Death of The Purple Prince

Prince, the songwriter, singer, producer, one-man studio band and consummate showman, died Thursday at his residence, Paisley Park, in Chanhassen, Minn., according to a statement from his publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure. He was 57.” J. Pareles, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Prince. photo-trendnewsamerica

Prince. photo-trendnewsamerica

Excerpt: Prince Is Dead at 57 By Jon Pareles, The New York Times

“Prince, born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958, was a man bursting with music — a wildly prolific songwriter, a virtuoso on guitars, keyboards and drums and a master architect of funk, rock, R&B and pop, even as his music defied genres.

Prince. photo: Richard E. Aaron:Redferns

Prince. photo: Richard E. Aaron:Redferns

In a career that lasted from the late 1970s until the arena tour this year, he was acclaimed as a sex symbol, a musical prodigy and an artist who shaped his career his way, often battling with accepted music-business practices.

Prince performing in Los Angeles in 2009 K. Dowling

Prince performing in Los Angeles in 2009 K. Dowling

His songs also became hits for others, among them Nothing Compares 2 U for Sinead O’Connor and I Feel for You for Chaka Khan.

You Tube: Purple Rain Trailer

With the 1984 film and album Purple Rain, Prince told a fictionalized version of his own story: biracial, gifted, spectacularly ambitious. Its music won him an Academy Award and the album sold more than 13 million copies in the United States alone.”

Prince London O2 Arena September 9, 2007. vintagerock

Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016)

curiosityWe’ll Miss Him

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

KWL Chart

Directions: Have students use the KWL chart to list the information

they already know about the singer Prince.  Later in the Post- Reading segment of the lesson, students can fill in what they’ve learned about the topic.

Advanced K-W-L chart.Intervention for Reading copy

II. While Reading 

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. Prince was a wildly prolific songwriter.
  2. He was also a virtuoso on guitars.
  3. His music defied genres.
  4. He was acclaimed as a a musical prodigy.
  5. Prince  was at once spontaneous and utterly precise.
  6. In Prince’s biggest hits, he sang passionately.
  7. He was riveting enough to open a Grammy Awards.
  8. He worked as a bandleader in the ecstatic tradition of James Brown.
  9. He made himself a unifier of dualities.
  10. He had plenty of eccentricities.
Vocabulary Organizer by Against the Odds

Vocabulary Organizer by Against the Odds

 

Reading Comprehension

 Fill-ins

Directions: The following sentences are from the article. Choose the correct word for each blank space.

He had___ of eccentricities: his ___for the color___, using “U” for “you” and a drawn eye for “I” long before textspeak, his___ policing of his music online, his ___for releasing huge___ of music at once, his intensely ___persona. Yet among___ and listeners of ___generations, he was ___well-nigh universally.

Word List: musicians, penchant, plenty, fondness,

admired, purple, multiple, private, troves, vigilant,

 Grammar Focus

Word -Recognition

Directions: Students choose the correct word to complete the sentences taken from the article. They are to choose from the options presented.

Prince  record/recorded the great majority/major of his music entirely on his own, playing every instrument and signing/singing every vocal line. Then, performing those sings/songs onstage, he worked as a bandleader in the polished, athletic, ecstatic tradition of James Brown, at once spontaneous and utterly precise, riveting/rivets enough to open a Grammy Awards telecast and play the Super Bowl halftime show. Often, Prince would follow a full-tilt arena/area concert with a late-night club show, pouring out even more music.

III. Post Reading 

Graphic Organizers

Finding the main idea

Directions:  Have students use this advanced organizer from Write Design to assist them with  discussing  or writing about  the main idea and points from the article.

Main idea chart By Write Design

Main idea chart By Write Design

Directions: Place students in groups and have them  discuss the following statement. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. 

“He had plenty of eccentricities: his fondness for the color purple, using “U” for “you” and a drawn eye for “I” long before textspeak, his vigilant policing of his music online, his penchant for releasing huge troves of music at once, his intensely private persona.”

1-Minute Free Writing Exercise

Directions: Allow students 1 minute to write down one new idea they’ve learned from the reading. Ask them to write down one thing they did not understand in the reading.  Review the responses as a class. Note: For the lower levels allow more time for this writing activity.

