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Listen&Learn: Rubber Ducks Lost in the Ocean

10th June 2020 by Jaksyn Peacock

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.

The Smartest Animals in the Sea

19th February 2020 by Jaksyn Peacock
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • creature: a living animal, insect, or person
  • species: a type of animal or group of similar animals
  • self-awareness: knowing and understanding one’s own identity
  • associated: linked, connected
  • communicate: to share information by talking or through body language

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

Dolphins are adorable, , and playful creatures. They’re also some of the most intelligent animals in the world. They have very large compared to most animals. The dolphin is also one member of a small group of species that can recognize their reflections in a . This shows that dolphins have self-awareness, which is a trait associated with intelligence. Dolphins also communicate with each other using whistles. They seem to use this type of communication to solve , which might mean that they have their own language. Dolphins even have individual names. Every dolphin has a “signature whistle” that it can use to introduce itself. Humans are still trying to dolphins, but if they really do have their own language, we may be able to communicate with them one day.

Comprehension questions

1. Dolphins' brains are

Correct! Wrong!

Dolphins' brains are large compared to most animals' brains.

2. We can tell that dolphins are self-aware because

Correct! Wrong!

We can tell that dolphins are self-aware because they can recognize themselves in the mirror.

3. Dolphins' "names" are called

Correct! Wrong!

Dolphins' "names" are called signature whistles.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Dolphins are sometimes kept in aquariums or zoos and taught tricks for human entertainment. This is a controversial topic because many people believe that dolphins and other animals belong in the wild. How do you feel about this?

Transcript

Dolphins are adorable, friendly, and playful creatures. They’re also some of the most intelligent animals in the world. They have very large brains compared to most animals. The dolphin is also one member of a small group of species that can recognize their reflections in a mirror. This shows that dolphins have self-awareness, which is a trait associated with intelligence. Dolphins also communicate with each other using whistles. They seem to use this type of communication to solve problems, which might mean that they have their own language. Dolphins even have individual names. Every dolphin has a “signature whistle” that it can use to introduce itself. Humans are still trying to understand dolphins, but if they really do have their own language, we may be able to communicate with them one day.


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