The Pencil

Gap-fill exercise

Fill in all the gaps, then press "Check" to check your answers. Use the "Hint" button to get a free letter if an answer is giving you trouble. You can also click on the "[?]" button to get a clue. Note that you will lose points if you ask for hints or clues!
Because the pencil become such a fundamental part of our lives, it's difficult to remember that people not been using them forever. Like other products of human ingenuity, pencils had to be invented.
Before the first half of the sixteenth century, people to use pens to write with and brushes to paint with. It also possible to use a metal stick to make faint marks on paper. However, up to that point no one found an easy way to make marks that could be erased. Then, some time before 1565, a large deposit of the chemical, graphite, found near Borrowdale in Cumbria, England. The locals use this graphite (a kind of soft black rock) to mark sheep. Soon, tales of this unusual soft substance spread to artists around the world, who were eager to use it to produce works of art.
Graphite is soft and dirty, and in order to write or draw with it, it to have to be covered in something, such as sheepskin or string. People had trying to improve the pencil for some time before manufacturers in Italy came up with the idea of enclosing the graphite in a wooden case. The modern pencil was born.