Dolphins and Sea Lions: The U.S. Marine Guardians

April 12th, 2014  |  Published in Education

The United States implemented the  Marine Mammal Program  in 1960 with the purpose of training sea mammals to assist the U.S. Navy primarily with underwater mine detection. The mammals best suited for this job were the bottlenose dolphin and California sea lion. Today the Navy continues to care for and train sea mammals (including Beluga whales) for various  underwater missions.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key.

A trained bottlenose dolphin named K-Dog leaps out of the water during a training exercise in the Persian Gulf.  Petty Officer 1st Class Bria Aho, US Navy.

A trained bottlenose dolphin named K-Dog leaps out of the water during a training exercise in the Persian Gulf. Petty Officer 1st Class Bria Aho, US Navy.

Excerpt:  Military Dolphins and Sea Lions: What Do They Do and Who Uses Them? Janet J. Lee, National Geographic

“Military-trained marine mammals, including dolphins, can detect underwater mines and intruders.

Russian activities in Crimea now include taking over a Ukrainian military unit made up of bottlenose dolphins, according to news reports.

It’s unclear how the Russian navy intends to use these “combat dolphins,” although state-run Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports that the mammals will be getting equipment upgrades.

Zak a 375-pound sea lion being trained by the Navy. Photo- NPR

Zak a 375-pound sea lion being trained by the Navy. Photo- NPR

The U.S. Navy trains its marine mammals—including California sea lions and bottlenose dolphins—to find and retrieve equipment lost at sea and to identify intruders swimming into restricted areas. The dolphins are also used to detect underwater mines, either buried in the seafloor or floating from an anchor.

A beluga whale marks a training target Nat. Geographic

A beluga whale marks a training target Nat. Geographic.

The U.S. Navy uses them to find and retrieve unarmed test ordnance like practice mines. Handlers give a sea lion an attachment system it can hold in its mouth and send the mammal overboard. Once the animal finds its target, it clamps the device to it and handlers in a boat at the surface can bring the object in.” Read more…

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate – Advanced

Language Skills: Reading, writing, speaking and listening. 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

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. Have students use the pre-reading organizer by TeachEm2Think to assist them in finding the main ideas from the reading.

Prereading organizerby San Juan Edutiff

II. While Reading Activities

Vocabulary

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. Military-trained marine mammals can detect underwater mines and intruders.
  2. It is reported that mammals will be getting equipment upgrades.
  3. These animals have the ability to to detect and find targets in murky water.
  4. The U.S. Navy trains its marine mammals to find and retrieve equipment lost at sea.
  5. Dolphins can be especially effective close to shore,
  6. Mechanical systems can be overwhelmed by all the competing signals, but not dolphins.
  7. A dolphins’ sonar is finely tuned.
  8. Handlers give a sea lion an attachment system it can hold in its mouth and send the mammal overboard.
  9. The Navy deployed dolphins and sea lions to patrol the area.
  10. Sea lions also have the advantage of being amphibious.

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 ability of these animals to detect and find targets at depth or in murky water is something technology can duplicate.
  2. The Sevastopol-based “combat dolphins” are trained to search for and tag underwater mines.
  3. The U.S. Navy trains its marine mammals—including California sea lions and bottlenose dolphins—to find and retrieve other sea creatures lost at sea.
  4. Sea lions are better than any machine as far as detecting mines.
  5. Researchers now understand how dolphins can detect mines.
  6. Baby sea lions are good at detecting mines  because of their size.
  7. California sea lions, while they don’t possess sonar capabilities, have excellent eyesight.
  8. The navy also train sharks to detect other ships.
  9. Sharks are being considered for future use in the U.S. military.
  10. Both California sea lions and bottlenose dolphins are fairly hardy, smart, and very trainable.

 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. Military-trained marine mammals can detect underwater mines and intruders.
  2. Russian activities in Crimea now include taking over a Ukrainian military unit made up of bottlenose dolphins.
  3. It unclear how the Russian navy intends to use these combat dolphins.

II.

  1. The U.S. Navy trains its marine mammals to find and retrieve equipment lost at sea.
  2. The dolphins are also used to detect underwater mines.
  3. Dolphins can be especially effective close to shore.

III.

  1. Dolphins, and relatives like killer whales, send out a series of sounds that bounce off of objects.
  2. California sea lions, while they don’t possess sonar capabilities, has excellent eyesight.
  3. The U.S. Navy uses them to find and retrieve unarmed test ordnance like practice mines.

