The Reading / Listening - Thinking - Level 3

Have you ever wondered why thinking too much makes you tired? A new study has found out some answers to this question. Researchers from the Paris Brain Institute looked at why mental effort makes us tired. They found that when people think a lot, the brain releases a chemical called glutamate. Too much glutamate upsets the brain's functions. It means the brain tells the body it is tired and that it must rest. People who spend more than six hours working on a task that requires a lot of thought are more likely to feel tired. A period of rest allows the brain to return to normal. This explains why a power nap is good for us. A power nap can be as short as 20 minutes, but can make us feel totally refreshed.

The research team looked at the behaviour of 40 participants in their research. Twenty-four of these had to perform challenging tasks. These included looking at a computer screen and matching different letters that appeared. The other 16 participants did a similar, but easier task. Both teams worked for six hours, and had two ten-minute breaks. The researchers scanned the brains of the participants. They found that the group who had the more difficult task had higher levels of glutamate in their brain. Study author Antonius Wiehler said: "It would be great to find out more about how glutamate levels are restored." He asked: "Is sleep helpful? How long do breaks need to be to have a positive effect?"

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Thinking - Level 0 Thinking - Level 1   or  Thinking - Level 2

Sources
  • https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-02161-5
  • https://www.cnet.com/science/biology/scientists-explain-why-our-brains-feel-tired-after-thinking-really-hard/
  • https://edition.cnn.com/2022/08/11/health/cognitive-fatigue-study-wellness/index.html


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. FEELING TIRED: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about feeling tired. 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?
       wondering / tired / study / question / answers / chemical / rest / tasks / power nap /
       behaviour / research / challenging / computer screen / letter / breaks / author / sleep
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. SLEEP: Students A strongly believe everyone should sleep for at least eight hours a day; Students B strongly believe this isn't necessary. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. THINKING: What do you think about regarding these things? Are they happy thoughts? Why? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

What You Think?

Happy?

Why?

Money

 

 

 

English

 

 

 

Love

 

 

 

Next weekend

 

 

 

The world

 

 

 

Dinner

 

 

 

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. NAP: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "nap". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. TIREDNESS: Rank these with your partner. Put the thinks that make you most tired thinking about at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • Money
  • Health
  • English
  • Work
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Social media
  • The World

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. wondered a. Activities that are natural to or the purpose of a person or thing.
      2. study b. A short sleep during the day.
      3. effort c. Wanted to know more about something.
      4. chemical d. A piece of research.
      5. functions e. A thing from nature that other things are made from (O2, H2O, Fe....)
      6. task f. A piece of work that we need to do.
      7. nap g. Hard physical or mental work.

    Paragraph 2

      8. behaviour h. Returned something to as it was before.
      9. perform i. The writer of something.
      10. appeared j. Made a surface or part of the body to be looked at by an electromagnetic beam.
      11. scanned k. The way people act towards other people.
      12. author l. A short rest from work or from doing something.
      13. restored m. Do an action, job or function.
      14. break n. Came into view so we could see it/them.

 

Before reading / listening

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

  1. The Paris Brain Institute looked into why thinking makes us tired.     T / F
  2. The chemical glutamate tells the body that it is tired and needs rest.     T / F
  3. The article says we should go to bed after working for six hours.     T / F
  4. We need to have a nap for longer than 20 minutes to feel refreshed.     T / F
  5. In the research, 16 participants worked for 24 hours.     T / F
  6. In the tests, 24 people had to look at a computer screen.     T / F
  7. People who did more difficult tasks had higher levels of glutamate.     T / F
  8. The author of the study wants to know if sleep is helpful.     T / F

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

  1. wondered
  2. found out
  3. task
  4. requires
  5. period
  6. perform
  7. breaks
  8. difficult
  9. author
  10. effect
  1. rests
  2. needs
  3. carry out
  4. discovered
  5. writer
  6. time
  7. piece of work
  8. result
  9. hard
  10. thought about

