I love sharks and so when I found this article on New Scientist, I couldn’t wait to share it with my students. As it falls under the topic of environment/animals, it’s perfect for IELTS. It’s also written in the right tone for IELTS, too, and all difficult words of vocabulary can be figured out from context.

I put together some questions aimed at developing key reading skills: figuring out vocabulary from context, highlight important features for later use, and some common question types. I’ve also put in a writing response at the end to make it a bit more productive.

I like to begin my lessons with a discussion as a lead-in activity. You can ask students some general questions like:

  1. How do you feel about sharks?
  2. What are some problems sharks face?
  3. What do you know about sharks?
and so on. Don’t get them to talk about how to save sharks because that comes later.
You can also show a short video that deals with the above questions. I like this one from Discovery News:

Next, give out the reading paper and guide them through the questions, discussing each. I like to show where in the text each answer could be found. It helps them a great deal.

Here’s the document:

Finally, when it comes to the writing, I show another short video to get some ideas in their minds. You don’t have to, but it’s pretty easy viewing.