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 article states,It’s unclear how the Russian navy intends to use these “combat dolphins”. Why do you think the Russians refer to their dolphins as “combat dolphins”?  Describe  a task that the Russian dolphins might perform.
  2. In your opinion do you think using sea mammals to help the military is a good idea? Explain why or why not.
  3. What other tasks might dolphins and sea lions be used for?
  4. The sea mammals used thus far in the U.S. Navy have been dolphins, sea lions, and whales. What other sea mammals might be used for these tasks? What about creatures like sharks, eels, or  sea turtles?
  5. What are the functions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and the Animal Welfare Act (AWA)?

IV. Listening Activity

Video ClipUS Navy Dolphins & Sea Lions to Serve as Marine Guardians
“ A new U.S. Navy Instruction (pdf) updates Navy policy on the use of marine mammals for national security missions. It seems that by law (10 USC 7524), the Secretary of Defense is authorized to “take” (or acquire) up to 25 wild marine mammals each year “for national defense purposes.” These mammals — including whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea lions — are used for military missions such as locating and marking underwater mines, and providing force protection against unauthorized swimmers or vehicles, among other things.”


 

 While Listening Activities

Sentence  Fill-ins

Directions: Students listen for the correct word or phrase to complete the sentences taken from the video. They are to choose from the options presented.

  1. The Navy became interested in dolphins before/after WW II.
  2. Medical/medium care is provided for the animals.
  3. The medical stuff/staff includes a team of veterinarians from the army.
  4. Dolphins also have hearing/herding tests.
  5. This program has contributed the most scientific/science  information about marine mammals than any other organization.
  6. The program helps to definition/define what  marine mammals can and cannot do in support of navy operations.
  7. Dolphins are trained to signal when they find underwater mimes/mines.
  8. Dolphins don’t swim away because they receive fools/food and love.
  9. Navy sea lions are used in the recovery of training/trail mines.
  10.  It takes years to track/train dolphins and sea lions.

Post-Listening Activities

Questions for Discussion

Directions:Place students in groups and have them discuss the following questions.

1. After listening to this video has your personal idea of sea mammals in the Navy changed in any way?   If yes, describe in what way.  If no, describe your original opinion.

2. Discuss which comments or ideas you agreed with and which ones you tended not to agree with.   Explain why.

3.  With your group members, make up questions that you would like to ask the speakers.

 ANSWER KEY: Navy sea mammals

Thank you for using this lesson plan.
Please come back again.

Tags: , ,

Are Humans Better Lie Detectors Than Machines?

April 5th, 2014  |  Published in Education

In the old TV series Lie To Me Dr. Cal Lightman and his colleagues assisted federal law enforcement in detecting liars mainly through body language. In a similar fashion the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) has been training TSA staff to spot passengers who might be potential security risks. Through nonverbal signs such as facial expressions and body gestures “detection officers” are learning how to spot liars. The question is how efficient are they?

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key.

2009 TV series Lie To Me. IMDb.

2009 TV series Lie To Me. IMDb.

Excerpt: At Airports, a Misplaced Faith in Body Language by John Tierney New York Times.

“Like the rest of us, airport security screeners like to think they can read body language. The Transportation Security Administration has spent some $1 billion training thousands of “behavior detection officers” to look for facial expressions and other nonverbal clues that would identify terrorists.

But critics say there’s no evidence that these efforts have stopped a single terrorist or accomplished much beyond inconveniencing tens of thousands of passengers a year. The T.S.A. seems to have fallen for a classic form of self-deception: the belief that you can read liars’ minds by watching their bodies.

Most people think liars give themselves away by averting their eyes or making nervous gestures, and many law-enforcement officers have been trained to look for specific tics, like gazing upward in a certain manner.

But this theory didn’t hold up when it was tested by a team of British and North American psychologists. They found no pattern in the upward eye movements of liars and truth tellers, whether they were observed in the laboratory or during real-life news conferences. The researchers also found that people who were trained to look for these eye movements did not do any better than a control group at detecting liars.

TSA officers observe facial and body gestures. CNN.

TSA officers observe facial and body gestures. CNN.

 Stephen Porter of the University of British Columbia says the poor success rate in studies is caused partly by the limitations of laboratory experiments in which subjects are often asked to lie about things that don’t really matter to them. Liars may show more stress in a real-life situation when much depends on being believed.

In a study last year, psychologists at the University of British Columbia trained professionals in forensics to look for an array of facial expressions and other signs of stress or inconsistency in someone telling a story. Then these professionals looked at news footage of people pleading for the return of a missing relative. Some of the pleaders were sincere, but others were lying (as eventually revealed by evidence that they had already murdered the relative). The trained professionals were able to identify the liars with an 80 percent accuracy rate.

