The Reading / Listening - Astronauts' DNA - Level 3

Scientists have found a new risk to space travel. They have discovered that our DNA can change when going into space. DNA mutations could increase the risk of space travellers getting cancer. The scientists did research on 14 NASA astronauts who took part in the Space Shuttle programme between 1998 and 2001. The astronauts provided blood samples ten days before they went into space and three days after returning to Earth. The blood has been frozen for the past 20 years. Professor David Goukassian said: "Astronauts work in an extreme environment where many factors can result in…mutations." He added: "Space radiation…means there is a risk that…mutations could develop."

Professor Goukassian said his study could be important for the future of space travel. In particular, several nations are working on sending astronauts to Mars. Other countries are preparing to build bases on the moon. There is also a race by commercial companies to start the business of space tourism. Goukassian said there were possible health risks to space travel and to exploring deep space. He said more research was needed to study the harmful effects of space travel on the body. This could be important for NASA's Artemis project. This aims to send people back to the moon for the first time in 50 years. The last time humans went to the moon was during the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Astronauts' DNA - Level 0 Astronauts' DNA - Level 1   or  Astronauts' DNA - Level 2

Sources
  • https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-11182509/NASA-astronauts-blood-shows-signs-DNA-mutations-spaceflight-monitored.html
  • https://thehill.com/changing-america/well-being/prevention-cures/3622854-spaceflight-may-increase-the-risk-of-heart-disease-cancer-study/
  • https://www.universetoday.com/157440/even-short-flights-to-space-cause-cell-mutations-that-could-lead-to-cancer-and-heart-disease/


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. DNA: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about DNA. Change partners often and share your findings.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?
       scientists / risk / space travel / risk / cancer / research / astronauts / blood / radiation
       study / the future / Mars / the moon / health risks / space travel / project / Apollo
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. SPACE TRAVEL: Students A strongly believe space travel should be banned; Students B strongly believe otherwise. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. SPACE: What are the pros and cons of these things regarding space? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

Pros

Cons

Exploration

 

 

Communications Satellites

 

 

Space Travel

 

 

Living on the moon

 

 

Going to Mars

 

 

Leaving it alone

 

 

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

  • Space
  • The jungle
  • Mt Everest
  • The Sahara Desert
  • The bottom of the ocean
  • The South Pole
  • Around the world
  • Inside a volcano

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. risk a. Grow or cause to grow and become more advanced.
      2. discovered b. The action of changing from one form or shape to another.
      3. mutation c. A small part of something to show what the whole is like.
      4. cancer d. A situation that has danger or might be dangerous.
      5. sample e. Very great.
      6. extreme f. Find something new after a search or research.
      7. develop g. A (deadly) disease caused by cells in the body growing quickly.

    Paragraph 2

      8. several h. Travelling through an unfamiliar area to learn about it.
      9. base i. A change on something because of an action or other cause.
      10. commercial j. An important job or task given to a person or group of people, usually involving travelling somewhere.
      11. exploring k. A place used as a centre of operations by armies or others; a headquarters.
      12. effect l. Has the intention of doing something.
      13. aim m. Working to make a profit.
      14. mission n. A small number larger than two.

 

Before reading / listening

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

  1. Space in our DNA changes when we travel.     T / F
  2. Researchers tested the blood of 14 astronauts.     T / F
  3. The astronauts gave blood 10 weeks before going into space.     T / F
  4. The astronauts' blood was frozen for 20 years.     T / F
  5. A professor said his research wasn't important for future space travel.     T / F
  6. Many companies are preparing to build moon bases.     T / F
  7. NASA is working on sending people to the moon again.     T / F
  8. The last time anyone went to the moon was in 1972.     T / F

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

  1. found
  2. mutations
  3. provided
  4. samples
  5. returning
  6. several
  7. exploring
  8. harmful
  9. aims
  10. mission
  1. plans
  2. gave
  3. coming back
  4. a number of
  5. changes
  6. investigating
  7. discovered
  8. expedition
  9. damaging
  10. specimens

