Improve your ability to speak English
B : Antarctica is another name for the South Pole. It is also a continent. A long time ago, the South Pole was close to the equator. That was 500 million years ago. It was once joined to Australia. Then, all the land on Earth started to move. Antarctica moved away from Australia and went south.
Dinosaur bones were once found at the South Pole. Do you know why? Dinosaurs lived there millions of years ago. This was before it moved away from the equator.
About 98% of this continent is frozen. The rest is made up of rock. The South Pole has 87% of the world’s ice. But did you know that it gets very little snow? Only about two inches of snow falls each year.
How many people live on your continent? No one lives in the South Pole. Only animals, like penguins, live there. Scientists and tourists visit there, but they don’t stay long. Do you want to visit Antarctica? It is the coldest, driest place on Earth!
A Hiking Trip
M: Hi, Anne! Did you sign up for the trip on Saturday?
W: What trip is that? I didn’t know there was a trip on Saturday.
M: The hiking club is going to Bear Mountain. The bus drops us off at the bottom, and we’re going to hike until we get to a cabin halfway up the mountain.
W: That sounds really great! Where can I sign up?
M: Go and see Jennifer. She’ll help you sign up.
W: What activity will we do when we get to the cabin on the mountain?
M: Well, it takes seven hours to hike to the cabin, so it will be late by the time we arrive. After we unpack, we’ll start a campfire. Then we can sing, eat, and tell stories around the fire. The following day we’ll leave at dawn and hike to the top of the mountain. After we take pictures, we’ll hike back down. If we have time, we might go swimming in the lake on the mountain!
W: Those sound like really fun activities, and I can’t wait to go!
Save the Turtles
M: Have you heard about the plan to save turtles in Mexico?
W: No. What is the story?
M: Turtles are in danger of becoming extinct around the world. Every year, thousands of turtles lay eggs on the beach. After the turtles lay their eggs in the sand, people come along and take them.
W: I suppose the people like eating turtle eggs.
M: Exactly. Turtles are beginning to stay away from certain places, now. There are fewer and fewer of them left. There is a new project in Mexico to save these eggs. Then turtles will not become extinct. I think it’s a very good project.
W: Is there anything we can do to help?
M: I’m going to call the Environmental Protection hotline. They might have some information about the project to help save turtles in Mexico.
W: They might even have a brochure. Let’s find the website on computer. Oh, here it is. The address is www.enviro.com. There’s plenty of information here.
M: Great! Let’s see what we can do to help save turtles in Mexico.
Hiking in Iran
G : Most people think that the Middle East is only a desert. This is far from true. Last year, I went hiking in Iran. Iran has many mountains. You can find trees that lose their leaves in winter.
If you’re lucky, you may see a yellow deer or a brown bear, two species that live there. The air is fresh, and you can swim in clear, clean lakes. I definitely recommend it.
There are so many birds to see. It is fun to go into the forest with binoculars to look at birds. Seeing the birds through binoculars makes them seem much nearer than they actually are. You can write down all of the species that you see. You should learn about their calls first. That means the sounds that each bird makes. Sometimes it’s hard to see the birds. However, you can identify them if you happen to hear them.
I want to go back to Iran again someday. It’s so beautiful that I want to see and explore much more of it!
G : Jane Goodall went to Africa when she was 26 years old. She went there to research chimpanzees. At that time, no other women scientists worked there alone.
At first, Jane studied the chimps from far away. The chimps were afraid of her. They ran away if she came close to them. After some time, the chimps saw that she was not going to hurt them. They let her walk near them.
Soon, she was living among them. She wanted to learn more and more about them. Jane did a lot of research on chimps. She discovered many new things about them. She learned that each chimp has its own personality. She saw that they have feelings.
Jane discovered that chimps have very close families. Mothers and fathers take good care of baby chimps. An adult female chimp will sometimes adopt an orphan.
In 1977, Jane started an institute to help protect animals. She wanted to help animals all around the world. Today, this institute runs programs in over 70 countries.