roadside grassy arenas
     b.  roadside grassy auras
     c.  roadside grassy auroras
     d.  roadside grassy areas

6)  set up LEDs at 26 roadside sites in the countryside that contained either hedges ______
     a.  or grass dirges
     b.  or grass birdies
     c.  or grass verges
     d.  or grass burgers
7)  Boyes commented on the difference. He said: "We were really ______
     a.  quite taken back
     b.  quite take inner back
     c.  quite take a back
     d.  quite taken aback
8)  He said the most alarming discovery was that the lights stopped female ______
     a.  insects lain eggs
     b.  insects lay in eggs
     c.  insects layering eggs
     d.  insects laying eggs
9)  Another disruption was that the lighting disturbed ______
     a.  the feed din behaviour
     b.  the feed in behaviour
     c.  the feeding behaviour
     d.  the feed ding behaviour
10)  The caterpillars in the unlit areas were heavier than those in the areas ______
     a.  bit by LEDs
     b.  lit by LEDs
     c.  writ by LEDs
     d.  slit by LEDs

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Scientists have discovered that street lights and other (1) ____________________ lighting could be behind a decline in insect populations. Researchers from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (2) ____________________ the number of insects living near sources of white light from (3) ____________________ (LEDs). The researchers said LEDs are responsible for disrupting insect behaviour and for (4) ____________________ in their numbers. Lead researcher Douglas Boyes said the results of his study were "eye-opening". He was surprised at the (5) ____________________ insect loss due to LEDs. He found a 47 per cent reduction in insect populations at hedgerow test sites and a 37 per cent reduction at (6) ____________________.

Mr Boyes and his (7) ____________________ LEDs at 26 roadside sites in the countryside that contained either hedges (8) ____________________. The researchers counted the numbers of moth caterpillars found at these sites and compared these with insects found (9) ____________________. Boyes commented on the difference. He said: "We were really quite taken aback by just (10) ____________________ was." He posited that LEDs led to two drastic changes in behaviour. He said the most alarming discovery was that the lights stopped female insects laying eggs in the lit areas. Another (11) ____________________ the lighting disturbed the (12) ____________________ the insects. The caterpillars in the unlit areas were heavier than those in the areas lit by LEDs.

Comprehension questions

  1. What might be behind a fall in insect numbers besides street lights?
  2. What colour light is causing a decline in insect numbers?
  3. Who is Douglas Boyes?
  4. What did a researcher say the results of his study were?
  5. How much did insect populations decline at lit roadside grassy areas?
  6. How many sites did the researchers set up beside roads?
  7. What kind of insects did the researchers count?
  8. How many drastic changes in behaviour did a researcher find?
  9. What did LED lights stop female insects doing?
  10. Where were caterpillars heaviest?




Multiple choice quiz

1) What might be behind a fall in insect numbers besides street lights?
a) climate change
b) pesticides
c) artificial lighting
d) other insects
2) What colour light is causing a decline in insect numbers?
a) white
b) blue
c) red
d) yellow
3) Who is Douglas Boyes?
a) the lead researcher
b) a butterfly collector
c) a gardener
d) an insect exterminator
4) What did a researcher say the results of his study were?
a) great
b) eye-opening
c) as expected
d) mind-boggling
5) How much did insect populations decline at lit roadside grassy areas?
a) by 27%
b) by 26%
c) by 47%
d) by 37%

6) How many sites did the researchers set up beside roads?
a) 37
b) 26
c) 15
d) 47
7) What kind of insects did the researchers count?
a) moth caterpillars
b) ladybirds
c) worms
d) ants
8) How many drastic changes in behaviour did a researcher find?
a) three
b) one
c) two
d) four
9) What did LED lights stop female insects doing?
a) eating
b) breeding
c) growing
d) laying eggs
10) Where were caterpillars heaviest?
a) in unlit areas
b) in the north
c) in the south
d) in wet areas

Role play

Role  A – Ants
You think ants are the best insects. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their insects. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): worms, bees or spiders.

Role  B – Worms
You think worms are the best insects. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their insects. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): ants, bees or spiders.

Role  C – Bees
You think bees are the best insects. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their insects. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): worms, ants or spiders.

Role  D – Spiders
You think spiders are the best insects. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their insects. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): worms, bees or ants.

After reading / listening

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

'light'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'pollution'.

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

    • forms
    • sources
    • drop
    • eye
    • due
    • 37
    • 26
    • moth
    • difference
    • two
    • female
    • heavier

    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 - Insect Loss

    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 'light'?
    3. What do you think of light pollution?
    4. What harm does light pollution do?
    5. In what ways does light pollution affect you?
    6. Why might artificial light harm insects and other creatures?
    7. What happens when the numbers of insects fall?
    8. Should we reduce the amount of artificial lighting?
    9. What do you think of bright, city lights?
    10. What do you think of insects?

