The Reading / Listening - Octopus DNA - Level 6

It is common knowledge that sea creatures like dolphins have a high level of intelligence. Scientists have now discovered that octopuses also have "remarkable" intelligence. A team of Italian marine biologists have revealed that octopi have a gene that also determines the intelligence of humans. The eight-tentacled sea creature has short sequences of DNA called "jumping genes". These same genes make up 45 per cent of the human genome. The researchers said the DNA sequences are important for learning and for creating and storing memories in the brain. The scientists say the DNA may give octopuses cognitive abilities that are similar to those humans have.

The scientists say their research findings are important as they give an insight into how octopuses amend their behaviour in response to different stimuli. Scientists describe this process as "behavioural plasticity". Biologist Graziano Fiorito suggested that the research could help us understand more about intelligence in humans. He said: "The brain of the octopus is functionally analogous in many of its characteristics to that of mammals.…For this reason [the DNA] represents a very interesting candidate to study to improve our knowledge of the evolution of intelligence." He says the brain structure of octopuses may mean the creatures are more similar to mammals than invertebrates and other sea life.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Octopus DNA - Level 4  or  Octopus DNA - Level 5

Sources
  • https://www.livescience.com/jumping-genes-octopus-intelligence
  • https://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/51619/20220629/octopus-human-brain.htm
  • https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/956980


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. OCTOPUSES: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about octopuses. 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?
       common / knowledge / intelligence / scientists / biologists / gene / genome / humans
       research / octopus / process / plasticity / characteristics / candidate / evolution / sea
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. INTELLIGENCE: Students A strongly believe there should be lessons on increasing intelligence at schools; Students B strongly believe the opposite. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. MARINE CREATURES: What do you know about these marine creatures? What do you want to know? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

What I Know

What I Want to Know

Octopuses

 

 

Squid

 

 

Plankton

 

 

Starfish

 

 

Jelly dish

 

 

Sea horses

 

 

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

  • Money
  • Nutrition
  • Coding
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Literature
  • The environment
  • Marine biology

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. common knowledge a. An animal, rather than a human being.
      2. creature b. A thin, flexible leg on a creature like an octopus or squid.
      3. remarkable c. Relating to or found in the sea.
      4. marine d. Worthy of attention; impressive.
      5. tentacle e. Something known by most people.
      6. genome f. Relating to the mental action of getting knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.
      7. cognitive g. The complete set of genes or genetic material in a cell or organism.

    Paragraph 2

      8. amend h. The process by which life is believed to have developed from earlier forms during the history of the earth.
      9. stimuli i. Make small changes to something.
      10. plasticity j. A warm-blooded animal with a backbone, hair or fur, milk, and the birth of live young.
      11. analogous k. An animal without a backbone.
      12. mammal l. The adaptability of an organism to changes in its environment.
      13. evolution m. Comparable in many ways.
      14. invertebrate n. Things that arouse activity or energy in someone or something.

 

Before reading / listening

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

  1. Not many people know about the intelligence of dolphins.     T / F
  2. Scientists said octopuses are remarkably intelligent.     T / F
  3. Humans and octopuses share the same intelligence genes.     T / F
  4. Human and octopus cognitive abilities are incredibly different.     T / F
  5. The research gives an insight into what octopuses like and dislike.     T / F
  6. Adapting behaviour to stimuli is called behavioural plasticity.     T / F
  7. The scientist said an octopuses brain was similar to a mammal brain.     T / F
  8. The scientists said octopus brains are identical to those of invertebrates.  T / F

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

  1. creatures
  2. remarkable
  3. determines
  4. sequences
  5. similar
  6. findings
  7. process
  8. analogous
  9. evolution
  10. structure
  1. action
  2. alike
  3. amazing
  4. conclusion
  5. shape
  6. regulates
  7. development
  8. animals
  9. comparable
  10. cycles