ANSWER KEY

Category: Music | Tags:

Pride and Prejudice: A 2016 Makeover?

“It takes confidence — some might even say hubris — to rewrite one of the most beloved novels in the English canon. So Curtis Sittenfeld was prepared for a backlash when word got out that she was writing a modern-day version of Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice. The response from some die-hard Austen fans was swift and predictably brutal.” A. Alter, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Book Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Book Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Excerpt: Curtis Sittenfeld Is No Jane Austen… A. Alter, The New York Times

“Ms. Sittenfeld, author of the best-selling novels Prep and American Wife, seems almost sheepish when discussing the daunting task she had set for herself. Her novel Eligible, which Random House will release on Tuesday, is the latest book in the Austen Project, a series that pairs contemporary novelists with Austen’s six works… But updating Pride and Prejudice poses a unique challenge.

Pride and PrejudiceOf all of Austen’s works, it is far and away the most popular. It has been adapted into dozens of spinoff books, including murder mysteries (P. D. James’s lurid Death Comes to Pemberley) and horror stories (Seth Grahame-Smith’s blood-soaked parody Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) There are Pride and Prejudice theme books for every age group and demographic, including cookbooks, coloring books, young adult novels, board books for toddlers and comic books. So what led Ms. Sittenfeld, 40, an acclaimed writer who has published four earlier novels, to enter the hypersaturated market for Jane Austen fan fiction?

Like millions of other readers, she happens to be a huge Austen fan. And while she knew that rewriting Pride and Prejudice was professionally risky, she was driven partly by the same impulse that compelled devoted Austenphiles to reread the novel dozens of times: She wanted to spend more time with the characters.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

I see Eligible as a homage, and I see Pride and Prejudice as a perfect book, she said. You can dispute whether this project is a good idea, but you can’t dispute my fondness for the novel.”

 Visit Grades 9-12 Lesson Plan for Pride and Prejudice Cover art- dailylit

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 2 hours.

Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

Stimulating background knowledge: Brainstorming

Directions: Place students in groups, ask students to think about what they already know about  the topic.  Next, have students look at the picture(s) in the text and generate ideas or words that may be connected to the article. Debrief as a class and list these ideas on the board. Students can use a brainstorming chart for assistance.

Brainstorming chart by UIE copy

II. While Reading Tasks

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. Some might say it takes hubris  to rewrite a classic.
  2. Pride and Prejudice poses a unique challenge.
  3. It has been adapted into dozens of spinoff books.
  4. The characters and plot are interesting.
  5. The author was driven by  a strange impulse to write.
  6. I see Eligible as a homage.
  7. You can dispute whether this project is a good idea.
  8. You can’t dispute my fondness for the novel.
  9. The novel features a headstrong heroine.
  10. She  uses her own brand of satire on the timeless plot.
Vocabulary Organizer by Against the Odds

Vocabulary Organizer by Against the Odds

Reading Comprehension

Fill-ins

Directions: Place students in groups and after they have read the entire article, have them complete the following sentences taken from the article. They can use the words and terms from the list provided, or provide their own terms. They are to find the meanings of any new vocabulary.

There were no___. But it___ became___that Ms. Sittenfeld could probably ___any urgent “Pride and Prejudice” questions without ___the source. She more or less ___the ___to memory when she carefully___out the novel’s 61___, in an ___to create a blueprint of sorts for her own___.

Word List: mapped, evident, plot, committed, chapters,

version, effort, emergencies, quickly, handle, consulting,

 Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage

Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical  error. Students are to identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I

The characters and plot  is kind of in our air.

There are theme books for every age group.

Of Austen’s works, it is the most popular.

II

Like millions of other readers, she is a huge Austen fan.

She committed the plot on memory.

She created her own version.

III

Jane is approaching spinsterhood.

A rich single man  come to town.

Lizzy takes an instant dislike to his richer friend.

III. Post Reading Tasks

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the  WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them  discuss the following statements. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.

1. “The novel has already proved polarizing among Austen fans. Sadly disappointing, this book is just trying to cash in on the popularity of Austen’s characters, one angry reader wrote on Goodreads. A critic for Kirkus Reviews warned, Don’t expect to get the same level of romantics and Darcy-inflicted swoon that make the original untouchable.”

