Latest Fashion Style: Modern Primitives

“Among the more polarizing sights in Manhattan this spring were the Madison Avenue windows of Barneys New York, an unlikely showcase for a series of mannequins. They were ringers for the real-life models who stalked the Hood by Air men’s runway in January, right down to their elaborate tattoos and the uncanny grillwork distorting their grins…Claudia Brien, a young Upper East Side matron, pronounced those vitrines ‘beyond disgusting.’I pass them most days, but I go out of my way to keep my children away.” R. La Ferl, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Photo- Yana Paskova New York Times

Photo- Yana Paskova New York Times

Excerpt: Piercings and Eye-Popping Tattoos… By Ruth La Ferl, The NYT

“Love them or loathe them, the windows, their mannequins lurching toward spectators, lips ringed in jeweled pacifiers, “skin” elaborately inked, were a come-on. They were as surely a testament to a widening fascination with body modification in its most eye-popping extremes: allover tattoos, subdermal implants, piercing, stretching, scarring, branding and the like. Shayne Oliver, the chief creative force behind Hood by Air, has been quick to exploit that fascination.

Alexander McQueen fashion-New York Times

Alexander McQueen fashion-New York Times

Of a piece with his musical collaborations on and off the runway, the display was a calculated provocation, in tune, as Mr. Oliver likes to say, with ‘the language of flamboyancy, the language of exaggeration.’

As they say, the eye adjusts. Facial and body piercings, ear gauging, dental grills and tribal ink were once the province of so-called deviant or subversive subcultures…Tattooing and high-visibility piercing, resurgent in the early 1990s as the seditious insignia of proud outliers, are now being revisited in unlikely quarters.

Givenchy Fashion-New York Times

Givenchy Fashion-New York Times

Dries Van Noten NYT

Dries Van Noten NYT

We’re seeing business professionals, doctors, nurses and teachers more discerning about what to look for and what to choose… Fashion has certainly played a part: at Givenchy’s spring 2016 show, models’ ears were encrusted in crystals and studs, their faces covered in glued-on jewels, beads and swaths of lace; at Rodarte, models’ eyebrows were embellished with rows of tiny hoops, while those at Dries Van Noten wore long, fitted gloves stenciled with tattoo-like markings.

Singer Rihanna has several tatoos.

Singer Rihanna has several tatoos.

Then there are the show people: Rihanna and FKA Twigs, gracing the covers of the fashion glossies; Kendall Jenner, who wore a silver-dollar-size ceremonial nose ring at Coachella in 2014; and Justin Bieber, showing off a small freshly inked cross beneath his left eye on his Instagram feed. 

FKA Twigs. Larry Busacca:Getty Images

FKA Twigs. Credit Larry Busacca: Getty Images

Kendall Jenner at a party. Credit Chris Weeks:Getty Images for Lacoste

Craig Rodriguez, the owner of the End Is Near and Hand of Glory, both in Brooklyn, spoke in a radio interview in the early ’90s of just how common piercing had become. These days the question is not ‘Is it mainstream?’ But  how far are people willing to take it.”

 

Related:

Why We Got Our Septum Rings

Suddenly it seems as if a certain type of nose ring is all over New York. Six celebrants of this style explain what attracted them to the piercing (and helped them endure the discomfort).Why we got our septum rings

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

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

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


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


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


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


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

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos

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

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

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

  1. The new scene is a curious hybrid of street theater and fashion.
  2. The  mannequins appear to be lurching toward spectators.
  3. More people are getting tattoos, subdermal implants, and piercing.
  4. Hood by Air, has been quick to exploit that fascination.
  5. Over time, people do acclimate.
  6. These are examples of extreme body modifications.
  7. Zulueta has a pattern that enhances the contours of his back.
  8. Professionals more discerning about what to look for and what to choose.
  9. Some models had their eyebrows embellished with rows of tiny hoops.
  10. Ear piercing is such a big trend right now.
Vocabulary Organizer by Against the Odds

Vocabulary Organizer by Against the Odds

 

Reading Comprehension: Fill-ins

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

Whether ___want to___and match their ___or have ___earrings all the way up their ears, more is more. The store hopes to ___a mix of ___younger customers and those like her, who, she said, “have kept their main ear hole and want at least one more additional___.

Multiple ___in and around the ears, ___the mark of mall rats and club crawlers, ___to a wider___. We’re noting more ___in their 40s, 50s and 60s are getting piercings.

Word List: stylish, people, piercings, draw, women, piercing, multiple, jewelry, mix, formerly, appeal, audience.

Grammar: Using Adjectives  to describe pictures    

Directions: Have students choose a picture from the article  and write a descriptive paragraph using adjectives. They can share their  descriptions with the class.

