The Reading / Listening - Brains - Level 6

Researchers from the University of Michigan in the USA have found that the brain of astronauts changes shape during spaceflight. It is the first study to look into how the brain changes on the journey into space. Researchers looked at pictures of the brains of 26 astronauts who spent time in space. The photos were taken by high-tech medical machines called MRIs. Twelve of the astronauts spent two weeks as Space Shuttle crew members, and 14 spent six months on the International Space Station. All of them experienced increases and decreases in the size of different parts of the brain. The researchers said that the longer an astronaut spent in space, the bigger the differences in size were.



The research produced some interesting findings. The researchers explained that, "gravity is not available to pull fluids down in the body". This means there is a shift in the position of the brain inside the skull. The brain becomes either more squashed or bigger in size. The findings could help doctors in the future to treat problems that affect the brain's function. One possibility is to treat people who develop problems caused by long-term bed rest. Another possibility is to treat those who have a build-up of fluid in the brain, which can lead to brain damage. The researchers also say we will understand more about how neurons in the brain make connections. In addition, the findings will help future space travelers on their journey to Mars.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Brains - Level 4  or  Brains - Level 5

Sources
  • http://www.futurity.org/astronauts-brains-space-1348942/
  • http://www.nature.com/articles/s41526-016-0001-9
  • https://www.inverse.com/article/27330-astronaut-brain-change-shape-space


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 :-)



Warm-ups

1. BRAINS: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about brains. 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?

       brain / astronauts / journey / space / medical / increases / differences / size /
       interesting / findings / gravity / shift / position / function / possibility / fluid / journey

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

3. MARS: Students A strongly believe it is better to live on Mars than the Moon; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

4. SHAPES: What are the best shapes for these body parts? What alternative shapes would be interesting and why? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

The best  shape

Alternative shapes

Eyes

 

 

Lips

 

 

Nose

 

 

Stomach

 

 

Eyebrows

 

 

Heart

 

 

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

6. BRAIN FUNCTIONS: Rank these with your partner. Put the best at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • Emotional response
  • Planning
  • Learning
  • Maths
  • Memory
  • Creativity
  • Language
  • Social interaction

 

Before reading / listening

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

  1. The research is from a university in France.     T / F
  2. This is the second study into how spaceflight changes the brain.     T / F
  3. Researchers look at photos of the brains of 26 astronauts.     T / F
  4. A longer time in space meant smaller size differences in the brain.  T / F
  5. A lack of gravity was one reason for the changes in brain shape and size.  T / F
  6. This study could help people who have to stay in bed for a long time.     T / F
  7. This research will not increase understanding about neuron behavior.     T / F
  8. The findings will help humans on their journey to Mars.     T / F

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

  1. found
  2. look into
  3. journey
  4. experienced
  5. size
  6. findings
  7. shift
  8. treat
  9. fluid
  10. understand
  1. heal
  2. dimensions
  3. underwent
  4. liquid
  5. examine
  6. comprehend
  7. discovered
  8. adjustment
  9. trip
  10. conclusions

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

  1. the first study to look into how
  2. astronauts who spent
  3. The photos were taken by high-
  4. decreases in the size of different
  5. the bigger the differences in
  6. The research produced some
  7. there is a shift in the position
  8. treat problems that affect
  9. those who have a build-up
  10. how neurons in the brain
  1. of the brain
  2. size were
  3. interesting findings
  4. the brain changes
  5. make connections
  6. tech medical machines
  7. of fluid in the brain
  8. parts of the brain
  9. time in space
  10. the brain's function

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
study
decreases
found
size
tech
longer
spent
crew

Researchers from the University of Michigan in the USA have (1) ____________ that the brain of astronauts changes shape during spaceflight. It is the first (2) ____________ to look into how the brain changes on the journey into space. Researchers looked at pictures of the brains of 26 astronauts who (3) ____________ time in space. The photos were taken by high-(4) ____________ medical machines called MRIs. Twelve of the astronauts spent two weeks as Space Shuttle (5) ____________ members, and 14 spent six months on the International Space Station. All of them experienced increases and (6) ____________ in the size of different parts of the brain. The researchers said that the (7) ____________ an astronaut spent in space, the bigger the differences in (8) ____________ were.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
squashed
findings
journey
fluid
shift
neurons
gravity
develop

The research produced some interesting (9) ____________. The researchers explained that, "(10) ____________ is not available to pull fluids down in the body". This means there is a (11) ____________ in the position of the brain inside the skull. The brain becomes either more (12) ____________ or bigger in size. The findings could help doctors in the future to treat problems that affect the brain's function. One possibility is to treat people who (13) ____________ problems caused by long-term bed rest. Another possibility is to treat those who have a build-up of (14) ____________ in the brain, which can lead to brain damage. The researchers also say we will understand more about how (15) ____________ in the brain make connections. In addition, the findings will help future space travelers on their (16) ____________ to Mars.