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

  1. A new study has found
  2. why mental effort
  3. People who spend more than six hours
  4. A period of rest allows the brain
  5. A power nap can be
  6. The research team looked at the behaviour
  7. perform challenging
  8. researchers scanned the
  9. higher levels of glutamate
  10. have a positive
  1. of 40 participants
  2. effect
  3. as short as 20 minutes
  4. in their brain
  5. out some answers
  6. brains
  7. makes us tired
  8. to return to normal
  9. tasks
  10. working on a task

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
releases
rest
totally
wondered
effort
power
period
task

Have you ever (1) _____________________ why thinking too much makes you tired? A new study has found out some answers to this question. Researchers from the Paris Brain Institute looked at why mental (2) _____________________ makes us tired. They found that when people think a lot, the brain (3) _____________________ a chemical called glutamate. Too much glutamate upsets the brain's functions. It means the brain tells the body it is tired and that it must (4) _____________________. People who spend more than six hours working on a (5) _____________________ that requires a lot of thought are more likely to feel tired. A (6) _____________________ of rest allows the brain to return to normal. This explains why a (7) _____________________ nap is good for us. A power nap can be as short as 20 minutes, but can make us feel (8) _____________________ refreshed.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
breaks
behaviour
similar
great
participants
restored
matching
levels

The research team looked at the (9) _____________________ of 40 participants in their research. Twenty-four of these had to perform challenging tasks. These included looking at a computer screen and (10) _____________________ different letters that appeared. The other 16 participants did a (11) _____________________, but easier task. Both teams worked for six hours, and had two ten-minute (12) _____________________. The researchers scanned the brains of the (13) _____________________. They found that the group who had the more difficult task had higher (14) _____________________ of glutamate in their brain. Study author Antonius Wiehler said: "It would be (15) _____________________ to find out more about how glutamate levels are (16) _____________________." He asked: "Is sleep helpful? How long do breaks need to be to have a positive effect?"

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1) They found that when people think a lot, the brain ______
     a.  release is chemical
     b.  release as a chemical
     c.  releases a chemically
     d.  releases a chemical
2)  It means the brain tells the body it is tired and that ______
     a.  it must rest
     b.  it must lest
     c.  it must tress
     d.  it must trust
3)  People who spend more than six hours working on a task that requires a ______
     a.  lot off thought
     b.  lot of thought
     c.  lot oft thought
     d.  lots of thought
4)  A period of rest allows the brain to ______
     a.  return tomb normal
     b.  return too normal
     c.  return to normal
     d.  return tune normal
5)  A power nap can be as short as 20 minutes, but can make us ______
     a.  feels totally refreshed
     b.  feel totally refreshment
     c.  feels totally refreshing
     d.  feel totally refreshed

6)  looking at a computer screen and matching different ______
     a.  letters that tap pared
     b.  letters that upper
     c.  letters that app eared
     d.  letters that appeared
7)  Both teams worked for six hours, and had two ______
     a.  ten-minute brakes
     b.  ten-minute break
     c.  ten-minute breaks
     d.  ten-minute bleaks
8)  The researchers scanned the brains ______
     a.  of the participant
     b.  of the party sip ants
     c.  of the part icy pants
     d.  of the party sip pants
9)  the group who had the more difficult task ______
     a.  had higher level
     b.  had higher levels
     c.  had heighten levels
     d.  had high are levels
10)  find out more about how glutamate ______
     a.  levels are restore
     b.  levels are rest stored
     c.  levels are re-storied
     d.  levels are restored

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Have you (1) ____________________ thinking too much makes you tired? A new study has found out some answers to this question. Researchers from the Paris Brain Institute looked at why (2) ____________________ us tired. They found that when people think a lot, the brain releases a chemical called glutamate. Too much glutamate upsets (3) ____________________. It means the brain tells the body it is tired and that it must rest. People who spend more than six hours working on a task that requires a lot of thought are more likely to feel tired. A period (4) ____________________ the brain to return to normal. This explains why (5) ____________________ is good for us. A power nap can be as short as 20 minutes, but can make us (6) ____________________.

