The Reading / Listening - Life on Mars - Level 3

Scientists have discovered new things about the atmosphere and environment on Mars. They found a "toxic cocktail" of chemicals that would easily kill any living organism. The chemicals have been found on the surface of the Red Planet. The scientists, from Edinburgh University in the UK, say the discovery of the chemicals means the chance of finding life on Mars has fallen. The scientists are astrobiologists – they study the atmosphere and environments in the universe that might support life. The researchers said Mars had no ozone layer, which means there are high levels of ultra-violet (UV) radiation. The mix of UV radiation and the chemicals sterilized the Martian landscape.



The scientists tested what happens when the chemicals found on Mars mix with UV radiation. They found it killed organisms very quickly. The chemicals alone were enough to kill living organisms. However, when the chemicals were mixed with UV rays, the mix killed organisms 11 times faster. The scientists said: "Our observations show that the surface of present-day Mars is highly [harmful] to cells, caused by a toxic cocktail of [chemicals] and UV radiation." They added that their research was further evidence that the surface of Mars is deadly to any form of plant life. They say the chemicals and UV rays make, "much of the surface and near-surface regions uninhabitable".

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Life on Mars - Level 0 Life on Mars - Level 1   or  Life on Mars - Level 2

Sources
  • http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/mars-toxic-chemicals-found-surface-life-organisims-less-likely-planet-ozone-layer-ultra-violet-a7828361.html
  • http://time.com/4845251/mars-life-toxins-microbes/
  • http://www.ed.ac.uk/news/2017/surface-of-mars-poses-danger-to-life-tests-show


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. LIFE ON MARS: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about life on Mars. 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 / atmosphere / environment / toxic / cocktail / organism / ozone / landscape
       chemicals / radiation / Mars / observations / plant life / UV rays / uninhabitable

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

3. MARS EXPLORATION: Students A strongly believe spending money on Mars exploration is a waste of money; Students B strongly believe it isn't.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

4. THE UNIVERSE: What do you know about these things in the universe and what do you want to know? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

What I know

What I didn't know

The Moon

 

 

The Sun

 

 

Mars

 

 

The Milky Way

 

 

Asteroids

 

 

Black Holes

 

 

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

6. LIVING ON MARS: Rank these with your partner. Put the most difficult things about living on Mars at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • Missing Earth
  • Aliens
  • Oxygen
  • Radiation
  • The long journey
  • The cold
  • No water
  • No plant life

 

Before reading / listening

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

  1. Scientists found alcoholic cocktails on Mars.     T / F
  2. Scientists say there is an increased chance of finding life on Mars.     T / F
  3. Astrobiologists study the chances of finding life in the universe.     T / F
  4. The scientists found that Mars had a very thing ozone layer.     T / F
  5. Chemicals and radiation on Mars would kill organisms very quickly.     T / F
  6. The chemicals alone would kill organisms 11 times faster.     T / F
  7. The scientists said their work was more evidence that Mars was deadly.   T / F
  8. The scientists said the surface of Mars was uninhabitable.     T / F

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

  1. discovered
  2. toxic
  3. discovery
  4. chance
  5. landscape
  6. tested
  7. enough
  8. harmful
  9. further
  10. regions
  1. finding
  2. more
  3. possibility
  4. examined
  5. terrain
  6. found
  7. damaging
  8. areas
  9. sufficient
  10. poisonous

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

  1. Scientists have discovered new things
  2. They found a toxic
  3. the chance of finding life on Mars has
  4. The researchers said Mars had no ozone
  5. high levels of ultra-violet
  6. the chemicals found on Mars mix
  7. They found it killed organisms very
  8. the mix killed organisms 11 times
  9. the surface of Mars is
  10. any form of plant
  1. quickly
  2. (UV) radiation
  3. deadly
  4. with UV radiation
  5. about the atmosphere
  6. layer
  7. life
  8. cocktail of chemicals
  9. faster
  10. fallen

