Learn The Art of Storytelling From Pixar and Khan Academy for Free

“There are few organizations in the world that can claim more expertise when it comes to storytelling than Pixar. The Disney-owned animation studio is known for its ability to consistently create world-class movies with gripping narrative alongside stunning visuals.  Now, Pixar is helping others learn the secrets of great storytelling – for free, in partnership with online education provider Khan Academy.”  D.  Etherington, Tech Crunch

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

image:Tech Crunch

Excerpt: Pixar offers free online lessons in storytelling via Khan Academy by Darrell Etherington, Tech Crunch

“The two have teamed up to create “Pixar In A Box,” and in this third instalment of the series, lessons are sourced from Pixar directors and story artists including Inside Out and Up director Pete Docter, Brave director Mark Andrews, Inside Out story artist Domee Shi, and Ratatouille animator Sanjay Patel.

The first lesson is available now, and will provide an introduction to storytelling as well as help you hone your initial creation of things like setting and character.

LESSON 1

LESSON 2

The lessons include both videos and activities for students to complete, and provides a general basis on which to build.

LESSON 3

 

The next installment will focus on Character creation specifically, and others segments will address storyboarding, emotional appeal and more, with releases happening throughout 2017.”

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: Analyzing headings and photos

Directions:  Have students  examine the titles of the post and of the actual article. After they examine the photos, ask students to create a list of  words and  ideas  that they think might be related to this article. 

II. While Reading Activities

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. Disney animation is well known world wide.
  2. They consistently create world-class movies.
  3. Many films have stunning visuals.
  4. This is the third installment of the series.
  5. Sanjay Patel is an animator.
  6. The first lesson  provides an introduction to storytelling.
  7. The lessons help you hone your initial creation.
  8. The lessons also provide a general basis on which to build.
  9. Issues such as storyboarding will be addressed.
  10. The lessons will focus on technical aspects of movie creation.

ELLteaching 2.0 vocabualry chart

 

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.

Pixar’s___Khan___courses ___topics like ___cameras, effects and___but this is the first to___ on the less ___aspects of movie creation. I expect ___will offer me a job upon___ of this course and then I’ll___my Oscar.

WORDLIST: completion, animations,  include, Academy, win, Pixar,technical, previous, focus, virtual,

 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. In this lesson you’ll hear from Pixar directors.
  2. There a difference between good storytelling and great storytelling.
  3. What makes someone a good storyteller?

II

  1. The two have teamed up to create stories.
  2. The lesson are sourced from Pixar.
  3. The first lesson is available now.

III

  1. The lessons include many videos.
  2. There are activity for students to complete.
  3. The next installment will focus on character creation.

III. Post Reading Activities

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?

Questions for Comprehension /Writing

Directions:  Place students in groups and have each group list 3  questions they would like to pursue in relation to  the article. Have groups exchange questions. Each group tries to answer the questions listed. All responses are shared as a class.

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: Technology | Tags:

The Beauty of the Blue-Footed Booby

“With no real predators, the birds live proud, public lives. That accessibility has proved a bonanza for scientists, casting light on their mating habits and even why the shade of their feet matters. The birds move with comic grace… like  hobo swells in oversize shoes. The male faces the female and slowly, slowly lifts up one foot, sets it down and lifts the other. Check out my feet! They’re blue. Really, really blue. The female mirrors his ponderous moves. Mine are blue, too.” N. Angier, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Blue- Footed Booby. image savenature

 

Excerpt: On Galápagos, Revealing the Blue-Footed Booby’s True Colors, By Natalie Angier, The NYT

“He leans over, spreads his wings wide, points his bill at the sky and whistles breathily, as if blowing on a toy flute. She grunts and totters up to him, and they clack bills. He grabs a pebble, and they clack bills again; he drops the pebble and spears a twig. Clack, whistle, grunt, whistle. And suddenly, she backs away. Desperate, the male solemnly starts high-stepping again, displaying his beautiful teal-blue feet. But the courtship has fizzled, and when the female again lifts up a foot in response, it looks as if she’s waving goodbye.

