Exercise 1




Valentina Tereshkova (born 1937)

Who is she?

A Russian cosmonaut

What did she do?

In 1963 she flew in Vostok 6. She went round the Earth 48 times and she was in space for almost 3 days.

Her life

She was born in 1937 in a small village in Russia. Her father was a tractor driver and her mother worked in a factory.

She finished school at 16 and started work in a factory. In her free time she studied and she also went parachute jumping.

In 1963 she got married and the next year she had a daughter, Elena. After that, Valentina never flew into space again.


Leonardo Torres y Quevedo (1852—1936)

Who was he?

A Spanish engineer

What did he do?

In 1914 he made a machine called ‘The Chess Player’. You could play chess against it and it was the first computer game in the world.

His life

He was born in 1852 and grew up in the city of Bilbao, in Spain. When he was 16 he went to live in Paris and two years later he went to university in Madrid. After he finished university he travelled around Europe and studied new ideas.

Leonardo got married in 1885 and had eight children. His family was very rich, so he had lots of time to have ideas for new machines – like ‘The Chess Player.’

A. Read They were the first!. Who … ?

 died over 50 years ago

 had new ideas for machines

 lived in a village as a child

 came from a poor family

 had one child

 lived in France


1 Leonardo   2 Leonardo   3 Valentina   4 Valentina

5 Valentina   6 Leonardo

Exercise 2


The X-Men films are about ‘superhumans’. They can do amazing things, for example, Iceman can make ice and Firestar can make fire and fly. Of course, X-Men aren’t real, and people in the real would can’t do the same things. But a few people can also do some amazing things!


Wim Hof is from the Netherlands and he’s often called ‘The Iceman’. He can’t make ice, but he can sit in a bath of ice for one hour, 52 minutes and two seconds. He doesn’t feel cold. In 2009, he ran more than 40 kilometres in -20°C wearing only shorts!


The Bajau Laut people in Southeast Asia can swim underwater for a long time. Sometimes they can go underwater for more than five minutes. They can also see very well in the water – it helps them to see the fish!


Seema Bhadoria is an amazing young woman from India – she can pull really big objects with only her teeth. When she was only 18 years old she pulled a plane with her teeth! She can also pull a ship and a big truck.

A. Read Real life X-Men. Does it talk more about X-Men or about real people?

B. Read Real life X-Men again. Answer the questions.

 How long can Wim Hof stay in a cold bath?

 How long can the Bajau Laut people stay underwater?

 How does Seema Bhadoria pull things?



real people


 one hour, 52 minutes and two seconds

 more than five minutes

 with only her teeth

Exercise 3


People’s Lives is a popular TV programme on Channel 12. The programme helps people find out about their family history.

Last night, the programme was about Fiona Davies and her grandmother, Beth. Fiona didn’t know her grandmother well because Beth died when Fiona was two years old. People’s Lives found out that Beth was from Cardiff in Wales. She was born there in 1922 and had six brothers and sisters. The family was poor and Beth went to England when she was 17. She got a job in a hospital in London.

Beth worked at the hospital for six years, then she studied at university to be a doctor. She was 32 when she finished university and 33 when she married Fiona’s grandfather, James. James was a businessman from Manchester.

Beth and James were very happy for three years and they had a son, but then James died.

Beth left the UK and went to South Africa on a ship with her son. She worked as a doctor there and started a hospital for women. In 1972, Beth returned to Cardiff to teach at the university. She taught students who wanted to be doctors. Beth died in Wales in 1984.

It was an interesting programme and Fiona was very happy to know more about her grandmother. Next week it is the turn of Frank Kendal to find out about his grandparents. Don’t forget to watch!

•   People’s Lives, 8 pm next Wednesday, Channel 12

A. Read the TV review. Tick (✓) the parts of Beth’s life you read about.

 her family  

 her house

 her school

 her work

 her interests

 her husband’s work

 the death of her husband

 her children

 her friends

B. Read the review again. Put the events in Beth’s life in the order they happened.

……   Her husband died.

……   She had a baby.

……   She went to South Africa.

……   She finished her university studies.

……   She started teaching.

……   She got married.

..1..   She left Wales.

……   She got a job in London.

C. Choose an interesting member of your family and write about his or her life. Remember to give information about:

•   where and when the person was born

•   where the person lived

•   what work the person did

•   the person’s family

•   why the person was interesting.



4, 6, 7, 8


 She got a job in London.

 She finished her university studies.

 She got married.

 She had a baby.

 Her husband died.

 She went to South Africa.

 She started teaching.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This