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College English Integrated Course. Book One 山东大学威海分校大学外语教学部 2010.09. Unit 7 Animal Intelligence. Text A What Animals Really Think. Contents. Teaching Objectives Background Information Lead-in Activities Language Points Text Analysis Storey Telling Activity. 山东大学威海分校大外部.

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college english integrated course

College English Integrated Course

Book One



unit 7 animal intelligence

Unit 7 Animal Intelligence

Text A What Animals Really Think



  • Teaching Objectives
  • Background Information
  • Lead-in Activities
  • Language Points
  • Text Analysis
  • Storey Telling Activity


teaching objectives
Teaching Objectives
  • understand the main idea(some animals seem capable of thinking when it’s in their own interests to do so) and the structure of the text (introduction, 3 subheadingsto give 3 supporting examples, conclusion);
  • appreciate the importance of examples in exposition and the various transitional devices (subheadings, anaphora, conjunctions );
  • master the key language points and grammatical structures in the text;
  • conduct a series of reading, listening, speaking and writing activities related.
background information
Background Information

American’s Ideas of Animals

English speaking people attached different ideas on animals through the use of language, especially idioms, which may different from Chinese culture. For example, in Chinese, dragon represents majesty and authority, while in English, dragon is often associated with evil and ferocity. In Chinese, dog is often associated with loyalty while in English language, dog is more related to some derogatory sense, just as used in the following idioms: “a dog in the manger”, “a sly dog” and “Every dog has his day”.

Now, more and more people are fond of animals or pets, which has becoming one element of American culture. America’s cultural pendulum has swung toward pets. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 62% of U.S. households own a pet, and most are willing to spend vast amounts of time and money to keep pets happy. The pet industry has tripled in the past 15 years. In 2009 pet spending has reached about $45.4 billion.

background information1
Background Information


Behaviorism is built on this assumption that “behave is what organisms do”, and its goal is to promote the scientific study of behaviour. Loosely speaking, behaviorism is an attitude. Strictly speaking, behaviorism is a doctrine. A behaviorist, so understood, is a psychological theorist who demands behavioral evidence for any psychological hypothesis. Behaviour can be described and explained without making ultimate reference to mental events or to internal psychological processes. The sources of behavior are external (in the environment), not internal (in the mind, in the head).

background information2
Background Information

In language study, Skinner was one dominant figure in advocating behaviorism. His claim to understand language was based on his work with rats and pigeons. He had proved that, given time, rats and pigeons could be trained to perform an amazing variety of seemingly complex tasks, provided two basic principles were followed. First, the tasks must be broken down into a number of carefully graduated steps. Second, the animals must be repeatedly rewarded. In a typical experiment, a rat is put in a box containing a bar. If it presses the bar, it is rewarded with a pellet of food. Nothing forces it to press the bar. The first time it possibly does by accident. When the rat finds that food arrives, it presses the bar again. Eventually it learns that if it is hungry, it can obtain food by pressing the bar. Then the action is made more difficult again. The rat only gets rewarded if it presses the bar while a light is flashing. At first, the rat is puzzled. Eventually it learns the trick. Then the task is made more difficult again. This time the rat only receive food if is presses the bar a certain number of times. After initial confusion, it learns to do this also. And so on, and so on.

background information3
Background Information

Behaviorism has lost strength and influence. It is dismissed by cognitive scientists developing intricate internal information processing models of cognition. Its laboratory routines are neglected by cognitive psychologists who are convinced that its methods are irrelevant to studying how animals and persons behave in their natural and social environment. Its traditional relative indifference toward neuroscience and deference to environmental contingencies is rejected by neuroscientists who thinks that direct study of the brain is the only way to understand the causes of behavior.


Lead-in Activities

Q1. What’s the definition of intelligence?

Intelligence is the ability to learn,

understand and think about things.

Q2. Do you believe that animals can really think? Or animals do have intelligence?


Lead-in Activities

Q3. Do you have your personal experiences about animal intelligence?

Q4. Please give an example about a gorilla’s intelligence .

Let’s find more examples of animal

intelligence from Text A.


Language Points

controversy: n. public discussion or argument, often rather angry, about something that many people disagree with. (followed by over or about)

e.g. A new controversy arouse regarding the politician’s finances.