Lie detecting equipment. Ted Talks.

Lie detecting equipment. Ted Talks.

The T.S.A.’s administrator, John S. Pistole, defended its behavior-detection program last year by saying it identified  high-risk passengers at a significantly higher rate than random screening. The accountability office report challenged the methodology behind that assertion and questioned the cost-effectiveness of the program. It noted that fewer than 1 percent of the more than 30,000 passengers a year who are identified as suspicious end up being arrested, and that the offenses (like carrying drugs or undeclared currency) have not been linked to terrorist plots.” Read more…

REMEMBER:

April is  Sexual Assault and Child Abuse  Awareness Month. In an ongoing effort to bring stronger awareness of sexual violence against women and child abuse  many organizations and universities are hosting special events during this month. Click on the icon below to see how you can support or get help.

Never Alone- Abuse Awareness & Support.

Never Alone- Abuse Awareness & Support.

 

ESL Voices Lesson Plan

Level:  High Intermediate – Advanced

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

Time: Approximately 2 hours.

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

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

Can You Spot the Liar? Fun Activity by New York Times!

Can You Spot the Liar? New York Times.

Can You Spot the Liar? New York Times.

Directions: Researchers say that your body language tells questioners if the words you’re saying are actually true or false. Click on the photo and have students see if they can spot the people who are  telling lies from the ones telling the truth.

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 by Freeology for assistance.

  1. Airport security screeners look for facial expressions and other nonverbal clues that would identify terrorists.
  2. Critics say there’s no evidence that these efforts have stopped a single terrorist.
  3. The T.S.A. seems to have fallen for a classic form of self-deception.
  4. Most people think liars give themselves away by averting their eyes.
  5. There’s an illusion of insight that comes from looking at a person’s body.
  6. This theory didn’t hold up when it was tested by a team of British and North American psychologists.
  7. There is no Pinocchio’s nose — no one cue that will always accompany deception.
  8. Liars may show more stress in a real-life situation.
  9. Trained professionals in forensics to look for an array of facial expressions and other signs of stress.
  10. That’s an impressive record, but it’s only one experiment.vocab Freeology

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. TSA stands for Transit State Authority.
  2. TSA is training thousands of behavior detection officers.
  3. There’s evidence that these efforts have stopped  terrorists.
  4. Men lie the most.
  5. Liars usually give themselves away by averting their eyes or making nervous gestures.
  6. Law-enforcement officers are not consistently better at it than ordinary people.
  7. There is one cue that will always accompany deception.
  8. John S. Pistole is the The T.S.A.’s administrator.
  9. Some researchers believe that you get so much more information by just by talking to people.
  10. It is difficult to tell if children are lying or not.

 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. Like the rest of us, airport security screeners like to think they can read body language.
  2. They looks for facial expressions and other nonverbal clues.
  3. But critics say there’s no evidence that these efforts have stopped a single terrorist.

II.

  1. They belief that you can read liars’ minds by watching their bodies.
  2. Most people think liars give themselves away by averting their eyes.
  3. In scientific experiments, people do a lousy job of spotted liars.

III.

  1. There’s a illusion of insight that comes from looking at a person’s body.
  2. There is no Pinocchio’s nose — no one cue.
  3. Trained professionals were able to identify the liars with an 80 percent accuracy rate.

 

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.  Can you always tell when someone is telling the truth. How? For example are there there certain body gestures or facial expressions that you look for?
  2.  In your opinion, is there ever a time when lying to someone is good? Provide examples.
  3.  Do you always tell the truth? Explain why or why not.
  4. Do you think people are better at detecting lies than machines (e.g., a lie detector)? Why or why not?

 IV. Listening Activity   

Video ClipPamela Meyer: How to spot a liar. TEDTalks

 “Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting, shows the manners and “hotspots” used by those trained to recognize deception — and she argues honesty is a value worth preserving.”

LIESPOTTING by Pamela Meyer. MacMillan.

Book LIESPOTTING by Pamela Meyer. MacMillan.

 While Listening Activities

Directions: Students listen for the correct word or phrase to complete the dialog taken from the video. They are to choose from the options presented.

Video Link

  1. Lie spotters are people armed with scientific/science knowledge about how to spot deception.
  2. The faze/phrase “Lying is a cooperative act” means someone chooses to believe a lie.
  3. There are times when people are unwilling participants/party in a lie.
  4. Some infamous people involved in public deception/perception were Robert Hanson, Aldrich Hanes and Bernard Madoff.
  5. According to studies most of us encounter nearly 10-200 lions/lies a day.
  6. According to research, we lie more to strangers/strange than coworkers, extroverts/extras lie more than introverts, and men lie 8 times more about themselves then about other people.
  7. Women lie more to protest/protect other people.
  8. According to Meyer the two patterns of deception are speech/speak and body language.
  9. The video of two mothers/moths were used to demonstrate the difference between truth telling and lying.
  10. According to research lying is a part of our historical/history and culture.

