Answer Key: HeroRats

Lesson Plan: The Giant  Hero Rats of Angola

II. While Reading Tasks

Word Inference

  1. dubbed |dəb| verb -(dubs, dubbing, dubbed) [ with obj. and complement ] give an unofficial name or nickname to (someone or something): He dubbed the baby foal  “Dawn” because she had everyone up at dawn.
  2. minefield |ˈmīnˌfēld| noun-an area planted with explosive mines.
  3. inefficient |ˌiniˈfiSHənt| adjective-not achieving maximum productivity; wasting or failing to make the best use of time or resources: an old, inefficient factory | the government was both inefficient and corrupt.
  4. detectors  detector |diˈtektər|  noun- [ often with modifier ] a device or instrument designed to detect the presence of a particular object or substance and to emit a signal in response: methane detectors.
  5. painstakingly  |ˈpānzˌtākiNG, ˈpānˌstākiNG| adjective-done with or employing great care and thoroughness: painstaking attention to detail | he is a gentle, painstaking man.
  6. cartridge  |ˈkärtrij|  noun-a casing containing a charge and a bullet or shot for small arms or an explosive charge for blasting.
  7. reliable  |riˈlīəbəl| adjectiveconsistently good in quality or performance; able to be trusted: a reliable source of information.
  8. wanes  |wān|  verb [ no obj. ]-(esp. of a condition or feeling) decrease in vigor, power, or extent; become weaker: confidence in the dollar waned.
  9. codger |ˈkäjər|  noun- an elderly man, esp. one who is old-fashioned or eccentric: old codgers always harp on about yesteryear.
  10. accurate |ˈakyərit| adjective-(of information, measurements, statistics, etc.) correct in all details; exact: accurate information about the illness is essential | an accurate assessment.

Reading Comprehension

True /False/NA-Statements

  1. F-The authors kids gave him a HeroRat as a gift.
  2. F-The author did not take physical possession of the rat.
  3. T-The gift helped pay to train the rat to sniff out explosives.
  4. T-The author went to  the minefields of rural Angola to hunt for  his rat.
  5. NA-The author has five kids.
  6. F-There are 39 HeroRats in rural Angola.
  7. F-The rats  don’t need body armor.
  8. T-Bart Weetjens, a Belgian product designer, started the HeroRat program.
  9. F- They are called “pouched” not because they are marsupials but because they fill their cheeks with nuts and other goodies.
  10. T-Another advantage of Gambian pouched rats is that they have an eight-year life span.

 Grammar Focus: Preposition Exercise

I’ve seen land-mine detection in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and it’s dreadfully slow and inefficient. Typically, men in body armor walk in precise rows holding metal detectors in front of them. Whenever they come across metal, they stop and painstakingly brush away the soil until they see what it is.