The Reading / Listening - Level 3

Scientists believe the Sahara desert is twice as old as we previously thought. Science books generally say the Sahara is around three million years old. However, a new study from a centre for climate research in Norway says it could be around seven million years old. Researchers used computers to try and calculate when large parts of North Africa became desert. Their tests showed that global warming seven million years ago dried a lot of the land in what is today the African nation of Chad. A sea called the Tethys Sea started shrinking. This made the African summer monsoons less frequent, which helped form sand dunes in Chad. The scientists say this is how the Sahara first started.



The Sahara is one of the world's best-known and largest deserts. It covers about 10 per cent of the whole African continent and forms large parts of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Sudan and other nations. The sands stretch from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the east. Not everyone agrees that the Sahara is as old as the Norway research says it is. Stefan Kropelin, a geologist in Germany, says real geological evidence is needed to be sure. He said the Norway research is based on numbers and not evidence, saying: "Nothing you can find in the Sahara is older than 500,000 years old". He added that our knowledge of the Saharan climate is only from 10,000 years ago and that our knowledge is "full of gaps".

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Level 0 Level 1   or  Level 2

Sources
  • http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2761070/Is-Sahara-Desert-TWICE-old-thought-Climate-simulations-suggest-formed-7-million-years-ago.html
  • http://www.nature.com/news/climate-simulation-doubles-sahara-s-age-1.15954?WT.mc_id=TWT_NatureNews
  • http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/sahara-older-than-thought.html


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



The 40 Lesson Activities on the PDF Handout

WARM-UPS

1. DESERTS: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about deserts. 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?

 

old / science books / climate / research / calculate / global warming / sand dunes / continent / sands / Atlantic Ocean / geologist / numbers / evidence / knowledge

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. SAND: What is it useful for? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

What is it used for?

What other uses could it have?

Beaches

 

 

Schools

 

 

Gardens

 

 

Golf courses

 

 

Floods

 

 

Construction

 

 

4. SAHARA: Students A strongly believe the Sahara is the best desert in the world; Students B strongly believe it isn't.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

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5. BEST-KNOWN PLACES: Rank these with your partner. Put your favourite places at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • Sahara desert

  • Great Barrier Reef

  • Machu Picchu

  • Great Wall of China

  • Niagara Falls

  • Mount Everest

  • Eiffel Tower

  • Taj Mahal

6. OLD: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "old". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.





BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

Science books usually say the Sahara is about 3 million years old.

T / F

b.

The article mentions a new study on the Sahara from Mali.

T / F

c.

Researchers used traditional methods to find the age of the Sahara.

T / F

d.

Researchers say the Sahara's first sand dunes appeared in Chad.

T / F

e.

The Sahara covers around 10% of the whole continent of Africa.

T / F

f.

The Sahara stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Blue Sea.

T / F

g.

A German geologist said he agreed with the research.

T / F

h.

The geologist said nothing in the Sahara is older than 500,000 years.

T / F

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

1.

believe

a.

extends over

2.

previously

b.

understanding

3.

study

c.

earlier

4.

calculate

d.

often

5.

frequent

e.

think

6.

covers

f.

proof

7.

evidence

g.

spaces

8.

sure

h.

report

9.

knowledge

i.

certain

10.

gaps

j.

work out

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

1.

a new study from a centre for climate

a.

warming

2.

global

b.

dunes

3.

summer

c.

from the Atlantic Ocean

4.

sand

d.

whole African continent

5.

scientists say this is how

e.

research

6.

It covers about 10 per cent of the

f.

not evidence

7.

The sands stretch

g.

needed to be sure

8.

real geological evidence is

h.

monsoons

9.

based on numbers and

i.

gaps

10.

our knowledge is full of

j.

the Sahara first started



 

GAP FILL

Scientists believe the Sahara desert is twice as old as we (1) ___________ thought. Science books generally say the Sahara is around three million years old. However, a new (2) ___________ from a centre for (3) ___________ research in Norway says it could be around seven million years old. Researchers used computers to try and (4) ___________ when large parts of North Africa became desert. Their tests showed that global warming seven million years ago (5) ___________ a lot of the land in what is today the African (6) ___________ of Chad. A sea called the Tethys Sea started shrinking. This made the African summer monsoons less (7) ___________, which helped form sand (8) ___________ in Chad. The scientists say this is how the Sahara first started.

