The Reading / Listening - Falling Rockets - Level 3

Have you ever worried about debris from a falling rocket hitting you on the head? That scenario has never been high on the list of life's worries. The chances of a piece of space junk hitting us were almost zero. However, that is changing. Scientists say there is a growing likelihood that rocket parts falling back to Earth could hit and kill someone in the next ten years. This is because more countries are sending more rockets into space. Scientists say space is becoming congested. They are calling on nations and companies that send rockets into space to be more responsible. They want them to control the reentry of any rocket parts floating in the lower atmosphere.

Scientists in Canada did research on the number of rockets launched into space, and the risk of people being hit by falling debris. There were 133 rocket launches in 2021. That was a record. It looks like that record will be broken this year. The scientists said more than 60 per cent of rockets are abandoned in space after they release their satellites. The abandoned spacecraft can circle the earth for years before they fall back down. A key finding of the research is that rocket parts are more likely to hit somewhere (or someone) in the Global South. However, most rockets are launched from the Global North. The scientists say countries and companies are "exporting risk to the rest of the world".

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Falling Rockets - Level 0 Falling Rockets - Level 1   or  Falling Rockets - Level 2

Sources
  • https://gizmodo.com/falling-rocket-parts-more-likely-to-cause-deaths-1849165671
  • https://www.newscientist.com/article/2327922-10-per-cent-chance-falling-rockets-will-hit-someone-in-next-decade/
  • https://www.theverge.com/2022/7/11/23199088/uncontrolled-rocket-reentry-casualty-risk-analysis-space-industry


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. SPACE ROCKETS: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about space rockets. 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?
       rocket / worries / space junk / zero / Earth / the next ten years / space / atmosphere
       scientists / falling debris / rocket launches / satellites / the Global South / risk
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. ROCKETS: Students A strongly believe there should be a limit on the number of rockets sent into space; Students B strongly believe not. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. DANGERS: How dangerous are these potential dangers? What can we do to prevent them? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

How Dangerous

What We Can Do

Falling rockets

 

 

Identity theft

 

 

Lightning strikes

 

 

Being hit by a truck

 

 

A broken heart

 

 

Kidnapped by aliens

 

 

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

  • Falling rockets
  • Crossing the road
  • Eating fast food
  • Not exercising
  • Flying
  • Swimming in a river
  • Sky diving
  • Smoking

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. debris a. The area of space that is just above our Earth.
      2. scenario b. Pieces of rubbish / trash that go over a wide area.
      3. junk c. Very crowded with traffic, things or people.
      4. likelihood d. An idea of a possible event or events that someone thinks of.
      5. congested e. The chances of something happening.
      6. nation f. Old things that are useless, broken or of little value.
      7. atmosphere g. A country.

    Paragraph 2

      8. launched h. Sent a missile, satellite, or spacecraft into the air or into space.
      9. risk i. Send goods, services, ideas or other things to another country, usually for sale.
      10. record j. The possibility that something bad will happen.
      11. abandoned k. Very important.
      12. satellite l. The best performance or most amazing event of its kind.
      13. key m. Left behind by someone who know longer wanted it.
      14. exporting n. A small machine that flies round the earth to collect information or for communication.

 

Before reading / listening

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

  1. Falling rockets are high on people's lists of worries.     T / F
  2. Space junk could kill people in the next 10 years.     T / F
  3. More countries are launching more rockets into space.     T / F
  4. Scientists want space rocket companies to be more responsible.     T / F
  5. There were record numbers of rocket launches last year.     T / F
  6. Less than half of the rockets sent into space are abandoned.     T / F
  7. The likeliest place to be hit by space junk is in the Global South.     T / F
  8. Scientists say rocket companies are importing risk to the world.     T / F

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

  1. worried
  2. worries
  3. likelihood
  4. congested
  5. control
  6. launched
  7. debris
  8. abandoned
  9. circle
  10. exporting
  1. dumped
  2. crowded
  3. sent up
  4. probability
  5. waste
  6. concerns
  7. orbit
  8. lost sleep over
  9. sending overseas
  10. direct

