HS – ESL- Intermediate – Unit 2 – Zebras – Moodle


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Designed By:
Christian Alas
Created and illustrated By:
Angelo Romero and Camilo Sanabria


Zebras are one of the most intriguing animals. Originally found in Africa, they are known for their black and white stripes that cover their body. The reason for the striped pattern is for camouflage. With vertical stripes, zebras can hide in the long grass.

Of course this may seem useless since grass is green, but lions are color blind and happen to be the zebra’s primary predator. A herd of zebras appears as one large animal to intimidate possible predators, but if a lion gets hold of a zebra, there is no grappling its way out of the lion’s grip.

Zebras have done well in terms of persevering through the tough African wilderness.

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Among the species of zebras are Plains Zebras, Mountain Zebras, and Grevy’s Zebras. Plains Zebras are the most common and have many subspecies. Mountain Zebras have a sleek coat with a white belly and narrower stripes than the Plains Zebras.

Grevy’s Zebras are the largest kind, looking almost like a mule. It is the rarest species of zebra and is considered endangered. Experts speculate that it may not exist before too long, unlike the other species that promise to have an indefinite existence. To survive, the Grevy’s Zebras must cope with the dangerous environment of lions hunting for it.

Since zebras are not native to the U.S., or North America for that matter, you probably have to go to the zoo to see them.

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This is something that you can benefit from since you may never see zebras anywhere else. So when you get the chance, collaborate with your parents and make your way to the zoo! Even if you have a lot of siblings and have to cram yourself in the car it will be worth it.

The zoo is a place where many kids yearn to go, not just for the zebras, but for all the animals offered. As the cliché suggests, learning can be fun, especially at the zoo. It’s also a great chance to escape the monotonous humdrum of daily life and reflect on something totally different. At the zoo, you can learn not just the common names of animals but their scientific classification names as well. To most, the names are just garbled, rambling, irrelevant words that are incoherent.

Only an expert could decipher them; to everyone else they are incomprehensible.

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Even if you are not illiterate or the writing of words is illegible, you would probably have a tough time. For example, zebras are of the equidae family and equus genus. It takes a persistent student to figure out all the scientific terms.

There have been many attempts to train zebras for riding since they have better resistance than horses to African diseases. However, most of these attempts failed due to the zebra’s unpredictable nature and tendency to panic under stress. Because of this, zebra-mules or zebroids (crosses between any species of zebra and a horse, pony, or donkey) are preferred over pure-bred zebras.

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Match each word in the left column with a description in the right column that best matches its meaning.

1. ____ Reflect

2. ____ Grapple

3. ____ Persevere

4. ____ Speculate

5. ____ Collaborate

6. ____ Persistent

7. ____ Cope

8. ____ Yearn

9. ____ Cram

10. ____ Cliche

A. Carry on, continue

B. Determined, relentless

C. Fill up, stuf

D. Guess, think

E. Wonder, ponder, think

F. Overused saying

G. Work together, team up

H. Desire, crave

I. Struggle, wrestle

J. Deal with, handle, get by

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11. ____ Monotonous

12. ____ Illiterate

13. ____ Rambling

14. ____ Incoherent

15. ____ Incomprehensible

16. ____ Humdrum

17. ____ Irrelevant

18. ____ Garbled

19. ____ Indefinite

20. ____ Illegible

A. Unexciting, routinep

B. Confused, jumbled

C. Inconceivable, perplexing

D. Distorted, mangled, muddled

E. Confused, incoherent

F. Unreadable

G. Unrelated, beside the point

H. Dull, boring, repetitive

I. Uncertain, unclear

J. Uneducated, ignorant

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Zebras are originally from

A.  Australia

B.  China

C.  Africa

D.  New Zealand

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Species of zebra include all of the following except

A.  Terrain Zebras

B.  Plains Zebras

C.  Mountain Zebras

D.  Grevy’s Zebras

Zebroids are a mix of a zebra and a

A.  Horse

B.  Pony

C.  Donkey

D.  All of the above

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The rarest species of zebra is

A.  Grevy’s Zebras

B.  Plains Zebras

C.  Mountain Zebras

D.  Terrain Zebras

Zebras are difficult to train because they

A.  Are unpredictable

B.  Are too large

C.  Panic under stress

D.  A and C

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Choose whether each statement is true or false and write your answer in the space provided.

1. ____   The reason for a zebra’s stripes is to camouflage it against predators.

2. ____   The lion is one of the zebra’s main predators.

3. ____   The largest species of zebra is the Mountain Zebra.

4. ____   The most common species of zebra is the Plains Zebra.

5. ____   In the U.S., zebras are commonly found in the northeast.

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1. How do zebras join together to protect themselves?


2. What separates the Grevy’s Zebra from other species?


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3. Why must people in the U.S. go to zoos to see zebras?


4. What do zoos have to offer?


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1. What is the writer’s main idea?


2. What example supports the writer’s main idea?


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3. How does the example help the writer’s argument?


4. What do you think about the story?


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