Reading ESL

Bones

If you count the bones from the skull at the top of your body to the bones in your toes, you will find that you have two hundred and six (206) bones in your body. Bones are very useful. They help us do a lot of things.

Bones protect your body. Your skull protects your brain. You have twelve (12) pairs of ribs around the middle of your body to protect your heart, lungs, and other organs.

Bones support the body and help us move. Hip bones and leg bones let us stand up. We can walk and sit up straight because we have bones.

Inside some of the bones is a soft material called bone marrow. Blood cells are made here. Blood cells are needed for healthy blood. Some blood diseases can be cured with bone marrow transplants. In a transplant, bone marrow is taken from a healthy person and injected with a long needle into the person with the blood disease.

Bones also help us hear sounds. This is the job of the smallest bone in your body. It is called the stirrup bone. It is in your ear.

There are many different shapes and sizes of bones in your body. The femur in your thigh (the top part of your leg) is a long straight bone. If you touch your knee, you can feel your patella. It is a little flat circular bone that looks like a coin.

Vocabulary help:

More vocabulary?  Click on the icon that looks like a book, to the left

Comprehension Check:

Did you understand the story? Are these sentences true?

1. The femur is a short bone. Yes or no?

2. Your skull protects your heart. Yes or no?

3. The largest bone in your body is the patella. Yes or no?

4. Bones have many uses. Yes or no?

5. Bone marrow keeps your blood healthy. Yes or no?

Fill in the blanks:

6. The top of your leg joins your body at the _________.

7. Your brain is protected by your ________________.

8. Bone marrow is ______________ some of your bones.

9. The femur is a long _____________ bone in your ___________.

10. Most people have ________ toes.

>> Answers
two bedbugs crawling on the edge of a couch

Bedbugs

You’ve probably heard about bedbugs. They have been in the news a lot lately. Many cities are having problems with bedbug infestations. Bedbugs are parasitic insects that feed on human blood. If they bite you, they leave a mark on your skin.

They like to live in beds but they can live in other places too. They are very hardy. It is difficult to kill them. Bedbugs like to feed about once a week but they can live for a long time without food. In cold weather, bedbugs can live for up to a year without food. At warmer temperatures they can live about 5 months without feeding.

Bedbugs have existed for thousands of years. They are found in all countries of the world. They like to live in groups and they like to come out at night. They can travel on clothing and in luggage. They can travel between apartments in a building. They can be hard to find because they like to live in cracks in the walls, or in the seams of your clothing.

Vocabulary help:

More vocabulary?  Click on the icon that looks like a book, to the left

Comprehension Check:

Did you understand the story? Are these sentences true?

1. Bedbugs are parasitic insects. Yes or no?

2. Bedbugs need to eat every day. Yes or no?

3. Bedbugs like to live in cracks. Yes or no?

4. Bedbugs only live in beds. Yes or no?

5. Bedbugs are found all over the world. Yes or no?

Fill in the blanks:

6. Bedbugs are hard to kill. They are very ________________.

7. Bedbugs are found in _________ countries. They are everywhere!

8. There have been bedbugs for ___________________ of years.

9. Their food is human __________________.

10. Bedbugs usually eat at ___________________.

>> Answers
four lice on a scalp

Head Lice

Does your head feel itchy? Just thinking about head lice can make you want to scratch your head. Head lice are tiny parasitic insects that live on the scalp. They bite your scalp to feed from your blood. When a louse bites you it makes your head feel itchy.

Head lice infestation is very common, especially in children. Lice don't have wings and they can’t jump. Head to head contact is the most common way for lice to move from one person to another. If you share bedding, clothing, or hair brushes with a person who has lice you also might get lice.

Lice lay their eggs at the part of the hair that is closest to the scalp. The eggs are called nits and they are almost invisible. They are glued to the hair and they are not easy to remove. Once the egg has hatched, the empty nit remains on the hair and becomes white. It is now easier to see but the louse is already out! After a louse hatches it has to feed on blood within 24 hours or it will die. Lice live for about seven to ten days. Are you scratching your head now?

Vocabulary help:

More vocabulary?  Click on the icon that looks like a book, to the left

Comprehension Check:

Did you understand the story? Are these sentences true?

1. Nits are easier to see after they hatch. Yes or no?

2. Lice make your head feel itchy. Yes or no?

3. Lice have wings. Yes or no?

4. Nits are easy to remove. Yes or no?

5. Lice live for about a month. Yes or no?

Fill in the blanks.

6. _________________ about lice will make you want to scratch your head.

7. Nits are so small they are almost __________________________.

8. Head lice are common especially in ______________________.

9. After a nit hatches, the louse has to eat within ________ hours.

10. If you share a hair ________________ with someone with lice, you might get lice too.

>> Answers
 citrus fruit, oranges, limes, lemons and graprefruit in a bowl


Citrus fruit like oranges, limes and grapefruits are rich in vitamin C.

 

Scurvy

Scurvy is a disease that is very rare in Canada. Very few people get scurvy. This disease is caused by a lack of vitamin C in your diet. There is lots of vitamin C in citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit. Other fruits and vegetables also have some vitamin C in them. If you eat enough fruits and vegetables then you won’t get scurvy. 