 

 

calculate
nation
study
dunes
previously
dried
climate
frequent

The Sahara is one of the world's best-known and (9) ___________ deserts. It covers about 10 per cent of the whole African (10) ___________ and forms large parts of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Sudan and other nations. The (11) ___________ stretch from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the east. Not everyone (12) ___________ that the Sahara is as old as the Norway research says it is. Stefan Kröpelin, a (13) ___________ in Germany, says real geological (14) ___________ is needed to be sure. He said the Norway research is based on numbers and not evidence, saying: "Nothing you can find in the Sahara is older than 500,000 years old". He added that our (15) ___________ of the Saharan climate is only from 10,000 years ago and that our knowledge is "full of (16) ___________ ".

 

sands
continent
geologist
knowledge
largest
gaps
agrees
evidence

 





LISTENING - Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)

Scientists believe the Sahara desert is twice as old as we ______

 

a.  previously thoughts
b.  previously fought
c.  previously thought
d.  previously thawed

2)

a new study from a centre for ______

 

a.  primate research
b.  ultimate research
c.  animate research
d.  climate research

3)

dried a lot of the land in what is today the African ______

 

a.  nations of Chad
b.  nation of Chad
c.  national of Chad
d.  nationals of Chad

4)

This made the African summer monsoons less frequent, which helped ______

 

a.  farm sand dunes
b.  farm sand tunes
c.  form sand dunes
d.  form sand tunes

5)

The scientists say this is how the Sahara ______

 

a.  fast started
b.  first started
c.  first started
d.  fist started

6)

It covers about 10 per cent of the ______

 

a.  whole African continents
b.  whole African continent
c.  whole African continental
d.  whole African incontinent

7)

large parts of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Sudan ______

 

a.  and another nations
b.  and the other nations
c.  and other nations
d.  and others nations

8)

a geologist in Germany says real geological evidence is ______

 

a.  needed to be sure
b.  needed to be shore
c.  needed to be sheer
d.  needed to be share

9)

He said the Norway research is ______

 

a.  based in numbers
b.  based on numbers
c.  based un numbers
d.  based no numbers

10)

our knowledge is "______"

 

a.  full of gap
b.  full of gabs
c.  full of gaps
d.  full of gapes

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

Scientists believe the Sahara desert is twice as (1) ___________________ thought. Science (2) ___________________ the Sahara is around three million years old. However, a new study from a centre for climate research in Norway says (3) ___________________ seven million years old. Researchers used computers to try and calculate when large parts of North Africa became desert. Their tests showed (4) ___________________ seven million years ago dried a lot of the (5) ___________________ the African nation of Chad. A sea called the Tethys Sea started shrinking. This made the African summer monsoons less frequent, which (6) ___________________ in Chad. The scientists say this is how the Sahara first started.

The Sahara is one of the world's best-known and largest deserts. It covers about 10 per cent of the (7) ___________________ and forms large parts of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Sudan (8) ___________________. The sands stretch from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red (9) ___________________. Not everyone agrees that the Sahara is as old as the Norway research says it is. Stefan Kröpelin, a geologist in Germany, says (10) ___________________ is needed to be sure. He said the Norway research is (11) ___________________ not evidence, saying: "Nothing you can find in the Sahara is older than 500,000 years old". He added that our knowledge of the Saharan (12) ___________________ 10,000 years ago and that our knowledge is "full of gaps".





COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS

1.

Who believes the Sahara desert is a lot older than we thought?

2.

In which country is the centre that did the research?

3.

What did scientists use to work out the age of the Sahara?

4.

What became less frequent in African summers 7 million years ago?

5.

What formed in Chad that started the Sahara desert?

6.

How much of Africa does the Sahara cover?

7.

How far does the Sahara go to the east?

8.

What kind of evidence does Stefan Kröpelin want to see?

9.

What did Stefan Kröpelin say the research is based on?

10.

