Vocabulary Worksheets

Fascinating Sharks: Vocabulary Worksheet with Fish Idioms

(Whale shark. Photo by Sebastian Pena Lambarri, Unsplash)

🖨 Scroll down for printable PDF version


Fill the gaps with these words:

diverse, fabrics, fearsome, flexible, kingdom, length, marine, prey, rough, rows, survived

Did you know that sharks are older than trees! They have been on our planet for around 450 million years and have a)_______________ several mass extinctions.

Unlike most fish, sharks have a skeleton made of cartilage and not bone. Cartilage is lighter than bone and much more b)_______________, which allows sharks to be more efficient swimmers. 

Whale sharks, which are the largest fish on earth, have huge mouths and about 300 c)_______________ of teeth, but these majestic creatures are docile and feed mostly on plankton.

Not all sharks are massive though. In fact they come in all sizes – the dwarf lanternshark is about the d)_______________ of a pencil!

Sharks have small tooth-shaped ‘scales’ on their skin known as dermal denticles. This is why their skin feels e)_______________ like sandpaper if you were to stroke them from tail to head. These ‘scales’ reduce friction allowing them to swim faster and in fact have inspired f) _______________ for Olympic swimsuits!

Sharks never run out of teeth. When they lose a tooth, it is replaced by a tooth from the row behind. They can go through thousands of teeth in a lifetime.

Sharks have a phenomenal sense of smell, one of the most powerful in the animal g) _______________. They can smell blood from hundreds of metres away.

They are also equipped with special sensory organs which allow them to detect electrical currents and vibrations in the water.  This gives them several advantages as hunters. For instance, it can help them detect the heartbeat of h)__________________ hiding under sand.

Not only are sharks fascinating creatures, but they have been a vital part of i)_______________ ecosystems for millions of years. One very important role they play is keeping other animal populations in check (= preventing them from expanding too much). This helps to ensure j)_______________ oceanic life.

Sharks have a k)_______________ reputation thanks in part to movies such as “Jaws” but most shark species are harmless, to humans at least. You are far more likely to be killed by a lightning strike, a bee or even a cow!

Not so fun fact

Alarmingly, shark populations have plummeted by 70% in just the last fifty years, mostly as a result of overfishing, bycatch* and shark finning. 100 million sharks are killed every year.

*Bycatch: the marine creatures caught unintentionally in commercial fishing operations


1. Karla is very nervous about her first public concert. It’s one thing to sing in front of friends and family but singing in front of a big crowd is a different __________ (bucket, kettle, pan) of fish

2. People were packed like __________ (cod, sardines, tuna) in the train so we decided not to get on and to wait for the next train.

3. I wouldn’t talk to the boss today about organising the office party. He’s got __________ (bigger, busier, grander) fish to fry (= more important things to do)

4. Harold needed money fast so he went to a loan __________ (leech, shark, squid) and now he has to pay it all back in a week with 400% interest!


A) a) survived b) flexible c) rows d) length e) rough f) fabrics
g) kingdom h) prey i) marine j) diverse k) fearsome

B) 1. kettle 2. sardines 3. bigger 4. shark

a different kettle of fish – a completely different situation

If people are packed (in) like sardines there are so many people in a space that it is difficult for them to move

If someone has bigger fish to fry, they have more important things to do

a loan shark is an illegal and sometimes dangerous lender

More Nature Worksheets

Beautiful Bees

Gentle Giraffes

Test your Idioms!

Parts of the Body Exercise 1

Animals  Exercise 1

Idioms with ‘Give’  Exercise 1

Idioms with ‘Make’  Exercise 1  Exercise 2

Idioms with ‘Take’  Exercise 1

Idioms with ‘Keep’  Exercise 1

Idioms with ‘Think’  Exercise 1

vocabulary exercises

Quiz Your English! (1) – Vocabulary and Idioms Worksheet

A.  General Vocabulary

Fill in the gaps. All the words begin with the letters AN and an extra letter has also been given.