2. Have each group list 3  questions they would like to pursue in relation to the focus of the topic.

1-Minute Free Writing Exercise

Directions: Allow students 1 minute to write down one new idea they’ve learned from the reading. Ask them to write down one thing they did not understand in the reading. Review the responses as a class. Note: For the lower levels allow more time for this writing activity.

ANSWER KEY

Category: Literature

Masculinity: The Tough-guy Stereotypes Live On

“Last semester, a student in the masculinity course I teach showed a video clip she had found online of a toddler getting what appeared to be his first vaccinations. Off camera, we hear his father’s voice. I’ll hold your hand, O.K.? Then, as his son becomes increasingly agitated: Don’t cry!…Say you’re a man: ‘I’m a man! The video ends with the toddler screwing up his face in anger and pounding his chest. I’m a man! he barks through tears and gritted teeth.” A. Reiner, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Image- Ben Wiseman for The New York Times

Image- Ben Wiseman for The New York Times

Excerpt:  Teaching Men to Be Emotionally Honest  by Andrew Reiner, NYT

“The home video was right on point, illustrating the takeaway for the course: how boys are taught, sometimes with the best of intentions, to mutate their emotional suffering into anger. More immediately, it captured, in profound concision, the earliest stirrings of a male identity at war with itself.

This is no small thing. As students discover in this course, an Honors College seminar called Real Men Smile: The Changing Face of Masculinity, what boys seem to need is the very thing they fear. Yet when they are immunized against this deeper emotional honesty, the results have far-reaching, often devastating consequences…

Ben Wiseman for The New York Times

Ben Wiseman for The New York Times

The course Real Men Smile, which examines how the perceptions of masculinity have and haven’t changed since the 18th century, grew out of a provocative lecture by Michael Kimmel, the seminal researcher and author in the growing field of masculine studies… I wanted the course to explore this hallmark of the masculine psyche — the shame over feeling any sadness, despair or strong emotion other than anger, let alone expressing it and the resulting alienation.

image-emotional-intelligence

image-emotional-intelligence

Research shows what early childhood teachers have always known: that from infancy through age 4 or 5, boys are more emotive than girls. One study out of Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital in 1999 found that 6-month-old boys were more likely to show facial expressions of anger, to fuss, to gesture to be picked up and tended to cry more than girls.”

Visit our Guest Lesson Plans to see the wonderful activities for  elementary learners:

The Emperor and The Nightingale . imagebgfl.org

The Emperor and The Nightingale . imagebgfl.org

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions: Using a Pre-reading Organizer

Directions:  Ask students to examine the title of the post and of the actual article they are about to read. Then, have them  examine the photos. Ask students to write a paragraph describing what they think this article will discuss. Students can use a Pre-reading organizer for assistance.

Pre-reading chart by J. Swann

Pre-reading chart by J. Swann

 

II. While Reading Tasks

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. The video illustrated the takeaway for the course.
  2. Boys are taught to mutate their suffering into anger.
  3. They are immunized against this deeper emotional honesty.
  4. These are tough-guy stereotypes.
  5. People take the seminar to learn.
  6. Boys get involved in extracurricular activities.
  7. But these activities are often denigrated as un-masculine.
  8. His voice quavering, the young man stammered something.
  9. Many young men are vulnerable.
  10. This leads to the erosion of male privilege.
Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

 

Reading Comprehension

Word -Recognition

Directions: Students choose the correct word to complete the sentences taken from the article. They are to choose from the options presented.

Some cultural/culture critics like/link such mounting/mountain emotional vulnerability to the erosion/erosive of male privilege/privy and all that it snails/entails. This perceived threat/treat of diminishing power is exposing ugly, at times menace/menacing fault lines in the male psyche. Experts/exports point to sexual assaults on campus and even mass murders like those at a community college in Oregon and a movie theater in Colorado. These gunmen were believed to share/shove two hyper-masculine traits: feelings of profound isolate/isolation and a compulsion for viral notoriety.

 Grammar Focus: Prepositions

Directions: The following sentences are from the news article.  For each sentence choose the correct preposition from the choices listed. Note that not all prepositions listed are in the article.