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

  1. common
  2. dolphins have a high
  3. The eight-
  4. 45 per cent of the human
  5. the DNA may give octopuses cognitive
  6. an insight into how octopuses
  7. Scientists describe this process as
  8. the evolution
  9. the brain structure
  10. invertebrates and other
  1. amend their behaviour
  2. tentacled sea creature
  3. of intelligence
  4. abilities
  5. sea life
  6. level of intelligence
  7. of octopuses
  8. knowledge
  9. genome
  10. "behavioural plasticity"

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
remarkable
sequences
similar
creatures
humans
storing
gene
genome

It is common knowledge that sea (1) _____________________ like dolphins have a high level of intelligence. Scientists have now discovered that octopuses also have "(2) _____________________" intelligence. A team of Italian marine biologists have revealed that octopi have a (3) _____________________ that also determines the intelligence of (4) _____________________. The eight-tentacled sea creature has short (5) _____________________ of DNA called "jumping genes". These same genes make up 45 per cent of the human (6) _____________________. The researchers said the DNA sequences are important for learning and for creating and (7) _____________________ memories in the brain. The scientists say the DNA may give octopuses cognitive abilities that are (8) _____________________ to those humans have.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
amend
improve
functionally
life
findings
structure
plasticity
mammals

The scientists say their research (9) _____________________ are important as they give an insight into how octopuses (10) _____________________ their behaviour in response to different stimuli. Scientists describe this process as "behavioural (11) _____________________". Biologist Graziano Fiorito suggested that the research could help us understand more about intelligence in humans. He said: "The brain of the octopus is (12) _____________________ analogous in many of its characteristics to that of (13) _____________________....For this reason [the DNA] represents a very interesting candidate to study to (14) _____________________ our knowledge of the evolution of intelligence." He says the brain (15) _____________________ of octopuses may mean the creatures are more similar to mammals than invertebrates and other sea (16) _____________________.

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  It is common knowledge that sea creatures like dolphins have a ______ intelligence
     a.  height level of
     b.  highly evil of
     c.  hail evil of
     d.  high level of
2)  The eight-tentacled sea creature has short ______
     a.  sequins says of DNA
     b.  seek consequences of DNA
     c.  sequences of DNA
     d.  sea quinces of DNA
3)  These same genes make up 45 per cent of ______
     a.  the human jean gnome
     b.  the human genome
     c.  the human g-gnome
     d.  the human gee numb
4)  DNA sequences are important for learning and for creating ______
     a.  and store ring memories
     b.  and store in memories
     c.  and stowing memories
     d.  and storing memories
5)  The scientists say the DNA may give octopuses ______
     a.  cognitive abilities
     b.  cog native abilities
     c.  agog native abilities
     d.  cog knitting abilities

6)  scientists say their research findings are important as they ______
     a.  give an insight
     b.  giver an insight
     c.  gives an insight
     d.  give a nine sight
7)  how octopuses amend their behaviour in response ______
     a.  too different stimuli
     b.  two different stimuli
     c.  to different stimuli
     d.  tool different stimuli
8) suggested that the research could help us understand more about intelligence ______
     a.  on humans
     b.  inhumane
     c.  in humans
     d.  in human
9)  candidate to study to improve our knowledge of the ______
     a.  revolution of intelligence
     b.  evolution of intelligence
     c.  involution of intelligence
     d.  evolving of intelligence
10)  octopuses may mean the creatures are more similar to ______
     a.  mammals than in vertebrates
     b.  mammals than invert vibrates
     c.  mammals than in verticals
     d.  mammals than inverted beets

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

It is common knowledge that (1) ____________________ dolphins have a high level of intelligence. Scientists have (2) ____________________ octopuses also have "remarkable" intelligence. A team of Italian marine biologists have revealed that octopi have a gene (3) ____________________ the intelligence of humans. The eight-tentacled sea creature has (4) ____________________ DNA called "jumping genes". These same genes make up 45 per cent of the human genome. The researchers said the DNA sequences are important for learning and for (5) ____________________ memories in the brain. The scientists say the DNA may give octopuses (6) ____________________ are similar to those humans have.