The research team looked at (7) ____________________ 40 participants in their research. Twenty-four of these had to (8) ____________________. These included looking at a computer screen and matching different letters that appeared. The other 16 participants (9) ____________________, but easier task. Both teams worked for six hours, and had two ten-minute breaks. The researchers (10) ____________________ of the participants. They found that the group who had the more difficult task had (11) ____________________ glutamate in their brain. Study author Antonius Wiehler said: "It would be great to find out more about how glutamate levels are restored." He asked: "Is sleep helpful? How long do breaks need to be to have (12) ____________________?"

Comprehension questions

  1. Who conducted this research?
  2. What's the name of the chemical the brain releases when we are tired?
  3. How long do people usually work before feeling tired?
  4. What does a period of rest allow the brain to do?
  5. How can a 20-minute power nap make us feel?
  6. How many participants did the research team look at?
  7. What did participants have to look at?
  8. How many 10-minute breaks did the participants get?
  9. What did the researchers scan?
  10. Who is Antonius Wiehler?

Multiple choice quiz

1) Who conducted this research?
a) Paris Brainy Institute
b) Paris Institute of Brains
c) Paris Brain Institute
d) Brainy Institute of Paris
2) What's the name of the chemical the brain releases when we are tired?
a) glutamate
b) guacamole
c) glucose
d) glutens
3) How long do people usually work before feeling tired?
a) six hours
b) six days
c) sixteen hours
d) sixty hours
4) What does a period of rest allow the brain to do?
a) think
b) return to normal
c) dream
d) have nice thoughts
5) How can a 20-minute power nap make us feel?
a) sleepy
b) more tired
c) groggy
d) totally refreshed

6) How many participants did the research team look at?
a) fifty
b) forty
c) thirty
d) sixty
7) What did participants have to look at?
a) a computer screen
b) books
c) tests
d) ants working
8) How many 10-minute breaks did the participants get?
a) three
b) one
c) two
d) none
9) What did the researchers scan?
a) questionnaires
b) barcodes
c) QR codes
d) the participants' brains
10) Who is Antonius Wiehler?
a) the study's author
b) a participant
c) head of the institute
d) a brain expert

Role play

Role  A – Money
You think money is the think that makes us most tired thinking about. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as tiring. Also, tell the others which is the least tiring of these (and why): family, the world or social media.

Role  B – Family
You think family is is the think that makes us most tired thinking about. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as tiring. Also, tell the others which is the least tiring of these (and why): money, the world or social media.

Role  C – The World
You think the world is is the think that makes us most tired thinking about. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as tiring. Also, tell the others which is the least tiring of these (and why): family, money or social media.

Role  D – Social Media
You think social media is is the think that makes us most tired thinking about. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as tiring. Also, tell the others which is the least tiring of these (and why): family, the world or money.

After reading / listening

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

'thinking'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'tired'.

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

    • new
    • effort
    • releases
    • tells
    • six
    • power
    • 40
    • 24
    • 16
    • difficult
    • great
    • helpful

    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 - Thinking

    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 'brain'?
    3. Does thinking a lot make you tired?
    4. What do you think about a lot?
    5. Do you ever think too much?
    6. Why does thinking make us tired?
    7. What things do you like thinking about?
    8. What can make you think more clearly?
    9. Are you good at thinking?
    10. What do you think of power naps?

    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 'thinking'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. Do you like doing challenging tasks?
    5. What's the most challenging task you've ever done?
    6. How do you feel if you work for six hours non-stop?
    7. What things do you dislike thinking about?
    8. How helpful is sleep?
    9. How long should breaks from work be?
    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)

    Have you ever (1) ____ why thinking too much makes you tired? A new study has found out some answers to this question. Researchers from the Paris Brain Institute looked at why mental (2) ____ makes us tired. They found that when people think a lot, the brain releases a chemical (3) ____ glutamate. Too much glutamate upsets the brain's functions. It means the brain tells the body it is tired and that it must (4) ____. People who spend more than six hours working on a task that requires a lot of thought are more (5) ____ to feel tired. A period of rest allows the brain to return to normal. This explains why a power nap is good for us. A power nap can be as (6) ____ as 20 minutes, but can make us feel totally refreshed.

