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Lesson 14
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Advanced English
Lesson 14 - Animals
Reading

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English Reading Exercise

 

Review of Key Words

amazing
talented
surf
dye
fur
tiny
reward
award
harmonious
tap   

tip
budding
enclosure
self-portrait
encourage
behavior   
trick
command
paw
hind

 

Amazing Animals

Animals can do the most amazing things. Check out these stories of five very talented animals.

Surfing Mice

Shane Willmott of Australia taught his three pet mice to surf. First, he taught them to swim in the bathtub. Then, he made tiny surfboards and taught them to surf in his swimming pool. Now, they surf at the beach. He dyes their fur to make them easy to find in the water if they fall off their boards. It's easy to lose a tiny mouse in a big ocean.

Rock Cats

Samantha Martin of Chicago trained her cats to play musical instruments. One plays the piano, another plays the guitar, and another plays the drums. She trained them by rewarding them with a little bite of chicken every time they made a sound using the instrument. They won't be winning any music awards, however. They can make sounds on the instruments but it's not very harmonious. At the end of their "concert," one of the cats even taps the tip jar to encourage the audience to drop some money in.

Smart Parrot

One day Yoshio Nakamura of Japan took his parrot Yosuke out for some fresh air. Yoshio panicked when Yosuke flew away and was lost for three days. Fortunately, Yosuke was a very smart bird. After getting lost, the parrot was able to tell rescuers his name and address so that they could take him home. His owner was very excited because he thought that he would never see him again. He was very happy that he had taught the parrot to say his name and address.

Orangutan Photographer

Nonja the orangutan was given a camera as a toy and now is a budding photographer. He takes pictures of the other orangutans in his enclosure in the Vienna zoo and even takes self-portraits. Zookeepers have posted Nonja's pictures online and now she even has a Facebook page. The zookeepers have encouraged the behavior by giving her a special camera. Every time she takes a picture a raisin pops out giving her a delicious reward.

Reading Dog

Lyssa Howells trained her dog Willow to read signs. First, she taught the dog to do a few tricks when she said a verbal command. Then, she tried showing a written sign while she gave the verbal command so that the dog would learn to associate the sign with the trick. Finally, she stopped giving the verbal command and only used the sign. Willow the dog now raises her paw when her owner shows the sign that says "wave," she lies down when she reads "bang," and she sits on her hind legs when she reads "sit up." She can't actually read like you and I do but she learned to recognize the shapes on the sign and associated them with the trick.

These animal stories were adapted from the book 125 True Stories of Amazing Animals by National Geographic. It's a book designed for kids but it has fascinating stories that interest adults as well.

 

Instructions
Write sentences with restrictive clauses (using the word "that") to describe the animals in the article.

Animals from the Article
mice
cats
parrot
orangutan
dog

Example
can read signs
*

*If the subject is plural, you will use was instead of were.

1. can say his address
   
   

2. can surf on tiny surfboards
   
   

3. can take photographs
   
   

4. can play musical instruments
   
   

 

Writing

Describe a talented animal that you know or that you have read or heard about. What tricks can the animal do? Write on a paper or on our blog.

     

 

Recommend Passport to English to your friends!

 

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English Expressions

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