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
organism
fallen
levels
cocktail
mix
discovered
universe
discovery

Scientists have (1) ____________ new things about the atmosphere and environment on Mars. They found a "toxic (2) ____________ " of chemicals that would easily kill any living (3) ____________. The chemicals have been found on the surface of the Red Planet. The scientists, from Edinburgh University in the UK, say the (4) ____________ of the chemicals means the chance of finding life on Mars has (5) ____________. The scientists are astrobiologists – they study the atmosphere and environments in the (6) ____________ that might support life. The researchers said Mars had no ozone layer, which means there are high (7) ____________ of ultra-violet (UV) radiation. The (8) ____________ of UV radiation and the chemicals sterilized the Martian landscape.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
faster
happens
plant
highly
surface
rays
quickly
further

The scientists tested what (9) ____________ when the chemicals found on Mars mix with UV radiation. They found it killed organisms very (10) ____________. The chemicals alone were enough to kill living organisms. However, when the chemicals were mixed with UV (11) ____________, the mix killed organisms 11 times (12) ____________. The scientists said: "Our observations show that the surface of present-day Mars is (13) ____________ [harmful] to cells, caused by a toxic cocktail of [chemicals] and UV radiation." They added that their research was (14) ____________ evidence that the surface of Mars is deadly to any form of (15) ____________ life. They say the chemicals and UV rays make, "much of the (16) ____________ and near-surface regions uninhabitable".

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  Scientists have discovered new things about the atmosphere ______
     a.  and environments
     b.  and environmental
     c.  and environment
     d.  and environments

2)  They found a "toxic cocktail" of chemicals that would easily kill ______
     a.  any live-in organism
     b.  any alive in organism
     c.  any lived in organism
     d.  any living organism

3)  the discovery of the chemicals means the chance of finding life ______
     a.  on Mars has falling
     b.  on Mars has fallen
     c.  on Mars has fall on
     d.  on Mars has felling

4)  the atmosphere and environments in the universe that ______
     a.  might support life
     b.  might support live
     c.  might support leaf
     d.  might support laugh

5)  The mix of UV radiation and the chemicals sterilized the ______
     a.  Martian landscaped
     b.  Martian landscape
     c.  Martian landscapes
     d.  Martian landscaping

6)  tested what happens when the chemicals found on Mars mix ______
     a.  within UV radiation
     b.  with UV radiation
     c.  wither UV radiation
     d.  without UV radiation

7)  when the chemicals were mixed with UV rays, the mix killed organisms ______
     a.  11 timed faster
     b.  11 time faster
     c.  11 timing faster
     d.  11 times faster

8)  Our observations show that the surface of present-day Mars is highly ______
     a.  harm full to sells
     b.  harmful to sells
     c.  harmful two cells
     d.  harmful to cells

9)  their research was further evidence that the surface of Mars is deadly to any ______
     a.  from of plant life
     b.  farm of plant life
     c.  firm of plant life
     d.  form of plant life

10)  much of the surface and near-______
     a.  surfaces regions
     b.  surface regions
     c.  surfaced regions
     d.  suffice regions

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Scientists have discovered (1) ___________________ the atmosphere and environment on Mars. They (2) ___________________ cocktail" of chemicals that would easily kill any living organism. The chemicals have been found on (3) ___________________ the Red Planet. The scientists, from Edinburgh University in the UK, say the (4) ___________________ chemicals means the chance of finding life on Mars has fallen. The scientists are astrobiologists – they study the atmosphere and environments in the (5) ___________________ support life. The researchers said Mars had no ozone layer, which means there are high levels of ultra-violet (UV) radiation. (6) ___________________ radiation and the chemicals sterilized the Martian landscape.