1. Amy and Leonard are celebrating their 50th wedding an_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ y  this Saturday.

2. Cinzia isn’t an_ t _ _ _ _ like her sister. She is far more outgoing.

3.  John isn’t playing basketball at the moment as he has sprained his an_ l _.

4.  The money was donated by someone who wishes to remain an_ n _ _ _ _ s.

5.  Deer, moose and caribou have an_ l _ _ _ .

B.  Idioms 

Choose the correct verb to complete the idioms.

1.  “I’m not usually one to _____ my own trumpet but I think I’m a pretty good cook,” said Julia. (blow, push, turn)

2.  You’re a bit tense about the meeting tomorrow. Why don’t you go for a run and _____ off some steam? (break, go, let)

3. The children are _____ under my feet. Do you mind taking them to the park so that I can get on with making lunch? (getting, going, running)

4.  We _____ the house upside down trying to find Ben’s football shoes but we couldn’t find them anywhere.  (lifted, ran, turned)

C.  Practical English

Choose the correct response.

1.  “Shall I carry that for you?”  – “No, don’t worry. _______________”

a)  I can do.  b) I can manage.

2.  “Can you lend me your pen?” – “_______________.”

a)  Yes, here you are.  b)  Yes, here you have it.

3.  “Do you know how to do this?” – “_______________.”

a)  Sorry, I have no idea.  b)  Sorry, I don’t have idea.


A. 1. anniversary 2. anything 3. ankle 4. anonymous 5. antlers.
B. 1. blow 2. let 3. getting 4. turned
C. 1. b) 2. a) 3. a)

Quiz Your English! (2) 😻 New! 😻


Animal Trivia Quiz!

Copy of IG - Vocabulary Quiz - Idioms (Animals)-4

It’s time to put your animal expertise to the test, my dear English students! The answers are at the bottom of the page.

1.  The fastest creature in the animal kingdom is a bird, the ________.

(a)  common swift

(b)  frigate bird

(c)  great horned owl

(d)  peregrine falcon

2.  A baby kangaroo is known as a ________.

(a)  jill

(b)  jim

(c)  joey

(d)  jonny

Joey - cropped

3. Which snake isn’t native to the British Isles?

(a)  adder

(b)  grass

(c)  rattlesnake 

(d)  smooth

4.  Which mythical creature is Scotland’s national animal?

(a)  unicorn

(b)  griffin

(c)  phoenix

(d)  dragon

Facebook Cheetah

5.  Which of the big cats can’t roar?

(a)  jaguar 

(b)  cheetah

(c)  leopard

(d) tiger

6.  Which of these isn’t a species of shark?

(a)  bottlenose

(b)  cookiecutter

(c)  goblin

(d)  leopard

Meerkat - animal quiz

7.  Which of these animals spends most of its life in a tree?

(a) otter

(b)  walrus

(c)  sloth

(d) meerkat

8.  Which of these won’t you find in a honey bee colony?

a) a slacker

b) a worker

(c) a queen

(d) a drone

Bee on flower


1.  (d) peregrine falcon (they can dive at over 320km/h!)

2.  (c) joey  (click here for 5 Amazing Kangaroo Joey Facts)

3.  (c) rattlesnake (native to the Americas)

4.  (a) unicorn (click here for 10 Magical Facts about Unicorns)

5.  (b) cheetah (it can purr though!)

6.  (a) bottlenose (it’s a dolphin species)

7.  (c) sloth  (they are much safer up in the trees!)

8.  (a) slacker  (a slacker is an informal word for a person who is lazy and doesn’t do all the work they should)

FOLLOW ME on Twitter for my vocabulary quizzes and more!! Twitter is the best social media platform for practising English or any foreign language. 

English Speaking Skills: Conversation Questions

Nature and Animals

Social Media

Food, cooking and eating out