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Universe

o Let’s read?

Read the following text and then answer the questions about it.

So Many Suns, So Many Worlds

We live in an expanding Universe, vast and ancient beyond ordinary human understanding. The
galaxies it contains are rushing away from one another, the remnants of an immense explosion, the Big
Bang. Some scientists think the Universe may be one of a vast number – perhaps an infinite number – of
other closed-off universes.

There may be different laws of nature and different forms of matter in those other universes. In
many of them life may be impossible, as there are no suns and planets, or even no chemical elements
more complicated than hydrogen and helium. Others may have an intricacy, diversity, and richness that
dwarfs our own.

Our Universe is composed of some two trillion galaxies, one of which is the Milky Way. “Our
Galaxy,” we like to call it, although we certainly do not have possession of it, is composed of gas and dust
and about 400 billion suns. One of them is the Sun, our ordinary local star. Accompanying the Sun in its 250
million year journey around the center of the Milky Way is a retinue of small worlds. Some are planets,
some are moons, some asteroids, some comets. We humans are one of the 50 billion species that have
lived on a small planet, third from the Sun, that we call the Earth.

(From Billions and Billions, Carl Sagan, New York, Ballentine Books, 1998)

Circle the words you don’t know on the text and ask what their meanings are to the
teacher.

o Let’s speak?

The teacher will divide the group into 2 groups, A and B, and one is going to believe
that other planets with life similar to our own exist(A) and the other (B) will not
believe that other worlds exist. You will need to try to change the other group’s
opinion about it. The teacher will ask both groups some of the following questions and
you should answer them bearing in mind that you are for or against the lives in other
planets and also that you should convince the others to change their opinion.

1) What comes to mind when you hear the word “planets”?


2) Are you interested in the planets?
3) What do you think of the planets’ names?
4) What do you think are the most mysterious planets?
5) Would you like to visit another planet?
6) Do you think we should look for life on other planets?
7) How are all the planets different?
8) Would you like to see our planet from space?
9) What do you think of the idea of moving to another planet after we’re finished with Earth?
10) Do you know anyone from another planet?
11) Do you think there’ll ever be a war between planets – Star Wars?
Do you think our planet will survive?
12) Do you think Earth is a good name for our planet?

o Let’s comprehend?

01) Answer the following questions about what the text says about Universe.

1) What is the main idea of the text expressed by the title?


_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________

2) Thinking about how big the universe is, what is the importance of the human beings and the Earth?
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________

3) What feeling does this subject make you feel: pride, indifference, admiration or humility? Any
other?
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________

02) Circle the correct noun or adjective in bold letters.

1) The Universe is infinity / infinite. It has no limits in space or time.


2) Our expansion / expanding Universe began with an immense explosion that we call the Big Bang.
3) The cultural diversity / diverse of Brazil is an important factor in building a better society.
4) PeroVaz de Caminha reported on the richness / rich of the new land.
5) The problem was complicated and full of details. The intricacy / intricate of that problem made it
difficult for us to understand it.
6) Do you know the chemistry / chemical composition of water?

03) Complete the sentences using the most appropriate word.

1) The story he told was really fantastic. It was _______________ our imagination.
a) about b) beyond c) around

2) That problem is very intricate. It is beyond my _______________.


a) possession b) understanding c) number

3) Brazil is a very large country. It _______________ small countries like Portugal and Uruguay.
a) contains b) rushes away from c) dwarfs

4) They usually gave the _______________ of their meals to the poor.


a) remnants b) laws c) dust

5) Nero was one of the emperors of _______________ Rome.


a) third b) closed-off c) ancient

6) The kids were all excited as Madonna and her _______________ were visiting their school.
a) journey b) retinue c) matter

04) The following sentences could be used as a title of each text’s paragraph. Find the
right paragraph to each sentence below. There is one extra sentence you won’t find
any good paragraph for it.

1) How Small and Insignificant We Are! ______________________________


2) The Beginning and the End of the Universe. ______________________________
3) The Possibility of Different Worlds. ______________________________
4) It’s a Big Universe and it’s Still Getting Bigger. ______________________________

05) Match the numbers on the left to the information about the text on the right.
1) About2 trillion a) The number of galaxies in our
2) Some 400 billion Universe
3) Thirdfromthe Sun b) The number of species that have lived
4) 250 millionyearjourney on Earth
5) 50 billion c) The number of stars in the Milky Way
d) The Sun’s journey around the center
of the galaxy
e) The position of the Earth in relation to the other planets of the Solar System

o Let’s practice?

01) Complete the sentences using “beside”, “besides” or “beyond”.

1) The Universe is vast and ancient _______________ ordinary human understanding.


2) Mom does not let us go _______________ the river. She says it’s dangerous.
3) _______________ Portuguese and English, what languages does Pelé speak?
4) I’m sorry but I can’t help you. What you ask is _______________ my powers.
5) My daughter and I had a nice talk while she walked _______________ me along the shore.
6) I don’t like that color; _______________ we don’t need another car.

02) Complete the sentences using “although” or “as”.

1) We call the Milky Way “Our Galaxy”, _______________ we certainly do not have possession of it.
2) Life may be impossible in those other worlds, _______________ there are no suns and planets
there.
3) _______________ it was cold and raining, the boys wanted to go to the beach.
4) _______________ it was cold and raining, the boys’ mother didn’t let them go to the beach.
5) Carmen Miranda was Born in Portugal, _______________ many people think she was Brazilian.
6) _______________ he got up late this morning, he missed the bus.

03) Complete the sentences using “another”, “other” or “others”.

1) They wanted to go to the beach but we had _______________ plans.


2) Don’t worry about that. Tomorrow is _______________ day.
3) I can see you and John in the picture, but where are the _______________? Where are the
_______________ boys?
4) Carl Sagan wrote Cosmos, Contact and many _______________ books.

04) Complete the following sentences using “may” (possibility), “might” (remote
possibility) or “will” (certain). After this, ask your friends their opinion about the
subject. Follow an example below.
Q: RubinhoBarrichellomay be the next world champion. What do you think? (will – may - might)

A: I think he will. – strong possibility

I think he may. – medium possibility

I think he might.- weak possibility


1) Russia _______________ win the next World Cup.
2) The World _______________ end in the next millennium.
3) Science _______________ find a cure for AIDS very soon.
4) We _______________ face a global economic crisis in the next few years.
5) Computers and robots _______________ do all our work in the future.
6) NASA astronauts _______________ live in a space station pretty soon.
7) The world _______________ live in peace in a few years.
8) We _______________ have a sunny day tomorrow.
9) Scientists and politicians _______________ soon find an agreeable solution to global warming.