The scientists tested what happens when the (7) ___________________ Mars mix with UV radiation. They (8) ___________________ organisms very quickly. The chemicals alone were enough to kill living organisms. However, when the chemicals (9) ___________________ UV rays, the mix killed organisms 11 times faster. The scientists said: "Our observations show that (10) ___________________ present-day Mars is highly [harmful] to cells, caused by a toxic cocktail of [chemicals] and UV radiation." They added that their research (11) ___________________ that the surface of Mars is deadly (12) ___________________ of plant life. They say the chemicals and UV rays make, "much of the surface and near-surface regions uninhabitable".

Comprehension questions

  1. What kind of cocktail did the scientists say they found?
  2. What was another name the article called Mars?
  3. Which university carried out this research?
  4. What kind of scientists did the research?
  5. What kind of layer did the scientists say Mars did not have?
  6. How quickly did the chemicals and radiation kill the organisms?
  7. How many times faster did the mix kill the organisms?
  8. What do observations show about the surface of present-day Mars?
  9. For what kind of life is the surface of Mars deadly?
  10. What do the chemicals and UV rays make the surface of Mars?




Multiple choice quiz

1) What kind of cocktail did the scientists say they found?
a) a mocktail
b) a toxic cocktail
c) a vodka-based cocktail
d) a Molotov cocktail

2) What was another name the article called Mars?
a) The Hot Earth
b) Martial
c) Martian
d) the Red Planet

3) Which university carried out this research?
a) Edinburgh
b) Eden
c) Elgin
d) Engineer

4) What kind of scientists did the research?
a) neurobiologists
b) microbiologists
c) astrobiologists
d) plant biologists

5) What kind of layer did the scientists say Mars did not have?
a) fat layer
b) ozone
c) crust
d) thin layer

6) How quickly did the chemicals and radiation kill the organisms?
a) very quickly
b) 100 mph
c) like a snail
d) about 3 a second

7) How many times faster did the mix kill the organisms?
a) 9 times
b) 10 times
c) 11 times
d) 12 times

8) What do observations show about the surface of present-day Mars?
a) it is highly harmful to cells
b) it's red
c) there are many cocktails
d) the UV rays are ultraviolet

9) For what kind of life is the surface of Mars deadly?
a) plant life
b) park life
c) vegetable life
d) fruit life

10) What do the chemicals and UV rays make the surface of Mars?
a) hot
b) flat
c) shiny
d) uninhabitable

Role play

Role  A – The Long Journey

You think the long journey is the most difficult thing about living on Mars. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why there things aren't as bad. Also, tell the others which is the least difficult of these (and why): no plant life, aliens or missing Earth.

Role  B – No Plant Life

You think no plant life is the most difficult thing about living on Mars. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why there things aren't as bad. Also, tell the others which is the least difficult of these (and why): the long journey, aliens or missing Earth.

Role  C – Aliens

You think aliens are the most difficult thing about living on Mars. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why there things aren't as bad. Also, tell the others which is the least difficult of these (and why): no plant life, the long journey or missing Earth.

Role  D – Missing Earth

You think missing Earth is the most difficult thing about living on Mars. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why there things aren't as bad. Also, tell the others which is the least difficult of these (and why):  no plant life, aliens or the long journey.

After reading / listening

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

'life'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'Mars'.

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

    • happens
    • quickly
    • 11
    • show
    • deadly
    • much
    • easily
    • red
    • chance
    • study
    • layer
    • Martian




    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 - Scientists say life on Mars would be difficult

    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 'life'?
    3. What do you know about Mars?
    4. What is a 'toxic cocktail'?
    5. Do you think there is life on Mars?
    6. What might an astrobiologist do every day?
    7. What would we do if we found life on Mars?
    8. What would you do if you met an alien?
    9. What would it be like to live on Mars
    10. Why are space companies trying to get to Mars?

    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 'Mars'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. Do you think it's a good idea for humans to go to Mars?
    5. Would you like to work as an astrobiologist?
    6. Would you like to go to Mars one day?
    7. What would you like to know about Mars?
    8. What are Martians?
    9. What will we be doing on Mars in 100 years from now?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the scientists?