Post-Listening Activities

Questions for Discussion

Directions:Place students in groups and have them discuss the following questions.

1. After listening to this video has your personal idea of humans as lie detectors changed in any way? If yes, describe in what way. If no, describe your original opinion.

2. Did  you agree with everything  Pamela Meyer said? Discuss which comments you agreed with and which ones you tended not to agree with. Explain why.

3.  With your group members, make up questions that you would like to ask Ms. Meyer.

 

ANSWER KEY: Human Lie Detectors

Thank you for using this lesson plan.
Please come back again.

Tags: ,

Mudslides: How Much Do We Really Know?

March 29th, 2014  |  Published in Education

We hear about natural disasters such as  hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes. One natural disaster we don’t often hear about are mudslides. The fatal mudslide that occurred near the small village of Oso, Washington claimed many lives, and searches are still in progress for missing people. Since this area has had slides over the last several years, one major question is could this catastrophe have been avoided?

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post  with Answer Key.

This aerial photo of the mudslide near Oso, Washington, was taken Saturday. National Geographic.

This aerial photo of the mudslide near Oso, Washington, was taken Saturday. National Geographic.

Excerpt: Mudslides Explained: Behind the Washington State Disaster Brian C. Howard,National Geographic

“On Saturday morning, a mudslide moved down the Stillaguamish River near the small former fishing village of Oso, Washington. Authorities have confirmed eight dead, eight injured, and as many as 108 people missing or unaccounted for as of Monday morning. The one-square-mile (2.6-square-kilometer) track of the mudslide also destroyed about 30 homes.

Jim O’Connor, a research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Portland, Oregon, told National Geographic that the mudslide, which was up to 15 feet (4.5 meters) deep in some areas, was caused by ground made unstable by heavy rainfall.

A flag sticks out of a hole in a demolished home. Washingtonpost.com.

A flag sticks out of a hole in a demolished home. Washingtonpost.com.

This area has had slides in small increments over the last several years, but this took a huge bite of the hillslope this time, says O’Connor…A whole section of a hillside, about 700 feet [213 meters] high above the river, collapsed all at once,”says O’Connor. It’s amazing how much terrain it ended up covering.

What Is a Mudslide?

A mudslide, also called a debris flow, is a type of fast-moving landslide that follows a channel, such as a river. A landslide, in turn, is simply when rock, earth, or other debris moves down a slope.

How Mudslides Occur by Doug Smeath.News

How Mudslides Occur by Doug Smeath.News

Mudslides occur after water rapidly saturates the ground on a slope, such as during a heavy rainfall. According to O’Connor, it doesn’t take high relief in the topography to create a slide. Rather, it just takes a pull of gravity strong enough to bring down material that is made fluid enough by water.

How Are Mudslides Prevented?

Strategies to decrease the risk of mudslides include draining water off hillsides, armoring the bases of hills so they are not undercut by rivers, and loading the toe, says O’Connor.

This isn’t a situation where [the authorities] should have done something [to prevent it] because there is so much terrain there that this could have happened to, he says.

Mudslides- Torrential rain pushed tons of mud through villages in Brazil. Getty

Mudslides- Torrential rain pushed tons of mud through villages in Brazil. Getty

Searches continue for missing victims of mudslide.Photo-Washington Post.

Searches continue for missing victims of mudslide.Photo-Washington Post.

The CDC recommends that people exercise caution around steep slopes during rainfall. Immediate signs of a pending slide include tilting trees and sudden increases or decreases in rivers.” Read more…

American Red CrossVisit The American Red Cross to learn how you can help the families.

“OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS GO OUT TO THE FAMILIES”-ESL VOICES-Flowers

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate – Advanced

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

Time: Approximately 2 hours.

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

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 of mudslides 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. Debrief as a class and list these ideas on the board. Students can use the UIE brainstorming chart.

Brainstorming chart by UIE copy

II. While Reading Activities

Vocabulary

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 Map  from  Education Oasis for assistance.

