Back to Frankie's
ESL Worksheets


Now use your notes about George Mallory to write a short biography. To help you do this, have a look at the biography of Amelia Earhart below.

Skim through the text and then answer the questions that follow it.


Amelia Earhart: A Flying Legend

America’s most famous female pilot, Amelia Mary Earhart, was born on 24th July 1897 in Atchison, Kansas. She had a difficult childhood because her father was an alcoholic and often lost jobs, which meant that the family had to move frequently. Despite missing a lot of school, Earhart excelled academically. She loved books, enjoyed reciting poetry and played sports like basketball and tennis.

In 1917, after high school, Earhart trained as a nursing assistant in Toronto and then worked at a military hospital until the end of World War 1. After the war she had a variety of jobs, including social work and teaching English to immigrant children.

In 1920 Earhart accompanied her father to an air show near Long Beach and took a ten-minute plane ride. "As soon as we left the ground," she recalled later, "I knew I myself had to fly!" Shortly afterwards, she began lessons with a female flying instructor, Anita Snook, and was able to make her first solo flight in 1921. It went well apart from a bad landing. Earhart had several accidents in her first couple of years, possibly because early planes were unreliable or (some people say) because she was a poor pilot!

In October 1922, Earhart made her first attempt to break a world flying record: she set a women’s altitude record of 14,000 feet. She was often in the newspapers and the Boston Globe called her "one of the best women pilots in the United States".

On 17th-18th June 1928, Amelia Earhart travelled as a passenger in a Fokker tri-plane that flew from Nova Scotia, Canada to Wales, becoming the first woman ever to make a trans-Atlantic flight. In 1931, she married a publisher, George Putnam, who had financed the flight. On 20th-21st May 1932, Earhart crossed the Atlantic on her own, setting a record time of 13 hours and 30 minutes. She was also the first woman to fly the Atlantic alone and the only person to fly it twice.

In January 1935, Earhart made a trans-Pacific flight from Hawaii to Oakland, California. Ten pilots had died in earlier attempts to make the crossing. Then on 1st June 1937 Earhart embarked on her last flight. Accompanied by navigator Fred Noonan, she took off from Miami, Florida on a round-the-world trip via California, Puerto Rico, Africa, the Middle East, India, Burma, Singapore and Australia. On 29th June the pair reached Lae in New Guinea. They had flown 22,000 miles and had just 7,000 more to go. They left Lae on 2nd July and were never seen again.

Earhart’s disappearance is one of the great unsolved mysteries of aviation. Some believe that she and Noonan were on a spying mission and were captured by the Japanese. It seems more likely, however, that their plane ran out of fuel and crashed about 35-100 miles off the coast of Howland Island. Despite an extensive search by nine US ships and sixty-six aircraft, the plane was never found. An archaeological project was launched in 1988 to collect reliable evidence about Earhart’s last flight. Project staff have found some plane fragments on the Pacific atoll of Nikumaroro which may have come from her plane. Otherwise, the mystery continues.




1. What is similar about the lives of George Mallory and Amelia Earhart?
2. How is the Earhart biography organised? Give topic headings to the following sections:
  1. Paragraphs 1-2
  2. Paragraphs 3-5
  3. Paragraphs 6-7
3. Check the verbs in the text. What tense are most of them in?

(NOTE: When you do your own writing, be sure to write "was born".)

4. Look for dates in the text. Where do they come in most sentences (at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end)?
5. What prepositions (in/on) are used with the following dates?
  1. ____ 17th June 1928
  2. ____ July 1937
  3. ____ 1935
6. In British English, dates are written as follows: 24th July 1897

How are they written in US English?

7. What other time phrases can you see in the text (paragraphs 2 and 3)?
EXAMPLE: after high school

8. Instead of following the pattern "In 1935" throughout a text, we can use expressions such as "the following year" and "two years later". Look at your Mallory notes. Can you see any events where you might use such expressions?

9. Look at the following pairs of sentences.

  • Earhart flew from Nova Scotia to Wales. She became the first woman to make a trans-Atlantic flight.
  • Earhart crossed the Atlantic on her own. She set a record time.

It is possible to combine the same information like this:

  • Earhart flew from Nova Scotia to Wales, becoming the first woman to make a trans-Atlantic flight.
  • Earhart crossed the Atlantic on her own, setting a record time.

Rewrite the following sentences in a similar way:

  1. Mallory and Sandy Irvine set off from the top of the North Col on 6th June. They hoped to reach the summit three days later.

  2. Irvine was hard at work. He was making final adjustments to their oxygen canisters.
10. There are other ways to combine information neatly. Look at the example below:

  • She took off from Miami. She was accompanied by navigator Fred Noonan.

We can rewrite this as:

  • Accompanied by navigator Fred Noonan, she took off from Miami.

Rewrite the following sentences in a similar way:

  1. Mallory set off for the summit. He was accompanied by 22-year-old Sandy Irvine.
  2. He was married with three children. He worked as a teacher and served as a gunner during World War 1.
11. Now it is time to write your Mallory biography. Look at your notes again.
  • Decide how to organise the information: scribble some headings (Reason for fame; Family/Job, … etc.).
  • Write a first draft, taking special care with tenses and time expressions.
  • Review this draft (re-read it yourself, but also share it with others) and then write it again.

You may need to look at the following Mallory websites again in order to find extra information for your biography. (Do not copy!)


 Frankie Meehan