Night Before Christmas Poem…Plagiarized?

December 14th, 2014  |  Published in Christmas Lesson plan

“Every Christmas for more than 150 years, children have hung their stockings by the chimney with care and learned to thank Clement Clarke Moore for the tradition. Moore, a wealthy Manhattan biblical scholar, went down in history as the man who in 1823 created the American image of Santa Claus as the author of …The Night Before Christmas… But did Moore really write it? In a new study… Don Foster, an English professor at Vassar College and a scholar of authorial attribution, accuses Moore of committing literary fraud.”By David D. Kirkpatrick, NYT

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Photo credit- Crystal links

Photo credit- Crystal links

Excerpt: Whose Jolly Old Elf Is That, Anyway?…By David D. Kirkpatrick

“In a new book, Author Unknown, (Henry Holt & Company) Mr. Foster argues that A Visit From St. Nicholas, first published anonymously in a Troy, N.Y., newspaper in 1823, closely matches the views and verse of Henry Livingston Jr., a gentleman-poet of Dutch descent. Livingston, who lived in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., died before Moore was ever named as the poem’s author.

Clement Clarke Moore (July 15, 1779 – July 10, 1863) Photo- Wikipedia

Clement Clarke Moore (July 15, 1779 – July 10, 1863) Photo- Wikipedia

Livingston’s family first noticed the poem’s growing popularity two decades later and has insisted ever since that Livingston wrote it. But without physical evidence these claims came to naught. Last year Mary Van Deusen, Livingston’s seventh-generation descendant and an amateur genealogist, sought Mr. Foster’s help.

Henry Livingston, Jr. (October 13, 1748 - February 29, 1828) Photo- Wikipedia

Henry Livingston, Jr. (October 13, 1748 – February 29, 1828) Photo- Wikipedia

Mr. Foster, a well-known literary gumshoe, pioneered the technique of studying the details of a text’s wording and syntax to establish authorship, using computerized archives to look for telltale influences. He is best known for identifying Shakespeare as the author of the anonymous poem Funeral Elegy and the journalist Joe Klein as author of the novel Primary Colors. Mr. Foster has become the Livingston camp’s ardent partisan, frequently comparing Mr. Moore in the book to Dr. Seuss’s Grinch.

Santa. Photo- Pooh's Adventures Wiki

Santa. Photo- Pooh’s Adventures Wiki

His case is still untested by other scholars, but it promises to create a lively debate about a poem that has become an American icon. Whoever wrote it played a formative role in shaping the modern American Christmas, said Stephen Nissenbaum, author of the history The Battle for Christmas (Knopf, 1996). Before 1820 Americans typically pictured St. Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus, as a skinny, stern bishop visiting children to dispense discipline as often as gifts, and not necessarily on Christmas Eve. The poem helped recast St. Nicholas as a jovial elf and turn Christmas into a time for giving gifts to children. Finally, at his family’s behest, in 1844 Moore took credit for the famous poem, including it without fanfare in a collection of his more solemn verses. But not before he checked that the coast was clear,Mr. Foster said.”

A bauble on a Christmas tree By Kris De Curtis-Wikicommons

A bauble on a Christmas tree By Kris De Curtis-Wikicommons

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM ESL VOICES!

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate -Advanced

Language Skills: reading, writing , and speaking.

Time: approximately 2 hours.

Materials: article excerpt, materials from this lesson plan.

Objectives: Students will review the arguments for and against the authorship of the poem The Night Before Christmas and discuss their conclusions.  They will  also create similar poems, and drawings for this holiday. Students will practice reading, speaking,  and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Tasks

Brainstorming

Directions: Have learners brainstorm to build a list of all of the words they can  think of connected to the terms:  Christmas, santa claus, poem.

Brainstorming chart by UIE.

Brainstorming chart by UIE.

II. While Reading Tasks

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold (from the article) and use a dictionary,  thesaurus, and word chart  for assistance.

