Here is a text taken from a science magazine named Small Newton. It is aimed towards older children/teenagers and is packed with lots of useful vocabulary and scientific terms. I was torn between putting this in the beginner section but decided against it as even though it is quite short and the sentences are very simplistic, a lot of the characters are fairly unique and animal-specific. Let me know what you think.

Key Words

In the key words today then let’s look at some of the characters that might be unknown to you in this text.

小牛顿 – The name of the magazine that wrote this article.

防御 – To defend

掠食者 – 掠食 is to prey upon. Adding a 者 to the end turns it into a predator.

威胁- Menace/threaten.

天敌 – Natural enemies, mainly used as a term in biology.

Danger on the Ground

(Hover over the Chinese for pinyin)

在天空,一般的飞鸟需要防御老鹰攻击,但生活在地面上的平胸鸟,却会受到各种掠食者的威胁。

大多数鸵鸟生活在到处都是掠食者的非洲草原上,凶猛的狮子和猎豹,群体猎食的棕鬣太还有天上的秃鹰等,都是它们必须小心防御的天敌。

鸵鸟站在草原上,长长得脖子能让它们看得很远,但也容易成为掠食的目标。所以发现危险时,鸵鸟有时会低下头,让天敌找不到它们。

发现狮子,豹靠近时,鸵鸟会迈开长腿快速逃离,奔跑时,它借助双翅保持平衡。因为鸵鸟奔跑时的速度很快。只要及早发现,就不容易被天敌捉到。鸵鸟粗壮的双脚不仅用来逃跑,还能攻击猎狗等身体较小的天敌。

此外,鸸鹋,美洲鸵鸟,食火鸡等,也都靠着 强壮的双脚逃生。至于生活在新西兰的奇异鸟,天敌虽较少,但为了减少危险。它们通常选在清晨和晚上活动。

What did you think?

How much could you read without peeking at the pinyin? I think this is a nicely balanced article that is great for reinforcing simple sentences structures while using some complicated characters.