  1. A fatal mudslide occurred in rural northwestern Washington State over the weekend.
  2. Authorities have confirmed eight dead, and eight injured.
  3. The mudslide, which was up to 15 feet deep in some areas, was caused by ground made unstable by heavy rainfall.
  4. This area has had slides in small increments over the last several years.
  5. There been a lot of precipitation in the area over the past few months.
  6. The Stillaguamish River also has been eroding away the base of the hillside.
  7. A whole section of a hillside, high above the river, collapsed all at once.
  8. It ended up covering a huge amount of terrain.
  9. Strategies to decrease the risk of mudslides include draining water off hillsides.
  10.  Immediate signs of a pending slide include tilting trees and sudden increases or decreases in rivers.

Word Chart By Education Oasis

Word -Recognition 

Directions: Students are to circle or underline the correct word or phrases from the article. This exercise reinforces students’ attention on words that have been introduced in the reading. Have them skim the article to check  their responses.

  1. A fatal/fetal mudslide in Washington State points to the dangers of heavy rainfall.
  2. On Saturday mourning/morning, a mudslide moved down the Stillaguamish River.
  3. This area has had slides/sleds in small increments over the last several years,
  4. A mudslide is also called a debut/debris flow.
  5. It just takes a pulley/pull of gravity.
  6. Mudslides are also often triggered/tried by earthquakes
  7. Strategies to decease/decrease the risk of mudslides include draining water off hillsides.
  8. This isn’t a situation where the authorities should have done something to prevent/prevail it.
  9. The CDC recommends that people exercise caution around step/steep slopes during rainfall.
  10. Immediate sings/signs of a pending slide include tilting trees.

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. A fatal mudslide occurred in rural Washington  D.C. over the weekend.
  2. The missing people are mainly children.
  3. This is a situation where the authorities should have done something to prevent it.
  4. A mudslide is also called a debris flow.
  5. Mudslides occur after water rapidly saturates the ground on a slope, such as during a heavy rainfall.
  6. Mudslides tend to happen during dry seasons.
  7. In the United States, mudslides and landslides result in an average of 25 to 50 deaths a year.
  8. Strategies to decrease the risk of mudslides include draining water off hillsides.
  9. Immediate signs of a pending slide include tilting trees and sudden increases or decreases in rivers.
  10. Mudslides will occur in the future.

 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. 108 people missing or unaccounted for as of Monday morning.
  2. The mudslide also destroyed about 30 home.
  3. This area has had slides in small increments over the last several years.

II.

  1. A whole section of a hillside collapsed all at once.
  2. A mudslides is also called a debris flow.
  3. Mudslides tend to happen during wet seasons.

III.

  1. Mudslides are often triggered by earthquakes.
  2. Engineers put heavy mass, such as large rocks, at the base of a hill as prevention.
  3. The CDC recommend that people exercise caution around steep slopes during rainfall.

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. Review Review ESL Voices Modes of Writing

  1. In your own words explain how mudslides occur.
  2. Why is it difficult for the search crew to find the missing people?
  3. The article states, “This area has had slides in small increments over the last several years, but this took a huge bite of the hillslope this time.”  Do you think there was a way the people could have been warned about this slide? Explain why or why not.
  4. Can mudslides be prevented in the future? How?
  5. Brazil has had several bad mudslides that have killed many people. Are there many mudslides in your country? Have you ever experienced a mudslide?

IV. Listening Activity   

Video ClipWashington Mudslide Kills at Least 14 Across A Mile

“A mudslide has killed 14 people and left 176 missing in Washington state after burying a mile-long stretch of land under 20 feet or more of mud. Rescuers are still searching the wreckage for survivors though they are holding out little hope for finding any signs of life. Mark Sovel and Jackie Koppell discuss whether or not this situation could have been avoided, in this clip from the Lip.”

 While Listening Activities

True /False/NA-Statements

Directions: Review the statements with students before the watching the video. As students listen to the video 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. At the time of this broadcast, there were 25 houses and families destroyed.
  2. The wall of dirt that came down was a mile and a half wide.
  3. There had never been a previous slide in this area.
  4. The term “clear cut” means all vegetation is cut down to the earth.
  5. Some contributing factors to the mudslide were heavy rainfall and the number of people living in the area.
  6. The mudslide was compared to a tornado.
  7. Ways to prevent future mudslides were discussed.
  8. The speakers felt that this disaster received a lot of news coverage.
  9. This slide has been having trouble for the past 20 years.
  10. From the video you can guess that geologists are people who study the earth’s structure.

Post-Listening Activities

Questions for Discussion
Directions:Place students in groups and have them discuss the following questions.
1. After listening to this video have you learned any new information about mudslides?
2. Did you agree with everything the speakers said? Discuss which comments you agreed with and which ones you tended not to agree with. Explain why.
3. With your group members, make up questions that you would like to ask the speakers, geologists, or people who have survived mudslides in the past.