  1. Clement Clarke Moore, a wealthy Manhattan biblical scholar.
  2. Don Foster was an English professor and a scholar of authorial attribution.
  3. Moore was accuses of committing literary fraud.
  4. She was Livingston’s seventh-generation descendant.
  5. Mr. Foster is a well-known literary gumshoe.
  6. Mr. Foster has become the Livingston camp’s ardent partisan.
  7. He is known for studying the details of a text’s wording and syntax.
  8. He uses computerized archives to look for telltale influences.
  9. The Night Before Christmas has become an American icon.
  10. The poem helped recast St. Nicholas.

Reading Comprehension 

Sentence Fill-ins

Directions: have students complete the sentences from the article by selecting the correct words or phrases.

1. Clement Clarke Moore  has always been credited with___.

a. writing the National Anthem

b. writing the poem, The Night Before Christmas

c. writing a letter to Santa

2. His his authorship was challenged by___.

a. another author

b. Santa Claus

c.  English professor Don Foster

3. Moore was a wealthy ___biblical scholar.

a. Brooklyn

b. Manhattan

c. Bronx

4. Better known as___ it became one of the most widely read poems in the world.

a. The Night After Christmas

b. The Evening Before Christmas

c. The Night Before Christmas

5. Don Foster, an ___at Vassar College.

a. English professor

b. English student

c. English writer

6. In a new book,___.

a. A Visit From St. Nicholas

b. Henry Holt & Company

c. Author Unknown

7. Mr. Foster argues that ”A Visit From St. Nicholas,” first published anonymously in a Troy, N.Y.,___.

a.  newspaper

b. magazine

c. book

8. Henry Livingston Jr., was a gentleman-poet of___descent.

a. German

b. Dutch

c. American

9. Livingston, who lived in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., ___before Moore was ever named as the poem’s author.

a. left

b. wrote to the newspapers

c. died

10. But without ___these claims came to naught.

a. popularity

b. witnesses

c. physical evidence

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 Livingston’s family first noticed the poem’s growing popularity two decades later.
  2. Mary Van Deusen was Livingston’s seventh-generation descendant.
  3. She was also a amateur genealogist.

II

  1. Mr. Foster is a well-known literary gumshoe.
  2. He pioneered the technique of studying the details of a text’s wording and syntax.
  3. His case is still untested by other scholar.

III

  1. Before 1820 American pictured St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) as  skinny.
  2. The poem helped recast St. Nicholas as a jovial elf and turn Christmas into a time for giving gifts to children.
  3. In Mr. Foster’s account, Moore, owner of an estate covering what is now Chelsea, was too much of a grouch to write such a playful poem.

Writing/Oral Task

Directions:  In your groups, take  the first 2 or 3 lines from the poem The Night Before Christmas, and create new verses. Then have each group present their verses to the class.

“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house…”

Here are some humorous examples if you like:

Parodies of ‘The Night Before Christmas’ By David Emery,

Examples from David’s site:

A Star Trek Night Before Christmas (I)
‘Twas the night before Christmas on the Enterprise-D,
On a routine short hop to Starbase 03…

A Star Trek Night Before Christmas (II)
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the ship
Not a circuit was buzzing, not one microchip…

A Florida Night Before Christmas
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the town,
No noses were frozen, no snow fluttered down…

A Programmer’s Night Before Christmas
‘Twas the night before implementation, and all through the house,
Not a program was working not even a browse…

A Gambler’s Night Before Christmas
‘Twas the nite before Christmas, I hit the Casino,
I went there to play, More than just Keno…

An Intellectual Night Before Christmas
‘Twas the nocturnal segment of the diurnal period preceding the annual Yuletide celebration, and throughout our place of residence, kinetic activity was not in evidence among the possessors of this potential, including that species of domestic rodent known as musculus…

A Lawyer’s Night Before Christmas
Whereas, on or about the night prior to Christmas, there did occur at a certain improved piece of real property (hereinafter “the House”) a general lack of stirring by all creatures therein, including, but not limited to a mouse…

ANSWER KEY

 