    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 'pollution'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What role do moths play in nature?
    5. How do caterpillars transform into moths and butterflies?
    6. What would it be like to be an insect researcher?
    7. What three adjectives best describe this story?
    8. Can you sleep if there is artificial light?
    9. Should we have street lights and other artificial lighting?
    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)

    Scientists have discovered that street lights and other (1) ____ of artificial lighting could be behind a decline (2) ____ insect populations. Researchers from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (3) ____ studies on the number of insects living near sources of white light from light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The researchers said LEDs are responsible for (4) ____ insect behaviour and for causing a drop in their numbers. Lead researcher Douglas Boyes said the results of his study were "eye-opening". He was surprised at the (5) ____ of the insect loss due to LEDs. He found a 47 per cent reduction in insect populations at hedgerow test sites and a 37 per cent reduction at roadside (6) ____ areas.

    Mr Boyes and his team set up LEDs at 26 roadside sites in the countryside that contained either hedges or grass (7) ____. The researchers counted the numbers of moth caterpillars found at these sites and compared these with insects found at unlit sites. Boyes commented (8) ____ the difference. He said: "We were really quite taken aback by just how (9) ____ it was." He posited that LEDs led to two drastic changes in behaviour. He said the most (10) ____ discovery was that the lights stopped female insects (11) ____ eggs in the lit areas. Another disruption was that the lighting disturbed the (12) ____ behaviour of the insects. The caterpillars in the unlit areas were heavier than those in the areas lit by LEDs.

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     farms     (b)     firms     (c)     forms     (d)     foams    
    2. (a)     in     (b)     on     (c)     at     (d)     by    
    3. (a)     conducted     (b)     composed     (c)     orchestrated     (d)     attuned    
    4. (a)     disrupting     (b)     disrespecting     (c)     distributing     (d)     distancing    
    5. (a)     tentative     (b)     extent     (c)     embargo     (d)     chaos    
    6. (a)     aghast     (b)     gassy     (c)     glassy     (d)     grassy    
    7. (a)     convergences     (b)     adverse     (c)     verges     (d)     vengeance    
    8. (a)     at     (b)     by     (c)     of     (d)     on    
    9. (a)     stark     (b)     strict     (c)     stock     (d)     stork    
    10. (a)     dozing     (b)     alarming     (c)     slumbering     (d)     snoozing    
    11. (a)     slaying     (b)     laying     (c)     playing     (d)     allaying    
    12. (a)     feeds     (b)     feed     (c)     feeding     (d)     fodder

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. other forms of ictlrafaii lighting
    2. behind a neidcel in insect populations
    3. white light from light-emtitnig diodes
    4. ndurigptsi insect behaviour
    5. surprised at the eettnx of the insect loss
    6. insect populations at hodreegw test sites

    Paragraph 2

    1. contained either hedges or grass gevres
    2. He ioeptds that
    3. LEDs led to two crasitd changes
    4. the most aargniml discovery
    5. lighting udedsirbt the feeding behaviour
    6. iarrctalleps in the unlit areas

    Put the text back together

    (...)  behaviour of the insects. The caterpillars in the unlit areas were heavier than those in the areas lit by LEDs.
    (...)  to two drastic changes in behaviour. He said the most alarming discovery was that the lights stopped female
    (...)  difference. He said: "We were really quite taken aback by just how stark it was." He posited that LEDs led
    (...)  or grass verges. The researchers counted the numbers of moth caterpillars found at these
    1  ) Scientists have discovered that street lights and other forms of artificial lighting could be behind a decline
    (...)  in insect populations. Researchers from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology conducted
    (...)  sites and compared these with insects found at unlit sites. Boyes commented on the
    (...)  a drop in their numbers. Lead researcher Douglas Boyes said the results of his study were
    (...)  studies on the number of insects living near sources of white light from light-emitting
    (...)  diodes (LEDs). The researchers said LEDs are responsible for disrupting insect behaviour and for causing
    (...)  Mr Boyes and his team set up LEDs at 26 roadside sites in the countryside that contained either hedges
    (...)  reduction in insect populations at hedgerow test sites and a 37 per cent reduction at roadside grassy areas.
    (...)  "eye-opening". He was surprised at the extent of the insect loss due to LEDs. He found a 47 per cent
    (...)  insects laying eggs in the lit areas. Another disruption was that the lighting disturbed the feeding

    Put the words in the right order

    lights   forms   artificial   lighting   .   of   Street   other   and
    near   white   The   insects   of   number   light   .   living
    are   disrupting   LEDs   behaviour   .   responsible   for   insect
    of   the   loss   .   Surprised   the   at   extent   insect
    grassy   reduction   37   A   percent   roadside   areas   .   at
    The   moth   numbers   the   researchers   counted   caterpillars   .   of
    how   stark   aback   Taken   was   .   by   it   just
    The   laying   female   eggs   .   lights   insects   stopped
    of   Lighting   the   the   feeding   behaviour   disturbed   insects   .
    The   caterpillars   unlit   the   were   in   areas   heavier   .