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

  1. our DNA can change
  2. The astronauts provided blood
  3. The blood has been frozen for
  4. Astronauts work in an extreme
  5. there is a risk that mutations
  6. important for the future
  7. nations are working on sending
  8. space
  9. exploring deep
  10. The last time humans
  1. samples
  2. astronauts to Mars
  3. of space travel
  4. could develop
  5. went to the moon
  6. when going into space
  7. space
  8. environment
  9. tourism
  10. the past 20 years

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
blood
risk
develop
frozen
in
research
going
extreme

Scientists have found a new (1) _____________________ to space travel. They have discovered that our DNA can change when (2) _____________________ into space. DNA mutations could increase the risk of space travellers getting cancer. The scientists did (3) _____________________ on 14 NASA astronauts who took part in the Space Shuttle programme between 1998 and 2001. The astronauts provided (4) _____________________ samples ten days before they went into space and three days after returning to Earth. The blood has been (5) _____________________ for the past 20 years. Professor David Goukassian said: "Astronauts work in an (6) _____________________ environment where many factors can result (7) _____________________ mutations." He added: "Space radiation...means there is a risk that...mutations could (8) _____________________."

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
bases
harmful
important
during
deep
particular
aims
tourism

Professor Goukassian said his study could be (9) _____________________ for the future of space travel. In (10) _____________________, several nations are working on sending astronauts to Mars. Other countries are preparing to build (11) _____________________ on the moon. There is also a race by commercial companies to start the business of space (12) _____________________. Goukassian said there were possible health risks to space travel and to exploring (13) _____________________ space. He said more research was needed to study the (14) _____________________ effects of space travel on the body. This could be important for NASA's Artemis project. This (15) _____________________ to send people back to the moon for the first time in 50 years. The last time humans went to the moon was (16) _____________________ the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972.

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1) Scientists have found a new risk ______
     a.  to spatial travel
     b.  to space travel
     c.  to space travels
     d.  two space travel
2)  DNA mutations could increase the risk of space ______
     a.  travellers get tin cancer
     b.  travellers get in cancer
     c.  travellers get thing cancer
     d.  travellers getting cancer
3)  between 1998 and 2001. The astronauts ______
     a.  provided bloody samples
     b.  provided blood samples
     c.  provided blooded samples
     d.  provided bloods samples
4)  three days after returning to Earth. The blood ______
     a.  has been froze
     b.  has been freezer
     c.  has been frozen
     d.  has been freezing
5)  Space radiation...means there is a risk that...______
     a.  mutations could develop
     b.  mutations could develops
     c.  mutations could developer
     d.  mutations could developing

6)  Professor Goukassian said his study could be important ______
     a.  for that future
     b.  for their future
     c.  for a future
     d.  for the future
7)  astronauts to Mars. Other countries are preparing ______
     a.  to build basics
     b.  to build bay sis
     c.  to build basis
     d.  to build bases
8)  Goukassian said there were possible health risks to space travel and to ______
     a.  exploring deeps space
     b.  exploring deep space
     c.  exploring deepen space
     d.  exploring depend space
9)  He said more research was needed to study the harmful effects of space travel ______
     a.  on the embody
     b.  on the bodily
     c.  on the body
     d.  on the broody
10)  The last time humans went to the moon was during the ______
     a.  Apollo 17 missing
     b.  Apollo 17 miss shun
     c.  Apollo 17 mission
     d.  Apollo 17 missive

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Scientists have found a (1) ____________________ space travel. They have discovered that our DNA can change when going into space. DNA mutations could increase (2) ____________________ space travellers getting cancer. The scientists did research on 14 NASA astronauts who (3) ____________________ the Space Shuttle programme between 1998 and 2001. The astronauts (4) ____________________ ten days before they went into space and three days after returning to Earth. The blood has been (5) ____________________ past 20 years. Professor David Goukassian said: "Astronauts work in an extreme environment where many (6) ____________________ in...mutations." He added: "Space radiation...means there is a risk that...mutations could develop."