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The Value of Emotional Awareness On Public Trains

December 6th, 2014  |  Published in Social Issues

“The MTA by January will launch a new awareness campaign to get people to take off their backpacks and sit properly on the subway in a time of record ridership and overcrowded trains, transit officials said Monday. The ‘courtesy is contagious’ slogan will also be retired for ‘something new, something fresh.” MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz  —AM New York

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Photo; Massappeal.com

Photo; Massappeal.com

Excerpt: Subway Emotional-Awareness Campaign, By K. Garcia, The New Yorker

The Waterworks Can Wait

Photo-nerdstodolist

Photo-nerdstodolist

Having a rough day? Remember, weeping on the subway—even silent sobbing—drives fellow passengers deep into their own untapped wells of grief. By choking back the tears during your commute, you’ll help keep your environs emotionally inert so that everyone can arrive at work detached.”

Pretty Hurts

Photo- Gettyimage

Photo- Gettyimage

“Heading to an early call during Fashion Week? If you’re a model with flawless skin…consider slumping in your seat, dabbing mustard on your shirt, and belching heartily during your ride. You’ll be doing your part to maintain the balance of the L train’s delicate social ecosystem, thereby preventing perfectly attractive normal people from backsliding into their high-school self-esteem issues and undoing thousands of dollars’ worth of psychoanalysis.”

Losing it? This Is Your Stop

Photo-macacovelho

Photo-macacovelho

Photo- Pleated-jeans

Photo- Pleated-jeans

 

“Ladies and gentlemen, New York City treasures the wild ideas of its kookier citizens. But within the confines of a crowded F train, a rant about J.F.K. or Jesus can elicit anxiety. If today’s the day you’re finally going to crack, please exit the train at the next stop. (Xenu can reach you faster in the station.)”

We’ll Get There When We Get There

Photo- the bronxbanter

Photo- the bronxbanter

“Ladies and gentlemen, passive-aggressive sighing, foot-tapping, and head-shaking when the train is stalled can foster feelings of unpleasantness and remind others that they’re going to be late for the third staff meeting in a row, at which that jerk from H.R. has started taking attendance.”

Cut Out the Cute

Photo-Metropoliticianblog

Photo-Metropoliticianblog

“Riding the train with your partner? Remember, cutesy conversations and giggling can be nauseating to your fellow passengers. Limit your communication to clipped, businesslike exchanges. You’ll be standing up for what’s right: a neutral atmosphere that doesn’t trigger violent episodes from those living with the perennial ache of solitude.”

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

I. Pre-Reading Activities

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.

Brainstorming chart by UIE.

Brainstorming chart by UIE.

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. A crowded subway is no excuse for depressing sartorial choices.
  2. There is an atmosphere of oppressive uniformity.
  3. Conformity is a disease—get inoculated!
  4. Remember, no weeping on the subway.
  5. By choking back the tears you’ll help keep your environs emotionally inert.
  6. If you’re a model with flawless skin consider slumping in your seat.
  7. New York City treasures the wild ideas of its kookier citizens.
  8. If today’s the day you’re finally going to crack, please exit the train at the next stop.
  9. When the train is stalled be patient.
  10. Cutesy conversations and giggling can be nauseating.

Color Vocabualry Map by Enchanted Learning

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.

“Having a___ day? Remember, ___on the subway even silent sobbing drives fellow ___deep into their own ___wells of grief. By ___back the___during your commute, you’ll help keep your ___emotionally___so that everyone can arrive at work detached. Emotions are like___be the Surgeon General.”

WORD LIST: weeping, untapped, tumors, passengers, rough, inert, environs, choking, tears,

 Grammar Focus

Using Adjectives to describe pictures

Directions: Have students choose a picture from this lesson and write a descriptive paragraph using adjectives.

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 answer the following questions. 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 following two statements were taken from the article. Rephrase each one, then discuss the meaning with the members of your group.