    The research team looked at the behaviour of 40 participants in their research. Twenty-four of these had to (7) ____ challenging tasks. These included looking at a computer screen and matching different letters that (8) ____. The other 16 participants did a similar, but easier task. Both teams worked for six hours, and had two ten-minute breaks. The researchers (9) ____ the brains of the participants. They found that the group who had the (10) ____ difficult task had higher levels of glutamate in their brain. Study author Antonius Wiehler said: "It would be great to find out more about how glutamate levels are (11) ____." He asked: "Is sleep helpful? How long do breaks need to be to have a (12) ____ effect?"

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     wondered     (b)     winded     (c)     wandered     (d)     wended    
    2. (a)     effect     (b)     affront     (c)     effort     (d)     affect    
    3. (a)     shouted     (b)     whispered     (c)     called     (d)     voiced    
    4. (a)     best     (b)     nest     (c)     lest     (d)     rest    
    5. (a)     happily     (b)     freely     (c)     likely     (d)     tiredly    
    6. (a)     shorten     (b)     short     (c)     shorts     (d)     shorty    
    7. (a)     perfume     (b)     perform     (c)     pre-frame     (d)     puffing    
    8. (a)     appear     (b)     appeared     (c)     tapped     (d)     tapered    
    9. (a)     skimmed     (b)     scones     (c)     scanned     (d)     skinned    
    10. (a)     some     (b)     much     (c)     many     (d)     more    
    11. (a)     roasted     (b)     cooked     (c)     lived     (d)     restored    
    12. (a)     positivity     (b)     positively     (c)     positives     (d)     positive

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. odwrened why
    2. the brain releases a himeccal called glutamate
    3. glutamate upsets the brain's tncfiouns
    4. a task that eurriqes a lot of thought
    5. return to onmral
    6. make us feel totally errsefhed

    Paragraph 2

    1. the ahbveoiur of 40 participants
    2. perform ggcinlelahn tasks
    3. matching different letters that rdppeaae
    4. researchers nsadenc the brains
    5. how glutamate levels are dreroets
    6. have a stoievip effect

    Put the text back together

    (...)  body it is tired and that it must rest. People who spend more than six hours working on a
    1  ) Have you ever wondered why thinking too much makes you tired? A new study has found out some
    (...)  effort makes us tired. They found that when people think a lot, the brain releases a chemical called
    (...)  letters that appeared. The other 16 participants did a similar, but easier task. Both teams worked
    (...)  author Antonius Wiehler said: "It would be great to find out more about how glutamate levels
    (...)  who had the more difficult task had higher levels of glutamate in their brain. Study
    (...)  glutamate. Too much glutamate upsets the brain's functions. It means the brain tells the
    (...)  answers to this question. Researchers from the Paris Brain Institute looked at why mental
    (...)  of these had to perform challenging tasks. These included looking at a computer screen and matching different
    (...)  for six hours, and had two ten-minute breaks. The researchers scanned the brains of the participants. They found that the group
    (...)  normal. This explains why a power nap is good for us. A power nap can be as short as 20 minutes, but can make us feel totally refreshed.
    (...)  are restored." He asked: "Is sleep helpful? How long do breaks need to be to have a positive effect?"
    (...)  The research team looked at the behaviour of 40 participants in their research. Twenty-four
    (...)  task that requires a lot of thought are more likely to feel tired. A period of rest allows the brain to return to