ANSWER KEY: Mudslides

Thank you for using this lesson plan.
Please come back again.

Tags: , ,

Medical Marijuana: Last Hope Cure for Children?

March 23rd, 2014  |  Published in Education

In Colorado marijuana has become a major part of social life since it was declared legal for recreational use last year. The once illicit drug has the spotlight once again as a treatment for young children with epilepsy. According to many parents the strain known as Charlotte’s Web has greatly reduced seizures in their children.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post  with Answer Key.

The miracle plant. CNN

The miracle plant. CNN

Excerpt: Medical marijuana refugees: ‘This was our only hope’ By Saundra Young, CNN

“They’ve come from as far away as Australia and Canada, or as close as Oklahoma. They are of different backgrounds and ages, but they’ve all moved to Colorado for the same thing: medical marijuana to treat their sick children. Jordan had her first seizure at 6 months old. I had never seen a seizure before,” says her mother, Paula Lyles. We took her to the hospital. The doctors said that would probably be the only one she’d have and sent us home.

But when Jordan was 18 months old, the seizures began in earnest. It was Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy characterized by uncontrolled, continuous seizures. Jordan was put on a combination of three anti-seizure medications.

Marisa Kiser was drawn to Colorado in the hopes of relieving seizures suffered by her 19-month-old son, Ezra. NYT.

Marisa Kiser was drawn to Colorado in the hopes of relieving seizures suffered by her 19-month-old son, Ezra. NYT.

But “the drugs take her personality away. The side effects of the cure are horrible, Lyles says…She’d heard about the healing properties of cannabis, but Lyles lived in Ohio, where medical marijuana is not legal… So six months ago, after talking to doctors and reading studies on medical marijuana, Lyles packed up her daughter and moved to Colorado, leaving her engineer husband and 25-year-old daughter Lindsay behind.

Doing so allowed Jordan to be treated with a strain of medical marijuana that’s high in cannabidiol, or CBD, a chemical in cannabis thought to have medicinal properties, and low in tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive chemical in pot that gets users high.

The strain is called Charlotte’s Web. It’s named after 7-year-old Charlotte Figi of Colorado Springs. Charlotte also has Dravet syndrome; after being on seven medications with no success, she began taking marijuana in an oil form. Her seizures were drastically reduced — from 300 a week to two or three a month. About 3 million people in the United States have epilepsy, according to the American Epilepsy Society. Of those, a third have treatment-resistant seizures.

Little Vivian is crippled with seizures. CNN

Little Vivian is crippled with seizures. CNN

We desperately need new treatments, and we need more research to get those treatments, says Dr. Amy Brooks-Kayal, vice president of the group. Dr. Edward Maa, chief of Denver Health’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, discovered one-third of his patients were using medical marijuana without his knowledge. Although concerned about its long-term safety, he immediately became more interested in cannabis as a potential treatment. He says he’s shocked at the number of families that move to Colorado — just to get this medicine for their children.”  Read more…

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate – Advanced

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

Time: Approximately 2 hours.

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

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

The K-W-L Chart

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

New K-W-L Chart from Read Write Think

II. While Reading Activities

Vocabulary

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 by Freeology  for assistance.

  1. Parents want  medical marijuana to treat their sick children.
  2. Jordan had her first seizure at 6 months old.
  3. She had a severe form of epilepsy.
  4. She’d heard about the healing properties of cannabis.
  5. There are several organizations run by marijuana dispensary owners.
  6. I had a twinge in my heart because I knew it was the right thing to do.
  7. We’ve been able to reduce her pharmaceuticals by 50%.
  8. We desperately need new treatments.
  9.  There are anecdotal reports that  marijuana derivatives seem to be effective.
  10. The fact that it’s Schedule I is arbitrary at this point.

vocab Freeology

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 (which are not in the correct order) or provide their own terms to create new information. Students are to find the meanings of any new vocabulary words.

“Over the___ eight months, more than 100___have moved to ___looking for ___to save their children’s lives, ___to the Realm of Caring. The organization is run by the Stanley family — medical marijuana growers and ___owners who ___a strain of cannabis high in CBD and low in THC.

The strain is called___. It’s named after 7-year-old Charlotte Figi of Colorado Springs. Charlotte also has Dravet syndrome; after being on___medications with no success, she began taking___in an ___form. Her___ were drastically reduced — from 300 a ___to two or three a month.”

 WORD LIST
marijuana, Colorado, Charlotte’s Web, week, pioneered, seizures, last, dispensary, oil, families, seven, according,  medicine,

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. They’ve come from as far away as Australia and Canada.
  2. They is of different backgrounds and ages.
  3. They’ve all moved to Colorado for the same thing.