“When more than three passengers wearing identical black North Face parkas sit next to each other, an atmosphere of oppressive uniformity can crush the spirits of their fellow riders. Be a hero and throw on that Guatemalan poncho you used to wear in college instead.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, passive-aggressive sighing, foot-tapping, and head-shaking when the train is stalled can foster feelings of unpleasantness and remind others that they’re going to be late for the third staff meeting in a row, at which that jerk from H.R. has started taking attendance. Help maintain an upbeat travel environment. Optimism is a virus—and you can be patient zero.”

2. Are you polite when traveling by public transportation? If yes, describe the ways that you are considerate of others. If no, explain why not.

3. What are the most significant ideas in this article?

ANSWER KEY

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Chinese vs. English for Global Preeminence: Not Likely

November 30th, 2014  |  Published in Language

“A Russian, a Korean, and a Mexican walk into a bar. How do they communicate? In English, if at all, even though it’s not anyone’s native language. Swap out a bar for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in China… and the attending heads of state from those three countries still have to communicate in English: It’s the only official language of the APEC, even when the APEC gathers in Beijing.” A. Martinez, Time Magazine

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Credit- Chineselessons.org

Credit- Chineselessons.org

Excerpt: Why Mandarin Won’t Be a Lingua Franca, By Andres Martinez, Time Magazine

Mark Zuckerberg recently scored points during his own visit to Beijing when he made some remarks in Mandarin. The news sparked talk about whether China’s economic rise means Mandarin could someday rival English as a global language. Don’t count on it.

Fluency in Mandarin will always be helpful for foreigners doing business in China, much like mastery of Portuguese will give you a leg up in Brazil. But Mandarin poses no threat to English as the world’s bridge language, the second tongue people turn to when communicating and doing commerce across borders.

Thanks to the British empire, native English speakers are strategically sprinkled across the globe. English is also the native language of shared popular culture – music, movies, even sport, with the recent ascendance of England’s Premier League. And English is undeniably the language of the technologies connecting us all together.

It’s little wonder that an estimated 2 billion people will speak functional English by 2020, the vast majority of them having learned it as their second language.

Credit- EyeonEnglish

Credit- EyeonEnglish

The French – whose language was the last viable alternative in the race to become the world’s lingua franca – are understandably sore about the triumph of English. But even French companies have had to fall in line, accepting English as their organizational language. In what amounted to a telling parody of modern France, one grievance underlying a recent Air France strike was the airline union’s anger at the adoption of English as the default language for internal communications across its global operations.

The odds against a Chinese dialect ever gaining traction as an international language are formidable, for linguistic, economic, cultural, and political reasons. For starters, the language is just too hard for outsiders to attain fluency. Then there is the inconvenient fact that Mandarin doesn’t hold sway throughout all of China.

The bad news – at least for Americans thinking they don’t need to learn a second language– is that English’s very universality will make more and more of the world’s population multilingual.”

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate – Advanced

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

Time: Approximately 2 hours.

Materials: Student handouts (from this lesson) access to news article, and video clip.

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 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 news sparked talk about China’s economic rise.
  2. Fluency in Mandarin will always be helpful.
  3. But Mandarin poses no threat to English as the world’s bridge language.
  4. English speakers are strategically sprinkled across the globe.
  5. People will speak functional English by 2020.
  6. English is an inherently neutral language.
  7. Ours is a radically egalitarian and modern language.
  8. The French  language was the last viable alternative.
  9. English was adopted  as the default language for global operations.
  10. A Chinese dialect will never gain traction as an international language.

 

Freeology Chart

Freeology Chart

Reading Comprehension

True /False/NA-Statements

Directions: Review the following statements from the reading. If a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is  not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.

1. Amy Tan made some remarks in Mandarin recently.
2. Zuckerberg’s children speak Mandarin.
3. Fluency in Mandarin will always be helpful for foreigners doing business in Portugal.
4. English is the world’s bridge language.
5. English is also the native language of shared popular culture – music, movies, even sports.
6. By 2020 it’s estimated that 2 billion people will speak functional English.
7. There is gender in the English language.
8. English is a difficult language to master.
9. Mandarin as an international language will never happen, for linguistic, economic, cultural, and political reasons.
10. The French language was the last viable alternative.