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

  1. worried about debris from
  2. high on the list of
  3. chances of a piece of space junk hitting
  4. more countries are sending more
  5. the reentry of any rocket parts floating
  6. the risk of people being hit
  7. It looks like that record will be
  8. The abandoned spacecraft can circle
  9. A key finding
  10. companies are exporting risk to the
  1. us were almost zero
  2. of the research
  3. by falling debris
  4. life's worries
  5. rest of the world
  6. the earth for years
  7. rockets into space
  8. broken this year
  9. a falling rocket hitting you
  10. in the lower atmosphere

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
changing
high
lower
next
worries
responsible
debris
congested

Have you ever worried about (1) _____________________ from a falling rocket hitting you on the head? That scenario has never been (2) _____________________ on the list of life's (3) _____________________. The chances of a piece of space junk hitting us were almost zero. However, that is (4) _____________________. Scientists say there is a growing likelihood that rocket parts falling back to Earth could hit and kill someone in the (5) _____________________ ten years. This is because more countries are sending more rockets into space. Scientists say space is becoming (6) _____________________. They are calling on nations and companies that send rockets into space to be more (7) _____________________. They want them to control the reentry of any rocket parts floating in the (8) _____________________ atmosphere.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
broken
risk
release
back
number
likely
hit
finding

Scientists in Canada did research on the (9) _____________________ of rockets launched into space, and the risk of people being (10) _____________________ by falling debris. There were 133 rocket launches in 2021. That was a record. It looks like that record will be (11) _____________________ this year. The scientists said more than 60 per cent of rockets are abandoned in space after they (12) _____________________ their satellites. The abandoned spacecraft can circle the earth for years before they fall (13) _____________________ down. A key (14) _____________________ of the research is that rocket parts are more (15) _____________________ to hit somewhere (or someone) in the Global South. However, most rockets are launched from the Global North. The scientists say countries and companies are "exporting (16) _____________________ to the rest of the world".

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1) That scenario has never been high on the list ______
     a.  of lives worries
     b.  of leaf's worries
     c.  of life's worries
     d.  of loaf's worries
2)  The chances of a piece of space junk hitting us ______
     a.  were all most zero
     b.  were at most zero
     c.  were almost zero
     d.  were a must zero
3)  Scientists say space ______
     a.  is become in congested
     b.  is be coming congested
     c.  is beaconing congested
     d.  is becoming congested
4)  calling on nations and companies that send rockets into space to ______
     a.  be amore responsible
     b.  be more responsible
     c.  be moor responsible
     d.  be more responsibility
5)  the reentry of any rocket parts floating in ______
     a.  the lower atmosphere
     b.  a lower atmosphere
     c.  the low are atmosphere
     d.  a low are atmosphere

6)  and the risk of people being hit ______
     a.  by a fall in debris
     b.  by falling debris
     c.  by fouling debris
     d.  by fling debris
7)  There were 133 rocket launches in 2021. That ______
     a.  was a wreck chord
     b.  was a record
     c.  was a wreck cord
     d.  was a wreak card
8)  The abandoned spacecraft can circle the ______
     a.  earth four years
     b.  earth for years
     c.  earth fore years
     d.  earth afore years
9)  A key finding of the research is that rocket parts are more ______
     a.  likely to hit
     b.  liked to hit
     c.  liking to hit
     d.  likelihood to hit
10)  The scientists say countries and companies ______
     a.  are export in risk
     b.  are export tin risk
     c.  are ex pore tin risk
     d.  are exporting risk

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Have you ever (1) ____________________ from a falling rocket hitting you on the head? That scenario has never been high on the list of life's worries. The chances of a piece (2) ____________________ hitting us were almost zero. However, that is changing. Scientists say there is (3) ____________________ that rocket parts falling back to Earth could hit and (4) ____________________ the next ten years. This is because more countries are sending more rockets into space. Scientists say space is becoming congested. They are (5) ____________________ and companies that send rockets into space to be more responsible. They want them (6) ____________________ reentry of any rocket parts floating in the lower atmosphere.