The scientists say their (7) ____________________ important as they give an insight into how octopuses amend their behaviour in response to different stimuli. Scientists (8) ____________________ as "behavioural plasticity". Biologist Graziano Fiorito suggested that the research could help us understand more about (9) ____________________. He said: "The brain of the octopus is functionally (10) ____________________ of its characteristics to that of mammals....For this reason [the DNA] represents a very interesting candidate to (11) ____________________ our knowledge of the evolution of intelligence." He says the brain structure of octopuses may mean the creatures are more (12) ____________________ than invertebrates and other sea life.

Comprehension questions

  1. What does the article say has a high level of intelligence?
  2. Where are the scientists from who conducted the research?
  3. What are the DNA sequences called that were part of this research?
  4. What did scientists say the DNA was important for creating in the brain?
  5. What similar ability do octopuses and humans have?
  6. What did the octopuses respond to?
  7. Who is Graziano Fiorito?
  8. What did scientists say was analogous to mammal characteristics?
  9. What might octopus brains help us to understand the evolution of?
  10. What do the researchers say octopus brains are similar to?

Multiple choice quiz

1)  What does the article say has a high level of intelligence?
a) apes
b) dolphins
c) jelly fish
d) whales
2)  Where are the scientists from who conducted the research?
a) Egypt
b) Fiji
c) Australia
d) Italy
3) What are the DNA sequences called that were part of this research?
a) jumping genes
b) jumping jacks
c) jumping Jennies
d) jamming jacks
4) What did scientists say the DNA was important for creating in the brain?
a) connections
b) neurons
c) memories
d) protein

5) What similar ability do octopuses and humans have?
a) predicting soccer match results
b) cognitive ability
c) touching
d) fishing

6) What did the octopuses respond to?
a) different stimuli
b) music
c) colour
d) flashes
7) Who is Graziano Fiorito?
a) am octopus breeder
b) an octopus expert
c) a biologist
d) a journalist
8) What did scientists say was analogous to mammal characteristics?
a) the octopus brain
b) octopus tentacles
c) human charcateristics
d) dolphins
9) What might octopus brains help us to understand the evolution of?
a) intelligence
b) fish
c) molluscs
d) sea life

10) What do the researchers say octopus brains are similar to?
a) apes
b) dolphins
c) lobster
d) mammals

Role play

Role  A – Money
You think money is the most important thing to have knowledge of. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these (and why): coding, literature or the environment.

Role  B – Coding
You think coding is the most important thing to have knowledge of. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these (and why): money, literature or the environment.

Role  C – Literature
You think literature is the most important thing to have knowledge of. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these (and why): coding, money or the environment.

Role  D – The Environment
You think the environment is the most important thing to have knowledge of. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these (and why): coding, literature or money.

After reading / listening

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

'octopus'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'human'.

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

    • common
    • remarkable
    • gene
    • 45
    • storing
    • cognitive
    • findings
    • process
    • help
    • many
    • evolution
    • life

    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 - Octopus DNA

    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 'octopus'?
    3. What do you know about octopuses?
    4. What do you think of the intelligence of dolphins?
    5. What do you think of your intelligence?
    6. Why do people have different levels of intelligence?
    7. Which marine creatures do you like best?
    8. What do you know about DNA?
    9. How useful do you think it is to have eight tentacles?
    10. In what other ways are octopuses similar to humans?

