Rubik’s Cube

English Listening Lesson

Listening level: 2
Audio file: 1:46 min
Story length: 276 words


Here is the listening file for this lesson.


Rubik’s Cube

Everyone knows the Rubik’s Cube. It’s the game with six sides and small moving blocks. But, did you know it started as a tool to teach students?

The history of the Rubik’s Cube begins in 1974 in Hungary.

A 29-year old teacher made the cube. He used it to help students understand shapes. His name was Erno Rubik.

After turning many times, each side of his cube had a mix of colors. Erno tried to turn the blocks and match the colors. It wasn’t easy. His students tried, too. Everyone enjoyed playing with it. That’s when Erno had an idea. It was a fun game. Maybe he could sell it.

Selling was not easy. Hungary at this time was part of the Soviet Union. People were not free to leave the country or start a business. He needed help.

A few years later, a businessman saw a cube inside a coffee shop. He liked it. He met Erno and they made a contract. The man would find a company to sell it. In 1979, he showed the cube to Tom Kremer. Tom worked in the game business and thought the cube had great potential.

Tom showed it to a game company. They purchased one million cubes. By 2009, 350 million cubes had been sold.

The story of the cube teaches us about business. Sometimes we have a great idea, but we don’t know it. It’s important to keep an open mind because our first idea may not always be right.

More Practice

Here’s a gap fill exercise. Download the Rubik’s Cube printable worksheet (pdf file). Listen to the story and fill in the blanks.

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