This is a lesson plan for B2+ students. It is based on a text from https://www.iflscience.com/ on the subject of wild animals. It will serve as good exam practice for students preparing to take Cambridge exams and should also be an engaging topic of conversation for teenagers and adults. Download the handouts and slides below:
- Show students the second slide of the PowerPoint, encourage them to guess which animal would win.
- Show them the second and have them speculate about how a goat would beat a bear.
- Give out handout and have students read to confirm their speculations, check in open class.
- Have students complete the open cloze, they could work in pairs or individually and then check with their partner. Good practice for Cambridge exams use of English.
- Lead students through the vocabulary exercises.
- Discussion: Which animal could you beat in a fight? Show students the fourth slide and explain the statistics to them. Put students in groups and have them discuss which animals they think they could beat and how they would do it.
- Lead a discussion on the best way to tackle certain large, dangerous animals. Have students speculate on the best thing to do in each encounter, then check on the internet to see whether or not they would have survived. Board any emergent language and exploit it for recall later.
Open Cloze Key
Apex predators make (1) IT to the top (2) BY being the most efficient hunters in their domain, but every now and (3) THEN an underdog crops up to disrupt the food chain. (4) SUCH an example played out on the mountains of Burgess Pass in Yoho National Park, where Parks Canada retrieved the body of a female grizzly bear. Such a creature would usually (5) BE the slayer rather than the slain, and most surprisingly of all the assailant turned (6) OUT to be a goat.
The battle (7) TOOK place sometime before September 4 after which Parks Canada was made aware (8) OF the presence of a carcass. Bodies such (9) AS these need to be removed as they can otherwise lure in wildlife that could put visitors to the pass (10) AT risk.
The discovery of a slain bear merits a forensic investigation to determine the (11) CAUSE of death, and so a necropsy (12) WAS conducted on the animal. During the examination, staff noticed that the fatal wounds were at the base of the bear’s neck and in (13) ITS armpits. The attack sites might sound random to the uninitiated, but to experienced park rangers, this was the work (14) OF one extremely lucky mountain goat.
“When grizzly bears attack, they tend (15) TO focus (16) ON the head, neck, and shoulders of the prey, usually (17) FROM above,” Alison Biles, Public Relations and Communications Officer for Parks Canada, told IFLScience. “In turn, the defensive response of mountain goats would (18) BE to protect themselves using (19) THEIR sharp horns.”
“Grizzly bear predation of mountain goats is relatively common and significant goat activity was observed (20) IN the immediate area. (21) IN this case, it appears that the mountain goat was (22) TRYING/ABLE to defend itself. While rare, other cases of mountain goats defensively killing bears have (23) BEEN reported in the past, (24) WHICH is not completely surprising since mountain goats are strong animals that are well-equipped to defend (25) THEMSELVES”
Find words or phrases in the text to match these definitions:
- Animals at the top of the local food chain. – APEX PREDATORS
- Someone in a game or fight who has little chance of winning. – AN UNDERDOG
- A killer. – SLAYER – assailant – an attacker
- The dead body of an animal. – CARCASS
- Attract. – LURE IN
- Where your arm meets your chest. – ARMPITS
- People without experience. – THE UNINITIATED
- A person who patrols and maintains a national park. – PARK RANGER
- To have the tools to do something. – BE WELL-EQUIPPED
Complete the collocations from the text:
- MAKE it to the top
- Every NOW and then
- Such AN example
- The assailant TURNED out to be a goat
- The battle took PLACE sometime before September 4
- Parks Canada was MADE aware of the presence of a carcass.
- Put visitors at RISK
- An investigation to determine the cause of DEATH
Complete the sentences with one of the collocations:
- The police still aren’t sure of the CAUSE OF DEATH
- I don’t go out often but EVERY NOW AND THEN I like to meet up with friends and let my hair down.
- His carelessness PUT everyone on board the ship AT RISK, it can’t happen again.
- I have been MADE AWARE OF some complaints that customers have made and I would like to address them.
- The match will TAKE PLACE tonight at the usual address.
- To MAKE IT TO THE TOP in this industry you have to work very hard and get lucky.
- We thought it was a shark under the boat but TURNED OUT TO BE a piece of rubbish.