Scientists in Canada did research on the number of rockets launched into space, and the risk of people (7) ____________________ falling debris. There were 133 rocket launches in 2021. That was a record. It looks like that record will (8) ____________________ year. The scientists said more than 60 per cent of rockets are abandoned in space (9) ____________________ their satellites. The abandoned spacecraft can (10) ____________________ for years before they fall back down. A key finding of the research is that rocket parts are more (11) ____________________ somewhere (or someone) in the Global South. However, most rockets are launched from the Global North. The scientists say countries and companies (12) ____________________ to the rest of the world".

Comprehension questions

  1. What is being hit by space debris not high on a list of?
  2. When might someone be killed by space junk?
  3. What do scientists say space is becoming?
  4. What do scientists want rocket makers to be?
  5. What do scientists want companies to control the re-entry of?
  6. How many space rockets went into space in 2021?
  7. What percentage of space rockets are abandoned in space?
  8. For how long can space rockets circle the earth?
  9. Where will people most likely be hit by space junk?
  10. What do scientists say companies are exporting?

Multiple choice quiz

1) What is being hit by space debris not high on a list of?
a) life's worries
b) problems
c) environmental problems
d) to-dos
2) When might someone be killed by space junk?
a) April the 8th, 2031
b) 2027
c) in the next ten years
d) in the decade after next
3) What do scientists say space is becoming?
a) dark
b) congested
c) light
d) lonely
4) What do scientists want rocket makers to be?
a) banned
b) more profitable
c) faster
d) more responsible
5)  What do scientists want companies to control the re-entry of?
a) rocket parts
b) astronauts
c) satellites
d) space dust

6) How many space rockets went into space in 2021?
a) 130
b) 131
c) 132
d) 133
7) What percentage of space rockets are abandoned in space?
a) exactly 60%
b) over 60%
c) around 60%
d) just under 60%
8) For how long can space rockets circle the earth?
a) centuries
b) months
c) decades
d) years
9) Where will people most likely be hit by space junk?
a) on the head
b) in their garden
c) the Global South
d) in wide open spaces

10) What do scientists say companies are exporting?
a) technology
b) risk
c) space fuel
d) space

Role play

Role  A – Crossing the Road
You think crossing the road is the riskiest thing. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as risky. Also, tell the others which is the least risky of these (and why): eating fast food, flying or crossing the road.

Role  B – Eating Fast Food
You think eating fast food is the riskiest thing. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as risky. Also, tell the others which is the least risky of these (and why): crossing the road, flying or crossing the road.

Role  C – Flying
You think flying is the riskiest thing. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as risky. Also, tell the others which is the least risky of these (and why): eating fast food, crossing the road or crossing the road.

Role  D – Not Exercising
You think crossing the road is the riskiest thing. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as risky. Also, tell the others which is the least risky of these (and why): eating fast food, flying or crossing the road.

After reading / listening

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

'space'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'rocket'.

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

    • debris
    • space
    • junk
    • zero
    • likelihood
    • atmosphere
    • research
    • record
    • rockets
    • satellites
    • the Global South
    • risk

    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 - Falling Rockets

    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 'space'?
    3. What do you know about space rockets?
    4. Do you ever worry about something falling onto your head?
    5. What do you know about space junk?
    6. What are the dangers of space junk?
    7. Why are there so many rockets going into space?
    8. How can we protect ourselves from falling space junk?
    9. What problems are there if space is congested?
    10. How can companies stop their rockets from hitting people?

    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 'rocket'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What do you think of space rockets?
    5. Should there be a yearly limit on the rockets going into space?
    6. Why do most rockets fall on the poorer areas of Earth?
    7. Would you like to go to space in a rocket?
    8. What do you think of exporting risk to the Global South?
    9. When will we all travel using space rockets?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the space companies?