How far back does our knowledge of the Saharan climate go?

MULTIPLE CHOICE - QUIZ

1.

Who believes the Sahara desert is a lot older than we thought?

6.

How much of Africa does the Sahara cover?

 

a) writers
b) scientists
c) travellers
d) nomads

 

a) 10%
b) 15%
c) 20%
d) 25%

2.

In which country is the centre that did the research?

7.

How far does the Sahara go to the east?

 

a) Chad
b) Peru
c) Sudan
d) Norway

 

a) to Kenya
b) to the Indian Ocean
c) to the Red Sea
d) to the Nile river

3.

What did scientists use to work out the age of the Sahara?

8.

What kind of evidence does Stefan Kröpelin want to see?

 

a) carbon dating
b) a magnifying glass
c) computers
d) satellites

 

a) geological evidence
b) geographical evidence
c) geometric evidence
d) geothermal evidence

4.

What became less frequent in African summers 7 million years ago?

9.

What did Stefan Kröpelin say the research is based on?

 

a) monsoons
b) visiting dinosaurs
c) heat waves
d) sand storms

 

a) guesswork
b) geology
c) sand
d) numbers

5.

What formed in Chad that started the Sahara desert?

10.

How far back does our knowledge of the Saharan climate go?

 

a) a village
b) sand dunes
c) a river
d) a giant rock

 

a) 10,000 millennia
b) 10,000 weeks
c) 10,000 years
d) 10,000 centuries

ROLE PLAY

Role  A – Sahara desert

You think the Sahara desert is the best place in the world. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them things that aren't so great about their places. Also, tell the others which is the least interesting of these (and why): Mount Everest, the Great Wall of China or the Great Barrier Reef.

Role  B – Mount Everest

You think Mount Everest is the best place in the world. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them things that aren't so great about their places. Also, tell the others which is the least interesting of these (and why): the Sahara desert, the Great Wall of China or the Great Barrier Reef.

Role  C – Great Wall of China

You think the Great Wall of China is the best place in the world. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them things that aren't so great about their places. Also, tell the others which is the least interesting of these (and why): Mount Everest, the Sahara desert or the Great Barrier Reef.

Role  D – Great Barrier Reef

You think the Great Barrier Reef is the best place in the world. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them things that aren't so great about their places. Also, tell the others which is the least interesting of these (and why):  Mount Everest, the Great Wall of China or the Sahara desert.





AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

form

sand

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • books
  • centre
  • large
  • dried
  • less
  • sand
  • covers
  • stretch
  • everyone
  • real
  • numbers
  • 10,000

DESERTS SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about deserts 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.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

DESERTS DISCUSSION

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

1)

What did you think when you read the headline?

2)

What springs to mind when you hear the word 'desert'?

3)

What do you know about the Sahara desert?

4)

Is it important if a desert is 3 million or 7 million years old?

5)

How do scientists calculate the age of a desert?

6)

Would you like to be a scientist and research deserts?

7)

What makes deserts so beautiful?

8)

What will happen if deserts get bigger and bigger?

9)

What do you think the world was like seven million years ago?

10)

Is it interesting to know how deserts started?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

11)

Did you like reading this article? Why/not?

12)

Is the Sahara the best desert in the world?

12)

What things in the article surprised you?

14)

What things in the article were most interesting?

15)

What would you do in the Sahara if you went there?

16)

Why can't scientists agree on things?

17)

What dangers are there in the desert?

18)

What would it be like to live in the desert?

19)

Are you a desert person or a jungle person? Why?

20)

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)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

LANGUAGE - CLOZE

Scientists (1) ____ the Sahara desert is twice as old as we previously thought. Science books (2) ____ say the Sahara is around three million years old. However, a new study from a centre for (3) ____ research in Norway says it could be around seven million years old. Researchers used computers to try and (4) ____ when large parts of North Africa became desert. Their tests showed that global warming seven million years ago dried a lot of the land in (5) ____ is today the African nation of Chad. A sea called the Tethys Sea started shrinking. This made the African summer monsoons less frequent, which helped form (6) ____ dunes in Chad. The scientists say this is how the Sahara first started.

