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Paul Sparks, Sino-Canadian International College, Guangxi University, Online English Lesson Plans, Lesson Material and Ideas for Semester 2 Reading Lessons...



Reading: Review of Semester 1 Final Exam

Reading - Grade II
Final Exam - Semester 1, 2003
Sino-Canadian International College

(Written by: Felicity Speight, Sino-Canadian International College)

Section One (30%):
Read the article on the Cheetah's Struggle to Survive and answer the questions that follow.

Section Two (25%): Short Story. Read the story "Are You Going to Help Me?" and answer the questions that follow.

Section Three (20%): Skim Reading - "School Excursions". Skim read the notice and answer the questions that follow.

Section Four (25%): Read EITHER the short story extract OR the news article and discuss why or why not it is an effective piece of writing.

Section One (30%)

Read through the following reading and answer the questions that follow. You should attempt all questions.

The Cheetah's Struggle to Survive
The cheetah, a black-spotted golden cat, the size of a large dog, is endangered today largely because human beings have taken over much of the cat's habitat and killed off the small antelope the cheetah hunts for food. People have also killed many cheetahs directly. By the early 1970's, the fur trade had become a major threat to large cats such as tigers and cheetahs. At the time, the United States alone was importing 25,000 large-cat skins each year for fur coats, rugs, and other fashion items. Passage of several international treaties in 1973 and 1975, gave the cats protected status and reduced the trade in cheetah fur. Nevertheless, cheetahs are still routinely shot by African farmers and ranchers who view the cats as a threat to livestock. Africa's animal parks and game reserves protect many animals from human beings.

However, cheetahs are poorly suited to life in these reserves. Within the borders of a typical game reserve, herd animals such as zebras, wildebeest, and antelope are protected from human hunters and so thrive in numbers not normally seen on the open savanna (grassland with scattered trees). As a result, populations of the large or powerful predators that feed on herd animals - predators such as lions, hyenas and leopards - also are high. But middle-sized predators such as cheetahs and wild dogs suffer when they are forced to compete in this crowded and confined landscape.

Cheetahs are handicapped, for example, by the very fact that they can perform spectacular high-speed chases. To catch its breath after making a kill, a cheetah may need to lie panting for up to 30 minutes before it can even begin to eat. During this resting period, hyenas, lions, leopards, and even flocks of vultures may steal the winded cat's kill. According to Carol, 1 in 10 cheetah kills is lost this way. Moreover, unlike most of their competitors, cheetahs will not eat carrion (rotting meat). If they lose a kill, they must hunt again to get fresh meat.

Because the cheetah is built for speed and not for fighting, the animal has little chance of fending off lions or hyenas even when it is rested. Its bones are light and its body is thin and elongated, making the cat a poor match for a heavier adversary. And cheetahs are the only cats whose claws are always bared, like those of a dog, rather than being pulled back into protective sheaths. This feature gives cheetahs extra traction for running, but it also dulls the claws and makes them relatively useless for fighting. In addition, the cat's unusually broad nasal passages, which help the cheetah take in a large supply of oxygen while running, leave less room in the skull for the roots of long canines (tearing teeth), which are characteristic of lions and other wild cats. As a result, the cheetah's fangs are too short to take on fierce competitors.

As cheetah populations have dwindled in the wild, biologists have felt mounting pressure to try to breed cheetahs in captivity. Their task has seemed monumental. Indeed, Akbar the Great unwittingly set a record that was to law 400 years when one of his cheetahs gave birth to a litter of three cubs in the 1500's. Even with thousands of the cats to work with, Akbar's cheetah keepers never recorded producing a second litter. And no other captive births are on record until 1956, when a female in the Philadelphia Zoo also produced a litter of three, all of which died in infancy. A handful of other cheetah births were reported during the 1960's at zoos in Europe and the United States, but not until the early 1970's did a captive-born cub survive to maturity and give birth to a second generation of captive-born cubs. Zoos still had to purchase wild-caught animals to restock their exhibits.

During the 1970's, zoos began to realize the urgency of establishing a self-sustaining population of captive cheetahs, both to avoid taking any more animals from the wild and to build up a pool of cheetahs that might one day be used to restock Africa's remaining savannas. The zoos redoubled their efforts, and the number of captive births rose steadily. Most of these births, however, were at only a few institutions, including the San Diego Wild Animal Park, the Columbus Zoo in Ohio, and Wildlife Safari in Winston, Ore. By the end of the decade, researchers at other zoos began to wonder whether their efforts were being foiled by biological problems in the cheetahs themselves.