    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. How intelligent do you think octopuses are?
    5. In what ways do octopuses show their intelligence?
    6. Do you think we should be eating octopuses?
    7. What do you know about the 'evolution of intelligence'?
    8. How can we improve our intelligence?
    9. What are the differences between vertebrates and invertebrates?
    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)

    It is (1) ____ knowledge that sea creatures like dolphins have a high level of intelligence. Scientists have (2) ____ discovered that octopuses also have "remarkable" intelligence. A team of Italian marine biologists have revealed that octopi have a gene that also (3) ____ the intelligence of humans. The eight-tentacled sea creature has short sequences (4) ____ DNA called "jumping genes". These same genes make up 45 per cent of the human (5) ____. The researchers said the DNA sequences are important for learning and for creating and storing memories in the brain. The scientists say the DNA may give octopuses cognitive abilities that are similar to (6) ____ humans have.

    The scientists say their research findings are important as they give an insight (7) ____ how octopuses amend their behaviour in response to different stimuli. Scientists describe this process (8) ____ "behavioural plasticity". Biologist Graziano Fiorito suggested that the research could help us understand more about intelligence in humans. He said: "The brain of the octopus is functionally (9) ____ in many of its characteristics to that of mammals....For this (10) ____ [the DNA] represents a very interesting candidate to study to improve our knowledge of the evolution (11) ____ intelligence." He says the brain structure of octopuses may mean the creatures are more similar to mammals than invertebrates and other (12) ____ life.

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     common     (b)     commoner     (c)     commons     (d)     commonly    
    2. (a)     knowing     (b)     known     (c)     now     (d)     knowns    
    3. (a)     detrimental     (b)     determining     (c)     determines     (d)     determine    
    4. (a)     on     (b)     to     (c)     at     (d)     of    
    5. (a)     gnome     (b)     genie     (c)     genome     (d)     geneticist    
    6. (a)     them     (b)     those     (c)     that     (d)     this    
    7. (a)     unto     (b)     into     (c)     onto     (d)     intro    
    8. (a)     was     (b)     as     (c)     has     (d)     ease    
    9. (a)     spontaneous     (b)     religious     (c)     analogous     (d)     rigorous    
    10. (a)     knowledge     (b)     ethos     (c)     belief     (d)     reason    
    11. (a)     at     (b)     on     (c)     to     (d)     of    
    12. (a)     seals     (b)     seal     (c)     seas     (d)     sea

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. It is common enwlkgoed
    2. A team of Italian marine sistilbogo
    3. The eight-encaedttl sea creature
    4. make up 45 per cent of the human moneeg
    5. the DNA sueeqecsn
    6. the DNA may give octopuses givniteco abilities

    Paragraph 2

    1. in response to different itimusl
    2. Scientists describe this process as behavioural stilptacyi
    3. functionally uaglansoo
    4. the uventlooi of intelligence
    5. the brain urscterut of octopuses
    6. more similar to mammals than seetrvbianrte

    Put the text back together

    (...)  important for learning and for creating and storing memories in the brain. The scientists say the DNA may
    (...)  The scientists say their research findings are important as they give an insight
    (...)  that octopuses also have "remarkable" intelligence. A team of Italian marine biologists have
    (...)  revealed that octopi have a gene that also determines the intelligence of humans. The eight-tentacled sea
    (...)  give octopuses cognitive abilities that are similar to those humans have.
    (...)  up 45 per cent of the human genome. The researchers said the DNA sequences are
    (...)  into how octopuses amend their behaviour in response to different stimuli. Scientists describe this process
    (...)  creature has short sequences of DNA called "jumping genes". These same genes make
    (...)  us understand more about intelligence in humans. He said: "The brain of the octopus is functionally analogous in many
    (...)  as "behavioural plasticity". Biologist Graziano Fiorito suggested that the research could help
    (...)  interesting candidate to study to improve our knowledge of the evolution of intelligence." He says the brain
    1  ) It is common knowledge that sea creatures like dolphins have a high level of intelligence. Scientists have now discovered
    (...)  structure of octopuses may mean the creatures are more similar to mammals than invertebrates and other sea life.
    (...)  of its characteristics to that of mammals....For this reason [the DNA] represents a very

