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‘Miracle’ Baby Elephant Cheats Death (11th March, 2010)

Today we have some lovely news from Sydney, Australia. It’s about a baby elephant that was born alive, even when zookeepers thought it was dead. The calf became trapped inside its mother during its nine-day birth. It showed no signs of life. Staff at the zoo were shocked when it was born alive. A few hours later it was walking around. The zoo’s director, Cameron Kerr, called it a miracle. Baby elephants usually never survive such difficulties at birth. Mr. Kerr was extremely happy, saying: “The birth will completely re-write the elephant birth text books."

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It’s nice to hear a happy story for a change. Most of the news we hear is about war, or death, or disasters. The story of this baby elephant will make people smile. It is amazing the calf survived for nine days. It’s also amazing the mother survived. It must be pretty difficult to spend nine days trying to give birth – even for an elephant. I’m sure the whole world will follow the news of this baby elephant as it grows up. It will become a superstar among elephants. It’s also good news for the zoo. The baby will attract lots more visitors.

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PHRASE MATCH

Match the following phrases from the article.

Paragraph 1

1.

Today we have some lovely

a.

signs of life

2

zookeepers thought

b.

birth text books

3.

It showed no

c.

birth

4.

A few hours later it was

d.

news from Sydney

5.

difficulties at

e.

it was dead

6.

re-write the elephant

f.

walking around

 

Paragraph 2

1.

hear a happy story for

a.

trying to give birth

2

Most of the news we hear

b.

difficult

3.

It must be pretty

c.

more visitors

4.

spend nine days

d.

a change

5.

the whole world will follow

e.

is about war

6.

attract lots

f.

the news


LISTENING GAP FILL

Today we __________________ news from Sydney, Australia. It’s about a baby elephant that was born alive, even when zookeepers __________________. The calf became trapped inside its mother during its nine-day birth. It __________________ life. Staff at the zoo were shocked when it was born alive. A few hours __________________ around. The zoo’s director, Cameron Kerr, called it a miracle. Baby elephants usually __________________ difficulties at birth. Mr. Kerr was extremely happy, saying: “The birth will __________________ elephant birth text books."

It’s nice to hear a happy story __________________. Most of the __________________ about war, or death, or disasters. The story of this baby elephant will make people smile. It is amazing the calf __________________ days. It’s also amazing the mother survived. It ____________________ to spend nine days trying to give birth – even for an elephant. I’m sure the whole world will __________________ this baby elephant as it grows up. It will become a superstar among elephants. It’s also good news for the zoo. The baby ___________________ visitors.


MULTIPLE CHOICE

Today we have some (1) ____ news from Sydney, Australia. It’s about a baby elephant that was born alive, even when zookeepers thought it was dead. The calf became trapped inside its mother (2) ____ its nine-day birth. It showed no signs of life. Staff at the zoo were shocked when it was born (3) ____. A few hours later it was walking around. The zoo’s director, Cameron Kerr, called it a miracle. Baby elephants usually never survive (4) ____ difficulties at birth. Mr. Kerr was extremely happy, saying: “The birth will (5) ____ re-write the elephant birth text books."

It’s nice to hear a happy story for a (6) ____. Most of the news we hear is about war, or (7) ____, or disasters. The story of this baby elephant will make people smile. It is amazing the calf survived for nine days. It’s also amazing the mother survived. It must be (8) ____ difficult to spend nine days trying to give birth – even for an elephant. I’m sure the whole world will follow the news of this baby elephant as it (9) ____ up. It will become a superstar among elephants. It’s also good news for the zoo. The baby will (10) ____ lots more visitors.

Put the correct words from this table into the article.

1.

(a)

love

(b)

loving

(c)

lovely

2.

(a)

during

(b)

while

(c)

between

3.

(a)

life

(b)

lively

(c)

alive

4.

(a)

so

(b)

such

(c)

much

5.

(a)

completely

(b)

complete

(c)

completion

6.

(a)

chance

(b)

charge

(c)

change

7.

(a)

dead

(b)

death

(c)

die

8.

(a)

cute

(b)

beautiful

(c)

pretty

9.

(a)

growth

(b)

grows

(c)

growing

10.

(a)

attract

(b)

attraction

(c)

attractive


SPELLING

Spell the jumbled words (from the text) correctly.

Paragraph 1

1.

some evllyo news

2.

born laiev

3.

The calf became rppeatd

4.

showed no gniss of life

5.

usually never vuesvir

6.

txeyelmre happy

 

Paragraph 2

7.

for a cegnha

8.

make people lmsie

9.

rttpey difficult

10.

oflwol the news

11.

a superstar nogma elephants

12.

ttacatr lots more visitors


PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

walking around. The zoo’s director, Cameron Kerr, called it a miracle. Baby elephants usually never survive such

(    )

birth – even for an elephant. I’m sure the whole world will follow the news of this baby elephant as it grows

(    )

day birth. It showed no signs of life. Staff at the zoo were shocked when it was born alive. A few hours later it was

(    )

disasters. The story of this baby elephant will make people smile. It is amazing the calf survived for nine

(    )

It’s nice to hear a happy story for a change. Most of the news we hear is about war, or death, or

(    )

up. It will become a superstar among elephants. It’s also good news for the zoo. The baby will attract lots more visitors.

(    )

when zookeepers thought it was dead. The calf became trapped inside its mother during its nine-

(    )

days. It’s also amazing the mother survived. It must be pretty difficult to spend nine days trying to give

1  )

Today we have some lovely news from Sydney, Australia. It’s about a baby elephant that was born alive, even

(    )

difficulties at birth. Mr. Kerr was extremely happy, saying: “The birth will completely re-write the elephant birth text books."


THE READING / TAPESCRIPT

With a partner, put the words back into the correct order.

1.

Sydney     some     lovely     Today     news     we     from     have.    

2.

was     a     that     alive     about     elephant     born     It’s     baby.    

3.

when    it    was    born    Staff    at    the    zoo    were    shocked.

4.

few     walking     hours     around     later     it     A     was.    

5.

the     elephant     Re-write     birth     text     write     books.    

6.

hear     a     happy     story     for     a     change     It’s     nice     to.    

7.

Most     news     is     the     hear     war     of     we     about.    

8.

Spend     birth     give     to     trying     days     nine.    

9.

news     the     follow     will     world     whole     The.    

10.

elephants     among     superstar     a     become     will     It.    


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.

________________________________________________________


WRITING

Write about miracles for 10 minutes. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________


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. MIRACLE ELEPHANT: Search the Internet and find more information about the miracle baby elephant. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about miracles. Include imaginary an interview with someone who experienced a miracle. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

4. 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.

5. LETTER: Write a letter to the baby elephant. Ask it three questions about its life so far. Give it three of your opinions on what it should do in its life. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Your partner will answer the questions you asked.

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