Blue Footed Boobies dancing . image-nikonian

 

It’s dating time here for the blue-footed booby. Everywhere, dozens of times a day, the large, handsome seabirds are making their highly ritualized courtship display — one reason the boobies are among the most celebrated and beloved residents of this archipelago. 

Blue-footed boobies, which hit the water at 60 miles per hour, hunting in the Galápagos archipelago.Credit Tui De Roy:Minden Pictures

They are also feeding voraciously and spectacularly, circling high over the water, alert for the slightest flicker of fish, and then freezing in midair for a fraction of a second before dropping headfirst onto their targets, like missiles falling from a plane.

Research teams from Mexico and the United States have followed populations of the long-lived birds for years…scientists have discovered that the key to a successful long-term booby partnership is the equitable sharing of nest duties year after year…

Blue-Footed Booby image- national geographic

Someone familiar? Someone new? Nonnegotiable: The feet must be blue.

Blue-footed boobies are members of the family Sulidae, a group that includes about 10 species of gannets and boobies and is, by some analyses, part of the larger pelican order. The name booby is thought to come from bobo, the Spanish word for stupid or clown, a reference to the bird’s awkward waddle.

Mom and chicks.

Blue-footed boobies can be found throughout the tropics and subtropics of the eastern Pacific. Though their overall population is not considered endangered, their numbers on the Galápagos have fallen since the 1990s, the result, scientists believe, of a local decline in the sardine stocks that the boobies need to breed.”

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: Analyzing headings and photos

Directions:  Have students  examine the titles of the post and of the actual article. After they examine the photos, ask students to create a list of  words and  ideas  that they think might be related to this article. 

II. While Reading Activities

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 female mirrors his ponderous moves.
  2. The male totters up to her.
  3. They also feed voraciously circling high over the water.
  4. They dive headfirst onto their targets, like missiles.
  5. They squabble with one another over territory and nesting sites.
  6. Scientists find them super fascinating.
  7. The birds are surprisingly confident and capable.
  8. The trait they fixate on is the blue-ness of a partner’s feet.
  9. Boobies generally mate for life.
  10. Among blue-footed boobies, though, sibling violence is provisional.

    ELLteaching 2.0 vocabualry chart

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.

Biparental ___is the ___among ___ but longtime___have perfected the art of ___and turn-taking. They spend the same time ___and feeding the young, and___the same physical ___as seen in measures of blood cells and body mass.

WORD LIST: effort, boobies, mates, rule, care, expend, brooding, symmetry,

 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.

The birds/buds are about the seize/size of large sea gulls, with wingspans up to five feet. Adult males/females are about 20 percent to 30 percent heavier/heavy and stronger than males. Boobies/bodies stay close to home, and if given the change/chance, most will live and breed/brood within a few dozen feet of where they were born. They often hunt/haunt small, schooling fish in flocks, each hitting the water at 60 miles per hour, its brain/brine protected by specialized air sacs in the skull.

III. Post Reading Activities

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?

Questions for Comprehension

Directions: Place students in groups Have each group list 3  questions they would like to ask any person mentioned in the article. Groups share questions as a class.

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: Birds | Tags:

The Bee: Small Brain, Big Smarts!

“Never underestimate the power of the bee brain. In the latest triumph for one of humanity’s favorite insects, bumblebees learned how to push a ball to the center of a platform for a sugary treat.” J. Gorman,The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

photo- snapzu

Excerpt: Bumblebees Demonstrate the Power of Insect Brains By James Gorman,The New York Times

“That may not make them a threat on the chess board, but soccer or even Skee-Ball might be within their intellectual grasp — if it were scaled down in size, of course.