The Sahara is one of the world's best-(7) ____  and largest deserts. It covers about 10 per cent of the whole African continent and (8) ____ large parts of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Sudan and other nations. The sands (9) ____ from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the east. Not everyone agrees that the Sahara is as old as the Norway research says it is. Stefan Kröpelin, a geologist in Germany, says real geological evidence is (10) ____ to be sure. He said the Norway research is based (11) ____ numbers and not evidence, saying: "Nothing you can find in the Sahara is older than 500,000 years old". He added that our knowledge of the Saharan climate is only from 10,000 years ago and that our knowledge is "full of (12) ____ ".

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

belief

(b)

beliefs

(c)

believe

(d)

believes

2.

(a)

generally

(b)

general

(c)

generously

(d)

generous

3.

(a)

climate

(b)

animate

(c)

primate

(d)

ultimate

4.

(a)

calculate

(b)

calculator

(c)

calculation

(d)

calculated

5.

(a)

which

(b)

what

(c)

where

(d)

that

6.

(a)

wand

(b)

land

(c)

hand

(d)

sand

7.

(a)

understand

(b)

aware

(c)

known

(d)

fact

8.

(a)

frames

(b)

firms

(c)

farms

(d)

forms

9.

(a)

stretch

(b)

stretching

(c)

stretches

(d)

stretcher

10.

(a)

needed

(b)

needing

(c)

needy

(d)

needs

11.

(a)

in

(b)

on

(c)

off

(d)

of

12.

(a)

gasp

(b)

gasps

(c)

gaps

(d)

gapes

SPELLING

Paragraph 1

1.

twice as old as we ipureoslyv thought

2.

a centre for ciltmea research

3.

around seven nliliom years old.

4.

try and culaaclte when

5.

the Tethys Sea started ikinsnhrg

6.

summer monsoons less funreteq

Paragraph 2

7.

the whole African cnotintne

8.

Egypt, Sudan and other iatnsno

9.

The sands trsecth from the Atlantic Ocean

10.

Not everyone eagrse

11.

real geological edcneive is needed

12.

our ewkenldgo is full of gaps

PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

warming seven million years ago dried a lot of the land in what is today the African nation of Chad. A sea called the Tethys Sea started

(    )

calculate when large parts of North Africa became desert. Their tests showed that global

(    )

find in the Sahara is older than 500,000 years old". He added that our knowledge of the Saharan

1  )

Scientists believe the Sahara desert is twice as old as we previously thought. Science

(    )

dunes in Chad. The scientists say this is how the Sahara first started.

(    )

The Sahara is one of the world's best-known and largest deserts. It covers about 10 per cent of the whole African

(    )

in the west to the Red Sea in the east. Not everyone agrees that the Sahara is as old as the Norway

(    )

climate is only from 10,000 years ago and that our knowledge is "full of gaps".

(    )

research in Norway says it could be around seven million years old. Researchers used computers to try and

(    )

sure. He said the Norway research is based on numbers and not evidence, saying: "Nothing you can

(    )

research says it is. Stefan Kröpelin, a geologist in Germany, says real geological evidence is needed to be

(    )

shrinking. This made the African summer monsoons less frequent, which helped form sand

(    )

books generally say the Sahara is around three million years old. However, a new study from a centre for climate

(    )

continent and forms large parts of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Sudan and other nations. The sands stretch from the Atlantic Ocean

PUT THE WORDS IN THE RIGHT ORDER

1.

study    centre    research    new    a    climate    A    from    for    .   

2.

and    try    to    computers    used    Researchers    calculate    .   

3.

of    Chad    Land    in    what    is    today    the    African    nation    .   

4.

made    less    the    frequent    African    summer   This   monsoons    .   

5.

first    Scientists    is    Sahara    this    the    started    say    how    .   

6.

About    .    African    of    10    continent    the    per    whole    cent

7.

sands    The    Ocean    Atlantic    the    from    stretch    .   

8.

old    everyone    the    as    Not    that    is    agrees    Sahara    .   

9.

to    geological    be    evidence    sure    is    needed    Real    .   

10.

in    is    Nothing    find    Sahara    can    the    older    you    .   