Professor Goukassian said his study could be important for (7) ____________________ space travel. In particular, several nations are working on (8) ____________________ Mars. Other countries are preparing to build bases on the moon. There is also a (9) ____________________ companies to start the business of space tourism. Goukassian said there were possible (10) ____________________ space travel and to exploring deep space. He said more research was needed to study the harmful effects of space travel on the body. This could be important for NASA's Artemis project. This (11) ____________________ people back to the moon for the (12) ____________________ 50 years. The last time humans went to the moon was during the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972.

Comprehension questions

  1. What disease could astronauts get because of changed DNA?
  2. What programme did the astronauts in the article take part in?
  3. How long was the blood of astronauts frozen for?
  4. In what kind of environment do astronauts work?
  5. What means there is a risk of mutations developing?
  6. What do various countries want to build on the moon?
  7. What are commercial companies racing to start?
  8. Where might we explore that involve health risks?
  9. What is the name of NASA's new project?
  10. When was the last time humans walked on the moon?

Multiple choice quiz

1) What disease could astronauts get because of changed DNA?
a) arthritis
b) cancer
c) dementia
d) heart disease
2) What programme did the astronauts in the article take part in?
a) an environmental programme
b) Reach for the Stars
c) CNN
d) the Space Shuttle programme
3) How long was the blood of astronauts frozen for?
a) 20 years
b) 12 years
c) 10 years
d) 2 years
4) In what kind of environment do astronauts work?
a) a weightless environment
b) a challenging environment
c) an extreme environment
d) a green environment
5) What means there is a risk of mutations developing?
a) a lack of gravity
b) space radiation
c) a lack of nutrition
d) a lack of exercise

6) What do various countries want to build on the moon?
a) a monument
b) shopping centres
c) moon bases
d) mines
7) What are commercial companies racing to start?
a) jet packs
b) an F1 circuit
c) a space race
d) space tourism
8) Where might we explore that involve health risks?
a) deep space
b) the bottom of the ocean
c) the inner mind
d) our heart
9) What is the name of NASA's new project?
a) Artemis
b) Zeus
c) Diana
d) Olympus

10) When was the last time humans walked on the moon?
a) November 1972
b) December 1972
c) September 1972
d) October 1972

Role play

Role  A – Going into Space
You think going into space is the most exciting expedition. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their expeditions. Also, tell the others which is the least attractive of these (and why): the bottom of the ocean, the South Pole or inside a volcano.

Role  B – The Bottom of the Ocean
You think the bottom of the ocean is the most exciting expedition. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their expeditions. Also, tell the others which is the least attractive of these (and why): going into space, the South Pole or inside a volcano.

Role  C – The South Pole
You think the South Pole is the most exciting expedition. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their expeditions. Also, tell the others which is the least attractive of these (and why): the bottom of the ocean, going into space or inside a volcano.

Role  D – Inside a Volcano
You think inside a volcano is the most exciting expedition. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their expeditions. Also, tell the others which is the least attractive of these (and why): the bottom of the ocean, the South Pole or going into space.

After reading / listening

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

'space'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'DNA'.

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • • 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
    • increase
    • 2001
    • three
    • 20
    • result
    • future
    • nations
    • race
    • deep
    • 50
    • 17

    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 - Astronauts' 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 'space'?
    3. What do you think of space travel?
    4. Would you like to be an astronaut?
    5. Why are we going into space?
    6. What do you know about DNA?
    7. What do you think of space tourism?
    8. How dangerous is it to change DNA?
    9. Would you like to go to Mars?
    10. Would you like to live on the moon?

    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 'DNA'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What do you think of astronauts?
    5. How do you become an astronaut?
    6. How worrying is it that space travel changes DNA?
    7. Should we stop going into space?
    8. Would you prefer a vacation to a beautiful city or the moon?
    9. What will space travel be like in 100 years from now?
    10. What questions would you like to ask an astronaut?