 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. Mandarin poses no threat to English.
  2. English is the native language of shared popular culture.
  3. English is an inherently neutral language.

II

  1. Two billion people  would speak functional English by 2020.
  2. English is also more politically neutral.
  3. There is no gender in English as there are in Romance languages.

III

  1. Mandarin doesn’t hold sway throughout all of China.
  2. People in nations like the Philippines, Korea, and Japan is far more comfortable with America.
  3. This is  good news for us as Americans.

III. Post Reading Tasks

Reading Comprehension Check

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 answer the following questions. 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 following  three statements were taken from the article. Rephrase each one, then discuss the meaning with the members of your group.

“…English is also the native language of shared popular culture – music, movies, even sport, with the recent ascendance of England’s Premier League. And English is undeniably the language of the technologies connecting us all together. Most languages don’t even bother to coin terms for things like “the Internet” or “text” or “hashtag.”

“English is an inherently neutral language: There is no gender in English as there are in Romance languages. There are no class or generational distinctions baked into the language, as there are with so many languages that feature different you’s with different verb conjugations – the deferential you (boss, elder, stranger) versus the familiar you (friend, subordinate, child). Ours is a radically egalitarian and modern language, and it is simpler and more direct as a result.”

“The odds against a Chinese dialect ever gaining traction as an international language are formidable, for linguistic, economic, cultural, and political reasons. For starters, the language is just too hard for outsiders to attain fluency. Then there is the inconvenient fact that Mandarin doesn’t hold sway throughout all of China.”

2. In your opinion, is English the best language for global communication? Provide reasons for your answer.

3. With your members make a list of other languages that might also be considered for global communications.

IV. GROUP PROJECTS

Role Play

After the group discussions students can create a short skit explaining why they think English or another  language should be the lingua franca.  Students then  have to dramatize their interpretations for the class.

Visual Creations

Students can create graphs, pictures, collages, or models to demonstrate their understanding of the topic.  They can do this individually or in groups.

Visit The United Nations

Students can see first hand the various languages used at the UN.

Languages “On your guided tour, you will have the opportunity to interact with one of our 24 multilingual tour guides from 15 countries, speaking 12 languages, with up-to-date information about the work of the United Nations.”

ANSWER KEY

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The New Club: Stay-At-Home Dads

November 22nd, 2014  |  Published in Social Issues

“Choo-choo-wa! Choo-choo-wa! Choo-choo-wa-wa-wah! The words — the theme song of a children’s cartoon — were being bellowed by six grown men huddled on a makeshift stage in a hotel banquet room. The song leader, an education specialist, held up a baby rattle. “What can we do to encourage play?” he asked the all-male audience. “Give them alone time,” one man offered… “Have stuff around that they can interact with,” a third suggested. All were correct. And why wouldn’t they be? They were stay-at-home fathers observing a presentation on children and play.” J. Bennett, New York Times 

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

NYC Das group.

NYC Das group.

Excerpt: The Brotherhood of the Stay-at-Home Dad By J. Bennett, New York Times
“The men are part of a group called the National At-Home Dad Network, which on an early fall weekend had gathered here for an annual retreat (and a rare night without the kids). The men — 100 in total — had traveled from all over: the Midwest, Canada, Washington State. Over two days, they would attend a workshop on seatbelt safety and bro out at a Colorado Rockies game. They traded recipes — Tex-Mex spaghetti squash, lentil soup, piled into a box in the lobby — and asked questions of a panel of working women. (“Is it weird when your husband gets you a gift with your own money?”; “Who handles your finances?”) The men exchanged email addresses and made plans to meet up in playgrounds across the country. By Sunday, they left, as the convention organizer put it, “better men, better husbands, better fathers.” It was the largest gathering of stay-at-home fathers ever, according to the organizers. Some may wonder why fathers need a convention at all. But these men said the answer was simple: They wanted other dads to talk to.
At-home mothers have every support resource in the book, as well as a changing vernacular for how to refer to them (they too are “working moms”). Yet when it comes to dads who are the primary caretakers of their children — a group that is growing swiftly, both in size and visibility — the resources remain dismal. Few books. Fewer community groups. There’s no history, no social structure, no guidebook. A guy jumps into this blind.