II.

  1. We took her to the hospital.
  2. The doctors sent us home.
  3.  Jordan was 18 months old, when an seizures began in earnest.

III.

  1. The medications took she speech away for two weeks.
  2. We desperately need new treatments.
  3. One parent knows about side effects.

 

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 article states, “Even in the 20 states and the District of Columbia where medical marijuana is legal, the federal government classifies cannabis is a Schedule I drug, meaning it has no accepted medical value and a high potential for abuse. Others in that category: heroin, LSD and ecstasy.” Restate this comment using  your own words.
  2. Although the article states the “addictive “quality is taken out of medicinal marijuana do you think there’s a possibility that a child might still become addicted? Explain why.
  3. Why is the medicine  called Charlotte’s Web.
  4. According to the article not all cases using Charlotte’s Web were successful. ““One parent who knows about side effects is Nicole…Their son was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome just before turning 3. He’d had seizures since he was 11 months old. He’s tried several diets, supplements — pretty much you name it, we’ve tried it…but it didn’t work. But neither did marijuana…It never helped his big seizures. In fact, they kept getting worse… They were getting worse before we started cannabis, but cannabis did not help them. Since they stopped the cannabis more than a year ago, Nicole says her son is doing much better.”  In view of this information, if your child had epilepsy would you give them medical marijuana as a cure? Provide reasons for your answer.
  5. If you were sick would you be willing to try the cure yourself? Why or why not?

IV. Listening Activity   

Video ClipMedical marijuana in Maryland for kids?

‘Lawmakers in the 2014 listened to testimony from parents who want their children’s medical issues treated with marijuana.”

  While Listening Activities

Correct Word Choice

Directions: Students listen for the correct word or phrase to complete the sentences taken from the video.

  1. Legislators heard testimony/tests from families who could benefit from medical marijuana.
  2. Families suffer because they can’t get it in a style/state where they live.
  3. They say it’s just not adults that can benefit/benefitted.
  4. Logan is a vibrant active 4 year old exception/except he has epilepsy.
  5. He has ten to twenty/twin seizures every single day.
  6. Gail met with severe/several doctors about Logan’s epilepsy.
  7. They say/saying marijuana could help.
  8. Logan takes other drugs/drinks for the epilepsy, but those have harsher side effects.
  9. Mimi was in a cab/car accident that gave her a stroke.
  10. Now Mimi has seizures/sizes every day.

Video Link

Post-Listening Activities

Questions for Discussion

Directions:Place students in groups and have them discuss the following questions.

  1.  Did  you agree with everything that  the speakers said?  Discuss which comments  you agreed with and which ones you tended not to agree with.   Explain why.
  2.  With your group members, make up questions that you would like to ask the parents, doctors, and other  speakers.

 ANSWER KEY: Medical Marajuana

 

Thank you for using this lesson plan.
Please come back again.

Tags: , ,

Elephants Can Recognize Human Languages

March 15th, 2014  |  Published in Education

Elephants have long been seen as intelligent creatures. Now it has been discovered that the African elephants can remember and differentiate between people who mean them harm and those who pose no threat to the herd.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

An elephant in Kenya reacting to sound played by scientists in experiments that show they can distinguish between human languages and genders. University of Sussex.

An elephant in Kenya reacting to sound played by scientists in experiments that show they can distinguish between human languages and genders. University of Sussex.

Excerpt: Elephants Can Tell Gender, Ethnicity in Human Voices by AFP

“African elephants can differentiate between human languages and move away from those considered a threat, a skill they have honed to survive in the wild, researchers said.

The study suggests elephants, already known to be intelligent creatures, are even more sophisticated than previously believed when it comes to understanding human dangers.

African elephants (Loxodonta africana) are the largest land animals on Earth and are considered a vulnerable species due to habitat loss and illegal hunting for their ivory tusks.

African Elephant Herd Amboseli National Park, Kenya.

African Elephant Herd Amboseli National Park, Kenya.

Researchers played recordings of human voices for elephants at Amboseli National Park in Kenya to see how they would respond, according to a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Some of the voices were from local Maasai men, a group that herds cattle and sometimes comes into conflict with elephants over access to water and grazing space. Occasionally, elephants are killed in clashes with Maasai men, and vice-versa.

Other recorded voices were from Kamba men, who tend to be farmers or employees of the national park, and who rarely represent a danger to elephants.

Still other voices tested on the elephants included female Maasai speakers and young boys.