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  It is the first study to look into how the brain changes ______
     a.  on the journey
     b.  on the journal
     c.  on the jersey
     d.  on the gurney

2)  Researchers looked at pictures of the brains of 26 astronauts who ______ space
     a.  spent timing in
     b.  spent timing
     c.  spent time in
     d.  spent timed in

3)  Twelve of the astronauts spent two weeks as Space Shuttle ______
     a.  clue members
     b.  chew members
     c.  crew members
     d.  cruise members

4)  experienced increases and decreases in the size of different ______
     a.  parties of the brain
     b.  partners of the brain
     c.  apart of the brain
     d.  parts of the brain

5)  the longer an astronaut spent in space, the bigger the differences ______
     a.  ion size were
     b.  on size were
     c.  inn size were
     d.  in size were

6)  The researchers explained that gravity is not available to pull ______ the body
     a.  fluids low in
     b.  fluids down in
     c.  fluids decrease in
     d.  fluids fall in

7)  This means there is a shift in the position of the brain ______
     a.  inside the squawk
     b.  inside the squall
     c.  inside the skill
     d.  inside the skull

8)  The findings could help doctors in the future to treat problems that affect the ______
     a.  brain's function
     b.  brains' function
     c.  brains function
     d.  brainless function

9)  Another possibility is to treat those who have a build-up ______ brain
     a.  of fruit in the
     b.  of food in the
     c.  of frond in the
     d.  of fluid in the

10)  understand more about how neurons in the brain ______
     a.  do connections
     b.  give connections
     c.  make connections
     d.  be connections

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Researchers from the University of Michigan in the USA (1) ___________________ the brain of astronauts changes shape during spaceflight. It is the first study (2) ___________________ how the brain changes on the journey into space. Researchers looked at pictures of the brains of 26 astronauts who (3) ___________________ space. The photos were taken by high-tech medical machines called MRIs. Twelve of the astronauts spent (4) ___________________ Space Shuttle crew members, and 14 spent six months on the International Space Station. All of them experienced increases (5) ___________________ the size of different parts of the brain. The researchers said that the longer an astronaut spent in space, the bigger the differences (6) ___________________.

The research produced some (7) ___________________. The researchers explained that, "gravity is not available (8) ___________________ down in the body". This means there is a shift in the position of the brain inside the skull. The brain (9) ___________________ more squashed or bigger in size. The findings could help doctors in the future to treat problems that affect the brain's function. One possibility (10) ___________________ people who develop problems caused by long-term bed rest. Another possibility is to treat those who have (11) ___________________ fluid in the brain, which can lead to brain damage. The researchers also say we will understand more about how (12) ___________________ brain make connections. In addition, the findings will help future space travelers on their journey to Mars.

Comprehension questions

  1. At which university was the research conducted?
  2. How many studies before this one looked at this subject?
  3. How many astronauts in the study had spent time on the Space Shuttle?
  4. How long had astronauts spent on the International Space Station?
  5. What was bigger in the brain the longer astronauts spent in space?
  6. What did the article say the research produced?
  7. What bed-related problem was mentioned in the article?
  8. What could there be a build-up of in the brain?
  9. What will we understand more about what neurons do?
  10. What will the study help space travelers reach in the future?




Multiple choice quiz

1) At which university was the research conducted?
a) Tokyo
b) Sorbonne
c) Michigan
d) Melbourne

2) How many studies before this one looked at this subject?
a) 0
b) 1
c) 2
d) 3

3) How many astronauts in the study had spent time on the Space Shuttle?
a) 26
b) 16
c) 14
d) 12

4) How long had astronauts spent on the International Space Station?
a) 2 months
b) 6 months
c) 4 months
d) 8 months

5) What was bigger in the brain the longer astronauts spent in space?
a) pressure
b) neurons
c) size differences
d) intelligence

6) What did the article say the research produced?
a) a controversy
b) interesting findings
c) a lot of money
d) many questions

7) What bed-related problem was mentioned in the article?
a) insomnia
b) bed sores
c) nightmares
d) long-term bed rest

8) What could there be a build-up of in the brain?
a) information
b) fluid
c) stress
d) protein

9) What will we understand more about what neurons do?
a) how they make connections
b) how they are created
c) what they make
d) their size

10) What will the study help space travelers reach in the future?
a) targets
b) the stars
c) dreams
d) Mars

Role play

Role A — Memory

You think memory is the most important brain function. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their functions are not as important. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these (and why): creativity, social interaction or planning.

