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Print Oil Spill Reading Comprehension
||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 3 to 4
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||clean-up, seabirds, strainer, spills, spill, liver, shoreline, seals, whales, ship, sprayed, possible, cotton, kill, there, cause
||Exxon Valdez, Now Miss Pratt, Miss Pratt
By Jennifer Kenny
1 On March 24, 1989, there was an oil spill from a ship called the Exxon Valdez. At least eleven million gallons of oil spilled. More than a thousand miles of Alaska's shoreline were hurt by oil. It was very bad. Clean-up went on for years. So many seabirds, bald eagles, sea otters, harbor seals, killer whales, and salmon were killed.
2 Oil spills happen all over the world. They cause pollution. They ruin the homes of animals. They kill animals and plants.
3 There was going to be an oil spill today in Meg's class. How? Why? The children were going to be scientists. They had watched a movie about the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Now Miss Pratt, their teacher, wanted to show them what happened.
4 At each table, there was a pan of water. Each group of children named the water so it seemed real. They put plastic animals in there to look like real animals. The teacher came around and dropped colored vegetable oil into the water.
5 Just as in a real oil spill, they could see the oil on the top of the water. Now, the children had to get the oil out of the water. The important part was to leave as much water in as possible but get the oil out.
6 What did the class try? The children tried to get the oil out with two spoons. Then they tried to use cotton balls. Then they used paper towels. Then they used a strainer.
7 What did the children think? They thought this was hard. It was!
8 In real life, scientists sprayed hot water on the oil for a long time. Now they think this may cause harm too. Some scientists use high pressure cold water. They spray the water with hoses, trap the water, and suck up the oil. Some scientists use mechanical clean-up. Some put special bacteria in places to eat the oil.
9 What about the animals? The children in class saw the animals covered with oil. They didn't know how to clean them off.
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