    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 discovered new (1) ____ about the atmosphere and environment on Mars. They found a "toxic cocktail" of chemicals that would (2) ____ kill any living organism. The chemicals have been (3) ____ on the surface of the Red Planet. The scientists, from Edinburgh University in the UK, say the discovery of the chemicals means the chance (4) ____ finding life on Mars has fallen. The scientists are astrobiologists – they study the atmosphere and environments in the universe that might support life. The researchers said Mars had (5) ____ ozone layer, which means there are (6) ____ levels of ultra-violet (UV) radiation. The mix of UV radiation and the chemicals sterilized the Martian landscape.

    The scientists tested what (7) ____ when the chemicals found on Mars mix with UV radiation. They found it killed organisms very (8) ____. The chemicals alone were enough to kill living organisms. However, when the chemicals were mixed with UV rays, the mix killed organisms 11 times (9) ____. The scientists said: "Our observations show that the (10) ____ of present-day Mars is highly [harmful] to cells, caused by a toxic cocktail of [chemicals] and UV radiation." They added that their research was (11) ____ evidence that the surface of Mars is deadly to any form of plant life. They say the chemicals and UV rays make, "much of the surface and near-surface regions uninhabitable".

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     thing     (b)     thinks     (c)     things     (d)     think    
    2. (a)     easily     (b)     easy     (c)     easier     (d)     easiest    
    3. (a)     found     (b)     fund     (c)     finding     (d)     fend    
    4. (a)     of     (b)     off     (c)     if     (d)     for    
    5. (a)     not     (b)     none     (c)     nor     (d)     no    
    6. (a)     highs     (b)     heighten     (c)     height     (d)     high    
    7. (a)     happens     (b)     happening     (c)     happened     (d)     happen    
    8. (a)     quickest     (b)     quicken     (c)     quick     (d)     quickly    
    9. (a)     faster     (b)     fastest     (c)     fasten     (d)     fasts    
    10. (a)     surfers     (b)     surface     (c)     suffice     (d)     suffers    
    11. (a)     feather     (b)     further     (c)     father     (d)     farther    
    12. (a)     uninhabitable     (b)     habitat     (c)     inedible     (d)     uninvited

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. new things about the aoetsmerph
    2. a "cxoti cocktail" of chemicals
    3. kill any living mgnirsao
    4. the svdceiyor of the chemicals
    5. in the esiervnu
    6. UV tnoiiaard

    Paragraph 2

    1. The icstsentsi tested what happens
    2. geunho to kill
    3. Our oiossetavbrn show
    4. iyhhgl harmful to cells
    5. their research was further eidceenv
    6. much of the surface and near-surface engiros

    Put the text back together

    (    )     by a toxic cocktail of [chemicals] and UV radiation." They added that their research was further

    1  )     Scientists have discovered new things about the atmosphere and environment on Mars. They found a "toxic

    (    )     surface of the Red Planet. The scientists, from Edinburgh University in the UK, say the discovery

    (    )     cocktail" of chemicals that would easily kill any living organism. The chemicals have been found on the

    (    )     The scientists tested what happens when the chemicals found on Mars mix with UV radiation. They found it killed

    (    )     radiation. The mix of UV radiation and the chemicals sterilized the Martian landscape.

    (    )     organisms very quickly. The chemicals alone were enough to kill living organisms. However, when the chemicals were

    (    )     of the chemicals means the chance of finding life on Mars has fallen. The scientists are

    (    )     evidence that the surface of Mars is deadly to any form of plant life. They say the chemicals

    (    )     show that the surface of present-day Mars is highly [harmful] to cells, caused

    (    )     astrobiologists – they study the atmosphere and environments in the universe that might support

    (    )     mixed with UV rays, the mix killed organisms 11 times faster. The scientists said: "Our observations

    (    )     life. The researchers said Mars had no Ozone layer, which means there are high levels of ultra-violet (UV)    

     (    )     and UV rays make, "much of the surface and near-surface regions uninhabitable".