Role B — Creativity

You think creativity is the most important brain function. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their functions are not as important. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these (and why): memory, social interaction or planning.

Role C — Social Interaction

You think social interaction is the most important brain function. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their functions are not as important. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these (and why): creativity, memory or planning.

Role D — Planning

You think planning is the most important brain function. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their functions are not as important. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these (and why): creativity, social interaction or memory.

After reading / listening

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

'change'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'shape'.

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

    • interesting
    • shift
    • doctors
    • bed
    • lead
    • Mars
    • found
    • 26
    • 12
    • 14
    • all
    • longer




    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' brains change shape during spaceflight

    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 'brain'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What do you think the speed of a space rocket would feel like?
    5. In what ways would you be a good astronaut?
    6. How important is space travel?
    7. What would you do if you went into space?
    8. What do you think life is like on the International Space Station?
    9. What do you know about the brain?
    10. What would you do with more brain power?

    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 'astronaut'?
    3. What do you know about gravity?
    4. How can you keep your brain healthy?
    5. In what ways would you be a bad astronaut?
    6. How dangerous is space travel?
    7. What can go wrong with our brain?
    8. What do you know about neurons?
    9. What would it be like to go to Mars?
    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)

    Researchers from the University of Michigan in the USA have (1) ____ that the brain of astronauts changes shape during spaceflight. It is the first study to look into how the brain changes (2) ____ the journey into space. Researchers looked at pictures of the brains of 26 astronauts who spent time in space. The photos were taken by high-tech (3) ____ machines called MRIs. Twelve of the astronauts spent two weeks (4) ____ Space Shuttle crew members, and 14 spent six months on the International Space Station. All of them experienced increases and decreases (5) ____ the size of different parts of the brain. The researchers said that the longer an astronaut spent in space, the bigger the differences in size (6) ____.

    The research produced some interesting findings. The researchers explained that, "(7) ____ is not available to pull fluids down in the body". This means there is a (8) ____ in the position of the brain inside the skull. The brain becomes either more squashed or bigger in size. The findings could help doctors in the future to treat problems that (9) ____ the brain's function. One possibility is to treat people who develop problems caused by (10) ____-term bed rest. Another possibility is to treat those who have a build-up of (11) ____ in the brain, which can lead to brain damage. The researchers also say we will understand more about how (12) ____ in the brain make connections. In addition, the findings will help future space travellers to Mars.

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     funded     (b)     found     (c)     founded     (d)     finding    
    2. (a)     in     (b)     on     (c)     at     (d)     to    
    3. (a)     medically     (b)     medicine     (c)     medicinal     (d)     medical    
    4. (a)     has     (b)     as     (c)     is     (d)     was    
    5. (a)     on     (b)     in     (c)     as     (d)     so    
    6. (a)     was     (b)     is     (c)     were     (d)     be    
    7. (a)     brevity     (b)     clarity     (c)     gravity     (d)     parity    
    8. (a)     shaft     (b)     sift     (c)     shift     (d)     swift    
    9. (a)     infect     (b)     effect     (c)     reflect     (d)     affect    
    10. (a)     lengths     (b)     lengthen     (c)     lengthy     (d)     long    
    11. (a)     fluid     (b)     squid     (c)     cupid     (d)     quid    
    12. (a)     lines     (b)     links     (c)     neurons     (d)     elections

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. the enrjouy into space.
    2. high-tech ecmadli machines
    3. Space lhSeutt
    4. All of them ixcedeeprne increases
    5. seaecresd in the size
    6. The essererhrca

    Paragraph 2

    1. interesting nisingdf
    2. tviragy is not available
    3. pull siudfl down in the body
    4. becomes either more aesuhdqs or bigger
    5. Another iiltsypoibs
    6. rounnse in the brain

    Put the text back together

    (    )     members, and 14 spent six months on the International Space Station. All of them experienced increases

    (    )     doctors in the future to treat problems that affect the brain's function. One possibility is to treat

    (    )     skull. The brain becomes either more squashed or bigger in size. The findings could help

    (    )     shape during spaceflight. It is the first study to look into how the brain changes on the journey

    (    )     into space. Researchers looked at pictures of the brains of 26 astronauts who spent time in space. The photos were

    (    )     to pull fluids down in the body". This means there is a shift in the position of the brain inside the

    (    )     how neurons in the brain make connections. In addition, the findings will help future space travelers on their journey to Mars.