If you have scurvy your gums bleed and your teeth become loose. You get brownish purple spots on your skin. The spots appear mostly on your legs. Scurvy makes your feel tired and depressed. If you don’t treat scurvy with vitamin C, the spots will turn into open sores that bleed and your teeth will fall out. Scurvy is fatal if it is not treated.

Vocabulary help:

More vocabulary?  Click on the icon that looks like a book, to the left

Comprehension Check:

Did you understand the story? Are these sentences true?

1. Scurvy is a common disease in Canada. Yes or no?

2. Vitamin C prevents scurvy. Yes or no?

3. Eating oranges or drinking orange juice can prevent scurvy. Yes or no?

4. If you get scurvy your teeth might fall out. Yes or no?

5. If you get scurvy your gums bleed. Yes or no?

Fill in the blanks

6. There is a lot of vitamin C in ________________ fruits.

7. Citrus fruits include oranges, lemons, limes and __________________________ .

8. Scurvy can be treated with ______________________ .

9. If you have _____________ your gums will bleed.

10. If you don't treat scurvy your ________________ will fall out.

>> Answers
 a child with chicken pox marks all over his back


Edgar Chicken Pox by Dominic Sayers, taken from flickr

 

 

Chicken Pox

Chicken pox is an infectious disease caused by a virus. It isn’t caused by chickens and chickens don’t get chicken pox!

It is a disease that is more common in children than in adults. They get itchy red spots on their body. Most of the spots are on the head and the upper part of the body. The spots last for about a week. They can make children feel very uncomfortable and miserable.  A warm bath can help take the itch away.

The disease is spread easily to other people by coughing or sneezing. It can also be spread by touching the spots.

Most children don’t get very sick but they will feel tired. Some will get a fever, head ache or sore throat. 

Vocabulary help:

More vocabulary?  Click on the icon that looks like a book, to the left

Comprehension Check:

Did you understand the story? Are these sentences true?

1. Chicken pox is caused by sick chickens. Yes or no?

2. Chicken pox can be spread by coughing and sneezing. Yes or no?

3. If you touch someone's chicken pox spots, you might get chicken pox. Yes or no?

4. Children get lots of chicken pox spots on their feet. Yes or no?

5. The spots are usually red and itchy. Yes or no?

Fill in the blanks

6. Most of the spots are on the ____________ and the upper body.

7. A __________ bath can help take the itch away.

8. Some children will get a ___________ , head ache or sore throat.

9. Chicken pox spots are red and ______________.

10. Chicken pox spots make children feel itchy, _______________ and miserable.

>> Answers
 red blood cells as seen under a microscope


Healthy, round red blood cells.

 

 

Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle cell disease is caused by a problem with the red blood cells. Red blood cells are the cells in your blood that carry oxygen to all parts of your body. In the red blood cell is a special protein called hemoglobin. In sickle cell disease the hemoglobin is the wrong shape.

Red blood cells are usually flat and round. They are also flexible so they can travel through your blood vessels easily. In sickle cell disease the hemoglobin is the wrong shape and it is rigid. The rigid hemoglobin makes the red blood cell become the wrong shape. Instead of round it becomes sickle shaped. A sickle shape looks like the letter C. Rigid sickle shaped red blood cells can’t travel easily through the blood vessels. They get stuck in the blood vessels. This causes a lot of pain for the person who has sickle cell disease. Also, if the red blood cells get stuck, the oxygen that they are carrying can’t get to the other parts of the body. Without enough oxygen the person with sickle cell disease gets tired easily.

Vocabulary help:

More vocabulary?  Click on the icon that looks like a book, to the left

Comprehension Check:

Did you understand the story? Are these sentences true?

1. Hemoglobin is a special protein in red blood cells. Yes or no?

2. Red blood cells carry oxygen. Yes or no?

3. Sickle cell disease is not painful. Yes or no?

4. Sickle cell disease makes your red blood cells flexible. Yes or no?

5. If you have Sickle cell disease you will probably feel tired a lot. Yes or no?

Fill in the blanks

6. Normal red blood cells are flat and round. They travel ___________ through the blood vessels.

7. In sickle cell disease the red blood cells aren't flexible. They are ______________.

8. In sickle cell disease the red blood cells get ____________ in the blood vessels.

9. Red blood cells carry ____________ to all the cells in the body.

10. If something is sickle shaped, it looks like the letter ________ .

>> Answers

Answers:


Bones

1. no 2. no 3. no 4. yes 5. yes

6. hip 7. skull 8. inside 9. straight/leg 10. ten

Back ^


Bed Bugs

1. yes, 2. no, 3. yes, 4. no, 5. yes

6. hardy, 7. all, 8. thousands, 9. blood, 10. night

Back ^


Head Lice

1. yes, 2. yes, 3. no, 4. no, 5. no

6. think, 7. invisible, 8. children, 9. 24, 10. brush

Back ^


Scurvy

1. no, 2. yes, 3. yes, 4. yes, 5. yes

6. citrus, 7. grapefruit, 8. Vitamin C, 9. scurvy, 10. teeth

Back ^


Chicken Pox

1. no, 2. yes, 3. yes, 4. no, 5. yes,

6. head, 7. warm, 8. fever, 9. itchy, 10. uncomfortable

Back ^


Sickle Cell Disease

1. yes, 2. yes, 3. no, 4. no, 5. yes,

6. easily, 7. rigid, 8. stuck, 9. oxygen, 10. C

Back ^