    Put the words in the right order

    1. makes   tired   .   thinking   you   much   Wondered   too   why
    2. people   found   lot   .   think   They   a   when   that
    3. a   of   task   lot   that   requires   A   thought   .
    4. to   Rest   return   normal   .   allows   to   brain   the
    5. why   explains   good   .   a   is   power   This   nap
    6. the   behaviour   participants   .   Researchers   of   looked   40   at
    7. challenging   to   these   tasks   .   perform   Twenty-four   had   of
    8. the   the   researchers   brains   participants   .   scanned   of   The
    9. had   task   .   group   the   more   who   difficult   The
    10. would   to   find   out   more   .   great   It   be

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Have you ever wandered / wondered why thinking too much makes you tired? A new study has found out some answers to these / this question. Researchers from the Paris Brain Institute looked at why mentally / mental effort makes us tired. They found that when people think a lots / lot, the brain releases a chemical called / cold glutamate. Too much glutamate upsets the brain's factions / functions. It means the brain tells the body it is tired and that it must rest. People who spend more than six hours working on / in a task that requires a lot of thought are more liked / likely to feel tired. A period of rest allows the brain to return to / of normal. This explains why a power nap is good for us. A power nap can be as short as 20 minutes, but can make us feel totally / total refreshed.

    The research team looked by / at the behaviour of 40 participants in their research. Twenty-four of these had for / to perform challenging tasks. These included looking at a computer screen and matching / match different letters that appeared. The other 16 participants did a similar / similarity, but easier task. Both teams worked for six hours, and had two ten-minute break / breaks. The researchers scammed / scanned the brains of the participants. They found that the group who had the more difficult task / tusk had higher levels of glutamate in their / them brain. Study author Antonius Wiehler said: "It would be great to find out more about how glutamate levels are storied / restored." He asked: "Is sleep helpful? How long do breaks need to be to have a positively / positive effect?"

    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_nd_r_d  why  th_nk_ng  t__  m_ch  m_k_s  y__  t_r_d?  _  n_w  st_dy  h_s  f__nd  __t  s_m_  _nsw_rs  t_  th_s  q__st__n.  R_s__rch_rs  fr_m  th_  P_r_s  Br__n  _nst_t_t_  l__k_d  _t  why  m_nt_l  _ff_rt  m_k_s  _s  t_r_d.  Th_y  f__nd  th_t  wh_n  p__pl_  th_nk  _  l_t,  th_  br__n  r_l__s_s  _  ch_m_c_l  c_ll_d  gl_t_m_t_.  T__  m_ch  gl_t_m_t_  _ps_ts  th_  br__n's  f_nct__ns.  _t  m__ns  th_  br__n  t_lls  th_  b_dy  _t  _s  t_r_d  _nd  th_t  _t  m_st  r_st.  P__pl_  wh_  sp_nd  m_r_  th_n  s_x  h__rs  w_rk_ng  _n  _  t_sk  th_t  r_q__r_s  _  l_t  _f  th__ght  _r_  m_r_  l_k_ly  t_  f__l  t_r_d.  _  p_r__d  _f  r_st  _ll_ws  th_  br__n  t_  r_t_rn  t_  n_rm_l.  Th_s  _xpl__ns  why  _  p_w_r  n_p  _s  g__d  f_r  _s.  _  p_w_r  n_p  c_n  b_  _s  sh_rt  _s  20  m_n_t_s,  b_t  c_n  m_k_  _s  f__l  t_t_lly  r_fr_sh_d.