 

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CIRCLE THE CORRECT WORD (20 PAIRS)

Scientists believe / belief the Sahara desert is twice as old as we previous / previously thought. Science books generally say the Sahara is around three million years old. However, a new study from a centre for primate / climate research in Norway says it could be around seven million years old. Researchers used / using computers to try and calculate when largish / large parts of North Africa became dessert / desert. Their tests showed that global warming seven million years ago dried / drying a lot of the land in what is today the African nation / national of Chad. A sea called the Tethys Sea started shrinking. This made the African summer monsoons less / fewer frequent, which helped form sand dunes / domes in Chad. The scientists say this is how the Sahara first started.

The Sahara is one of the world's best-known / best-knowing and largest deserts. It covers about 10 per cent of the whole African incontinent / continent and forms large parts of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Sudan and other nations. The sands / sand stretch from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to / by the Red Sea in the east. Not everyone agreeing / agrees that the Sahara is as old as the Norway research says it is. Stefan Kröpelin, a geology / geologist in Germany, says real / really geological evidence is needed to be sure / shore. He said the Norway research is based on / one numbers and not evidence, saying: "Nothing you can find in the Sahara is older than 500,000 years old". He added that our knowledge of the Saharan climate is only from 10,000 years ago and that our knowledge is "full of gap / gaps".

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 b_l__v_ th_ S_h_r_ d_s_rt _s tw_c_ _s _ld _s w_ pr_v___sly th__ght. Sc__nc_ b__ks g_n_r_lly s_y th_ S_h_r_ _s _r__nd thr__ m_ll__n y__rs _ld. H_w_v_r, _ n_w st_dy fr_m _ c_ntr_ f_r cl_m_t_ r_s__rch _n N_rw_y s_ys _t c__ld b_ _r__nd s_v_n m_ll__n y__rs _ld. R_s__rch_rs _s_d c_mp_t_rs t_ try _nd c_lc_l_t_ wh_n l_rg_ p_rts _f N_rth _fr_c_ b_c_m_ d_s_rt. Th__r t_sts sh_w_d th_t gl_b_l w_rm_ng s_v_n m_ll__n y__rs _g_ dr__d _ l_t _f th_ l_nd _n wh_t _s t_d_y th_ _fr_c_n n_t__n _f Ch_d. _ s__ c_ll_d th_ T_thys S__ st_rt_d shr_nk_ng. Th_s m_d_ th_ _fr_c_n s_mm_r m_ns__ns l_ss fr_q__nt, wh_ch h_lp_d f_rm s_nd d_n_s _n Ch_d. Th_ sc__nt_sts s_y th_s _s h_w th_ S_h_r_ f_rst st_rt_d.

Th_ S_h_r_ _s _n_ _f th_ w_rld's b_st-kn_wn _nd l_rg_st d_s_rts. _t c_v_rs _b__t 10 p_r c_nt _f th_ wh_l_ _fr_c_n c_nt_n_nt _nd f_rms l_rg_ p_rts _f _lg_r__, Ch_d, _gypt, S_d_n _nd _th_r n_t__ns. Th_ s_nds str_tch fr_m th_ _tl_nt_c _c__n _n th_ w_st t_ th_ R_d S__ _n th_ __st. N_t _v_ry_n_ _gr__s th_t th_ S_h_r_ _s _s _ld _s th_ N_rw_y r_s__rch s_ys _t _s. St_f_n Kröp_l_n, _ g__l_g_st _n G_rm_ny, s_ys r__l g__l_g_c_l _v_d_nc_ _s n__d_d t_ b_ s_r_. H_ s__d th_ N_rw_y r_s__rch _s b_s_d _n n_mb_rs _nd n_t _v_d_nc_, s_y_ng: "N_th_ng y__ c_n f_nd _n th_ S_h_r_ _s _ld_r th_n 500,000 y__rs _ld". H_ _dd_d th_t __r kn_wl_dg_ _f th_ S_h_r_n cl_m_t_ _s _nly fr_m 10,000 y__rs _g_ _nd th_t __r kn_wl_dg_ _s "f_ll _f g_ps".