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Scientists have discovered that street lights and another / other forms of artificial lighting could be behind a decline on / in insect populations. Researchers from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology orchestrated / conducted studies on the number / numeral of insects living near sources of white light from light-emitting dioxide / diodes (LEDs). The researchers said LEDs are responsible for disrupting insect behaviour and for causing / casing a drop in their numbers. Lead researcher Douglas Boyes said the resultant / results of his study were "eye-opening". He was surprised at / to the extent of the insect loss because / due to LEDs. He found a 47 per cent reduction in insect populations at hedgerow test sites and a 37 per cent reduction at roadside grassy areas / auras.

    Mr Boyes and his team set down / up LEDs at 26 roadside sites in the countryside that contained either hedges or / nor grass verges. The researchers counted the numbers of mouth / moth caterpillars found at these sites and compared them / these with insects found at unlit sites. Boyes commented on the difference. He said: "We were really quite taken aback / back by just how stark it was." He posited that LEDs led to two drastic / caustic changes in behaviour. He said the most snoozing / alarming discovery was that the lights stopped female insects laying / lain eggs in the lit areas. Another disruption was that the lighting disturbed the foodie / feeding behaviour of the insects. The caterpillars in the unlit areas were heavier than those in the areas unlit / lit by LEDs.

    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)

    Sc__nt_sts  h_v_  d_sc_v_r_d  th_t  str__t  l_ghts  _nd  _th_r  f_rms  _f  _rt_f_c__l  l_ght_ng  c__ld  b_  b_h_nd  _  d_cl_n_  _n  _ns_ct  p_p_l_t__ns.  R_s__rch_rs  fr_m  th_  _K  C_ntr_  f_r  _c_l_gy  _nd  Hydr_l_gy  c_nd_ct_d  st_d__s  _n  th_  n_mb_r  _f  _ns_cts  l_v_ng  n__r  s__rc_s  _f  wh_t_  l_ght  fr_m  l_ght-_m_tt_ng  d__d_s  (L_Ds).  Th_  r_s__rch_rs  s__d  L_Ds  _r_  r_sp_ns_bl_  f_r  d_sr_pt_ng  _ns_ct  b_h_v___r  _nd  f_r  c__s_ng  _  dr_p  _n  th__r  n_mb_rs.  L__d  r_s__rch_r  D__gl_s  B_y_s  s__d  th_  r_s_lts  _f  h_s  st_dy  w_r_  "_y_-_p_n_ng".  H_  w_s  s_rpr_s_d  _t  th_  _xt_nt  _f  th_  _ns_ct  l_ss  d__  t_  L_Ds.  H_  f__nd  _  47  p_r  c_nt  r_d_ct__n  _n  _ns_ct  p_p_l_t__ns  _t  h_dg_r_w  t_st  s_t_s  _nd  _  37  p_r  c_nt  r_d_ct__n  _t  r__ds_d_  gr_ssy  _r__s.

    Mr  B_y_s  _nd  h_s  t__m  s_t  _p  L_Ds  _t  26  r__ds_d_  s_t_s  _n  th_  c__ntrys_d_  th_t  c_nt__n_d  __th_r  h_dg_s  _r  gr_ss  v_rg_s.  Th_  r_s__rch_rs  c__nt_d  th_  n_mb_rs  _f  m_th  c_t_rp_ll_rs  f__nd  _t  th_s_  s_t_s  _nd  c_mp_r_d  th_s_  w_th  _ns_cts  f__nd  _t  _nl_t  s_t_s.  B_y_s  c_mm_nt_d  _n  th_  d_ff_r_nc_.  H_  s__d:  "W_  w_r_  r__lly  q__t_  t_k_n  _b_ck  by  j_st  h_w  st_rk  _t  w_s."  H_  p_s_t_d  th_t  L_Ds  l_d  t_  tw_  dr_st_c  ch_ng_s  _n  b_h_v___r.  H_  s__d  th_  m_st  _l_rm_ng  d_sc_v_ry  w_s  th_t  th_  l_ghts  st_pp_d  f_m_l_  _ns_cts  l_y_ng  _ggs  _n  th_  l_t  _r__s.  _n_th_r  d_sr_pt__n  w_s  th_t  th_  l_ght_ng  d_st_rb_d  th_  f__d_ng  b_h_v___r  _f  th_  _ns_cts.  Th_  c_t_rp_ll_rs  _n  th_  _nl_t  _r__s  w_r_  h__v__r  th_n  th_s_  _n  th_  _r__s  l_t  by  L_Ds.

