1- Before you read: Work with a partner.
Read the following text, and fill in the spaces using a word from the box below
D o you own a cat or a dog? If you don’t, you’re
bound to know someone who does. More than
50% of households in the UK own a pet and
in America, 39% of households own a
dog. There are over 78 million pet dogs in the
USA alone. When did we start keeping
pets? Why are they so 1…………………. and
what will happen to our pets in the future?
Although man has kept animals for work
for thousands of years, the ancient
Egyptians started keeping pets around
5,500 years ago. They worshipped cats and
archaeologists have even found cat mummies.
The Romans also kept cats, but used them to catch 2…………………. .
Centuries later, a pet was a luxury that only rich people could afford. In the
eighteenth century, pets became popular among the middle classes in
England. After World War I, canned dog food was invented, keeping pets
healthy and happy.
There are many possible reasons for the popularity of pets. They can improve
your mood. Just stroking the soft 3…………………. of a cat can cheer someone
up. People with pets are less likely to suffer from depression. Also, pets may
be good for your health. A recent survey showed that New York stockbrokers
with pets had lower blood pressure than those that did not.
What will happen in the future? Cities are getting more crowded, and people are
working longer hours. There is less time and space for a real, live animal. The
Japanese have found a 4…………………. to this: the robodog or robocat. These
robot animals have exactly the same beneficial health effects as the real
thing. However they do not need the space or food that a real dog or cat
does. It could be the perfect pet for the future!
. solution . mice .fur .popular
Comprehension Ask and answer the questions with a partner.
1. What percentage of households in the UK own a pet?
2. Why did the Romans keep cats?
3. When did pets become popular with the middle classes in England?
4. What reasons does the article give for why pets are popular?
5. What is the Japanese solution to the problem of keeping pets?
Vocabulary Building Match the two halves of the collocations.
1. bound someone up
2. cheer long hours
3. suffer from to do something
4. beneficial depression
5. work health effects
Rewrite the sentences using the expressions from exercise four
1. A few people are sad in winter when it is very cold and dark.
2. Sometimes just a smile can make you feel happier.
3. Taking exercise is good for your body.
4. Take an umbrella: it’s very likely that it will rain tomorrow.
5. Tom spends a lot of time doing his job.
Ask your partner(s) these questions. Ask follow-up questions!
Questions based on collocations:
• What do you think are some of the best ways of cheering people up?
• What do you do to improve your mood?
• Why do you think some people suffer from depression?
• What beneficial health effects are there from doing exercise?
• Do you work long hours? How about your friends and family?
Questions based on the topic:
• What are the most popular pets in your country?
• What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of having a pet?
• Are there many stray cats or dogs in your country?
• What is the most unusual pet that you’ve heard about?
• Do you think ‘robopets’ will become popular in the future?
Target Structure: Reading, Vocabulary and Discussion
Time: 1 hour, depending on discussion
Suggested Teaching Method
This worksheet builds vocabulary and collocation skills, with reading and discussion practice.
Give one worksheet to each student. Students should work in pairs or small groups for the first exercise. Don’t
spend too long on this section – the main discussion questions come at the end of the worksheet.
Direct the students to the missing words under the text. This is the task for the reading. The students should
read the article at brisk pace, filling in the spaces with the words in the box.
After reading the text, they can check their answers to the task with a partner.
Follow the directions on the worksheet. Students can work in pairs, reading and answering the questions.
Explain the idea of collocations. Explain that these collocations all come from the text. Students should not refer
to the text while completing this exercise. When finished, students can check their answers by scanning for the
collocations in the article.
Go through the answers with the group, and check understanding. If necessary give further examples. Avoid
using examples which are too similar to the sentences in exercise five.
Students can work in pairs. To make this more challenging, the answers to exercise four can be covered.
Explain that the collocations may need some slight grammatical changes.
Leave plenty of time for class discussion. To maximize student talking time, it’s best to put students in pairs, or
small groups. Students should read all the questions first, before beginning the discussion.
Encourage eye contact and follow-up questions.
While the students are speaking, monitor the conversations, but try not to interrupt. When the discussion comes
to a close, ask a few of the questions yourself, and go through any points of English you made a note of while
Answer Key (Other answers may be possible.)
1. Fifty percent of households in the UK own a pet.
2. They kept them to catch mice.
3. They became popular in the eighteenth century.
4. They can improve your mood. / They can cheer you up. / People with pets suffer less from
depression. / Pets can lower your blood pressure.
5. The Japanese solution is the robocat/robodog: a robot pet.
1. bound to do something
2. cheer someone up
3. suffer from depression
4. beneficial health effects.
5. work long hours
1. A few people suffer from depression in winter when it is very cold and dark.
2. Sometimes just a smile can cheer you up.
3. Taking exercise has beneficial health effects.
4. Take an umbrealla: it’s bound to rain tomorrow.
5. Tom works long hours.