Rick Bass on parenting. Credit Oprah

Rick Bass on parenting. Credit Oprah

And yet, he is also more visible than ever. According to a June study by the Pew Research Center, stay-at-home dads now account for more than 16 percent of at-home caretakers, a number that has more than doubled over the past decade (and still does not factor in dads who work part time)…
There’s been a feeling for a long time that dads are not capable, that if dads are in the home, moms are still directing, that dads are not interested in that caretaker role… That doesn’t jibe with what we see every day… For its part, this dads’ network is working to change the stigma.
Mr. Harrington, of Boston College, recalled a story from a few years back in which a man he knew — carrying his baby snuggled under his jacket on a cold day — emerged from a park trail to a circle of police officers because he looked suspicious… The good news is that the culture has started to catch up. Companies like Facebook and Change.org are among a group that have begun to offer generous paternity leave policies, and as a 2014 survey of dads revealed, 89 percent said it would be an important criterion in looking for a new job.”

The Autumn Wind By AJ Vargas

The Autumn Wind By AJ Vargas

Give Thanks

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Lesson Plan  

Level: Intermediate – Advanced

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

Time: Approximately 2 hours. 

Materials: Student handouts (from this lesson) access to news article, and video clip.

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.  

Pre-reading Organizer By Scholastic.

Pre-reading Organizer By Scholastic.

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. Over two days, they would attend a workshop on seatbelt safety.
  2. Is it weird when your husband gets you a gift with your own money?
  3. The men exchanged email addresses and made plans.
  4. Some may wonder why fathers need a convention at all.
  5. At-home mothers have every support resource in the book.
  6. Yet when it comes to at-home dads the resources remain dismal
  7. He isn’t a product of the recession.
  8. There’s been a feeling for a long time that dads are not capable.
  9. That doesn’t jibe with what we see every day.
  10. Mr. Frank surveyed 371 men who said they were the primary caregivers to their children.
Freeology Chart

Freeology Chart

Reading Comprehension

True /False/NA-Statements

Directions: Review the following statements from the reading. If a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is  not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.

  1. The National At-Home Dad Network is a convention for a group of men.
  2. The men had traveled only from from the Midwest to attend.
  3. According to the organizers it was the largest gathering of stay-at-home fathers ever.
  4. Stay-at-home dads have as many resources as at-home moms.
  5. The men who attend these workshops have many children at home.
  6. There has been a general feeling that dads are not capable to care for children.
  7. This dads’ network is not going to change the stigma about at-home dads.
  8. Robert Frank began the National At-Home Dads Network two decades ago.
  9. Over the next two years, Mr. Frank surveyed 371 men who said they were the primary caregivers to their children.
  10. A couple of years ago, many men found an ad for Gerber’s baby food offensive.

Grammar Focus

Preposition Exercise

Directions: The following sentences are from the article. For each sentence choose the correct preposition from the choices presented.
Prepositions: over, in, from, on, to, into, by, at, as,

  1. The men 100___total had traveled ___all ___.
  2. They wanted other dads ___talk___.
  3. ___two days, they would attend a workshop ___seatbelt safety.
  4. They traded recipes piled___ a box in the lobby.
  5. ___ no means are single-earner households the norm ___this country.
  6. Before the days of Google, their existence spread ___word of mouth.
  7. He said he rarely gives interviews ___the subject.
  8. Men who talked about being a parent___work were viewed ___both lesser workers and lesser men.

III. Post Reading Tasks

Reading Comprehension Check

Graphic Organizers: Finding the main idea

Directions:  Have students use this graphic organizer from Enchanted Learning  to assist them with  discussing  or writing about  the main points from the article. 

