Reading Activity 2 (Paired Passages) Impacts of Viral Stories

(15 MARKS)


Instructions: Read Passage 1 and Passage2 and answer the questions in all parts correctly, then present ONLY Part D in class.

Impacts of Viral Stories

Passage 1


[1] Today we are talking about viral stories and their impact. The internet is full of viral stories – stories that we see and share, and then others reshare, and reshare, etc. Surprisingly, viral stories are often not about celebrities. You don’t have to be a famous entertainer or a cultural icon to go viral. Impacts of Viral Stories


[2] Take the story of Murtaza Ahmadi. Murtaza was an Afghani boy who made a copy of his hero Lionel Messi’s Jersey out of a plastic bag. Someone took a photo. It went viral and changed Murtaza’s life. He got to travel to Qatar where his dreams came true and he met Messi.


[3] Stories which warm our hearts are not the only ones that can go viral. Many are just silly or amusing. There are countless online performers that we only know; thanks to YouTube. Many are people who don’t even have any special talent.


[4] There are people like Matt McAllister, who became famous for wearing 155 t-shirts at the same time! His video had had over 17.5 million views. It’s not going to change the world, but it’s something that might make us laugh. And sometimes, maybe that’s enough.















Passage 2


[1] What makes a story entertaining enough to go viral? In Kyle MacDonald’s case it was a simple red paperclip. He exchanged it online, and then kept trading for better things until he reached his final goal – his own house.


[2] The 26-year-old from Vancouver had been trading things online for a year before he finally got offered a two-story three-bedroom 1920s farmhouse in Kipling Canada and made the headlines. The 14 trades that he made included a fish pen; a stove; and “instant party kit”; a contract; a year’s free rent in Phoenix, Arizona; and a part in the movie Donna on Demand. Impacts of Viral Stories


[3] When Kyle was growing up in the suburbs of Vancouver he watched children go door to door trying to trade their toys for something more valuable. He was sure as long as he tried hard enough, he would get what he wanted. And sure enough, an opportunity presented itself.


[4] Not many people had heard of the small town of Kipling before the story caught people’s attention. The mayor, Pat Jackson, was trying to promote tourism and decided to make the offer of the house to get publicity and raise awareness of the town as a friendly, welcoming place. His offer included not just the house, but the key to the town and the opportunity to be mayor for one day. Impacts of Viral Stories


[5] Since the trade Mr. MacDonald had made an appearance on a TV show, given interviews to newspapers, and set up a popular website. The red paperclip was definitely his ticket to fame.

  1. Back References (2 MARKS):


  1. The word ‘It’ in paragraph 2 of passage 1 refers to __________________. (0.5 mark)
  2. The word ‘His’ in paragraph 4 of passage 1 refers to _________________. (0.5 mark)
  3. The word ‘He’ in paragraph 1 of passage 2 refers to __________________. (0.5 mark)
  4. The word ‘their’ in paragraph 3 of passage 2 refers to _________________. (0.5 mark)


  1. Vocabulary: Complete the sentences below with the words in red from the passages. (2 MARKS)


  1. They give out wristbands to help ___________________ for cancer. (0.5 mark)
  2. He made many _______________ contributions to the field of science. (0.5 mark)
  3. The red post box is regarded as a British _________________. (0.5 mark)
  4. Alex has a _______ for bringing his clients together for their mutual benefits. (0.5 mark)


  1. Questions (4 MARKS):


  1. According to passages 1 and 2, do you think these people deserve to be famous? Why or why not? (2 marks)



  1. According to paragraph 5 of passage 2, what can be inferred from the following statement: “The red paperclip was definitely his ticket to fame.”? (2 marks)




  1. Discussion (7 MARKS):


In your opinion, what are factors to make a person become an influencer on social media? Write your answer in about 150 words (Content = 5 marks, Grammar = 2)

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