Prepositions:  in, for, of, with, by,  on, at, to, as, into, across, around, over,  through, from, during, up, off,

___this assignment students needed ___explore the norms___masculinity.  I wanted the course___explore this hallmark___the masculine psyche. Even___ this point___the semester the students seemed blind___ their ideas.

II. Post Reading Tasks

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the  WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them  discuss the following statements. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.

  1. “So why don’t campuses have more resource centers for men? Only a precious few — the University of Massachusetts and Simon Fraser University among them — offer ways for all men to explore their shared struggles. And these don’t exist without pushback. Talk of empowering men emotionally yields eye rolling at best, furious protest at worst — as when the Simon Fraser center was proposed, in 2012, and men and women alike challenged the need for a “safe space” for members of the dominant culture.”
  2. Describe your idea of a masculine man and a feminine woman.
  3. In your opinion do  campuses need more facilities that address male issues? Explain why or why not.

1-Minute Free Writing Exercise

Directions: Allow students 1 minute to write down one new idea they’ve learned from the reading. Ask them to write down one thing they did not understand in the reading.  Review the responses as a class. Note: For the lower levels allow more time for this writing activity.

ANSWER KEY

Category: Culture

The New NRA Fairy Tales: Children With Guns!

“The world of make-believe can be a scary place, but never fear: Thanks to a series of reimagined fairy tales published online by the National Rifle Association, classic characters like Hansel and Gretel are now packing heat.” L. Stack, New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Little Red Riding, NRA version. Image thesun.uk

Little Red Riding, NRA version. Image thesun.uk

Excerpt: The N.R.A. Reimagines Classic Fairy Tales  by Liam Stack, NYT

“The group has published two of the updated tales on its N.R.A. Family website in recent months, entitled Little Red Riding Hood (Has a Gun) and Hansel and Gretel (Have Guns).The stories have outraged advocates of gun control, but their author, Amelia Hamilton, a conservative blogger, has called them lessons in gun safety.

Hansel and Gretel carry guns,- NRA version -. Photo-.thesunt

Hansel and Gretel carry guns,- NRA version -. Photo-.thesunt

The stories are really also for adults, and it’s all about safety,”Ms. Hamilton said in an interview on CBS This Morning on Friday. It’s for parents to start those conversations.

N.R.A. Family asked its readers in an editor’s note if the dark overtones of the original fairy tales — an old woman eaten by a wolf and children cooked by a witch — ever made them uneasy. It said the new versions are meant to make the Grimm brothers’ tales less grim.

Grandma has a gun too-NRA-Image-the sun

Grandma has a gun too-NRA-Image-the sun

In Ms. Hamilton’s stories, each of the young protagonists (and one grandmother) is transformed from a victim into a hero with the help of a gun…Dan Gross, the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, agreed, calling the stories a disgusting, morally depraved marketing campaign.

Protect our children. Photo- vpcgla.org

Protect our children. Photo- vpcgla.org

He said in a statement that the stories were in poor taste in part because nearly 50 children and teenagers are shot each day in the United States, and suicide by gun is a leading cause of death among children over the age of 9.”

Gun Violence Statistics in the U.S.

In One Year on Average (ages 0-19)

Guns end lives
Children's Defense Fund

“Over 17,000 (17,499) American children and teens are shot in murders, assaults, suicides & suicide attempts, unintentional shootings, or by police intervention.” All information © 2016 Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

KWL Chart

The K-W-L chart is used to activate students’ background knowledge of a topic in order to enhance their comprehension skills.

Directions: Have students use the KWL chart to list the information they already know about the NRA and guns.  Later in the Post- Reading segment of the lesson, students can fill in what they’ve learned about the topic.

KWL Chart from Creately,com

KWL Chart from Creately,com

 

II. While Reading Tasks

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. The stories have outraged advocates of gun control.
  2. The author is a  conservative blogger.
  3. There are dark overtones of the original fairy tales.
  4. The new versions are meant to make the stories less grim.
  5. In the stories, each of the young protagonists has a gun.
  6. Ladd Everitt is a  spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
  7. These new depictions are a source of concern.
  8. There are no consequences for the children here holding guns.
  9. While distracting the wolf, grandma shoots him.
  10. Hansel and Gretel bagged a 10-point buck.