    (    )     taken by high-tech medical machines called MRIs. Twelve of the astronauts spent two weeks as Space Shuttle crew

    (    )     people who develop problems caused by long-term bed rest. Another possibility is to treat those who have a build-up

    (    )     an astronaut spent in space, the bigger the differences in size were.

    1  )     Researchers from the University of Michigan in the USA have found that the brain of astronauts changes

    (    )     The research produced some interesting findings. The researchers explained that, "gravity is not available

    (    )     of fluid in the brain, which can lead to brain damage. The researchers also say we will understand more about

    (    )     and decreases in the size of different parts of the brain. The researchers said that the longer

    Put the words in the right order

    1. the   how   into   look   to   study   first   the   is   It   changes   brain   .
    2. time  spent  who  astronauts  26  of  brains  the  of  Pictures  space  in  .
    3. by   tech   The   taken   -   machines   were   high   medical   photos   .
    4. as   Astronauts  Space  spent   Shuttle   two  crew   weeks   members  .
    5. of   of   Decreases   size   parts   brain   the   different   the   in   .
    6. pull   fluids   down   in   the   body   Gravity   is   not   available   to   .
    7. skull  brain  position  shift  There  inside  of  in   is   the   the   the   a   .
    8. the   function   problems   affect   brain's   Treat   that   .
    9. those   the   of   build  who   brain   fluid   -   have   Treat   in   up   a   .
    10. connections   in   More   the   about   brain   how   make   neurons   .

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Researchers from the University of Michigan in the USA have finding / found that the brain of astronauts changes shape during spaceflight. It is the first study to look into / in how the brain changes on / in the journey into space. Researchers looked / looking at pictures of the brains for / of 26 astronauts who spent time in space. The photos were taken / taking by high-tech medical machines called MRIs. Twelve of the astronauts spent two weeks was / as Space Shuttle crew members, and 14 spent six months on the International Space Station. All of them / they experienced increases and decreases in the size of different / difference parts of the brain. The researchers said that the longer an astronaut spent in space, the bigger the differences in size were / was.

    The research produced some interesting funding / findings. The researchers explained that, "gravity / brevity is not available to pull fluids / fluidity down in the body". This means there is a shaft / shift in the position of the brain inside the skull. The brain becomes either more squashed or bigger in size. The findings could help doctors in / on the future to treat problems that affect the brain's function. One possibility is to treat people who develop problems caused by long-term bed rest. Another possibility is to treatment / treat those who have a built-up / build-up of fluid in the brain, which can lead to brain / brainy damage. The researchers also say we will understand more about how neurons / nervous in the brain make connections. In addition, the findings will help future spatial / space travelers on their journey to Mars.

    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)

    R_s__rch_rs fr_m th_ _n_v_rs_ty _f M_ch_g_n _n th_ _S_ h_v_ f__nd th_t th_ br__n _f _str_n__ts ch_ng_s sh_p_ d_r_ng sp_c_fl_ght. _t _s th_ f_rst st_dy t_ l__k _nt_ h_w th_ br__n ch_ng_s _n th_ j__rn_y _nt_ sp_c_. R_s__rch_rs l__k_d _t p_ct_r_s _f th_ br__ns _f 26 _str_n__ts wh_ sp_nt t_m_ _n sp_c_. Th_ ph_t_s w_r_ t_k_n by h_gh-t_ch m_d_c_l m_ch_n_s c_ll_d MR_s. Tw_lv_ _f th_ _str_n__ts sp_nt tw_ w__ks _s Sp_c_ Sh_ttl_ cr_w m_mb_rs, _nd 14 sp_nt s_x m_nths _n th_ _nt_rn_t__n_l Sp_c_ St_t__n. _ll _f th_m _xp_r__nc_d _ncr__s_s _nd d_cr__s_s _n th_ s_z_ _f d_ff_r_nt p_rts _f th_ br__n. Th_ r_s__rch_rs s__d th_t th_ l_ng_r _n _str_n__t sp_nt _n sp_c_, th_ b_gg_r th_ d_ff_r_nc_s _n s_z_ w_r_.