WH-organizer from Enchanted Learning

Discussion/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. 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 following  three statements were taken from the article. Rephrase each one, then discuss the meaning with the members of your group. 

“At-home mothers have every support resource in the book, as well as a changing vernacular for how to refer to them (they too are “working moms”). Yet when it comes to dads who are the primary caretakers of their children — a group that is growing swiftly, both in size and visibility — the resources remain dismal. Few books. Fewer community groups.”

“You’ll hear many guys describe it: I’m alone on an island in a vast sea… There’s no history, no social structure, no guidebook. A guy jumps into this blind.”

“The good news is that the culture has started to catch up. In April, Daniel Murphy, the Mets second baseman, ignited a fury of radio chatter after missing two games to be at home with his wife and newborn son. When the chief executive of  a software firm announced that he would step down this year to spend more time with his family, he noted that, ‘As a male C.E.O., I have been asked what kind of car I drive and what type of music I like, but never how I balance the demands of being both a dad and a C.E.O.”

2. In your opinion do men make good stay-at-home dads? Provide reasons for your answer.

 Main Idea / Debate

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

Team A will list five reasons for stay-at-home dads.

Team B will list  five reasons against stay-at-home dads.

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

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

 ANSWER KEY

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Why Eat Dessert When You Can Inhale It?

November 15th, 2014  |  Published in Technology

“If you were to walk into Cafe ArtScience in Cambridge, Mass., you might assume it’s yet another upscale restaurant with a farm-to-table sensibility. It’s got a slick Mathieu Lehanneur-designed interior, but doesn’t look especially unusual. Then you reach the host stand. Beneath its glass top, small tubes labeled “mint” “chocolate” and “energy” are arrayed like plastic bullets. These little packages contain inhalable after-dinner mints.” L. Stinson, Wired

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Cafe ArtScience is a newly opened restaurant in Cambridge's Kendall Square East neighborhood.

Cafe ArtScience is a newly opened restaurant in Cambridge’s Kendall Square East neighborhood.

Customers can smell their coffee and food through the oPhone, which delivers olfactory messages.  LE LABORATOIRE

Customers can smell their coffee and food through the oPhone, which delivers olfactory messages. LE LABORATOIRE

Excerpt: A Science-Inspired Restaurant Where You Inhale Your Dessert Mints, By Liz Stinson, Wired Magazine

“The idea is to get people to walk away with mints you breathe, says David Edwards. This is energy,” he continues, pointing to an orange tube. Amazing coffee. Edwards is the mastermind behind the Cafe ArtScience and its corresponding gallery space, Le Laboratoire. The dinner mints are AeroPods. You inhale the small cartridges of dried food particles and nutrients using the AeroLife, one of many inventions of his design aimed at revolutionizing how we consume food.

Cafe ArtScience and the U.S. outpost of Le Laboratoire officially opened last Friday, but Edwards has been at this for a while now. For the past seven years, Edwards has been running Le Laboratoire in Paris, working from a small space near the Louvre where he and his team hold exhibitions that bridge art and science. The Cambridge complex, with its restaurant and WikiBar (more on that later) is an expansion of what he and his team were able to do in Europe.

The bar and restaurant will serve various kinds of Wiki foods, which come with an edible skin. Edwards plans to introduce a fois gras variety soon.  LE LABORATOIRE

The bar and restaurant will serve various kinds of Wiki foods, which come with an edible skin. Edwards plans to introduce a fois gras variety soon. LE LABORATOIRE

Le Laboratoire sits across the hall from Cafe ArtScience in a newish building in the Kendall Square East neighborhood, a burgeoning tech hub in tech-saturated Cambridge. The two operations are linked in the way the Museum of Modern Art and its restaurant or design store are: a moneymaker (Cafe ArtScience) helping fund the benevolent educational mission of the other (Le Laboratoire)… The whole operation is a little whimsical, definitely not what you’d expect from a biomedical engineer who teaches at Harvard.

Cafe ArtScience. PHASE ONE PHOTOGRAPHY.