Word Map Education Oasis

Reading Comprehension: Word -Recognition

Directions: Students choose the correct word to complete the sentences taken from the article. They are to choose from the options presented.

Efforts/effortless to reach/read Ms. Hamilton on Friday were unsuccessful. In an interview with N.R.A. News, she said her visions/versions were kinder/kindling than the originals/origins by the Grimm brothers because no grandmothers or children were eaten and, despite/deport the guns, the villains/village were not shot.

Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage

Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical  error. Students are to identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I

  1. The new versions were kinder.
  2. No grandmothers or children was eaten.
  3. The kids do just what they are supposed to do.

II

  1. The group has published two of the updated tale.
  2. The stories are really also for adults.
  3. It’s for parents to start those conversations.

III

  1. A old woman eaten by a wolf in one story.
  2. Grandma, too, was saved by a gun.
  3. Hansel and Gretel got a similar treatment.

III. Post Reading Tasks

Directions:  Have students use this advanced organizer from Write Design to assist them with  discussing  or writing about  the main idea and points from the article.

Main idea chart By Write Design

Discussion/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them  discuss the following statements. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.

  1. “There are no consequences for the children here holding guns, walking out into the woods with guns, thinking about killing the bad guys…Children who might read these stories do not have the emotional maturity to understand that gun ownership does come with risks.”
  2. “In an interview with N.R.A. News, she [Ms. Hamilton ] said her versions were kinder than the originals by the Grimm brothers because no grandmothers or children were eaten and, despite the guns, the villains were not shot. The kids do just what they are supposed to do and get an adult.”
  3.  What is your  opinion about these new fairy tales from the NRA? Are they useful or are they harmful for children?

Main Idea / Debate

Directions: Divide students into  two teams for this debate. Both teams will use the article  as their source of information.

Team A will list five reasons for the new NRA fairy tales.

Team B will list  five reasons against  the new NRA fairy tales.

Each team will have time to state their points and the teacher decides which team made their points.  

For organization, have students use this great Pros and Cons Scale organizer  from FreeologyPros and Cons Scale

3-2-1-Writing

Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about the topic from the reading,  two things they did not understand in the reading, and one thing they would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.

ANSWER KEY

Category: Social Issues | Tags:

Are You Ready To Clone Your Dead Relatives?

“In 2003, the wife of a 55-year-old Vietnamese carpenter named Le Van died. Heartbroken, he dug up her grave, cast her body in clay and slept next to her for five years…grieving people feel an emotional connection to things that represent dead loved ones, such as headstones, urns and shrines…In the future, people may take that phenomenon to stunning new heights: AI experts predict that humans will replace dead relatives with synthetic robot clones, complete with a digital copy of that person’s brain.” N. O’Neill, The Motherboard

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Bina48 is a Replica of Terasem Movement founder Martine Rothblatt’s wife.

Bina48 is a Replica of Terasem Movement founder Martine Rothblatt’s wife.

Excerpt: Companies Want to Replicate Your Dead Loved Ones.. .N. Oneill, The Motherboard

“It’s like when people stuff a pet cat or dog. We don’t stuff humans but this is a way of ‘stuffing  their information, their personality and mannerisms, said Bruce Duncan, managing director of Terasem Movement, a research foundation that aims to transfer human consciousness to computers and robots.

The real Bina Aspen and her partner Martine Rothblatt who spoke at TED Talk 2015

The real Bina Aspen (l) and her partner Martine Rothblatt (CEO of Terasem Movement)   spoke at TED Talk 2015

The firm has already created thousands of highly detailed mind clones to  log the memories, values and attitudes of specific people. Using the data, scientists created one of the world’s most socially advanced robots, a replica of Terasem Movement founder Martine Rothblatt’s wife, called Bina48, which sells for roughly $150,000.

Chinese researcher Zou Renti has built a robotic clone of himself.

Chinese researcher Zou Renti has built a robotic clone of himself.

Rothblatt, who is also transgender and the highest paid female CEO in America, spearheaded the project to create a digital replica the human brain. She used her wife, Bina Aspen, as an early prototype, installing the real Bina’s mind file into a physical robot designed to look like her.

