Unit 17 Great women
the North Pole
the South Pole
North Pole
Do you know the following animals?
South Pole
Polar bear
Polar fox/Arctic Fox
Polar wolf
Because polar bears live only on the North pole while penguins live only on the South Pole
Oh, I’ ll never eat you
Why do polar bears never eat penguins?
Imagine you are traveling alone to the South Pole. What will you take with you?
a warm coat
dried food matches maps
rope sunglasses a backpack a sleeping bag gloves
sled compass a tent
a cellphone
Alone in Antarctica
Helen Thayer
In 1988 New Zealand born Helen Thayer became the first woman to walk and ski to any of the world’s poles when she trekked solo to the Magnetic North Pole without dog sled or snowmobile. She was the first woman and first American to circumnavigate the Magnetic North Pole.
Fast reading Main ideas
Para. 1 Para. 2-3 Para. 4 Para. 5 Para. 6-7 Para. 8 The first days of the journey. The journey of challenge and danger began. Her birthday in Antarctica. A bad accident. Making a decision. Self rescue.
Careful reading

  1. How did Helen plan to celebrate her 60th birthday? She went to the South Pole to celebrate her 60th birthday.

  2. Why did Helen want to make November 12th special? How did she celebrate the day? Because it was her birthday. She thawed a frozen cake over her fire, placed a candle on the top, lit it and sang “happy birthday to me” at the top of her voice.
True or False

  1. She spent her 50th and 60th birthday in Antarctica. F
  2. During her first days in the expedition, the weather was very good though the wind was icy. T

  3. Every November there was F bright sunshine 24 hours a day.
  4. Her birthday fall on the 22th day when she began her journey to the South Pole. F

  5. She had got self-rescue training before the expedition. T
  6. She will never forget her solo travel in the South pole. T
  1. Antarctica is another name for . A. Australia C. the North Pole B. the South Pole D. Canada

  2. The sun does not go down in Antarctica, so Helen’s workdays C were usually . A.2 hours B. more than 12 hours C. less than 12 hours D. 24 hours

  3. Helen Thayer was born on . B A. 1 November 1937 B. 12 November 1937 C. 22 November 1947 D. 1 November 1997

  4. On the 22nd day of the expedition Helen Thayer had an accident. What happened? A. She was attacked by a polar bear. D B. Her tent was blown away by the storm. C. She fell into a hole that was a few hundred feet deep. D. The sled knocked her over and hurt her leg.

  5. What decision did Helen make after the accident? C A. She spent a whole day in her tent. B. She waited till she got better and continued her journey. C. She gave up and went back home. D. She was thankful for all the training she had had.
Post reading

  1. What kind of woman is Helen Thayer? Describe her in a few sentences. Helen Thayer is a special woman. She has a very strong will. She enjoys great challenges.
She is brave and very active. She also knows that the people in her life, such as her family, are more important than her personal achievement.

  2. Do you admire Helen Thayer? Why? Yes. Because she is a brave woman. It is unusual for women of her age to do things like that. The description of the terrible weather and the way she deals with her accidents show that Helen Thayer is a very strong woman.
She is a responsible person. She demonstrates this by her good decision to stop and not risk her life after her accident. The description of her journey also shows that she is an honest woman.
Decide true or false
  1. Antarctica is another name for the North Pole. F
  2. On the third day she could not travel because of the stormy weather. F
  3. Helen had travelled only two hours one day when the winds increased so much. T
  4. Helen used to practise self rescue many times in the mountains. T
  5. After the accident, Helen waited till she got F better and continued her journey.
Fill in the following blanks
celebrate 60th To my birthday, I decided to travel alone to . The first days Antarctica the weather was very good But changes . were . I had traveled just around the corner only two hours a day the winds when increased so much that I had to put my tent up. On November 12th , the storm birthday . It was my . To make it died down , I thawed a cake and sang special frozen at the top of my voice. birthday song
A few days later, I fell into a . hole Thanks to my practice of , self rescue finally I . The next got out morning I had a bad and my accident leg couldn’t move. At last I decided to give up family . My gave me the strength. This is an experience I shall value never and shall for forget the rest of my life.

  1. Read the text again and again.
  2. Underline some difficult points and sentences.
  3. Write an article about one of your travel experiences.


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