Read the speech below about Dandelions and answer the questions. What starts out yellow and ends up as a fluffy
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What starts out yellow and ends up as a fluffy white ball? If I told you it was Taraxacum officinale, would that ring a bell? What if I told you it was of the family Compositae-would that excite your senses? If you haven't figured it out by now, the subject of which I am speaking is none other than the common, ordinary dandelion. Yes, those bright, yellow flowers which we all, as kids, eagerly snapped off the stems. I'm sure all of us remember having blown the fluffy white tufts into the air above. Although we have these pleasant memories from our childhoods, most homeowners consider the dandelion as the most irritating and troublesome of all the weeds-partly because their deep root system makes them almost impossible to get rid of. However, from a botany class, I learned that the dandelion, in reality, is a very useful plant. From further research, I discovered that the dandelion has both wide medical and culinary uses. Today, I will explain these uses to you. We'll start by looking at the dandelion's medicinal value. The scientific name of the dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, testifies to its value as a medicine. According to Edward Spencer, in his book All About Dandelions, Taraxacum refers to medical properties of a plant found in Persia. Officinale, the species name, when given to any plant, indicates that it is used by druggists and pharmacists. Throughout history, dandelions have been used to help cure various medical ailments. Dandelions were reportedly used by the ancient Egyptians to treat kidney and stomach disorders. The dandelion's many cures were recorded by Arabian physicians in the tenth century. And in sixteenth-century England, dandelion waters were used in the treatment of illness among the nobility. Today, scientists know as a fact that the dandelion has great medicinal value. According to Mea Allan, in her book Weeds, the plant contains chemicals that stimulate blood circulation, the liver, digestive organs, and especially the kidneys and bladder-which has gained the dandelion fame as a so-called "potty herb." Audrey Hatfield, in her book How to Enjoy Your Weeds, says that a tea made from dandelion roots or leaves is helpful in relieving many conditions. It helps relieve liver and lung disorders, and it helps treat anemia. In addition, it serves as a mild laxative and is helpful in aiding digestion. Hatfield also suggests that dandelion tea is highly effective in cases of eczema, scurvy, and similar skin conditions. So valuable is the dandelion in treating medical ailments that 100,000 pounds are imported into the United States each year for this purpose. If you have no interest in using dandelions for your health, you can still find them of use in the kitchen. Historically, dandelions have been used as food for thousands of years. According to an article in National Wildlife magazine, they were among the original bitter herbs of Passover, a Jewish holiday which commemorates the Hebrews' liberation from slavery in Egypt. The English have been using dandelions in salads since the Middle Ages. And currently, many ethnic groups in the United States-such as Greeks, Poles, French, Italians, and even the Amish-all eat dandelions. All parts of the dandelion can be utilized to make a variety of delicious foods. Its bitter leaves, if picked before the yellow flowers appear, can be added to a salad. The leaves are usually mixed with other vegetables to vary their flavor. The dandelion's roots may be roasted in an oven, then ground and used as a caffeine-free coffee substitute. The golden yellow flowers can be steeped in water and then used to produce a delicious wine. And the entire dandelion plant may be used to make beer. In addition to being tasty, dandelions are extremely nutritious. According to Peter Gail, a professor of economic botany at Cleveland State University, "The dandelion's nutrient qualities read almost like a One-a-Day vitamin." Dandelion greens have 50 percent more vitamin C than tomatoes, twice as much protein as eggplant, and double the fiber of asparagus. They have as much iron as spinach and more potassium than bananas. All of this may sound strange to you, but not to the people of Vineland, New Jersey, the official Dandelion Capital of the World. In Vineland, the dandelion has grown from being a $98,000 crop in 1997 to almost a half-million-dollar crop today. At the beginning of the season, dandelions sell for as much as $1.25 a pound. Most of Vineland's dandelion crop ends up in restaurants and markets in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. Every March the town hosts its annual seven-course dandelion dinner. The menu consists of dandelion soup, dandelion salad, dandelion sausage, dandelions and vegetables, dandelion beef roulade, dandelions sweet cup, and dandelion wine. Tickets for the dinner sell for $25 apiece, with people coming from as far away as Ohio. Former Vineland mayor Patrick Fiorilli has humorously summed up Vinelands' position in the dandelion world: "In your yard, you go out and pull the dandelions out of the grass. Our farmers pull the grass out of the dandelions." As we have seen, then, the dandelion is a greatly misunderstood plant. Despite its reputation as an irritating weed, in reality it is a very useful plant. Having various medical and culinary uses, the dandelion stands as one of the most underrated and least appreciated plants in the world. Hopefully, in the future, more people will come to recognize the usefulness of the dandelion, thereby reestablishing this "common" weed as a truly uncommon plant.
1. What is the thesis statement?
2. What type of attention getter is used? (Startling statement, questions, story, quotation?)
3. What is the method of organization for the main points? (Chronological, topical, or narrative?
4. What are the main points of the speech?
5. Find at least one example of a transition word or phrase and write it here.