Answer key: Recipe for a Small Planet

Lesson Plan: Recipe for a  Small Planet

II. While Reading Tasks

Word Inference

  1. veritable |ˈvəritəbəl| adjective [ attrib. ] used as an intensifier, often to qualify a metaphor: the early 1970s witnessed a veritable price explosion.
  2. astronomers |əˈstränəmər| noun-an expert in or student of astronomy.
  3. cosmic  |ˈkäzmik| adjective-of or relating to the universe or cosmos, esp. as distinct from the earth: cosmic matter.
  4. detected |diˈtekt| verb-discover or identify the presence or existence of: cancer may soon be detected in its earliest stages.
  5. clue |klo͞o|  noun -a fact or idea that serves as a guide or aid in a task or problem: archaeological evidence can give clues about the past.
  6. potential |pəˈtenCHəl| adjective-having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future: a two-pronged campaign to woo potential customers.
  7. detailed |diˈtāld, ˈdēˌtāld| adjective-having many details or facts; showing attention to detail: more detailed information was needed.
  8. concept |ˈkänˌsept| noun-an abstract idea; a general notion: structuralism is a difficult concept | the concept of justice.
  9. habitable |ˈhabitəbəl| adjective-suitable or good enough to live in.
  10. complements |ˈkämpləmənt| verb [ with obj. ] add to (something) in a way that enhances or improves it; make perfect: a classic blazer complements a look that’s stylish or casual.

Reading Comprehension

True /False/NA-Statements

  1. F- NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, is in its fifth year of seeking out the planets circling other stars.
  2. T-Scientists found a set of small planets with densities and compositions almost exactly  like those of Earth.
  3. NA-Alien life was discovered on one small planet.
  4. F- The job of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite will be to find Goldilocks planets closer to home.
  5. T- The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite will be launched in 2017.
  6. T- Scientist Karl Stapelfeldt heads a group at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
  7. T- One of the main goals of  these studies  is to have any chance of seeing signs of life on terrestrial planets.
  8. T- For all of Kepler’s bounty, a planet like Earth, of the same size orbiting the same type of star, has not yet been confirmed.
  9. NA-By the year 2020 scientists will definitely know that there is life on other planets.
  10. T-An Italian telescope in the Canary Islands is used to measure planets’ masses to determine their densities.

 Grammar Focus

Structure and Usage


As the ranks of these planets grow, astronomers are planning the next step.


And yet we still do not have a clue that we are not alone.


Both studies are expected to be completed in the next few months.