The new research finding is one more reason that scientists who study insects, of all sorts, would like to point out that just because a brain is small, doesn’t mean it is simple. Clint Perry, one of the bumblebee trainers at Queen Mary University of London, and a confirmed small brain partisan, said, ‘I’ve actually been asked if bees have brains.’

image The New York Times

Once, insects were thought to be little automatons, hard-wired to take certain limited actions. Now evidence is growing that the abilities, even of fruit flies, approach something that isn’t the same as human thinking, but isn’t pure hard-wired instinct either. They remember, they choose between alternative actions. They have a kind of internal map of where they are, an abstract representation in the brain of the external world.

photo-Flipboard

David Anderson at Caltech, who studies emotionlike states in fruit flies, declines to call their brains simple, preferring a description along the lines of more compact nervous systems.‘They are capable of doing remarkable things,’  he said. And bees are something else altogether with nearly a million brain cells, compared with about 250,000 in the fruit fly…In this experiment, which the researchers reported Thursday in the journal Science, Olli J. Loukola and Dr. Perry trained bees to do something even more removed from their natural behavior.

image- Flipboard

The task of pushing a little ball to the center of a platform was completely arbitrary. Bees don’t do anything like this in nature, where they seek out flowers for nectar and pollen. So it was a brand new behavior demanding some kind of general ability to learn.”

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  Bumble Bees.  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 The UIE brainstorming chart (sample) for assistance.

II. While Reading Activities

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. People often underestimate the power of insects.
  2. Soccer or even Skee-Ball  are within their intellectual grasp.
  3. Dr. Perry is  a confirmed small brain partisan.
  4. Scientists have yet to define the limits of insects’ mental abilities.
  5. Now evidence is growing that the abilities, even of fruit flies.
  6. Some scientists call it cognition.
  7. Insects remember, they choose between alternative actions.
  8. Pushing a little ball to the center of a platform arbitrary.
  9. Ten out of of 10 bees solved the problem on the first try.
  10. That kind of imitation is social learning

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.

Once, ___were thought to be little___ hard-wired to take certain___ actions. Now evidence is___that the abilities, even of ___approach something that isn’t the same as ___thinking, but isn’t pure hard-wired either.

WORD LIST:   human, fruit flies, growing, insects,  limited, automatons,  instinct,

 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.

The way/whey the bees learning/learned was important, too. They were pre-trained to expect/exit a treat/tweet in the center of a platform. But having to push a bell/ball to the center to get the treat was something they hadn’t seen.

III. Post Reading Activities

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?

Questions for Comprehension /Writing

Directions: Place students in groups Have each group list 3  questions they would like to ask any person mentioned in the article. Groups share questions as a class.

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: Insects | Tags:

New Digital Trends for 2017

“Gadget paradise CES (Consumer Electronics Show) comes to Las Vegas every January for just four short days. Fortunately, the stuff unveiled there continues to dazzle and delight us for the rest of the year… What will 2017’s show hold? Here’s my list of the biggest trends to watch for –what you’ll see in the year ahead — as well as a few tips about which companies you should keep an eye on.” J. Kaplan, Digital Trends

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Consumer Electronics Show 2017

Excerpt: Trends You Need to Watch 2017, By Jeremy Kaplan, Digital Trends

“It started out in your phone. You would ask Siri to tell you the weather report or a silly joke. But artificial intelligence and digital assistants are no laughing matter: They are likely the way most Americans will experience the Internet of Things (IoT) explosion, and are finally a cheap and easy way for mere mortals to automate their homes as only the wealthy once could…This will be the first year in which AI-generated art will achieve commercial success.

When the Consumer Electronics Show officially starts next week in Las Vegas, all eyes will be on new midrange smartphones set to debut at the show. SiliconANGLE

During the last few years, we’ve seen small new companies with big visions transform and disrupt the world. Nest kicked the whole IoT thing into high gear, Uber changed the taxi world, and so on. Both blossomed into enormous companies, of course, but the point remains: small companies have done big stuff. This year big names like Comcast and Netflix and Hulu and Amazon may drive the most interesting changes. Take Amazon and its push into artificial intelligence. Sure, other companies are doing it, but it’s the Echo and the Dot that you’ll end up buying.