    Th_  r_s__rch  t__m  l__k_d  _t  th_  b_h_v___r  _f  40  p_rt_c_p_nts  _n  th__r  r_s__rch.  Tw_nty-f__r  _f  th_s_  h_d  t_  p_rf_rm  ch_ll_ng_ng  t_sks.  Th_s_  _ncl_d_d  l__k_ng  _t  _  c_mp_t_r  scr__n  _nd  m_tch_ng  d_ff_r_nt  l_tt_rs  th_t  _pp__r_d.  Th_  _th_r  16  p_rt_c_p_nts  d_d  _  s_m_l_r,  b_t  __s__r  t_sk.  B_th  t__ms  w_rk_d  f_r  s_x  h__rs,  _nd  h_d  tw_  t_n-m_n_t_  br__ks.  Th_  r_s__rch_rs  sc_nn_d  th_  br__ns  _f  th_  p_rt_c_p_nts.  Th_y  f__nd  th_t  th_  gr__p  wh_  h_d  th_  m_r_  d_ff_c_lt  t_sk  h_d  h_gh_r  l_v_ls  _f  gl_t_m_t_  _n  th__r  br__n.  St_dy  __th_r  _nt_n__s  W__hl_r  s__d:  "_t  w__ld  b_  gr__t  t_  f_nd  __t  m_r_  _b__t  h_w  gl_t_m_t_  l_v_ls  _r_  r_st_r_d."  H_  _sk_d:  "_s  sl__p  h_lpf_l?  H_w  l_ng  d_  br__ks  n__d  t_  b_  t_  h_v_  _  p_s_t_v_  _ff_ct?"

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    have you ever wondered why thinking too much makes you tired a new study has found out some answers to this question researchers from the paris brain institute looked at why mental effort makes us tired they found that when people think a lot the brain releases a chemical called glutamate too much glutamate upsets the brains functions it means the brain tells the body it is tired and that it must rest people who spend more than six hours working on a task that requires a lot of thought are more likely to feel tired a period of rest allows the brain to return to normal this explains why a power nap is good for us a power nap can be as short as 20 minutes but can make us feel totally refreshed

    the research team looked at the behaviour of 40 participants in their research twentyfour of these had to perform challenging tasks these included looking at a computer screen and matching different letters that appeared the other 16 participants did a similar but easier task both teams worked for six hours and had two tenminute breaks the researchers scanned the brains of the participants they found that the group who had the more difficult task had higher levels of glutamate in their brain study author antonius wiehler said it would be great to find out more about how glutamate levels are restored he asked is sleep helpful how long do breaks need to be to have a positive effect

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Haveyoueverwonderedwhythinkingtoomuchmakesyoutired?Anews
    tudyhasfoundoutsomeanswerstothisquestion.Researchersfromthe
    ParisBrainInstitutelookedatwhymentaleffortmakesustired.Theyfou
    ndthatwhenpeoplethinkalot,thebrainreleasesachemicalcalledgluta
    mate.Toomuchglutamateupsetsthebrain'sfunctions.Itmeansthebra
    intellsthebodyitistiredandthatitmustrest.Peoplewhospendmorethan
    sixhoursworkingonataskthatrequiresalotofthoughtaremorelikelytof
    eeltired.Aperiodofrestallowsthebraintoreturntonormal.Thisexplains
    whyapowernapisgoodforus.Apowernapcanbeasshortas20minutes,b
    utcanmakeusfeeltotallyrefreshed.Theresearchteamlookedatthebeh
    aviourof40participantsintheirresearch.Twenty-fourofthesehadtop
    erformchallengingtasks.Theseincludedlookingatacomputerscreena
    ndmatchingdifferentlettersthatappeared.Theother16participantsdi
    dasimilar,buteasiertask.Bothteamsworkedforsixhours,andhadtwot
    en-minutebreaks.Theresearchersscannedthebrainsoftheparticipan
    ts.Theyfoundthatthegroupwhohadthemoredifficulttaskhadhigherle
    velsofglutamateintheirbrain.StudyauthorAntoniusWiehlersaid:"Itw
    ouldbegreattofindoutmoreabouthowglutamatelevelsarerestored."H
    easked:"Issleephelpful?Howlongdobreaksneedtobetohaveapositive
    effect?"

    Free writing

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

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

     

    Academic writing

    There should be a limit to the number of hours we work each day. Discuss.

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

     

    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. THINKING: Make a poster about thinking. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. SLEEP: Write a magazine article about requiring people to sleep and nap for at least eight hours a day. 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 thinking. Ask him/her three questions about it. Give him/her three of your ideas on how to be better at thinking. 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.)

    Help Support This Web Site

    • Please consider helping Breaking News English.com

    Sean Banville's Book

    Thank You