Answer key: Stephen Hawking

Lesson Plan: Stephen Hawking’s Final Escape to the Stars…

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

  1. endear |inˈdirenˈdir| verb [with object] cause to be loved or liked: Flora’s spirit and character endeared her to everyone who met her.
  2. daunting |ˈdôn(t)iNGˈdän(t)iNG| adjective seeming difficult to deal with in anticipation; intimidating: a daunting task.
  3. eon |ˈēənˈēˌän| (chiefly British also aeon) noun (often eons) an indefinite and very long period of time, often a period exaggerated for humorous or rhetorical effect: he reached the crag eons before I arrived | his eyes searched her face for what seemed like eons.
  4. Hawking radiation noun (Physics) electromagnetic radiation that, according to theory, should be emitted by a black hole. The radiation is due to the black hole capturing one of a particle-antiparticle pair created spontaneously near to the event horizon.
  5. [physical] handicap |ˈhandēˌkap| noun- a condition that markedly restricts a person’s ability to function physically, mentally, or socially: he was born with a significant visual handicap.
  6. triumph |ˈtrīəmf| noun- a great victory or achievement: a garden built to celebrate Napoleon’s many triumphs.
  7. colleague |ˈkälēɡ| noun a person with whom one works, especially in a profession or business.
  8. achievement |əˈCHēvmənt| noun-a thing done successfully, typically by effort, courage, or skill: to reach this stage is a great achievement.
  9. mediocre |ˌmēdēˈōkər| adjective-of only moderate quality; not very good: a mediocre actor.
  10. consult |kənˈsəlt| verb [with object] seek information or advice from (someone with expertise in a particular area): you should consult a financial expert.

Source: New Oxford American Dictionary

Reading Comprehension


The oldest of four children, Stephen was a mediocre student at St. Albans School in London, though his innate brilliance was recognized by some classmates and teachers.

Later, at University College, Oxford, he found his studies in mathematics and physics so easy that he rarely consulted a book or took notes. He got by with a thousand hours of work in three years, or one hour a day, he estimated.

Grammar Focus: Word -Recognition

He moved to Cambridge upon his graduation from Oxford. Before he could begin his research, however, he was stricken by what his research adviser, Dr. Sciama, came to call “that terrible thing.” The young Hawking had been experiencing occasional weakness and falling spells for several years. Shortly after his 21st birthday, in 1963, doctors told him that he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.