Section One Questions

1. What is the main idea of this reading? (10 marks)






2. There are several factors affecting the decline of the cheetah. Identify TWO causes and TWO effects as mentioned in the reading. (4 marks)

A. Cause                            A. Effect

________________________ ________________________

________________________ ________________________

B. Cause                            B. Effect

________________________ ________________________

________________________ ________________________

3. Underline the word(s) closest in meaning as used in the context of this article. (1 mark each)

A. Handicapped

B. Endangered
At risk

C. Traction

D. Populations

E. Urgency

F. Predators

4. The following is a summary of the reading. Choose words from the box below and refer to the reading to fill the gaps. (1 mark each)

The cheetah is struggling to survive. Because cheetah numbers have

already been seriously ___________________, their only hope for

surviving remains on _____________________ and human efforts to

____________________ them in captivity. Even in protected areas,

however, the cheetah has a hard time surviving simply because of how

his ______________________ is designed. His _________________,

for example, are always bared to help increase speed. But this also

means that the cheetah cannot _____________________ himself very

well. Cheetahs also have less room for _______________________

because of their large __________________cavity, which helps them

take in large amounts of _________________ while running. Part of

the struggle of the cheetah to_______________, therefore, is because

of his biology.

Zoos          breed             air
survive        nose             decreased
Claws         increased      teeth
Body          reserves        defend
Nasal          food             breathing

Section Two (25%)
Read through the following story and answer the questions that follow. You should attempt ALL questions.

Are You Going to Help Me?
By Mark V. Hansen

In 1989 an 8.2 earthquake almost flattened Armenia, killing over 30,000 people in less than four minutes.
In the midst of utter devastation and chaos, a father left his wife securely at home and rushed to the school where his son was supposed to be, only to discover that the building was as flat as a pancake.
After the traumatic initial shock, he remembered the promise he had made to his son: "No matter what, I'll always be there for you!" And tears began to fill his eyes. As he looked at the pile of debris that once was the school, it looked hopeless, but he kept remembering his commitment to his son.
He began to concentrate on where he walked his son to class at school each morning. Remember his son's classroom would be in the back right corner of the building, he rushed there and started digging through the rubble.
As he was digging, other forlorn parents arrived, clutching their hearts, saying: "My son!" "My daughter!" Other well meaning parents tried to pull him off of what was left of the school saying:
"It's too late!"
"They're dead!"
"You can't help!"
"Go home!"
"Come on, face reality, there's nothing you can do!"
"You're just going to make things worse!"
To each parent he responded with one line: "Are you going to help me now?" And then he proceeded to dig for his son, stone by stone.
The fire chief showed up and tried to pull him off of the school's debris saying "Fires are breaking out, explosions are happening everywhere. You're in danger. We'll take care of it. Go home." To which this loving, caring, Armenian father asked, "Are you going to help me now?"
The police came and said, "You're angry, distraught and it's over. You're endangering others. Go home. We'll handle it!" To which he replied, "Are you going to help me now?" No one helped.
Courageously he proceeded alone because he needed to know for himself: "Is my boy alive or is he dead?"
He dug for eight hoursˇ­ 12 hoursˇ­ 24 hoursˇ­ 36 hoursˇ­ then, in the 38th hour, he pulled back a boulder and heard his son's voice. He screamed his son's name, "ARMAND!" He heard back, "Dad!?! It's me, Dad! I told the other kids not to worry. I told 'em that if you were alive, you'd save me and when you saved me, they'd be saved. You promised, 'No matter what, I'll always be there for you!' You did it, Dad!"
"What's going on in there? How is it?" the father asked.
"There are 14 of us left out of 33, Dad. We're scared, hungry, thirsty and thankful you're here. When the building collapsed, it made a wedge, like a triangle, and it saved us."
"Come on out, boy!"
"No, Dad! Let the other kids out first, 'cause I know you'll get me! No matter what, I know you'll be there for me!"

Section Two Questions

1. Multiple choice - Underline the correct answer (2 marks each)

A. How many children survived the earthquake?
i. 33
ii. 14
iii. 8.2
iv. 30,000

B. The father promised his son that he wouldˇ­
i. always be there for him
ii. save him in an earthquake
iii. endanger others
iv. leave his wife at home

C. What did the other parents do?
i. helped the father
ii. called the fire brigade
iii. encouraged the father
iv. tried to make him leave the school

D. Where is the story set?
i. Armand
ii. Armenia
iii. Armenian
iv. China

E. The father was spoken to byˇ­
i. the police
ii. the fire chief
iii. Armand
iv. all of the above

2. Short Answer Questions (3 marks each)

i. No one helped the father. Why?



ii. Why did the boy survive?



iii. What did the father do after he left his wife?



iv. Why didn't the boy leave the building first?



v. What dangers was the father warned about?



Section Three (20%)
SKIM READ the following notice which gives information about school excursions. Each excursion is labeled A-J. Answer all the questions that follow.

School Excursions

A. Aviation Hall of Fame
This museum is dedicated to the preservation of New Jersey's aviation and space heritage.

B. Brightwood Park
Take your scouts up to Westfield's natural preserve for a short hike or to practice skipping stone in the large pond. The boys can look for deer and other woodland animals or go on a nature treasure hunt.

