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Notre Dame is a cathedral in Paris, France. It is one of the most famous buildings in the world. Notre Dame is 856 years old. It is an icon of France, it receives more visitors each year than the Eiffel Tower.

On April 15, a fire started in the cathedral. It is thought that the fire started because of renovation work that was being done to the cathedral. The fire started near the roof of the cathedral, where the construction work was taking place. The cathedral roof was mostly made of wood which made the fire spread very fast. A lot of the cathedral was destroyed in the fire but firefighters stopped it from destroying the cathedral completely. It took firefighters 15 hours to extinguish the fire. Many priceless parts of the building have been destroyed.

Immediately, people started to raise money to repair the cathedral. Two French billionaires gave €300 million to help repair the cathedral within hours of the fire starting. Now, the total money donated is €850 million.

Luckily, an art historian called Andrew Tallon created a digital map of Notre Dame in 2015. He used lasers to create every detail of the cathedral digitally. The laser map of the cathedral can be used to rebuild Notre Dame very accurately. Unfortunately, Andrew Tallon died in 2018, without knowing the value that his work would have.

Difficult words

Cathedral (n): A large, very old church.

Icon (n): An important symbol.

Renovation (n): Making an old building modern.

Extinguish (v): To stop burning.

Priceless (adj): Something that cannot be sold for any amount of money, very special.

Digital (adj): Something created on a computer.

Laser (n): A device that creates a straight line of light.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English: 

American English: Audio Coming Soon!

Match the Synonym!

 1. Cathedral  A. Symbol
 2. Icon  B. On a computer
 3. Extinguish  C. Church
 4. Digital  D. Light
 5. Laser  E. Put out

True or False?

1. Notre Dame is located in London. T / F

2. Notre Dame is less than 900 years old. T / F

3. The Eiffel Tower does not receive more visitors than Notre Dame per year. T / F

4. The cathedral has been having renovation work. T / F

5. There is no money to repair the cathedral. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. one / buildings / famous / most / of / It / the / is

2. icon / of / It / France / an / is

3. the / fire / started / roof / near / The

4. roof / was / The / made / cathedral / mostly / wood / of

5. billionaires / €300 / Two / million / French / gave

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English: 

American English: Audio Coming Soon!

Detail Firefighters Visitors
Famous Started Repair

Notre Dame is a cathedral in Paris, France. It is one of the most ______________ buildings in the world. Notre Dame is 856 years old. It is an icon of France, it receives more _____________ each year than the Eiffel Tower.

On April 15, a fire started in the cathedral. It is thought that the fire ____________ because of renovation work that was being done to the cathedral. The fire started near the roof of the cathedral, where the construction work was taking place. The cathedral roof was mostly made of wood which made the fire spread very fast. A lot of the cathedral was destroyed in the fire but ________________ stopped it from destroying the cathedral completely. It took firefighters 15 hours to extinguish the fire. Many priceless parts of the building have been destroyed.

Immediately, people started to raise money to __________ the cathedral. Two French billionaires gave €300 million to help repair the cathedral within hours of the fire starting. Now, the total money donated is €850 million.

Luckily, an art historian called Andrew Tallon created a digital map of Notre Dame in 2015. He used lasers to create every ___________ of the cathedral digitally. The laser map of the cathedral can be used to rebuild Notre Dame very accurately. Unfortunately, Andrew Tallon died in 2018, without knowing the value that his work would have.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think of this story?
4. Have you ever been to Notre Dame? If not, would you like to go?
5. Have you ever read the book or seen the Disney movie “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”?
6. What is a famous landmark in your country?
7. Do you think your country would choose to rebuild a famous landmark if it was destroyed?
8. Have there been any disastrous events like this in your country?
9. Do you think the rebuilt cathedral should be designed exactly the same?
10. What are the oldest landmarks in your country?
11. There have been arguments about the donated money. People have said it should be used to help people around the world instead. What do you think about this?
12. Do you think the cathedral can be completed in 5 years?
13. Do you think it’s important to have the cathedral completed in time for the Olympics?
14. Is it important to save historical buildings?
15. Do you think a laser map should be created of all historical buildings around the world?
16. Why are historical buildings or objects important to humanity?
17. Are there any historical objects or locations you would like to see someday?
18. Does the age of an object or place make it more important?
19. Is religion important in your country?
20. Do you think there should be a punishment for the person who started the fire if it was an accident?