Amazon Echo

You’ll read about several hundred companies unveiling 360-degree cameras at CES. Yes, this is neat: Imagine how much more interesting your next selfie is going to be when you can see the band playing behind you, or the mountain peak you stand on…  Insta360 will show off its new camera, which takes 8K 360-degree images.

Insta 360-Youtube

Meanwhile, electric cars are everywhere. From today’s Tesla’s to Faraday Future’s far off promise, from the Chevy Volt to the Toyota Prius, electric cars are having a moment. Faraday Future is certainly among the most interesting of a growing group of domestic and overseas companies created with one explicit goal in mind: to take down Tesla Motors.

Bought a TV? You’ll finally appreciate the investment. Content providers are finally catching up to the wave of improvements from panel makers. Watch for news from Netflix, Comcast, Dish, and others. Meanwhile, CES wouldn’t be CES without televisions. Expect dozens of new devices built around 4K content, including a new line of cameras from audio giant Monster, new TVs from Westinghouse, LG, Samsung, and more.

Best Selling Samsung 4k TV

Concerns about Internet of things, which has been used to create giant botnets, will shape future devices. Enter companies like BullGuard, a security company, which is set to unveil Dojo – a security solution meant to protect smart home devices from cyber threats and botnets.”

BullGuard Dojo smart home security device

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: Analyzing headings and photos

Directions:  Have students  examine the titles of the post and of the actual article. After they examine the photos, ask students to create a list of  words and  ideas  that they think might be related to this article. 

II. While Reading Activities

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. Artificial intelligence and digital assistants are popular.
  2. The premise is as smart as it is simple.
  3. This year, they swear we’ll finally get high-resolution audio right.
  4. Astell&Kern will have their line of products on display.
  5. Consumers should also watch for ultra fancy digital preamps.
  6. Many companies are building devices to improve your hearing.
  7. There will be many new start-ups at CES.
  8. Several devices smarten your stove to ensure you haven’t left it on by accident.
  9. All of the major cellular carriers will have a presence at the show.
  10. Top Tech of CES awards will  highlight the show’s most innovative products.

Word Map 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 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.,

“Comcast’s Xfinity___ group is another big ___shaping the IoT space. The ___is as smart as it is simple: Why buy___different devices from different ___operating on different ___with different ___when you can just get them all from one place, and manage it on your TV? People appear to be ___ too; according to Ericsson, more than two out of five advanced ___users would like to get all their___from the biggest five IT companies.”

WORD LIST: internet, companies, Home, several, premise, products, company, responding, protocols, apps,

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. People appear to be responding to the products.
  2. Amazon has pushed into artificial intelligence with the Echo.
  3. Currently there is five big IT companies.

II

  1. This is the year to get high-resolution audio right.
  2. You can also expect new speaker systems.
  3. Several hundred  company will unveil 360-degree cameras.

III

  1. One company claims to offer VR without a headset.
  2. Electric cars will be on display.
  3. Zubie, and many other product will make you a better pilot.

Discussion/Writing

Directions: Place students in  small groups.

  1. Have each group list 3  questions they would like to ask any person mentioned in the article. Groups share questions as a class.
  2. Have each group create of a list of digital products they would invent. Groups share their lists with the class.

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: Technology

Opening Our Hearts…To Animals

“The quiet young man had come to me looking for love, ideally at first sight. I asked my usual questions about his work, where he lived, how he spent his free time. I asked about his great loves of the past… Then I asked how he felt about being jumped on, slobbered on or getting mud all over his couch. ‘I’m O.K. with that,’ he said. ‘Can I meet Chance?’ Ah, Chance. The young lab-mix, with a puppy’s zeal for life, who loved to chew on the shelter volunteers’ hands as we leashed him. ‘Behave yourself for once,’ I urged Chance as I opened the kennel…when we turned to leave he began to buck wildly. My heart sank. Then I saw the face of the young man waiting by the door. He’d gone all moony. He only had eyes for Chance.” A. Sutherland, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Excerpt: Opening the Heart’s Floodgates, With a Paw By Amy Sutherland, The New York Times

“Much to my surprise, I have become a matchmaker. On Saturday afternoons I pull on my gray T-shirt and head to the Animal Rescue League of Boston, where I help people find their canine soul mates amid the barky din. Doing this work, I’ve not only learned how to pair up people and canines, I have received a master class in the expansiveness of the human heart, a lesson that I very much needed. Being a matchmaker was never my plan. I began volunteering at the shelter to help dogs. Just dogs. And the more time I spent with the dogs, the more my love for my fellow man withered.