All were saying the same phrase: Look, look over there, a group of elephants is coming…

An African elephant journeys with her baby through the grasslands of Amboseli National Park. (BBC)

An African elephant journeys with her baby through the grasslands of Amboseli National Park. (BBC)

When elephants heard the adult male Maasai voices, they tended to gather together, start investigative smelling with their trunks, and move cautiously away. But when elephants heard females, boys, or adult male Kamba speakers, they did not show concern.

Baby love. National Geographic

Baby love. National Geographic

The ability to distinguish between Maasai and Kamba men delivering the same phrase in their own language suggests that elephants can discriminate between different languages, said co-author Graeme Shannon, a visiting fellow in psychology at the University of Sussex.” Read more…

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate – Advanced

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

Time: Approximately 2 hours.

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

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.

Great Brainstorming chart from Kootation.com

Great Brainstorming chart from Kootation.com

 

II. While Reading Activities

Vocabulary

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. African elephants can differentiate between human languages.
  2. African elephants  are considered a vulnerable due to habitat loss.
  3. Maasai men herd cattle.
  4. The Maasai come into conflict with elephants.
  5. Occasionally, elephants are killed in clashes with Maasai men.
  6. When elephants heard the male Maasai voices they tended to gather together.
  7. Elephants can decipher the more sing-songy Maasai language from the Kamba tongue.
  8. It is very sophisticated what the elephants are doing.
  9. Elephant groups usually include older matriarchs.
  10. In those scenarios, they bunched together so that juveniles  were in the center.
Word Chart By Education Oasis.

Word Chart By 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. African elephants can differentiate between human languages.
  2. African elephants are the smallest animals on Earth.
  3. The local Maasai men live in peace with elephants.
  4. The recorded voices were played for hundreds of elephants.
  5. Baby elephants are born with little tusks.
  6. When elephants heard females, boys, or adult male Kamba speakers, they showed concern.
  7. The ability to distinguish between Maasai and Kamba men is the same as understanding what the words mean.
  8. Their response to hearing Maasai men talking was to be alert, to move away, but not to run away in fear.
  9. Elephant groups with older matriarchs in their midst did best at assessing the threat from different speakers.
  10. According to researchers, we have become a formal enemy of the elephants.

  Grammar Focus

Using Adjectives  to describe pictures    

Directions: Have students choose a picture from this lesson and write a descriptive paragraph using adjectives. For a review of Adjectives visit ESL Voices Grammar

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. According to the article, Elephant groups with older matriarchs in their midst did best at assessing the threat from different speakers, further bolstering the presumed role of learning in the animals’ behavior.” How would you put this into your own words?
  2. The article states, “A separate study published last month… showed elephants even have specific alarm calls for when humans are near, suggesting the relationship between people and elephants has reached a troubling point and that conservation efforts are more important than ever.”  Why do you think elephants fear humans?
  3.  What are the most significant ideas in this article?

 IV. Listening Activity   

Video ClipElephants Can Tell Gender, Ethnicity in Human Voices by AFP Published on Mar 13, 2014

“Elephants can tell age, gender, and ethnicity by listening to human voices according to a team of researchers who tested a group of African elephants in Kenya recently. The study was based off of a hypothesis that proposed elephants could process information about potential human threats by the noises they made. Mark Sovel and Lissette Padilla discuss the skills that elephants have picked up over many years of survival, in this clip from the Lip News.”

 While Listening Activities

True /False/NA-Statements

Directions: Review the statements with students before the watching the video. As students listen to the video 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 study was done in India.
  2. The elephants were able to distinguish between two different languages.
  3. The messages were played over a loud speaker.
  4. The other mammals mentioned in this report were Tigers.
  5. Elephants were afraid of the voices of women and children.
  6.  Elephants were able to recognize a female voice even when the pitch was lowered.
  7. The bull elephants always charge first when the herd is in danger.
  8. Elephants can also distinguish between portraits on canvas.
  9. The narrator stated that elephants should be kept in zoos for observation.
  10. A similar study with elephants was done in the U.S.

Video Link 

Post-Listening Activities

Questions for Discussion

Directions: Place students in groups and have them discuss the following questions.

1. After listening to this video has your personal idea of elephants changed in any way?   If yes, describe in what way. If no, describe your original opinion.

2. Discuss which parts of the video you found interesting and which ones you did not. Explain why.

3. With your group members, make up questions that you would like to ask the researchers of this experiment.

ANSWER KEY-Elephants and  human language

Thank you for using this lesson plan.
Please come back again.

Tags: , ,


This website uses a Hackadelic PlugIn, Hackadelic SEO Table Of Contents 1.7.3.