Keeping it Cool

Assignment 1

For this assignment you may use a dictionary or English-language Internet sources to help you.

a   List English words for animals. Look up those you know in Dutch but not in English.

b   Organize the animals you listed in the following 6 basic groups: 1 invertebrates (animals without a backbone), fish, amphibians (animals that can live both on land and in water), reptiles (animal with cold blood and that lay eggs), birdsmammals (animals that feed milk to their young and that usually have hair or fur).


Keeping it Cool

In many areas, summers can be beastly. The weather can be hot and sticky. People have come up with many ways to stay cool on hot days. We use air conditioning in buildings, we can spend an afternoon at the pool or we enjoy some ice cream to cool our bodies.

What about other animals, though? Do they have any tricks to keep cool? Of course they do! Here are a few ways that animals like to cool off in the summer.

Mammals are a group of animals that include humans, dogs and cats. Most mammals have hair on their bodies. Some have a heavy coat of fur. During winter, the fur thickens. This protects animals from the cold. In warm weather, the fur falls out. This is called shedding. By shedding this fur, more heat can leave the animal’s body. This helps the animal keep cool.

On a hot summer day, you might hide from the sun under an umbrella. Animals do the same thing, but they use natural umbrellas, such as big leaves or tall trees. They also hide under rocks or fallen trees. Anything that blocks the sun’s rays will do. Some animals stay hidden all day. They wait until the sun sets. At night, they come out to look for food.

When you sweat, water rises to the surface of your skin. In the heat, sweat evaporates: it changes from liquid to gas. This cools the skin a bit. Most animals don’t sweat. Horses do, however. Dogs do, too. But dogs sweat only through their paws, which isn’t enough to keep cool on its own. That is why dogs must use a mix of other strategies as well.

Heat leaves your body when you breathe out. Dogs, cats and lots of other animals cool off by panting. Birds do it as well. Have you ever seen an open-mouthed bird on a hot day? There’s a good chance it was panting.

Bird poop is gooey because it contains lots of water. Storks and vultures use this to keep cool. They poop on their legs during the summer. When the water in the poop evaporates, it provides a cooling effect. It works similar to sweat.

Jumping into a swimming pool is a lot of fun. It also cools you off. Animals like water too. They look for ponds, rivers, streams and jump in to cool down. Some animals, such as pigs, prefer mud to water. Mud keeps them cool longer and protects their skin from insects.

Bears hibernate through the winter. They take a long winter sleep. When they sleep, they don’t have to worry about finding food in the cold. Some animals do something similar to avoid the heat of summer. They take a long summer sleep. The water-holding frog is an example. In summer, it tunnels into sandy ground. Then it builds a bubble of cool mucus around it to protect itself.

People like to eat ice cream to cool down. In the summer, many zoo animals enjoy cold treats, too. Bears love to snack on frozen fruit. Sea otters get frozen fish. Lions enjoy ice pops made from blood.

Based on:


Assignment 2

Read the text. Connect the words and expressions that have the same meaning in the text.

1.     beastly a.     a thick liquid that is produced in some parts of the body
2.     ice cream b.     an object that is used to keep the rain and sun away from your body
3.     fur c.      beams of sunshine
4.     to protect d.     large birds that eat dead animals and have small and featherless heads
5.     to hide e.      the thick hair that covers the bodies of some animals
6.     umbrella f.      to breathe hard and quickly
7.     sun’s rays g.     to go to or stay at a place where you cannot be seen or found
8.     to pant h.     to keep someone or something safe
9.     gooey i.       very cold, sweet food made from frozen milk or cream, sugar, and a flavour
10.  vultures j.       very unpleasant
11.  mucus k.      wet and sticky


Assignment 3

a   Choose the sentence that best states the main idea of the article.

1. All animals lose their fur in the summer to stay cool.
2. Humans and animals both have their own ways to stay cool in hot weather.
3. Some animals are better at staying cool in the summer than others.
4. When it is hot outside, animals are better at staying cool than humans.

b   What do both humans and animals like to do to beat the heat

1. Cool off by panting
2. Go swimming
3. Poop on their legs
4. Take a summer sleep

c   Select the statements that are true about sweating.

1. Animals sweat as much as humans.
2. Horses are one of the few animals that sweat to cool off.
3. Sweating helps cool down the body.
4. Sweating isn’t a very good way to keep cool.



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