    Put the words in the right order

    1. the   things   new   discovered   have  Scientists   atmosphere   about   .
    2. found  that  toxic  would  cocktail   easily  of   kill  chemicals   a  They  .
    3. surface   the   on   found   been   have   chemicals   The   .
    4. fallen   life   The   on   chance   Mars   of   has   finding   .
    5. life   support   might   that   universe   the   in   Environments   .
    6. on   with   When   found   mix   radiation   chemicals   Mars   UV   the   .
    7. enough   The   to   chemicals   kill   alone   living   were   organisms   .
    8. The   present   Mars   harmful   of   day   highly   surface   -   is   .
    9. their   that   added   They   evidence   further   was   research   .
    10. surface   The   life   plant   of   form   any   to   deadly   is   Mars   of   .

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Scientists have discovered / discovery new things about the atmosphere and environment on Mars. They found a "toxic cocktail" of chemical / chemicals that would easily kill many / any living organism. The chemicals have been / being found on the surface of the Red Planet. The scientists, from Edinburgh University in the UK, say the discovery / discover of the chemicals means the chance of finding alive / life on Mars has fallen. The scientists are astrobiologists – they study the atmospheric / atmosphere and environments in the universe that might support / supporting life. The researchers said Mars had no ozone layer, which means there are height / high levels of ultra-violet (UV) radiation. The mix of / off UV radiation and the chemicals sterilized the Martian landscape.

    The scientists tested what happening / happens when the chemicals found on Mars mix with UV radiation. They found it killed organs / organisms very quickly. The chemicals alone / lonely were enough to kill living organisms. However, when the chemicals were mixture / mixed with UV rays, the mix killed organisms 11 times faster / fastest. The scientists said: "Our observations show that the surface of present-day Mars is highly [harmful] to cells, cause / caused by a toxic cocktail of [chemicals] and UV radiation." They added that their research was farther / further evidence that the surface of Mars is deadly to any form / from of plant life. They say the chemicals and UV rays do / make, "much of the surface and near-surface regional / regions uninhabitable".

    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_ d_sc_v_r_d n_w th_ngs _b__t th_ _tm_sph_r_ _nd _nv_r_nm_nt _n M_rs. Th_y f__nd _ "t_x_c c_ckt__l" _f ch_m_c_ls th_t w__ld __s_ly k_ll _ny l_v_ng _rg_n_sm. Th_ ch_m_c_ls h_v_ b__n f__nd _n th_ s_rf_c_ _f th_ R_d Pl_n_t. Th_ sc__nt_sts, fr_m _d_nb_rgh _n_v_rs_ty _n th_ _K, s_y th_ d_sc_v_ry _f th_ ch_m_c_ls m__ns th_ ch_nc_ _f f_nd_ng l_f_ _n M_rs h_s f_ll_n. Th_ sc__nt_sts _r_ _str_b__l_g_sts – th_y st_dy th_ _tm_sph_r_ _nd _nv_r_nm_nts _n th_ _n_v_rs_ th_t m_ght s_pp_rt l_f_. Th_ r_s__rch_rs s__d M_rs h_d n_ _z_n_ l_y_r, wh_ch m__ns th_r_ _r_ h_gh l_v_ls _f _ltr_-v__l_t (_V) r_d__t__n. Th_ m_x _f _V r_d__t__n _nd th_ ch_m_c_ls st_r_l_z_d th_ M_rt__n l_ndsc_p_.

