Think of examples of inventions or scientific discoveries since your grandparents were young.
Which do you imagine your grandparents thought were more useful and most surprising?
Think of examples that have happened in their own lifetime.
Which do you think are more useful and most surprising?
Tell students that they are going to read about inventions and discoveries that might happen in the future. Put them in groups of four.
Ask them to read the paragraphs. Tell them to underline any words they do not know and ask the other students in their group about them.
Check if there are still any unknown words. Invite other students to explain them before you give the meanings yourself.
Matter Transportation: every scientist’s Dream
This is the technology that can transport people or things from one place to another instantly. Imagine something like a telephone box: you go in, dial the number of the place you want to go, and then you disappear and reappear in another box at your destination. Some scientists think we can even do it without boxes!
B Machines take over: robots rule the world
Scientists are designing better robots and more intelligent computers every day. There is already a computer that can beat chess champions and programs that can learn for themselves. Many experts believe machines will be more intelligent than humans one day, and when they are they will not need us anymore. Goodbye, humans!
Do you want to live forever?
Scientists hope to find cures for all diseases and are making good progress. They are also trying to find out why people get old, and they are making progress on that too. Some scientists suggest that with better knowledge it will be possible to slow down ageing or stop it completely. We could live to hundreds of years old, or older!
Space colonies: cities on other planets
Space travel is expensive at the moment, but building spaceships in space at space stations would be cheaper. Scientists are developing engines that are faster and use energy from the sun. They suggest sending several families together to distant planets. Some journeys could take hundreds of years, with children born on the way!
It is a dinosaur! Clones of extinct animals
Scientists are making enormous advances in genetics. In addition to its value in health care, genetics might have other uses. Several projects at the moment are trying to bring back animals that are extinct, for example, the Tasmanian Tiger. Scientists hope to use dead animals in museums and copy their DNA to make living clones!
Contact: Is there anybody out there?
Scientists have been sending radio messages into space for years. They are hoping to get an answer one day from an alien civilization. They would probably be more advanced than us and would be able to teach us about their science and technology. With their help, we will solve every problem on the planet!
Ask them Answer key1 A, D 2 B 3C, E 4D, F
Ask them to think about the paragraphs on their own without talking to their partner. Tell them to decide which are more probable and write numbers 1 to 6 next to them. Number 1 is the most probable, number 2 is the next most probable, and so on; number 6 is the least probable.
Ask them to talk with the others in their group and compare the numbers they gave to each paragraph. They should explain their opinions and try to agree who is right.
Ask if any groups were able to agree about all the numbers for the paragraphs. Compare the order decided by different groups. Were there any big differences? Ask them to explain their opinions.
In their groups, students brainstorm the technical advances described in the text and try to think of as many advantages and disadvantages for each as they can.
Compare ideas around the class and see who has thought of most and which are the most interesting.