1. Read the sentences then listen and decide whether they are True (T) or False (F).

1   The year was 986 AD.

2   Erik was a small man.

3   The professor was given a gun.

4   The professor helped a woman.

5   Ula’s parents were dead.

6   Ula gave the professor a wooden fox.

7   The professor was shot.

Answer & Audioscript

1 T   2 F   3 F   4 T   5 T   6 T   7 F


      The professor never felt the crocodiles’ teeth. The guards let go of him, and he was falling through the air, then everything went black. When he opened his eyes, he was on a Viking ship in the icy waters off the coast of Greenland.

      He suddenly realised that he travelled through time only when he was close to death. But how had this time travelling started? Only his colleague knew the answer, and he was far away.

      The year was 986 AD, and Erik the Red, the famous Viking explorer who discovered Greenland, was leading his men on another adventure. No one noticed James. He was at the back of the boat, in a corner. The other men were rowing and looking straight ahead.

      Erik was a big man. He had red hair, a red beard and a red moustache. He wore a helmet on his head, like the others, with horns coming out of the sides. When he saw James sitting doing nothing, he yelled at him to take an oar and help out. Neither he nor the other Vikings took any notice of the fact that he looked completely different from them.

      When they reached land, he too was given a sword and a shield. Someone even put a horned helmet on his head. They were going into battle against men who had occupied a castle near the coast. Professor Kearns tried to avoid the fighting, but he had no choice. One of the enemy warriors ran at him with a sword, but he blocked it with his shield then knocked the man to the ground. He stood over him with his sword raised, but he didn’t want to kill the man. Suddenly, he heard a woman scream.

      Near the castle wall, a Viking was chasing a woman with long blonde hair. The Viking grabbed her by the hair and threw her to the ground. James ran towards her, picked up a club and hit the Viking over the head. He helped the woman to her feet and looked into her bright green eyes.

      “Don’t worry,” he said. “I’m not going to hurt you.”

      Erik had seen James knock the Viking down, and sent his men to grab him and the woman and take them back to the boat. He had their hands and legs tied, and he said he was going to throw them into the icy waters as soon as they set sail.

      “You’ll be dead before you even realise you’re in the water.”

      The woman’s name was Ula. Her people had been fighting the Vikings for years, and she had been her brothers and her parents killed. She thought it was better to die than to live without them.

      “Don’t say that,” the professor said. “You have to want to live. To give up hope is like saying life was never worth living, and that simply isn’t true.”

      The greenness of Ula’s eyes fascinated him. They looked sad, innocent and beautiful at the same time.

      Ula was able to free one of her hands. She reached into the pocket of her dress and took out a small, round piece of wood. Carved in the centre was the face of an animal. Ula explained that it was the white fox, and her people gave it to travellers before they left on a journey to bring them good luck. “You’re a kind man and I want you to have it,” she said. She put it into the pocket of his jacket, and as she did so, Erik and some of the other Vikings came to take them to the boat’s edge.

      The water was so cold they would probably die not long after they were thrown into it. The professor looked once more at Ula, then he was thrown into the water.

2. Look at the table, then listen and fill in the missing words.

  Marco Polo Christopher Columbus
Place of birth: (1)…………… Genoa
Date of birth: 1254 (2)……………
Family: son of a (3)…………… merchant son of a weaver
Travels / Achievements:

1271 started a (4)……………-year journey to Asia

spent seventeen years in (5)……………

arrived in Venice in (6)……………

wrote a (7)…………… called The Travels of Marco Polo

made (8)…………… voyages

sailed (9)…………… hoping to reach (10)……………

reached the Bahamas

landed on Cuba and Haiti

(11)…………… islands in the Caribbean Sea and (12)…………… America

Died in: 1324 1506
Answer & Audioscript

1 Venice   2 1451   3 rich   4 four   5 China   6 1295   7 book

8 four   9 west   10 Japan   11 explored   12 Central


Guide:   Good afternoon and welcome to the National Wax Museum. In this room you’ll find models of famous European explorers. If you press the button in front of each explorer, you’ll hear some information about their travels.

Child A:   Who’s this? Shall I press the button?

Child B:   Go on … (Beep)

Voice:   Marco Polo is the most famous explorer of the Middle Ages. He was born in Venice in 1254. He was the son of a rich merchant. In 1271 he started a four-year journey through Asia to Peking with his father and uncle. He spent seventeen years in China working for the Mongol Emperor Kublai Khan. He finally arrived back in Venice in 1295. He wrote a book called “The Travels of Marco Polo”, in which he described his many strange experiences in Asia. He died at the age of 70 in 1324.

Child A:   Hey look – this one looks like Christopher Columbus! (Beep)

Voice:   The Italian navigator, Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa in 1451. His father was a weaver. He made four voyages in total. First, he sailed west hoping to reach Japan. Instead he reached the Bahamas, a chain of islands on the east coast of North America. He also landed on Cuba and Haiti and eventually realised that these places were not Japan. In his later voyages he explored islands in the Caribbean Sea and Central America. He died in 1506.

Child B:   They had fascinating lives. Let’s … (fade)

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