    Th_ sc__nt_sts t_st_d wh_t h_pp_ns wh_n th_ ch_m_c_ls f__nd _n M_rs m_x w_th _V r_d__t__n. Th_y f__nd _t k_ll_d _rg_n_sms v_ry q__ckly. Th_ ch_m_c_ls _l_n_ w_r_ _n__gh t_ k_ll l_v_ng _rg_n_sms. H_w_v_r, wh_n th_ ch_m_c_ls w_r_ m_x_d w_th _V r_ys, th_ m_x k_ll_d _rg_n_sms 11 t_m_s f_st_r. Th_ sc__nt_sts s__d: "__r _bs_rv_t__ns sh_w th_t th_ s_rf_c_ _f pr_s_nt-d_y M_rs _s h_ghly [h_rmf_l] t_ c_lls, c__s_d by _ t_x_c c_ckt__l _f [ch_m_c_ls] _nd _V r_d__t__n." Th_y _dd_d th_t th__r r_s__rch w_s f_rth_r _v_d_nc_ th_t th_ s_rf_c_ _f M_rs _s d__dly t_ _ny f_rm _f pl_nt l_f_. Th_y s_y th_ ch_m_c_ls _nd _V r_ys m_k_, "m_ch _f th_ s_rf_c_ _nd n__r-s_rf_c_ r_g__ns _n_nh_b_t_bl_".

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    scientists have discovered new things about the atmosphere and environment on mars they found a "toxic cocktail" of chemicals that would easily kill any living organism the chemicals have been found on the surface of the red planet the scientists from edinburgh university in the uk say the discovery of the chemicals means the chance of finding life on mars has fallen the scientists are astrobiologists – they study the atmosphere and environments in the universe that might support life the researchers said mars had no ozone layer which means there are high levels of ultra-violet (uv) radiation the mix of uv radiation and the chemicals sterilized the martian landscape

    the scientists tested what happens when the chemicals found on mars mix with uv radiation they found it killed organisms very quickly the chemicals alone were enough to kill living organisms however when the chemicals were mixed with uv rays the mix killed organisms 11 times faster the scientists said "our observations show that the surface of present-day mars is highly [harmful] to cells caused by a toxic cocktail of [chemicals] and uv radiation" they added that their research was further evidence that the surface of mars is deadly to any form of plant life they say the chemicals and uv rays make "much of the surface and near-surface regions uninhabitable"

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Scientistshavediscoverednewthingsabouttheatmosphereandenviro
    nmentonMars.Theyfounda"toxiccocktail"ofchemicalsthatwouldeasil
    ykillanylivingorganism.Thechemicalshavebeenfoundonthesurfaceo
    ftheRedPlanet.Thescientists,fromEdinburghUniversityintheUK,sayt
    hediscoveryofthechemicalsmeansthechanceoffindinglifeonMarshas
    fallen.Thescientistsareastrobiologists–theystudytheatmospherean
    denvironmentsintheuniversethatmightsupportlife.Theresearcherss
    aidMarshadnoozonelayer,whichmeanstherearehighlevelsofultra-vi
    olet(UV)radiation.ThemixofUVradiationandthechemicalssterilizedth
    eMartianlandscape.Thescientiststestedwhathappenswhenthechemi
    calsfoundonMarsmixwithUVradiation.Theyfounditkilledorganismsv
    eryquickly.Thechemicalsalonewereenoughtokilllivingorganisms.Ho
    wever,whenthechemicalsweremixedwithUVrays,themixkilledorgani
    sms11timesfaster.Thescientistssaid:"Ourobservationsshowthatthe
    surfaceofpresent-dayMarsishighly[harmful]tocells,causedbyatoxic
    cocktailof[chemicals]andUVradiation."Theyaddedthattheirresearch
    wasfurtherevidencethatthesurfaceofMarsisdeadlytoanyformofplant
    life.TheysaythechemicalsandUVraysmake,"muchofthesurfaceandn
    ear-surfaceregionsuninhabitable".

    Free writing

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

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    Academic writing

    What would change if we found life on Mars? Would it be good or bad?

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

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

    4. LIFE ON MARS: Write a magazine article about life on Mars. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against it.

    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 life on Mars. Ask him/her three questions about life on Mars. Give him/her three of your ideas. 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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