LISTEN & LEARN in Easy English
The Rubber Ducks Lost in the Ocean

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • crate: a large wooden box used to transport items
  • financial: relating to money
  • scavenger: a person who collects items that were thrown away
  • oceanographer: a scientist who studies the oceans
  • current: the flow of water in one direction
  • awareness: knowledge of an issue or event
  • collectible: an item considered valuable to collectors

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

In 1992, a cargo ship on its way from Hong Kong to the United States lost a crate in the Pacific Ocean. That crate over 28,000 rubber ducks, most of which are still in the ocean today. At first, this was simply seen as a small financial loss. However, a few of these ducks made their way to the of Alaska, where they were found by scavengers. After this discovery, a team of oceanographers decided to track the ducks as they moved around the world. The oceanographers offered $100 rewards to anyone who found one of these ducks, so that they could make a map of the ducks’ . Rubber ducks began to appear in Japan and Australia. Some even travelled across the Arctic Ocean, ending up on the coasts of North America and Europe. The oceanographers used the they’d gathered from studying the ducks to confirm their predictions about the paths of major ocean currents. The story of the ducks was also used to raise awareness about the dangers of dumping in the ocean. Today, these rubber ducks are still being found on shores. They have even become highly valued collectibles – often being sold for up to $1000.

Comprehension questions

1. The first rubber ducks were found in

Correct! Wrong!

The first rubber ducks were found in Alaska.

2. The oceanographers studied the ducks in order to

Correct! Wrong!

The oceanographers studied the ducks in order to map out ocean currents.

3. Today, these rubber ducks are valued at

Correct! Wrong!

Today, these rubber ducks are valued at $1000.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. The now-famous rubber ducks were originally found by scavengers looking for interesting items along the shore. Have you ever found anything interesting on a beach?

Transcript

In 1992, a cargo ship on its way from Hong Kong to the United States lost a crate in the Pacific Ocean. That crate contained over 28,000 rubber ducks, most of which are still in the ocean today. At first, this was simply seen as a small financial loss. However, a few of these ducks made their way to the coast of Alaska, where they were found by scavengers. After this discovery, a team of oceanographers decided to track the ducks as they moved around the world. The oceanographers offered $100 rewards to anyone who found one of these ducks, so that they could make a map of the ducks’ journey. Rubber ducks began to appear in Japan and Australia. Some even travelled across the Arctic Ocean, ending up on the coasts of North America and Europe. The oceanographers used the information they’d gathered from studying the ducks to confirm their predictions about the paths of major ocean currents. The story of the ducks was also used to raise awareness about the dangers of dumping plastic in the ocean. Today, these rubber ducks are still being found on shores. They have even become highly valued collectibles – often being sold for up to $1000.

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub

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