    Discussion — Write your own questions

    STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

    (a) ________________

    (b) ________________

    (c) ________________

    (d) ________________

    (e) ________________

    STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

    (f) ________________

    (g) ________________

    (h) ________________

    (i) ________________

    (j) ________________

    Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

    Scientists have found a (1) ____ risk to space travel. They have discovered that our DNA can change when going into space. DNA mutations could increase the (2) ____ of space travellers getting cancer. The scientists did research on 14 NASA astronauts who (3) ____ part in the Space Shuttle programme between 1998 and 2001. The astronauts provided blood (4) ____ ten days before they went into space and three days after returning to Earth. The blood has been frozen for the (5) ____ 20 years. Professor David Goukassian said: "Astronauts work in an extreme environment where many factors can result (6) ____...mutations." He added: "Space radiation...means there is a risk that...mutations could develop."

    Professor Goukassian said his study could be important for the future of space travel. (7) ____ particular, several nations are working (8) ____ sending astronauts to Mars. Other countries are preparing to build bases on the moon. There is also a race by commercial companies to start the business of space (9) ____. Goukassian said there were possible health risks to space travel and to exploring (10) ____ space. He said more research was needed to study the harmful effects of space travel on the body. This could be important for NASA's Artemis project. This aims to send people back to the moon for the (11) ____ time in 50 years. The last time humans went to the moon was (12) ____ the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972.

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     newly     (b)     new     (c)     knew     (d)     news    
    2. (a)     brisk     (b)     risk     (c)     frisk     (d)     risqué    
    3. (a)     gave     (b)     did     (c)     was     (d)     took    
    4. (a)     simples     (b)     samples     (c)     sumps     (d)     stamps    
    5. (a)     paste     (b)     parsed     (c)     passed     (d)     past    
    6. (a)     on     (b)     an     (c)     in     (d)     at    
    7. (a)     In     (b)     At     (c)     Of     (d)     By    
    8. (a)     to     (b)     of     (c)     on     (d)     as    
    9. (a)     tourists     (b)     tour     (c)     touristy     (d)     tourism    
    10. (a)     deep     (b)     deepen     (c)     deeps     (d)     depth    
    11. (a)     first     (b)     last     (c)     once     (d)     just    
    12. (a)     during     (b)     filling     (c)     inside     (d)     within

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. nercaise the risk
    2. getting anccer
    3. The astronauts provided blood ampsels
    4. Astronauts work in an trexmee environment
    5. space adirtiaon
    6. uttmoians could develop

    Paragraph 2

    1. the tufure of space travel
    2. In particular, vsreeal nations are working
    3. mmreccoail companies
    4. polxrenig deep space
    5. important for NASA's Artemis rojepct
    6. during the Apollo 17 ssiimon

    Put the text back together

    (...)  frozen for the past 20 years. Professor David Goukassian said: "Astronauts work in an
    1  ) Scientists have found a new risk to space travel. They have discovered that our DNA can change when going
    (...)  Professor Goukassian said his study could be important for the future of space travel. In particular, several
    (...)  into space. DNA mutations could increase the risk of space travellers getting cancer. The scientists did
    (...)  extreme environment where many factors can result in...mutations." He added: "Space
    (...)  research on 14 NASA astronauts who took part in the Space Shuttle programme between 1998 and 2001. The astronauts provided
    (...)  blood samples ten days before they went into space and three days after returning to Earth. The blood has been
    (...)  risks to space travel and to exploring deep space. He said more research was needed to
    (...)  moon. There is also a race by commercial companies to start the business of space tourism. Goukassian said there were possible health
    (...)  nations are working on sending astronauts to Mars. Other countries are preparing to build bases on the
    (...)  study the harmful effects of space travel on the body. This could be important for NASA's Artemis
    (...)  radiation...means there is a risk that...mutations could develop."
    (...)  project. This aims to send people back to the moon for the first time in 50 years. The last
    (...)  time humans went to the moon was during the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972.