    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)

    Have you ever worried about (1) ____ from a falling rocket hitting you on the head? That scenario has never been high on the list of life's (2) ____. The chances of a piece of space (3) ____ hitting us were almost zero. However, that is changing. Scientists say there is a growing likelihood that rocket parts falling back to Earth could hit and kill someone (4) ____ the next ten years. This is because more countries are sending more rockets into space. Scientists say space is (5) ____ congested. They are calling on nations and companies that send rockets into space to be more responsible. They want them to control the reentry of any rocket parts floating in the (6) ____ atmosphere.

    Scientists in Canada did research (7) ____ the number of rockets launched into space, and the (8) ____ of people being hit by falling debris. There were 133 rocket launches in 2021. That was a record. It looks like that record will be (9) ____ this year. The scientists said more than 60 per cent of rockets are abandoned in space after they release their satellites. The abandoned spacecraft can (10) ____ the earth for years before they fall back down. A key finding of the research is that rocket parts are more (11) ____ to hit somewhere (or someone) in the Global South. However, most rockets are launched from the Global North. The scientists say countries and companies are "exporting risk to the (12) ____ of the world".

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     debut     (b)     Debbie     (c)     debris     (d)     debates    
    2. (a)     worries     (b)     worrier     (c)     worry     (d)     worried    
    3. (a)     junk     (b)     bunk     (c)     funk     (d)     dunk    
    4. (a)     in     (b)     of     (c)     at     (d)     on    
    5. (a)     became     (b)     becoming     (c)     becomes     (d)     become    
    6. (a)     lowering     (b)     lowers     (c)     lowered     (d)     lower    
    7. (a)     as     (b)     to     (c)     on     (d)     of    
    8. (a)     gamble     (b)     chanced     (c)     opportunity     (d)     risk    
    9. (a)     damaged     (b)     hurt     (c)     upset     (d)     broken    
    10. (a)     circle     (b)     oval     (c)     square     (d)     parallel    
    11. (a)     likeable     (b)     likely     (c)     liking     (d)     likes    
    12. (a)     best     (b)     lest     (c)     rest     (d)     guest

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. That crnaeiso has never been high on the list
    2. a piece of space kjun
    3. there is a growing lkhiooleid
    4. space is becoming ongtsceed
    5. be more sbnrpeliseo
    6. rocket parts floating in the lower taehoresmp

    Paragraph 2

    1. Scientists in Canada did rcsaeerh
    2. being hit by falling rbdesi
    3. rockets are oadnbaned in space
    4. spacecraft can rcilec the earth
    5. most rockets are eucladnh
    6. xtingoerp risk to the rest of the world

    Put the text back together

    1  ) Have you ever worried about debris from a falling rocket hitting you on the head? That scenario has never been high
    (...)  zero. However, that is changing. Scientists say there is a growing likelihood that rocket parts falling
    (...)  will be broken this year. The scientists said more than 60 per cent of rockets are abandoned in
    (...)  Scientists in Canada did research on the number of rockets launched into space, and the risk of people being
    (...)  likely to hit somewhere (or someone) in the Global South. However, most rockets are launched from the Global North. The scientists
    (...)  control the reentry of any rocket parts floating in the lower atmosphere.
    (...)  say countries and companies are "exporting risk to the rest of the world".
    (...)  sending more rockets into space. Scientists say space is becoming congested. They are calling
    (...)  years before they fall back down. A key finding of the research is that rocket parts are more
    (...)  on the list of life's worries. The chances of a piece of space junk hitting us were almost
    (...)  back to Earth could hit and kill someone in the next ten years. This is because more countries are
    (...)  space after they release their satellites. The abandoned spacecraft can circle the earth for
    (...)  on nations and companies that send rockets into space to be more responsible. They want them to
    (...)  hit by falling debris. There were 133 rocket launches in 2021. That was a record. It looks like that record