    Put the words in the right order

    1. level   high   have   of   a   Dolphins   intelligence   .
    2. revealed   gene   .   Biologists   that   a   have   have   octopi
    3. intelligence   .   human   A   also   determines   that   gene
    4. important   .   said   DNA   The   are   researchers   sequences   the
    5. abilities   .   The   cognitive   DNA   octopuses   may   give
    6. findings   their   scientists   The   research   say   important   .   are
    7. behavioural   describe   as   this   Scientists   process   plasticity   .
    8. octopus   of   the   is   The   functionally   analogous   .   brain
    9. our   Improve   intelligence   .   of   knowledge   of   the   evolution
    10. creatures   The   sea   more   mammals   .   are   to   similar

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    It is common / commonly knowledge that sea creatures like dolphins have a high level of intelligence. Scientists have now discovered that octopuses also have "remarked / remarkable" intelligence. A team of Italian marine biologists have revealed / revealing that octopi has / have a gene that also determines the intelligence on / of humans. The eight-tentacled sea / seas creature has short sequences of DNA called "jumping genes". These same genes make down / up 45 per cent of the human genome. The researchers said the DNA sequences are important for / of learning and for creating and storing memories in / on the brain. The scientists say the DNA may give octopuses cognitive abilities that are similar / similarity to those humans have.

    The scientists say their research findings are important as they give an sighting / insight into how octopuses armed / amend their behaviour in response to different stimulus / stimuli. Scientists describe this process / progress as "behavioural plasticity". Biologist Graziano Fiorito suggested that the research could help us understand more about intelligence at / in humans. He said: "The brain of the octopus is functionally religious / analogous in many of its characteristics to that of mammal / mammals....For this reason [the DNA] represents a very interesting / interested candidate to study to improve our knowledge in / on the evolution of intelligence." He says the brain structure of octopuses may mean the creatures are more similar to mammals than invertebrates and other / others sea life.

    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)

    _t  _s  c_mm_n  kn_wl_dg_  th_t  s__  cr__t_r_s  l_k_  d_lph_ns  h_v_  _  h_gh  l_v_l  _f  _nt_ll_g_nc_.  Sc__nt_sts  h_v_  n_w  d_sc_v_r_d  th_t  _ct_p_s_s  _ls_  h_v_  "r_m_rk_bl_"  _nt_ll_g_nc_.  _  t__m  _f  _t_l__n  m_r_n_  b__l_g_sts  h_v_  r_v__l_d  th_t  _ct_p_  h_v_  _  g_n_  th_t  _ls_  d_t_rm_n_s  th_  _nt_ll_g_nc_  _f  h_m_ns.  Th_  __ght-t_nt_cl_d  s__  cr__t_r_  h_s  sh_rt  s_q__nc_s  _f  DN_  c_ll_d  "j_mp_ng  g_n_s".  Th_s_  s_m_  g_n_s  m_k_  _p  45  p_r  c_nt  _f  th_  h_m_n  g_n_m_.  Th_  r_s__rch_rs  s__d  th_  DN_  s_q__nc_s  _r_  _mp_rt_nt  f_r  l__rn_ng  _nd  f_r  cr__t_ng  _nd  st_r_ng  m_m_r__s  _n  th_  br__n.  Th_  sc__nt_sts  s_y  th_  DN_  m_y  g_v_  _ct_p_s_s  c_gn_t_v_  _b_l_t__s  th_t  _r_  s_m_l_r  t_  th_s_  h_m_ns  h_v_.