    Put the words in the right order

    1. found   a   new   risk   to   Scientists   space   travel   .
    2. DNA   when   change   can   going   Our   into   space   .
    3. the   of   Increase   travellers   space   risk   getting   cancer   .
    4. they   before   days   went   Ten   into   space   .
    5. is   risk   There   mutations   that   a   could   develop   .
    6. the   for   It's   future   important   space   of   travel   .
    7. working   Nations   sending   on   are   astronauts   to   Mars   .
    8. were   possible   health   risks   to   There   space   travel   .
    9. effects   travel   space   of   on   Harmful   the   body   .
    10. last   humans   The   to   went   time   the   moon   .

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Scientists have found a new risky / risk to space travel. They have discovered that our DNA can change when going into / onto space. DNA mutations could increase the risk of space travellers got / getting cancer. The scientists did research in / on 14 NASA astronauts who took part in the Space Shuttle programme within / between 1998 and 2001. The astronauts provided blood samples ten days before they went into space and three days after returning at / to Earth. The blood has been frozen / froze for the past 20 years. Professor David Goukassian said: "Astronauts work in an extremely / extreme environment where many factors / factories can result in...mutations." He added: "Space radiation...means there is a risk that...mutations could envelope / develop."

    Professor Goukassian said his study could be importance / important for the future of space travel. In particular / peculiar, several nations are working on sending / shooting astronauts to Mars. Other countries are preparations / preparing to build bases / basis on the moon. There is also a race by commercial companies to start the business of space tourism / tourist. Goukassian said there were possible health risks to space travel and to exploring depth / deep space. He said more research was needed to study the harmful effects / affects of space travel on the body. This could be important for NASA's Artemis project. This aims to send people back to the moon for the first / last time in 50 years. The last time humans went to the moon was during the Apollo 17 mission / admission in December 1972.

    Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

    Insert the vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

    Sc__nt_sts  h_v_  f__nd  _  n_w  r_sk  t_  sp_c_  tr_v_l.  Th_y  h_v_  d_sc_v_r_d  th_t  __r  DN_  c_n  ch_ng_  wh_n  g__ng  _nt_  sp_c_.  DN_  m_t_t__ns  c__ld  _ncr__s_  th_  r_sk  _f  sp_c_  tr_v_ll_rs  g_tt_ng  c_nc_r.  Th_  sc__nt_sts  d_d  r_s__rch  _n  14  N_S_  _str_n__ts  wh_  t__k  p_rt  _n  th_  Sp_c_  Sh_ttl_  pr_gr_mm_  b_tw__n  1998  _nd  2001.  Th_  _str_n__ts  pr_v_d_d  bl__d  s_mpl_s  t_n  d_ys  b_f_r_  th_y  w_nt  _nt_  sp_c_  _nd  thr__  d_ys  _ft_r  r_t_rn_ng  t_  __rth.  Th_  bl__d  h_s  b__n  fr_z_n  f_r  th_  p_st  20  y__rs.  Pr_f_ss_r  D_v_d  G__k_ss__n  s__d:  "_str_n__ts  w_rk  _n  _n  _xtr_m_  _nv_r_nm_nt  wh_r_  m_ny  f_ct_rs  c_n  r_s_lt  _n...m_t_t__ns."  H_  _dd_d:  "Sp_c_  r_d__t__n...m__ns  th_r_  _s  _  r_sk  th_t...m_t_t__ns  c__ld  d_v_l_p."