There is a fierce controversy over the publishing of the book.

considerable/great/major controversy重大的争论

bitter/fierce controversy 激烈的争论

be/ prove controversy有争议,证明有争议

arouse/cause/fuel/give rise to/provoke controversy引起争论

be marked by/be surrounded by controversy 被争论困扰

negotiatev. argue in order to come to an agreement

e.g. We decided to negotiate with the employers about our wage claim.


Language Points

explore: v. examine thoroughly, learn about

e.g. The engineers have already explored the possibility of building a

bridge over the river.

be keen on to explore渴望探索

wish to explore渴望探索

extensively explore广泛探究;

fully/thoroughly explore全面探究,彻底探究;

further explore进一步探究

encounterv. meet, especially unexpected; n

e.g. She encountered an old friend on the train

commonly/frequently/regularly encounter常常碰到/经常碰到

casual/chance/unexpected encounter偶然的碰面/不期而遇

unpleasant/violent encounter不愉快的接触/激烈的冲突


Language Points

Switch v. change; shift

e.g. He used to play tennis, but now he has switched to golf.

easily/readily switch 轻易地转换,迅速地转变

suddenly switch 突然地 转变

switch (away from)从…转变

switch to/with 换成,与…交换

cooperatev. act or work together (followed by with, or in, or to do


e.g. The New York City police cooperated with the force in Boston.

closely cooperate密切合作

cooperate on 就…合作

cooperate with 与…配合


Language Points

cooperatev. act or work together (followed by with, or in, or to do


e.g. The New York City police cooperated with the force in Boston.

closely cooperate密切合作

cooperate on 就…合作

cooperate with 与…配合

assessv. decide or fix the amount of sth.

fully assess充分评估

accurately assess准确地评估

help to assess有助于评估

be difficult to assess难以评估


Language Points

release v. set free

e.g. Some animals in the zoo had been released from its cage.

He was released from prison after serving 2 years of a five-year


quickly, immediately release迅速释放,立即释放

accidentally release意外泄露

officially release官方发布

evidencen information that gives a reason for believing sth or proves


e.g. There is a lot of evidence that stress is partly responsible for


We do not have enough evidence to prove him guilty.

abundant evidence 充足的证

compelling evidence令人信服的证据


Language Points

horizonn the line at which the sky and the earth appear to meet

e.g.The sun sank below the horizon.

A ship appeared on the horizon.

scan horizon细看地平线

above the horizon在地平线之上

below the horizon 在地平线之下

beyond the horizon 天际之外

limited/narrow horizon有限的坚实,狭隘的视野

cultural/intellectual horizon 文化视野/知识视野

broaden/expand/open up/widen horizon 拓宽视野/开阔眼界


Text Analysis

How many animals are mentioned in the text? Who are they?

female gorilla


male orangutan


male killer whale


female orangutan


dominant male orangutan


1 heading and subheadings
1. Heading and Subheadings

Text Analysis

Writing Strategy-Transitional devices

  • Suggest to the reader the contents of each section
  • Enhance the formal appearance of an essay
  • Eliminate the need for wordy transitional devices between sections
2 a na phora
2. Anaphora(前指)

Text Analysis

  • Then, using his tail to keep steady, Orky let the keeper reach up and release the 420-pound baby so that it could slide into the water within reach of help.
  • Towan, the colony’s dominant male, watchedthiswhole trick, and the next day he, too, looked Shewman in the eye and pretend that he had not yet received an orange.
3 conjunctions
3. Conjunctions

Text Analysis

Miles also tried to teach Chantek more virtuous habits such as saving and sharing . (para 6)

Also: connect this paragraph with the previous one

storey telling activity
Storey Telling Activity

Students are divided into different groups for a

discussion according to the following outlines

given by the teacher:

—Your opinions on animal intelligence(in this part, the discussion can cover the following points: what kind of specific intelligence does the chosen animals have? The answers may be understanding, deducing,feint,analogical reasoning, study language, knowing their masters, bargaining with humans and so on).

storey telling activity1
Storey Telling Activity

—What kind of examples for supporting (Students may cite examples, anecdote, personal experiences, scientific findings for illustration. Inform the students that the examples are relevant and persuasive. The students are encouraged to make their storey vivid by using some details of words and actions, just like the text)

— Your conclusion

After a group discussion, each group will recommend one student to tell their story and the best one will be chosen. The teacher explains why the storey is best (in terms of the macro-structures, the vividness of the example and proper linguistic items, such as proper use of vocabularies and grammatical structures for realizing the communicative purposes).