Cafe ArtScience. PHASE ONE PHOTOGRAPHY.

 But Edwards has never been a typical engineer or a typical professor, for that matter. His big goal is to turn Cafe ArtScience and Le Laboratoire into an interdisciplinary meeting place where artists, scientists and technologists can interact outside of a university setting, perhaps over a Wikipearl bloody mary.”

 

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate – Advanced

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

Time: Approximately 2 hours. 

Materials: Student handouts (from this lesson) access to news article, and video clip.


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

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.  Discuss results as a class.

 

Brainstorming chart by UIE.

Brainstorming chart by UIE.

II. While Reading Tasks

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.

Edwards___ Le Laboratoire in 2007 as a way to ___ideas that weren’t at home in___science labs or galleries. At Le Labo, exhibitions are called experiments, and they often begin with a hypothesis. The ___experiment, Vocal Vibrations, is the work of Tod Machover and Neri Oxman, both of MIT’s Media Lab. It ___how our voices___mental and physical health.
Le Laboratoire also has been where Edwards incubates his many ___companies. Theres’s WikiFoods, a company that develops___food skins that are looking to___ plastic packaging and the oPhone, a gadget that sends olfactory messages. In the context of Edwards’ ___explorations, you begin to see how a restaurant isn’t much of a stretch. The Cafe is independent of the lab, in that it’s being___like any restaurant where you can order French-leaning entrees (the veal loin en crepeniette will run you $29, the cauliflower veloute, $13) and a martini at the bar. Edwards is___to say Cafe ArtScience isn’t an outlet to promote his growing catalog of ___inventions.
Word List
quick, started, sensorial, traditional, incubate, offshoot, investigates
influence, replace, edible, opening, strange, run,

Word Map Education Oasis.

Word Map Education Oasis.

Reading Comprehension

True /False/NA-Statements

Directions: Review the following statements from the reading. If a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is  not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.

  1. Cafe ArtScience is located in Maine.
  2. David Edwards is the mastermind behind the Cafe ArtScience.
  3. You inhale the small cartridges of dried food particles and nutrients using the AeroLife another of his inventions.
  4. For the past year, Edwards has been running Le Laboratoire in Paris.
  5. Le Laboratoire sits across the hall from Cafe ArtScience in a newish building in the Kendall Square East neighborhood.
  6. WikiFoods is a company that develops lists of edible foods.
  7. Many students from MIT visit the restaurant.
  8. French designer Francois Azambourg helped develop a line of Wiki utensils for the restaurant.
  9. Edwards is a biomedical engineer who teaches at Harvard.
  10. Edwards will be opening another restaurant soon in Boston.

 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. Le Laboratoire sits across the hall from Cafe ArtScience.
  2. The two operations are linked.
  3. Edwards started Le Laboratoire in 2007.

II

  1. The Cafe is independent of the lab.
  2. Over time the restaurant will become more establish.
  3. In the morning, you could walk into the WikiBar and order a cup of coffee.

III

  1. From the start, the bar and restaurant will be serving various forms of Wikipearls.
  2. The whole operation are a little whimsical.
  3. The goal is to turn Cafe ArtScience and Le Laboratoire into an interdisciplinary meeting place.

III. Post Reading Tasks

Reading Comprehension Check
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 answer the following questions. 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 following statement was taken from the article. Rephrase it then discuss the meaning with the members of your group.
“The whole operation is a little whimsical, definitely not what you’d expect from a biomedical engineer who teaches at Harvard. But Edwards has never been a typical engineer or a typical professor, for that matter. His big goal is to turn Cafe ArtScience and Le Laboratoire into an interdisciplinary meeting place where artists, scientists and technologists can interact outside of a university setting, perhaps over a Wikipearl bloody mary.”
2. Would you visit this restaurant? Explain why or why not.

3. In your opinion, who would be more inclined to visit a restaurant such as this? For example young people, old people, college students etc.

3-2-1-Writing

Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about Cafe ArtScience 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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