PUNCTUATE THE TEXT AND ADD CAPITALS

scientists believe the sahara desert is twice as old as we previously thought science books generally say the sahara is around three million years old however a new study from a centre for climate research in norway says it could be around seven million years old researchers used computers to try and calculate when large parts of north africa became desert their tests showed that global warming seven million years ago dried a lot of the land in what is today the african nation of chad a sea called the tethys sea started shrinking this made the african summer monsoons less frequent which helped form sand dunes in chad the scientists say this is how the sahara first started

the sahara is one of the world's best-known and largest deserts it covers about 10 per cent of the whole african continent and forms large parts of algeria chad egypt sudan and other nations the sands stretch from the atlantic ocean in the west to the red sea in the east not everyone agrees that the sahara is as old as the norway research says it is stefan kröpelin a geologist in germany says real geological evidence is needed to be sure he said the norway research is based on numbers and not evidence saying "nothing you can find in the sahara is older than 500000 years old" he added that our knowledge of the saharan climate is only from 10000 years ago and that our knowledge is "full of gaps"





PUT A SLASH ( / ) WHERE THE SPACES ARE

ScientistsbelievetheSaharadesertistwiceasoldaswepreviouslythoug
ht.SciencebooksgenerallysaytheSaharaisaroundthreemillionyearso
ld.However,anewstudyfromacentreforclimateresearchinNorwaysay
sitcouldbearoundsevenmillionyearsold.Researchersusedcomputers
totryandcalculatewhenlargepartsofNorthAfricabecamedesert.Their
testsshowedthatglobalwarmingsevenmillionyearsagodriedalotofthe
landinwhatistodaytheAfricannationofChad.AseacalledtheTethysSea
startedshrinking.ThismadetheAfricansummermonsoonslessfreque
nt,whichhelpedformsanddunesinChad.Thescientistssaythisishowthe
Saharafirststarted.TheSaharaisoneoftheworld'sbest-knownan
dlargestdeserts.Itcoversabout10percentofthewholeAfricancontinen
tandformslargepartsofAlgeria,Chad,Egypt,Sudanandothernations.
ThesandsstretchfromtheAtlanticOceaninthewesttotheRedSeainthe
east.NoteveryoneagreesthattheSaharaisasoldastheNorwayresearc
hsaysitis.StefanKröpelin,ageologistinGermany,saysrealgeologicale
videnceisneededtobesure.HesaidtheNorwayresearchisbasedonnum
bersandnotevidence,saying:"NothingyoucanfindintheSaharaisolder
than500,000yearsold".HeaddedthatourknowledgeoftheSaharancli
mateisonlyfrom10,000yearsagoandthatourknowledgeis"fullofgaps"
.

FREE WRITING

Write about deserts for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner's paper.

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ACADEMIC WRITING

Which are better, deserts or jungles? Give three reasons for each.

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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 deserts. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. SAHARA DESERT: Make a poster about the Sahara desert. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. DESERTS: Write a magazine article about deserts. Include imaginary interviews with people who live in the desert.

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 deserts. Ask him/her three questions about deserts. Give him/her three of your ideas on them. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE (p.4)

a

T

b

F

c

F

d

T

e

T

f

F

g

F

h

T

SYNONYM MATCH (p.4)

1.

believe

a.

think

2.

previously

b.

earlier

3.

study

c.

report

4.

calculate

d.

work out

5.

frequent

e.

often

6.

covers

f.

extends over

7.

evidence

g.

proof

8.

sure

h.

certain

9.

knowledge

i.

understanding

10.

gaps

j.

spaces

COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS (p.8)

1.

Scientists

2.

Norway

3.

Computers

4.

Monsoons

5.

Sand dunes

6.

10%

7.

To the Red Sea

8.

Geological evidence

9.

Numbers

10.

10,000 years

MULTIPLE CHOICE - QUIZ (p.9)

1.

b

2.

d

3.

c

4.

a

5.

b

6.

a

7.

c

8.

a

9.

d

10.

c

ALL OTHER EXERCISES

Please check for yourself by looking at the Article on page 2.
(It's good for your English ;-)

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