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Mermaids Aren't Real, Says US Government (4th July, 2012)

A department of the U.S. government has told Americans that mermaids do not exist. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) released a statement on its website to say that: "No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found." It made the post because of a TV programme that made people believe mermaids were for real. The agency received many questions from TV viewers who watched an Animal Planet show called "Mermaids: The Body Found". The show was a joke, but people believed it.

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Discovery News reported on the Animal Planet programme, which they called a "documentary-style" show. They wrote: "Though the filmmakers [accepted] that the film is science fiction, for many people it was indeed 'wildly convincing.' The show was [a]… mix of…computer animation, historical fact…and faked footage" to make it seem like mermaids do exist. The NOAA said: "The belief in mermaids may have arisen at the very dawn of our species…30,000 years ago."

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PHRASE MATCH

Match the following phrases from the article.

Paragraph 1

1.

A department

a.

but people believed it

2

released

b.

humanoids

3.

aquatic

c.

of the U.S. government

4.

made people believe

d.

viewers

5.

TV

e.

a statement

6.

he show was a joke,

f.

mermaids were for real

 

Paragraph 2

1.

a documentary-style

a.

animation

2

the film is science

b.

of our species

3.

computer

c.

fiction

4.

faked

d.

mermaids

5.

The belief in

e.

footage

6.

at the very dawn

f.

show


LISTENING GAP FILL

(1) _______________________ U.S. government has told Americans that (2) _______________________. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA)                                (3) __________________ on its website to say that: "No evidence of aquatic humanoids (4) _______________________." It made the post because of a TV programme that made people believe        (5) _______________________. The agency received many questions from TV viewers who watched an Animal Planet show called "Mermaids: The Body Found".                                         (6) _______________________, but people believed it.

Discovery News reported on the Animal Planet programme, which they called a "(7) _______________________ " show. They wrote: "Though the filmmakers [accepted]                                (8) _______________________ fiction, for many people it was indeed 'wildly convincing.' The show was                                 (9) _________________ animation, (10) ___________________ faked footage" to make it seem like                                      (11) _______________________. The NOAA said: "The belief in mermaids may have arisen (12) _______________________ of our species…30,000 years ago."


MULTIPLE CHOICE

A department (1) ____ the U.S. government has told Americans that mermaids do not (2) ____. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) (3) ____ a statement on its website to say that: "No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found." It made the post because (4) ____ a TV programme that made people believe mermaids were for (5) ____. The agency received many questions from TV viewers who watched an Animal Planet show called "Mermaids: The Body Found". The show was a (6) ____, but people believed it.

Discovery News reported on the Animal Planet programme, which they     (7) ____ a "documentary-style" show. They wrote: "(8) ____ the filmmakers [accepted] that the film is science fiction, for many people it was indeed 'wildly convincing.' The show was [a]… (9) ____ of...computer animation, historical fact…and (10) ____ footage" to make it (11) ____ like mermaids do exist. The NOAA said: "The belief in mermaids may have arisen at the very (12) ____ of our species…30,000 years ago."

Put the correct words from this table into the article.

1.

(a)

as

(b)

of

(c)

by

2.

(a)

exist

(b)

existed

(c)

existence

3.

(a)

releases

(b)

releasing

(c)

released

4.

(a)

for

(b)

of

(c)

from

5.

(a)

real

(b)

reality

(c)

really

6.

(a)

funny

(b)

laughter

(c)

joke

7.

(a)

called

(b)

names

(c)

shouted

8.

(a)

Through

(b)

Thought

(c)

Though

9.

(a)

fix

(b)

six

(c)

mix

10.

(a)

faking

(b)

faked

(c)

fakes

11.

(a)

seem

(b)

seems

(c)

seemed

12

(a)

dusk

(b)

dawn

(c)

noon


SPELLING

Spell the jumbled words (from the text) correctly.

Paragraph 1

1.

A etnepadmrt of the U.S. government

2.

mermaids do not sietx

3.

No deeenvic

4.

The agency deiervec many questions

5.

TV eerswiv

6.

people diveleeb it

 

Paragraph 2

7.

a documentary-lyest show

8.

science ctinifo

9.

computer annmitioa

10.

tsiaoihclr fact

11.

faked ftgaooe

12.

the very dawn of our ciepess


PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

of…computer animation, historical fact…and faked footage" to make it seem

(    )

style" show. They wrote: "Though the filmmakers [accepted] that the film is science

(    )

of a TV programme that made people believe mermaids were for real. The agency received

(    )

called "Mermaids: The Body Found". The show was a joke, but people believed it.

(    )

fiction, for many people it was indeed 'wildly convincing.' The show was [a]… mix

1  )

A department of the U.S. government has told Americans that mermaids do

(    )

like mermaids do exist. The NOAA said: "The belief in mermaids may

(    )

have arisen at the very dawn of our species…30,000 years ago."

(    )

not exist. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) released a statement on its

(    )

website to say that: "No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found." It made the post because

(    )

many questions from TV viewers who watched an Animal Planet show

(    )

Discovery News reported on the Animal Planet programme, which they called a "documentary-


THE READING / TAPESCRIPT

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

1.

of   has    found    evidence   humanoids   been    No     aquatic     ever.    

2.

the     of     programme     made     because     TV     It     post     a.    

3.

mermaids     believe     people     Made     real     for     were.    

4.

viewers     many    questions    The    from     agency     TV     received.    

5.

was     a     joke     ,     but     people     believed     it     The     show.    

6.

is    accepted    film    fiction   filmmakers    the   science    The     that.    

7.

convincing'     it     was     For     indeed     many     'wildly     people.    

8.

computer     was     animation     a     mix     The     of     show.    

9.

exist     do     mermaids     like     seem     it     Make.    

10.

dawn     very     the     At     species     our     of.    


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 mermaids 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. MERMAIDS: Search the Internet and find more information about mermaids. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about mermaids. Include an imaginary interview with a real one. 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 a mermaid expert. Ask him/her three questions about mermaids. Give him/her three of your opinions on them. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Your partner will answer the questions you asked.

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