C. Big Sky Bread Company
Big Sky offers tours of the bakery along with a demonstration on bread making.

D. Brunswick Edison Bowl
This bowling alley will take a reservation from Cub Scout dens. If they are not too busy, they will give the boys a tour of the machine area (it's loud in there) as part of the visit. The boys may even come home with a souvenir bowling pin!

E. Canoeing and Kayaking
The Somerset County Park Commission offers a variety of canoeing and kayaking programs from introductory classes to guided paddling trips on New Jersey rivers and streams. The Introductory Canoe program teaches adults and children, ages 6 and over, to learn to canoe. An adult must accompany children, and paddlers must be at least 8 years old. Each canoe can accommodate two paddlers and a child passenger.

F. Cheesequake State Park
The Cheesequake State Park features 1,284 acres of open fields, saltwater and freshwater marshes, Pine Barrens, a hardwood forest, a White Cedar swamp, a multitude of wildlife and close to 200 species of birds. Activities for scouts include hiking, boating, canoeing, swimming and a variety of winter sports. An Interpretive Center provides live wildlife exhibits and environmental education programs, including nature walks.

G. Edison National Historic Site
This is a great place for scouts to realize the genius of one of America's great inventors (1,093 patents). Edison worked at this laboratory for the last 44 years of his life, developing improvements in storage batteries, the phonograph and motion pictures. Visitors can tour the Main Lab, the Chemistry Lab and the Powerhouse, which, today, houses a Museum and a Visitors Center. See also Edison National Historic Site.

H. Fosterfields Living Historical Farm
Learn about farming as it was done 100 years ago at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm. There are weekend demonstrations on planting, cultivating and harvesting crops as well as special programs held throughout the year. Some of these include wheelwright and carpentry demonstrations, sheep shearing and carriage driving.

I. The Model Railroad Club
The model Railroad Club is an activity of the Union County Park System. The Club is open to visitors every Saturday afternoon for viewing the HO and N-scale model train layouts. Every fall, the Club sponsors a Light and Sound show that will delight the model train enthusiasts in your den.

J. Newark Airport
The Airport offers free tours covering the history of the airport, terminal operations, and emergency vehicles and equipment for groups of 15 to 30 persons. The tours are geared for students in grades 3 and above. See also Newark International Airport.

Section Three Questions

1. Answer questions 1-5 below by writing the appropriate letter A-J next to each question. (2 marks each)

i. Which excursion is good for playing a sport where each
player throws a large ball at ten pins?

ii. On which excursion could you learn more about materials to use when building a setting for your train set?

iii. On which excursion can you spend time riding down a river?

iv. Where could you learn more about the history of inventions?

v. On which excursion can you learn more about baking?

vi. Which excursion would you attend if you were interested in airplanes?

vii. On which excursion can you learn about driving a horse and carriage?

viii. On which excursion can you play a game looking for treasure?

ix. On which excursion can you look for deer?

x. On which excursion can you shear sheep?

Section Four (25%)
Choose ONE of the following readings. Write a short paragraph discussing why or why not it is an effective piece of writing. You may wish to discuss style, structure, vocabulary, tone, grammar, punctuation, point of view, language techniques etc. (25 marks)


Reading A Taken from "The Bomb" by M. Plat
The sky had never spoken to me like that before. It was as if God had given it a voice box. No, a yelling box. The clouds were screaming at me "go home!" But I wasn't sure where home was anymore.

Yesterday it had all seemed so simple. My life was easy, fulfilling and complete. Living the life of a quiet bachelor on a beautiful island, going to work, coming home, eating dinner, going to bed, no complaints. But that was before the sky spoke to me. Its voice a myriad of stunning colours - blues, blacks, and greys with flashes of silver like the sea after a summer storm. Only this was different. Death was falling from the sky and shards of glass were scratching at my lungs.


Reading B Taken from Reuters "NY Xmas Carolers Break World Record"
Five hundred nineteen Christmas carolers braved the New York cold and fa-la-la-la-la'd themselves into the Guinness World Records Book with the largest carol service, breaking the previous record of 517.

"My fingers froze but, hey, we broke the record," said city resident Norman Ellis who joined the sing-along on Saturday on the steps of Manhattan's General Post Office across the street from Madison Square Garden.

Guinness officials had 12 marshals on the scene to make sure all carolers were actually singing and not just moving their lips to traditional Christmas songs such as Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls.

Guinness required that all participants knew the words to the carols and that the singing went on for at least 15 uninterrupted minutes. Saturday's effort lasted 16 minutes and 17 seconds.

"It was great," said Alex Camacho of Long Island, who sang along with his wife and children. "It just gets you into the Christmas spirit."

1. The reading I will discuss is reading A/B (cross out one)

















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