    Th_ r_s__rch pr_d_c_d s_m_ _nt_r_st_ng f_nd_ngs. Th_ r_s__rch_rs _xpl__n_d th_t, "gr_v_ty _s n_t _v__l_bl_ t_ p_ll fl__ds d_wn _n th_ b_dy". Th_s m__ns th_r_ _s _ sh_ft _n th_ p_s_t__n _f th_ br__n _ns_d_ th_ sk_ll. Th_ br__n b_c_m_s __th_r m_r_ sq__sh_d _r b_gg_r _n s_z_. Th_ f_nd_ngs c__ld h_lp d_ct_rs _n th_ f_t_r_ t_ tr__t pr_bl_ms th_t _ff_ct th_ br__n's f_nct__n. _n_ p_ss_b_l_ty _s t_ tr__t p__pl_ wh_ d_v_l_p pr_bl_ms c__s_d by l_ng-t_rm b_d r_st. _n_th_r p_ss_b_l_ty _s t_ tr__t th_s_ wh_ h_v_ _ b__ld-_p _f fl__d _n th_ br__n, wh_ch c_n l__d t_ br__n d_m_g_. Th_ r_s__rch_rs _ls_ s_y w_ w_ll _nd_rst_nd m_r_ _b__t h_w n__r_ns _n th_ br__n m_k_ c_nn_ct__ns. _n _dd_t__n, th_ f_nd_ngs w_ll h_lp f_t_r_ sp_c_ tr_v_ll_rs n th_r j__rn_y t_ M_rs.

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    researchers from the university of michigan in the usa have found that the brain of astronauts changes shape during spaceflight it is the first study to look into how the brain changes on the journey into space researchers looked at pictures of the brains of 26 astronauts who spent time in space the photos were taken by high-tech medical machines called mris twelve of the astronauts spent two weeks as space shuttle crew members and 14 spent six months on the international space station all of them experienced increases and decreases in the size of different parts of the brain the researchers said that the longer an astronaut spent in space the bigger the differences in size were

    the research produced some interesting findings the researchers explained that "gravity is not available to pull fluids down in the body" this means there is a shift in the position of the brain inside the skull the brain becomes either more squashed or bigger in size the findings could help doctors in the future to treat problems that affect the brain's function one possibility is to treat people who develop problems caused by long-term bed rest another possibility is to treat those who have a build-up of fluid in the brain which can lead to brain damage the researchers also say we will understand more about how neurons in the brain make connections in addition the findings will help future space travellers on their journey to mars

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    ResearchersfromtheUniversityofMichiganintheUSAhavefoundthatt
    hebrainofastronautschangesshapeduringspaceflight.Itisthefirststu
    dytolookintohowthebrainchangesonthejourneyintospace.Research
    erslookedatpicturesofthebrainsof26astronautswhospenttimeinspac
    e.Thephotosweretakenbyhigh-techmedicalmachinescalledMRIs.Tw
    elveoftheastronautsspenttwoweeksasSpaceShuttlecrewmembers,
    and14spentsixmonthsontheInternationalSpaceStation.Allofthemex
    periencedincreasesanddecreasesinthesizeofdifferentpartsofthebrai
    n.Theresearcherssaidthatthelongeranastronautspentinspace,thebi
    ggerthedifferencesinsizewere.Theresearchproducedsomeinterestin
    gfindings.Theresearchersexplainedthat,"gravityisnotavailabletopul
    lfluidsdowninthebody".Thismeansthereisashiftinthepositionofthebr
    aininsidetheskull.Thebrainbecomeseithermoresquashedorbiggerin
    size.Thefindingscouldhelpdoctorsinthefuturetotreatproblemsthataf
    fectthebrain'sfunction.Onepossibilityistotreatpeoplewhodeveloppro
    blemscausedbylong-termbedrest.Anotherpossibilityistotreatthos
    ewhohaveabuild-upoffluidinthebrain,whichcanleadtobraindamag
    e.Theresearchersalsosaywewillunderstandmoreabouthowneuronsi
    nthebrainmakeconnections.Inaddition,thefindingswillhelpfuturespa
    cetravellersontheirjourneytoMars.

    Free writing

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

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    Academic writing

    What are the pros and cons of going to Mars? Would you like to go? Why?

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

    3. BRAINS: Make a poster about our brain. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

    4. SUPER-IMPROVED: Write a magazine article about scientists allowing us to have super-improved brains in the future. 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 brains. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three of your ideas on how we can make our brains healthy. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

    Answers

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

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