    Pr_f_ss_r  G__k_ss__n  s__d  h_s  st_dy  c__ld  b_  _mp_rt_nt  f_r  th_  f_t_r_  _f  sp_c_  tr_v_l.  _n  p_rt_c_l_r,  s_v_r_l  n_t__ns  _r_  w_rk_ng  _n  s_nd_ng  _str_n__ts  t_  M_rs.  _th_r  c__ntr__s  _r_  pr_p_r_ng  t_  b__ld  b_s_s  _n  th_  m__n.  Th_r_  _s  _ls_  _  r_c_  by  c_mm_rc__l  c_mp_n__s  t_  st_rt  th_  b_s_n_ss  _f  sp_c_  t__r_sm.  G__k_ss__n  s__d  th_r_  w_r_  p_ss_bl_  h__lth  r_sks  t_  sp_c_  tr_v_l  _nd  t_  _xpl_r_ng  d__p  sp_c_.  H_  s__d  m_r_  r_s__rch  w_s  n__d_d  t_  st_dy  th_  h_rmf_l  _ff_cts  _f  sp_c_  tr_v_l  _n  th_  b_dy.  Th_s  c__ld  b_  _mp_rt_nt  f_r  N_S_'s  _rt_m_s  pr_j_ct.  Th_s  __ms  t_  s_nd  p__pl_  b_ck  t_  th_  m__n  f_r  th_  f_rst  t_m_  _n  50  y__rs.  Th_  l_st  t_m_  h_m_ns  w_nt  t_  th_  m__n  w_s  d_r_ng  th_  _p_ll_  17  m_ss__n  _n  D_c_mb_r  1972.

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    scientists have found a new risk to space travel they have discovered that our dna can change when going into space dna mutations could increase the risk of space travellers getting cancer the scientists did research on 14 nasa astronauts who took part in the space shuttle programme between 1998 and 2001 the astronauts provided blood samples ten days before they went into space and three days after returning to earth the blood has been frozen for the past 20 years professor david goukassian said astronauts work in an extreme environment where many factors can result inmutations he added space radiationmeans there is a risk thatmutations could develop

    professor goukassian said his study could be important for the future of space travel in particular several nations are working on sending astronauts to mars other countries are preparing to build bases on the moon there is also a race by commercial companies to start the business of space tourism goukassian said there were possible health risks to space travel and to exploring deep space he said more research was needed to study the harmful effects of space travel on the body this could be important for nasas artemis project this aims to send people back to the moon for the first time in 50 years the last time humans went to the moon was during the apollo 17 mission in december 1972

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Scientistshavefoundanewrisktospacetravel.Theyhavediscoveredth
    atourDNAcanchangewhengoingintospace.DNAmutationscouldincre
    asetheriskofspacetravellersgettingcancer.Thescientistsdidresearch
    on14NASAastronautswhotookpartintheSpaceShuttleprogrammebe
    tween1998and2001.Theastronautsprovidedbloodsamplestendaysb
    eforetheywentintospaceandthreedaysafterreturningtoEarth.Theblo
    odhasbeenfrozenforthepast20years.ProfessorDavidGoukassiansaid
    :"Astronautsworkinanextremeenvironmentwheremanyfactorscanr
    esultin...mutations."Headded:"Spaceradiation...meansthereisarisk
    that...mutationscoulddevelop."ProfessorGoukassiansaidhisstudyco
    uldbeimportantforthefutureofspacetravel.Inparticular,severalnatio
    nsareworkingonsendingastronautstoMars.Othercountriesareprepar
    ingtobuildbasesonthemoon.Thereisalsoaracebycommercialcompan
    iestostartthebusinessofspacetourism.Goukassiansaidtherewerepos
    siblehealthriskstospacetravelandtoexploringdeepspace.Hesaidmor
    eresearchwasneededtostudytheharmfuleffectsofspacetravelontheb
    ody.ThiscouldbeimportantforNASA'sArtemisproject.Thisaimstosen
    dpeoplebacktothemoonforthefirsttimein50years.Thelasttimehuma
    nswenttothemoonwasduringtheApollo17missioninDecember1972.

    Free writing

    Write about astronauts' DNA for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    We should spend money on helping people on Earth, not going into 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. DNA: Make a poster about DNA. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. SPACE TRAVEL: Write a magazine article about banning space travel if it changes our DNA. 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 DNA. Ask him/her three questions about it. Give him/her three of your opinions on changing DNA. 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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