At the shelter, I walked dogs that had been abandoned for trivial reasons or for no reason at all. I cared for pups that had been tied to utility poles on the street in wintertime, others so thin they had to wear coats in balmy spring weather, lacking the body mass to stay warm at 60 degrees. The more I walked these dogs, the more I became an animal person. To be called an animal person is not necessarily a compliment, not when it implies that you love animals with a passion matched only by how much you loathe your own species.

Best friends

Then one Saturday afternoon I noticed a young, outdoorsy couple walking down the row of kennels, stopping to say hello to each dog. I asked if they wanted to meet one. ‘Can we meet Ciera?’ the man asked. ‘Ciera?’ I squeaked. ‘Really? I mean yes, of course you can.’ No one ever asked to see Ciera, a young mutt with skinny legs... Shiny and black, like a seal, she was cute but regularly pooped right in her kennel, then ran back and forth in it. This was her big chance. I didn’t want to mislead this couple about what a nut she was, but I did want her to find a home…

As I began reading the notes on Ciera out loud, I dropped her leash and hoped for the best. She began ricocheting around the room, bouncing off the couch, the bookcases and the man’s legs…As I muffled a sigh, the couple laughed. Hard. I looked up. Their faces glowed. ‘I love her,’ the man said. ‘Me too,’ said the woman. ‘We want her.’

Many of us have more love inside than we know what to do with, but are too bottled up. Which is where dogs [and cats] can come in. With them, we can let our love flow freely without fear of being judged or rejected. They are like safety valves. With humans, I had bottled myself up. And love doesn’t like to be bottled up. ..I returned to the kennels to help more people toss their hearts away.”

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: Analyzing headings and photos

Directions:  Have students  examine the titles of the post and of the actual article. After they examine the photos, ask students to create a list of  words and  ideas  that they think might be related to this article. 

II. While Reading Activities

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. I have become a matchmaker.
  2. At the shelter, many dogs had been abandoned.
  3. To be called an animal person is not necessarily a compliment.
  4. So many people love animals with a passion.
  5. I had a dismal opinion of people.
  6. I didn’t want to mislead this couple.
  7. She was an air-bound blur of black fur.
  8. As I muffled a sigh, the couple laughed.
  9. There were ancient hounds and juveniles who hopped like kangaroos.
  10. We had no miniature dogs that day.

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.

Watching people fall/fell in love/loving so completely with dogs, I begin/began to see how humans/humanly long to give their hearts/heart away.

Of course, there are outliers: cool/cold customers sit/set on French bulldogs of a certain shade, or people who turn up their noises/noses at pit bulls, even the smoosh-mouthed little ‘pittie puppies.’  And the difficulties of human relationships can keep the love from flowing/flying.

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,

Animal people can be judgmental, self-righteous and cranky, all ___which I was becoming.___I spent more time ___the shelter, I found that I became less patient ___human beings, even my sweet husband. Walking the dogs would cheer me___, but my mood would darken___ I fixated___the stupidity and carelessness___my fellow Homo sapiens.___ the subway ride home I often caught myself frowning ___strangers___the train.

III. Post Reading Activities

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.

Questions for Comprehension /Writing

Directions: In groups have students answer the following questions. Topics may be used for writing.

  1. With your group list at least 3 good reasons for adopting a pet.
  2. List 3 reasons against adoption.
  3. How many members of your group has ever adopted an animal? Describe the experience.
  4. Have each group compose a letter or note to a  person mentioned in the article telling her/him their thoughts on the topic. Share the letters as a class.

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: Animals | Tags: