IELTS Reading LEVEL 4.5 – Amazing Animal Helpers

Amazing Animal Helpers

This dolphin is helping soldiers. How? It looks for hidden objects on the ocean floor. Other animals help people too. Jump inside to learn all about them!

K-Dog, a bottlenose dolphin, has a camera attached to its flipper to record underwater objects. Brien Aho/U.S. Navy/Getty Images

Animals Have Special Jobs!

Many different types of animals help people. See how these animals lend a hand-or a flipper, hoof, or paw!

Diving Dolphins

A special team of bottlenose dolphins helps the U.S. Navy in the ocean waters near Iraq. The dolphins use sonar to find unsafe objects in the water. Sonar is the use of sound to find things. After the dolphins finish their job, they are rewarded with a favorite snack-fish! The dolphins’ work helps keep our troops safe from harm.

Reading Dogs

Reading dogs listen to the children read. That helps kids feel confident while they read. The dogs do not rush the kids or correct them.

Helpful Horses

Cuddles, a guide horse, is full-grown at 2 feet tall. That is about the size of a large dog. Cuddles helps guide her owner, who is blind. Cuddles wears special sneakers to protect her hooves.

Marvelous Monkeys

Some monkeys help people who cannot move their arms or legs. The monkeys are trained to do tasks such as getting water from the refrigerator or putting a CD in a music player.

This dog helps find people buried in collapsed buildings.

Hot Dogs!

Take a look at some ways these furry friends help people.

  • Some dogs look for people who could be buried in snow.
  • A dog can search for people in the water.
  • Other dogs work to cheer up sick children in hospitals.
  • A colorful poodle might visit a child in a hospital


confident       con ·fi ·dent



  1. having trust or faith; sure that something will happen.

We are confident that our team will win.

Advanced Definition


  1. having full assurance; secure and satisfied.

The coach is confident that the team will win.

  1. secure in one’s own abilities; self-assured.

Now that she’s been with the company for a year, she is much more confident.

Wearing this stylish suit will make you feel confident.

  1. overly self-assured; presumptuous.

You’re a bit confident, saying something as bold as that!

I detest that he’s so smug and confident.

Spanish cognate

confiado: The Spanish word confiado means confident.

These are some examples of how the word or forms of the word are used:

  1. The day of the audition, “you go into the room with a confident smile, give them your headshot and resume [a picture of yourself and a list of all the shows you’ve been in before], and introduce yourself.”
  2. Collins and NASA officials are confident that the shuttle is safer than ever, and the crew is ready for the upcoming mission. “It’s time for us to go fly,” said Collins. “If [the shuttle] wasn’t safe, I wouldn’t get on it.”


reward       re ·ward



  1. something you receive because you did something good.

She got a raise in salary as a reward for all her hard work.


  1. to give something to someone for doing something good.

I rewarded my children for their good report cards by taking them to the movies.

Advanced Definition


  1. a sum of money or something else of value that is promised to someone for the capture of criminals, return of stolen property, or other service.
  2. anything that satisfies or pleases, as a return for something done.

His praise is a good reward.

transitive verb

  1. to provide recompense for (something done).

She rewarded his efforts.

  1. to give something to (someone) as a reward.

These are some examples of how the word or forms of the word are used:

  1. Everyone loves pizza, but should it be used as a reward for reading?
  2. You’ll notice, if you ever try andreward your cat with something sugary, your pet doesn’t have much interest in candy.
  3. If you send a thousand dollars to cover the processing fee, I will put a million dollars in your account as a reward.
  4. So the saying “kindness is its own reward” may not be true just for humans.
  5. If you reward us with money, it may motivate us to do great in subjects we don’t like, and then we’ll start doing well by ourselves.

A month after Paul Montgomery, a coin collector in New Hampshire, offered a $1 million

reward for the 1913 Liberty Head nickel – one of the rarest American coins – the Walton family came forward and said that they thought they owned one.

  1. But he had to admit that getting a reward was nice.
  2. If you reward us, it may motivate us to do great in subjects we don’t like.
  3. “You have rescued my horse,” Queen Olivia told the young boy standing before her. “Now you shall have a reward.”
  4. “Only onereward can be yours,” the queen said. “Choose wisely.” “That’s easy,” Peter said. “I’ll take the chicken.”


train       train



  1. a group of railroad cars connected together that carry people or things from one place to another.

That train can carry fifty people at one time.


  1. to teach skills or actions.

He trained his dog to catch a ball.

Advanced Definition


  1. a connected series of railroad cars.

We had to wait a long time for the train to pass.

  1. a long, moving line of persons, animals, or vehicles.

A train of mules carried the supplies up to the camp.

  1. an orderly sequence of things or ideas.

Your train of thought is very clear in this essay.

  1. a group of servants or attendants; retinue.

The duchess arrived with her train of servants.

  1. the long part of a gown or robe that trails behind the person wearing it.

The bridesmaids walked behind the bride, carrying her long train.

transitive verb

  1. to instill skills or behavior in through discipline or instruction.

He trained his dog to come when called.

The guerrillas were trained to fight without regard for their own lives.

  1. to make proficient through instruction.

The swordsmen were trained by a master.

  1. to make (someone) physically fit, esp. by imposing an organized program of exercise and diet.

The coach trained him for the big race.

  1. to cause (an object) to take a particular shape or form.

I can’t seem to train my hair to curl.

  1. to focus; direct.

He trained his sights on the target.

intransitive verb

  1. to provide or undergo discipline or instruction in order to develop skills or attain proficiency.

These soldiers are still training.

  1. to prepare oneself to compete, usu. in an athletic contest.

She trained for the Olympics.

Spanish cognate

tren: The Spanish word tren means train.

These are some examples of how the word or forms of the word are used:

  1. Then they will take a train to see us in San Diego. I can hardly wait!
  2. But he used that time to train and get stronger. This year, he hopes to have his best season yet.
  3. Acrobats have to train for many years to do all of these dangerous stunts. It requires a lot of practice.
  4. Runners train for months to get ready. To prepare for her most recent marathon, Lea ran four to five times every week.
  5. Another man helped Washington train the soldiers to fight the British more effectively. By spring, things began to improve rapidly for the troops.
  6. Soon, Aidan’strain of thought was interrupted by the roar of the crowd. Jackson, the lead singer, came over to him and gave him a high five.
  7. Boxcar Tommy lives in an abandoned train car outside of town. Every morning, his pet poodle Pepper licks his face until he wakes up from the tickles.
  8. Also at the Johnson Space Center is an enormous building where astronauts train before heading to the ISS. The building houses models of the various components that make up the huge space station.
  9. “It’s time for a fresh start for all of us.” So they had packed up their belongings and joined the next wagon train out west. Eliza was relieved when the wagon came to a stop.

Name: ___________________________________ Date: _______________

Comprehension Questions

1. What job does Cuddles the horse do for her owner?
A. She guides her owner who is blind.
B. She finds unsafe objects in the water.
C. She wears special sneakers to protect her hooves.
D. She gets her owner water from the refrigerator.
2. The passage compares different animals. What do all the animals described in the passage have in common?
A. All of them enjoy the jobs that they do.
B. All of them are small animals.
C. All of them use sonar to find objects in the ocean.
D. All of them have been trained to help humans.
3. How do the animals described in the passage affect the lives of humans?
A. The animals affect the lives of humans in ways that can’t be noticed.
B. The animals affect the lives of humans in both positive and negative ways.
C. The animals affect the lives of humans in negative ways.
D. The animals affect the lives of humans in positive ways.
4. “The monkeys are trained to do tasks such as getting water from the refrigerator or putting a CD in a music player.” In the passage, the word tasks most nearly means
A. important plans
B. easy activities
C. sharp objects
D. helpful jobs
5. The main idea of this passage is that
A. there are different kinds of animals who have been trained to help humans
B. dogs are the best kind of animal helpers
C. people who are blind can have a trained horse help them go places
D. it is very important for humans to have animals to help them
6. How do bottlenose dolphins help the U.S. Navy in the ocean waters near Iraq?
7. What word can be used to describe one of the animals that help people in the passage? Explain why this word can be used to describe the animal. Use information from the passage to support your answer.
8. The question below is an incomplete sentence. Choose the word that best completes the sentence.
Dogs can help children feel more confident as readers __________ the dogs do not make them feel bad if they make mistakes or read slowly.
A. so
B. because
C. but
D. after
9. Which of the following pictures shows a confident person?


10. Would you feel confident if you were asked to dive into the ocean off a steep cliff? Why or why not?

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