Made of a skin-like rubber, Bina48 was created using more than 100 hours of audio data recorded by the human Bina about her memories and beliefs. Like the real Bina, the robot loves flowers, has mocha-colored skin and a self-deprecating sense of humor. She makes facial expressions, greets people and has conversations (including some awkward ones), made possible with facial and voice recognition software, motion tracking, and internet connectivity.

Some people find grief to b an excruciating experience.

Some people find grief to b an excruciating experience.

In real life, there’s an actual demand for robot reincarnation, grief experts say. People find grief to be a painful, even excruciating experience. If this is a way to ease that pain, it will be attractive to people, said Robert Zucker, a grief counselor and author of The Journey Through Grief and Loss.

Grief counselor Robert Zucker

Grief counselor Robert Zucker

But like relying too heavily on prescription pills, it may not be a healthy way to cope. There’s something tremendously problematic about it, said Zucker. It seems driven by fear, a desire to numb pain and make the world not feel sorrow. We would be deluding ourselves.

However he added, There are many ways of grieving that are strange and extreme. As long as it doesn’t inhibit that person from moving on with his or her life in a healthy way—maybe it could work for somebody.”

Special: A View of Spring:

Sent in by R. Deck and A. Vargas Needham, MA

Beautiful Flowers sent in by R. Deck

From the garden of R. Deck and L. J. Vargas

Thanks for the Beauty!  

Happy Easter Everyone!

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

KWL Chart

The K-W-L chart is used to activate students’ background knowledge of a topic in order to enhance their comprehension skills.

Directions: Have students use the KWL chart to list the information they already know about cloning.  Later in the Post- Reading segment of the lesson, students can fill in what they’ve learned about the topic.

KWL Chart from Creately.com

KWL Chart from Creately.com

 

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. We don’t stuff humans.
  2. The aim is  to transfer human consciousness to robots.
  3. The firm has already created thousands of highly detailed  clones.
  4. Scientists created one of the world’s most socially advanced robots.
  5. Rothblatt  is also transgender and the highest paid female CEO.
  6. She used her wife, Bina Aspen, as an early prototype.
  7. She has  a self-deprecating sense of humor.
  8. We’ve been projecting personhood onto inanimate objects for years.
  9. It will probably take decades before robot reincarnation becomes socially acceptable.
  10. Everything down to a person’s mannerisms and quirks can be recreated.
Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

 

Reading Comprehension

Fill-ins

Directions: Place students in groups and after they have read the entire article, have them complete the following paragraphs taken from the article. They can use the words and terms from the list provided, or provide their own terms. They are to find the meanings of any new vocabulary.

Bina48 still has some ___glitches, but she’s a ___proof of concept—the firm’s almost-charming___girl for the techno-immortality movement. She’s  an example of how, in the___, the wall between___and digital worlds may come ___down, Duncan said. The ___of  alive may even evolve to mean, as long as your ___personal information___to be organized and accessible,” he said.

Word List: future, crashing, social, continues, working, essential, poster, biological, definition,

 Grammar Focus: Prepositions

Directions: The following sentences are from the news article.  For each sentence choose the correct preposition from the choices listed. Note that not all prepositions listed are in the article.

Prepositions:  in, for, of, with, by,  on, at, to, as, into, across, around, over,  through, from, during, up, off,

She’s example___how, ___the future, the wall between biological and digital worlds may come crashing down,

At least 56,000 people have already handed ___information ___create mindfiles, a web-based storage space___preserving one’s unique and essential characteristics ___the future.

Some users simply like the idea___living forever.

Others want___ document themselves___ a part of human history.

People think nothing ___ watching videos___important past events ___our lives like weddings and birthdays.

III. Post Reading Tasks

Directions:  Have students use this advanced organizer from Write Design to assist them with  discussing  or writing about  the main idea and points from the article.

Topic organizer. By Enchanted Learning

Discussion/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them discuss the following statement and answer the question. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.

  1. “Tech experts admit it will probably take decades before robot reincarnation becomes socially acceptable…But scientists may never fully capture the essence of a human being, Zucker contended. There’s more to a person than their intellect and experiences. There’s a spiritual aspect.”
  2. Would you consider cloning a dead relative?  Explain why or why not.

3-2-1-Writing

Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about the topic from the reading,  two things they did not understand in the reading, and one thing they would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.

ANSWER KEY

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