    Th_  sc__nt_sts  s_y  th__r  r_s__rch  f_nd_ngs  _r_  _mp_rt_nt  _s  th_y  g_v_  _n  _ns_ght  _nt_  h_w  _ct_p_s_s  _m_nd  th__r  b_h_v___r  _n  r_sp_ns_  t_  d_ff_r_nt  st_m_l_.  Sc__nt_sts  d_scr_b_  th_s  pr_c_ss  _s  "b_h_v___r_l  pl_st_c_ty".  B__l_g_st  Gr_z__n_  F__r_t_  s_gg_st_d  th_t  th_  r_s__rch  c__ld  h_lp  _s  _nd_rst_nd  m_r_  _b__t  _nt_ll_g_nc_  _n  h_m_ns.  H_  s__d:  "Th_  br__n  _f  th_  _ct_p_s  _s  f_nct__n_lly  _n_l_g__s  _n  m_ny  _f  _ts  ch_r_ct_r_st_cs  t_  th_t  _f  m_mm_ls....F_r  th_s  r__s_n  [th_  DN_]  r_pr_s_nts  _  v_ry  _nt_r_st_ng  c_nd_d_t_  t_  st_dy  t_  _mpr_v_  __r  kn_wl_dg_  _n  th_  _v_l_t__n  _f  _nt_ll_g_nc_."  H_  s_ys  th_  br__n  str_ct_r_  _f  _ct_p_s_s  m_y  m__n  th_  cr__t_r_s  _r_  m_r_  s_m_l_r  t_  m_mm_ls  th_n  _nv_rt_br_t_s  _nd  _th_r  s__  l_f_.

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    it is common knowledge that sea creatures like dolphins have a high level of intelligence scientists have now discovered that octopuses also have remarkable intelligence a team of italian marine biologists have revealed that octopi have a gene that also determines the intelligence of humans the eighttentacled sea creature has short sequences of dna called jumping genes these same genes make up 45 per cent of the human genome the researchers said the dna sequences are important for learning and for creating and storing memories in the brain the scientists say the dna may give octopuses cognitive abilities that are similar to those humans have

    the scientists say their research findings are important as they give an insight into how octopuses amend their behaviour in response to different stimuli scientists describe this process as behavioural plasticity biologist graziano fiorito suggested that the research could help us understand more about intelligence in humans he said the brain of the octopus is functionally analogous in many of its characteristics to that of mammalsfor this reason the dna represents a very interesting candidate to study to improve our knowledge of the evolution of intelligence he says the brain structure of octopuses may mean the creatures are more similar to mammals than invertebrates and other sea life

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Itiscommonknowledgethatseacreatureslikedolphinshaveahighlevel
    ofintelligence.Scientistshavenowdiscoveredthatoctopusesalsohave
    "remarkable"intelligence.AteamofItalianmarinebiologistshavereve
    aledthatoctopihaveagenethatalsodeterminestheintelligenceofhuma
    ns.Theeight-tentacledseacreaturehasshortsequencesofDNAcalle
    d"jumpinggenes".Thesesamegenesmakeup45percentofthehumang
    enome.TheresearcherssaidtheDNAsequencesareimportantforlearni
    ngandforcreatingandstoringmemoriesinthebrain.Thescientistssayt
    heDNAmaygiveoctopusescognitiveabilitiesthataresimilartothosehu
    manshave.Thescientistssaytheirresearchfindingsareimportantasth
    eygiveaninsightintohowoctopusesamendtheirbehaviourinresponset
    odifferentstimuli.Scientistsdescribethisprocessas"behaviouralplasti
    city".BiologistGrazianoFioritosuggestedthattheresearchcouldhelpu
    sunderstandmoreaboutintelligenceinhumans.Hesaid:"Thebrainofth
    eoctopusisfunctionallyanalogousinmanyofitscharacteristicstothatof
    mammals....Forthisreason[theDNA]representsaveryinterestingcan
    didatetostudytoimproveourknowledgeoftheevolutionofintelligence
    ."Hesaysthebrainstructureofoctopusesmaymeanthecreaturesarem
    oresimilartomammalsthaninvertebratesandothersealife.

    Free writing

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

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    Academic writing

    Research on intelligence will make us more intelligent.  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. OCTOPUSES: Make a poster about octopuses. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. INTELLIGENCE: Write a magazine article about schools training students to be more intelligent. 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 octopuses. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three of your opinions on them. 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

    Buy my book

    $US 9.99

    Answers

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

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