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    scientists have discovered that street lights and other forms of artificial lighting could be behind a decline in insect populations researchers from the uk centre for ecology and hydrology conducted studies on the number of insects living near sources of white light from lightemitting diodes leds the researchers said leds are responsible for disrupting insect behaviour and for causing a drop in their numbers lead researcher douglas boyes said the results of his study were eyeopening he was surprised at the extent of the insect loss due to leds he found a 47 per cent reduction in insect populations at hedgerow test sites and a 37 per cent reduction at roadside grassy areas

    mr boyes and his team set up leds at 26 roadside sites in the countryside that contained either hedges or grass verges the researchers counted the numbers of moth caterpillars found at these sites and compared these with insects found at unlit sites boyes commented on the difference he said we were really quite taken aback by just how stark it was he posited that leds led to two drastic changes in behaviour he said the most alarming discovery was that the lights stopped female insects laying eggs in the lit areas another disruption was that the lighting disturbed the feeding behaviour of the insects the caterpillars in the unlit areas were heavier than those in the areas lit by leds

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Scientistshavediscoveredthatstreetlightsandotherformsofartificialli
    ghtingcouldbebehindadeclineininsectpopulations.Researchersfrom
    theUKCentreforEcologyandHydrologyconductedstudiesonthenumb
    erofinsectslivingnearsourcesofwhitelightfromlight-emittingdiode
    s(LEDs).TheresearcherssaidLEDsareresponsiblefordisruptinginsect
    behaviourandforcausingadropintheirnumbers.LeadresearcherDoug
    lasBoyessaidtheresultsofhisstudywere"eye-opening".Hewassurpr
    isedattheextentoftheinsectlossduetoLEDS.Hefounda47percentredu
    ctionininsectpopulationsathedgerowtestsitesanda37percentreducti
    onatroadsidegrassyareas.MrBoyesandhisteamsetupLEDsat26roads
    idesitesinthecountrysidethatcontainedeitherhedgesorgrassverges.
    Theresearcherscountedthenumbersofmothcaterpillarsfoundatthese
    sitesandcomparedthesewithinsectsfoundatunlitsites.Boyescomme
    ntedonthedifference.Hesaid:"Wewerereallyquitetakenabackbyjust
    howstarkitwas."HepositedthatLEDsledtotwodrasticchangesinbehav
    iour.Hesaidthemostalarmingdiscoverywasthatthelightsstoppedfem
    aleinsectslayingeggsinthelitareas.Anotherdisruptionwasthattheligh
    tingdisturbedthefeedingbehaviouroftheinsects.Thecaterpillarsinthe
    unlitareaswereheavierthanthoseintheareaslitbyLEDs.

    Free writing

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

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    Academic writing

    We should reduce artificial lighting around the world to help insects. 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. INSECTS: Make a poster about insects. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. LIGHT POLLUTION: Write a magazine article about governments greatly reducing the amount of artificial light in our towns and countryside. 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 insects. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three of your ideas on how to help insects. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.





    A Few Additional Activities for Students

    Ask your students what they have read, seen or heard about this news in their own language. Students are likely to / may have have encountered this news in their L1 and therefore bring a background knowledge to the classroom.

    Get students to role play different characters from this news story.

    Ask students to keep track of this news and revisit it to discuss in your next class.

    Ask students to male predictions of how this news might develop in the next few days or weeks, and then revisit and discuss in a future class.

    Ask students to write a follow-up story to this news.

    Students role play a journalist and someone who witnessed or was a part of this news. Perhaps they could make a video of the interview.

    Ask students to keep a news journal in English and add this story to their thoughts.

    Also...

    Buy my 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers eBook. It has hundreds of ideas, activity templates, reproducible activities for:

    • News
    • Warm ups
    • Pre-reading / Post-reading
    • Using headlines
    • Working with words
    • While-reading / While-listening
    • Moving from text to speech
    • Post-reading / Post-listening
    • Discussions
    • Using opinions
    • Plans
    • Language
    • Using lists
    • Using quotes
    • Task-based activities
    • Role plays
    • Using the central characters in the article
    • Using themes from the news
    • Homework

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    Answers

    (Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

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