World's Laziest

Reading comprehension, video and discussion activity

Look at the dictionary entry for the word SLOTH.

Sloth (N) : 1.the quality or state of being lazy.
2.a type of animal that lives in trees in South and Central America and that moves very slowly.
Merryam Webster

Now look at a short video by Lucy Cooke about sloths. What do you think of these animals? Are they magical as suggested? Why (not)?

Video 1.42 min.

SLOTH MAGIC from Lucy Cooke on Vimeo.

Sometimes people are called sloths, but not because they live in trees; rather, it’s because they are moving very slowly.
Are you like that sometimes? When?

Reading passage: Learn more about the world's slowest mammals and answer the questions that follow.

The sloth is the world's slowest mammal, so sedentary that algae grows on its furry coat. The plant gives it a greenish tint that is useful camouflage in the trees of its Central and South American rain forest home.
Sloths are identified by the number of long, prominent claws that they have on each front foot. There are both two-toed and three-toed sloths.

All sloths are built for life in the treetops. They spend nearly all of their time hanging from branches with a powerful grip aided by their long claws. Though they are clumsy on land, sloths are surprisingly good swimmers. They sometimes fall directly from rain forest trees into rivers and stroke efficiently with their long arms.

Sloths sleep in trees, and they sleep a lot—some 15 to 20 hours every day. Even when awake they often remain motionless. At night they eat leaves, shoots, and fruit from the trees and get almost all of their water from juicy plants. Trees are everything to them, they even mate and give birth while hanging in the trees.


1.How many kinds of sloths are there?
a)Two  b)Three  c)One

2.In order for a sloth to live in a tree, it needs . . .
a)big claws  b)balance  c)to eat only plants.

3.When do sloths eat?
a)At night   b)When they aren’t awake  c)all the time

4.According to the passage, why do sloths have a green color sometimes?
a)They resemble trees  b)They are camouflaged by leaves  c)Green algae grow on their fur.

5.What is the third paragraph about?
a)Misconceptions about the sloth  b)Misteries about the sloth  c)The sloth’s habits

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