Category Archives: Explanation

The Blue Sky: Reading Practice 9 (explanation)

By | December 6, 2017

It is easy to see that the sky is blue. Have you ever wondered why? A lot of other smart people have, too. And it took a long time to figure it out! The light from the Sun looks white. But it is really made up of all the colors of the rainbow. You learn that the light… Read More »

The Seahorse: Reading Practice 8 (explanation)

By | December 9, 2017

The seahorse is a small species of vertebrate that is found in the tropical shallows and temperate waters around the world. The seahorse is also commonly found around coral reefs where there is plenty of food and places for the seahorse to hide. They have a long, flexible tail which is used for wrapping around weeds for support.… Read More »

Underwater Earthquakes: Reading Practice 7 (explanation)

By | December 9, 2017

The most common causes of tsunamis are underwater earthquakes. To understand underwater earthquakes, you must first understand plate tectonics. The theory of plate tectonics suggests that the lithosphere, or top layer of the Earth, is made up of a series of huge plates. These plates make up the continents and sea floor. They rest on an underlying viscous… Read More »

Memory and Rainy Days: Reading Practice 6 (explanation)

By | December 19, 2017

People score significantly higher on memory tests on rainy days, cloudy days than they do on bright sunny ones. “This study is the first to show in a real-life setting that weather-induced mood can have a significant influence on people’s ability to remember casually observed scenes,” scientists from the University of New South Wales School of Psychology report… Read More »

Dark Chocolate: Reading Practice 5 (explanation)

By | December 19, 2017

People every where love chocolate of every kind. Not only is it a tasty treat for many, chocolate also boasts certain health benefits when consumed in moderation. Dark chocolate – the healthiest variety – promotes physical health and even functions as an aid for combatting foul moods and stress. Chocolate can be used, in appropriate quantities, as one… Read More »

Geyser: Reading Practice 4 (explanation)

By | December 22, 2017

A geyser is the result of underground water under the combined conditions of high temperatures and increased pressure beneath the surface of the earth. Since temperature rises approximately 1 F for every sixty feet under the earth’s surface, and pressure increases with depth, the water that seeps down in crack and fissures until it reaches very hot rock… Read More »

The Cacti: Reading Practice 3 (explanation)

By | December 22, 2017

The cacti (singular: cactus) evolved a whole suite of adaptations to survive living in the desert. How do they survive? While most plants open up their stomata – little pores in their skin that open and close to collect carbon dioxide – during the day, cacti and other nocturnal plants such as the agaves and aloes open their… Read More »

Floods: Reading Practice 2 (explanation)

By | December 22, 2017

Floods are second only to fire as the most common of all natural disasters. They occur almost everywhere in the world, resulting in widespread damage and even death. Consequently, scientists have long tried to perfect their ability to predict floods. So far, the best that scientists can do is to recognize the potential for flooding in certain conditions.… Read More »

Silkworm Caterpillars: Reading Practice 1 (explanation)

By | December 22, 2017

Silkworms live for only two or three days after laying eggs. About 36,000 to 50,000 eggs are laid, and these are carefully stored at the silkworm farm until they are ready to hatch. The eggs hatch into caterpillars, which feed on mulberry leaves. Soon, the caterpillars are ready to spin their cocoons. Not all caterpillars can spin silk… Read More »