    Put the words in the right order

    1. on   list   of   High   worries   .   the   life's
    2. is   likelihood   .   a   there   say   growing   Scientists
    3. countries   space   .   more   are   into   sending   rockets   More
    4. rockets   into   send   Nations   companies   that   space   .   and
    5. parts   floating   lower   the   in   Rocket   atmosphere   .
    6. the   Scientists   on   number   .   in   research   did   Canada
    7. risk   by   debris   .   of   people   hit   The   being
    8. hit   likely   are   somewhere   .   to   Rocket   more   parts
    9. Global   the   are   North   .   launched   from   Most   rockets
    10. world   .   risk   the   Exporting   to   of   the   rest

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Have you ever worried about debut / debris from a falling rocket hitting you on the head? That scenario has never been high in / on the list of life's worries. The chances of a piece of space junk hitting us / them were almost zero. However, that is / has changing. Scientists say there is a grown / growing likelihood that rocket parts falling back to Earth could hit and kill someone on / in the next ten years. This is because more countries are sending / seeding more rockets into space. Scientists say space is becoming congested / congestion. They are calling on nations and companies that send rockets into space to be / have more responsible. They want them to control the reentry of any rocket parts floating in the lowering / lower atmosphere.

    Scientists in Canada did research on / at the number of rockets launched into space, and the risk of people being / been hit by falling debris. There were 133 rocket launches in 2021. That was a recording / record. It looks like that record will be broken / breaking this year. The scientists said more than 60 per cent of rockets are abandoned / abandon in space after they release their satellites. The abandoned spacecraft can square / circle the earth for years before they fall back up / down. A lock / key finding of the research is that rocket parts are more likely to hit somewhere (or someone) in the Global South. However, most rockets are lunched / launched from the Global North. The scientists say countries and companies are "exporting risk to the rests / rest of the world".

    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_v_  y__  _v_r  w_rr__d  _b__t  d_br_s  fr_m  _  f_ll_ng  r_ck_t  h_tt_ng  y__  _n  th_  h__d?  Th_t  sc_n_r__  h_s  n_v_r  b__n  h_gh  _n  th_  l_st  _f  l_f_'s  w_rr__s.  Th_  ch_nc_s  _f  _  p__c_  _f  sp_c_  j_nk  h_tt_ng  _s  w_r_  _lm_st  z_r_.  H_w_v_r,  th_t  _s  ch_ng_ng.  Sc__nt_sts  s_y  th_r_  _s  _  gr_w_ng  l_k_l_h__d  th_t  r_ck_t  p_rts  f_ll_ng  b_ck  t_  __rth  c__ld  h_t  _nd  k_ll  s_m__n_  _n  th_  n_xt  t_n  y__rs.  Th_s  _s  b_c__s_  m_r_  c__ntr__s  _r_  s_nd_ng  m_r_  r_ck_ts  _nt_  sp_c_.  Sc__nt_sts  s_y  sp_c_  _s  b_c_m_ng  c_ng_st_d.  Th_y  _r_  c_ll_ng  _n  n_t__ns  _nd  c_mp_n__s  th_t  s_nd  r_ck_ts  _nt_  sp_c_  t_  b_  m_r_  r_sp_ns_bl_.  Th_y  w_nt  th_m  t_  c_ntr_l  th_  r__ntry  _f  _ny  r_ck_t  p_rts  fl__t_ng  _n  th_  l_w_r  _tm_sph_r_.

