Answer key: Speeding Our Distinction

Lesson Plan: “We Are Speeding Extinction And Altering the Natural World”

II. While Reading Activities: Word Inference

  1. unprecedented |ˌənˈpresədən(t)əd| adjective-never done or known before: the government took the unprecedented step of releasing confidential correspondence.
  2. extinction  |ikˈstiNG(k)SH(ə)n| noun -1 the state or process of a species, family, or larger group being or becoming extinct: the extinction of the great auk | mass extinctions.
  3. biodiversity |ˌbīōdiˈvərsədēˌbīōˌdīˈvərsədē| noun-the variety of life in the world or in a particular habitat or ecosystem.
  4. emerge  |əˈmərj| verb(of facts or circumstances) become known: reports of a deadlock emerged during preliminary discussions | [with clause] : during the trial it emerged that she had been suffering from a rare personality disorder.
  5. accelerate |əkˈseləˌrāt| verb• increase in amount or extent: inflation started to accelerate | [with object] : the key question is whether stress accelerates aging | (as adjective accelerating) : accelerating industrial activity.
  6. ecosystem |ˈēkōˌsistəm| nouna biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment.
  7. wither  |ˈwiT͟Hər| verb-(of a plant) become dry and shriveled: the grass had withered to an unappealing brown | (as adjective withered) : withered leaves.
  8. devastation |ˌdevəˈstāSH(ə)n| noun – great destruction or damage: the floods caused widespread devastation.
  9. alter |ˈôltər| verb-change or cause to change in character or composition, typically in a comparatively small but significant way: nothing alters the fact that children are our responsibility | [no object] : our outward appearance alters as we get older | (as adjective altered) : an altered state.
  10. wetland |ˈwetˌlandˈwetˌlənd| noun (also wetlands) land consisting of marshes or swamps; saturated land.

Source: New Oxford American Dictionary 

Grammar Focus: Word -Recognition

Humans are producing more food than ever, but land degradation is already harming agricultural productivity on 23 percent of the planet’s land area, the new report said. The decline of wild bees and other insects that help pollinate fruits and vegetables is putting up to $577 billion in annual crop production at risk.


Reading Comprehension: Fill-ins

The Amazon rain forest absorbs immense quantities of carbon dioxide and helps slow the pace of global warming. Wetlands purify drinking water. Coral reefs sustain tourism and fisheries in the Caribbean. Exotic tropical plants form the basis of a variety of medicines. But as these natural landscapes wither and become less biologically rich, the services they can provide to humans have been dwindling.