    Sc__nt_sts  _n  C_n_d_  d_d  r_s__rch  _n  th_  n_mb_r  _f  r_ck_ts  l__nch_d  _nt_  sp_c_,  _nd  th_  r_sk  _f  p__pl_  b__ng  h_t  by  f_ll_ng  d_br_s.  Th_r_  w_r_  133  r_ck_t  l__nch_s  _n  2021.  Th_t  w_s  _  r_c_rd.  _t  l__ks  l_k_  th_t  r_c_rd  w_ll  b_  br_k_n  th_s  y__r.  Th_  sc__nt_sts  s__d  m_r_  th_n  60  p_r  c_nt  _f  r_ck_ts  _r_  _b_nd_n_d  _n  sp_c_  _ft_r  th_y  r_l__s_  th__r  s_t_ll_t_s.  Th_  _b_nd_n_d  sp_c_cr_ft  c_n  c_rcl_  th_  __rth  f_r  y__rs  b_f_r_  th_y  f_ll  b_ck  d_wn.  _  k_y  f_nd_ng  _f  th_  r_s__rch  _s  th_t  r_ck_t  p_rts  _r_  m_r_  l_k_ly  t_  h_t  s_m_wh_r_  (_r  s_m__n_)  _n  th_  Gl_b_l  S__th.  H_w_v_r,  m_st  r_ck_ts  _r_  l__nch_d  fr_m  th_  Gl_b_l  N_rth.  Th_  sc__nt_sts  s_y  c__ntr__s  _nd  c_mp_n__s  _r_  "_xp_rt_ng  r_sk  t_  th_  r_st  _f  th_  w_rld".

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    have you ever worried about debris from a falling rocket hitting you on the head that scenario has never been high on the list of lifes worries the chances of a piece of space junk hitting us were almost zero however that is changing scientists say there is a growing likelihood that rocket parts falling back to earth could hit and kill someone in the next ten years this is because more countries are sending more rockets into space scientists say space is becoming congested they are calling on nations and companies that send rockets into space to be more responsible they want them to control the reentry of any rocket parts floating in the lower atmosphere

    scientists in canada did research on the number of rockets launched into space and the risk of people being hit by falling debris there were 133 rocket launches in 2021 that was a record it looks like that record will be broken this year the scientists said more than 60 per cent of rockets are abandoned in space after they release their satellites the abandoned spacecraft can circle the earth for years before they fall back down a key finding of the research is that rocket parts are more likely to hit somewhere or someone in the global south however most rockets are launched from the global north the scientists say countries and companies are exporting risk to the rest of the world

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Haveyoueverworriedaboutdebrisfromafallingrockethittingyouonthe
    head?Thatscenariohasneverbeenhighonthelistoflife'sworries.Thech
    ancesofapieceofspacejunkhittinguswerealmostzero.However,thatis
    changing.Scientistssaythereisagrowinglikelihoodthatrocketpartsfal
    lingbacktoEarthcouldhitandkillsomeoneinthenexttenyears.Thisisbe
    causemorecountriesaresendingmorerocketsintospace.Scientistssa
    yspaceisbecomingcongested.Theyarecallingonnationsandcompanie
    sthatsendrocketsintospacetobemoreresponsible.Theywantthemtoc
    ontrolthereentryofanyrocketpartsfloatingintheloweratmosphere.Sc
    ientistsinCanadadidresearchonthenumberofrocketslaunchedintosp
    ace,andtheriskofpeoplebeinghitbyfallingdebris.Therewere133rocke
    tlaunchesin2021.Thatwasarecord.Itlookslikethatrecordwillbebroke
    nthisyear.Thescientistssaidmorethan60percentofrocketsareabando
    nedinspaceaftertheyreleasetheirsatellites.Theabandonedspacecraf
    tcancircletheearthforyearsbeforetheyfallbackdown.Akeyfindingofth
    eresearchisthatrocketpartsaremorelikelytohitsomewhere(orsomeo
    ne)intheGlobalSouth.However,mostrocketsarelaunchedfromtheGlo
    balNorth.Thescientistssaycountriesandcompaniesare"exportingrisk
    totherestoftheworld".

    Free writing

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

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    Academic writing

    There are too many space rockets and too much space junk in space. 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. SPACE ROCKETS: Make a poster about space rockets. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. SPACE JUNK: Write a magazine article about making countries and companies responsible for making falling space rockets safe. 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 space rockets. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three of your ideas on how they can fall to Earth without hitting anyone. 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

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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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