For a review of Adjectives visit ESL Voices Grammar

III. Post Reading Activities

WH-How Questions

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

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion/Writing Activities

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

  1. “On Saturday, Jenny Camillieri, a middle school assistant principal in her 40s, was having her forearms inked at the End Is Near, the fresh designs an extension of a fretwork of tattoos snaking toward her shoulder. The kids, when they see them, all assume I’m, like, really cool, Ms. Camillieri said, nonchalantly. And the parents? They assume I’m a little harsh. But, it’s all good.”
  2. “In an era of excessive individualism, our markings and modifications are viewed not as a sign of freakishness or outlier tendencies but as an expression of personal taste.”
  3. Would you consider getting a tattoo?  Explain why or why not.
  4. List 3  questions they would like to pursue in relation to this topic.

1-Minute Free Writing Exercise

Directions: Allow students 1 minute to write down one new idea they’ve learned from the reading. Ask them to also write down one thing they did not understand in the reading.  Review the responses as a class. 

ANSWER KEY

Category: Social Issues | Tags:

The Man Who Loved Rhinos

“A South African expatriate’s desire to protect rhinoceroses from poachers is driving an unusual plan to breed the giant animals down under. The plan is to airlift 80 white rhinos to Australia over the next four years, with the first batch of 20 to be brought over by the end of 2016. I have a deep passion for rhinos, the 67-year-old tells me. The rhino is the closest thing you will ever see to the dinosaur. They’re incredible animals.” J. Donnison, BBC, Sydney

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Ray Dearlove (pictured) plans to establish a population of rhinos on a reserve somewhere in Australia.

Ray Dearlove (pictured) plans to establish a population of rhinos on a reserve somewhere in Australia.

 

Excerpt: The audacious plan to airlift 80 rhinos to Australia By Jon Donnison BBC News, Sydney

“Now Mr. Dearlove wants to bring rhinos on the same long journey to Australia that he made three decades ago.  Some would say it’s far-fetched, just the idea of another dumb South African, he admits with a smile. But with rhinos we’re close to a tipping point right now. We need to start thinking laterally.

black and white rhino comparison. (Thompson Safaris) Kruger Park

black and white rhino comparison. (Thompson Safaris) Kruger Park

Mr. Dearlove’s love of the rhinoceros can be traced to his childhood. He was born and raised in the north-east of South Africa, close to the border with Mozambique…It’s estimated that poachers killed about 1,300 rhinos for their horns last year in Africa.The reason is that rhino horn is literally worth more than its weight in gold.

Authorities in Kenya set fire to a huge quantity of rhino horns, elephant tusks and ivory figurines in April. Getty Images

Authorities in Kenya set fire to a huge quantity of rhino horns, elephant tusks and ivory figurines in April. Getty Images

It sells for about US$60,000 (£41,000) a kilo, sometimes more, with much of it ending up in China and Vietnam where it’s believed – most would say wrongly – to have medicinal properties. Mr. Dearlove says there have been numerous attempts to slow down the poaching trade. They’ve tried dehorning the rhinos but it didn’t work. The poachers would still shoot the animals just to dig out a couple of inches of the stump of the horn from their skulls.

Authorities have tried cutting horns off rhinos to make them less appealing to poachers, but the killing has continued. Getty Images

Authorities have tried cutting horns off rhinos to make them less appealing to poachers, but the killing has continued. Getty Images

 They need to be in a secure environment where they can breed. Mr. Dearlove is keeping the exact location close to his chest for now, but says his dream is to one day to have a smaller version of the Kruger National Park somewhere in Australia.

White Rhinos. Photo- Shannon Benson

White Rhinos. Photo- Shannon Benson

The target is to increase the size of the herd from 80 rhinos to about 130 before eventually repatriating them to Africa, if and when the poaching situation improves.

A three-day-old white rhino calf. Photo-sandiegozoo.org

A three-day-old white rhino calf. Photo-sandiegozoo.org

Special cargo planes will need to be used for the 11,000km journey from Johannesburg to Sydney, at an estimated cost of about US$60,000 per rhino. But Mr. Dearlove believes it’s worth it.

What price do you put on saving a species from extinction?”

 

Related:

WILDLIFE WATCH: As a symbol of Africa’s fight against illegal poaching of endangered species…Kenya Sets Ablaze 105 Tons of Ivory 

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

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

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


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


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


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


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

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos

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

Pre-reading Organizer By Scholastic

Pre-reading Organizer By Scholastic

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

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

  1. Some call this an audacious plan.
  2. The goal is to protect rhinoceroses from poachers.
  3. Dearlove is A South African expatriate.
  4. Rhinos  are incredible animals.
  5. They take the pristine nature of the country very seriously.
  6. There was some concern about the animals potentially bringing in disease.
  7. The governments have been supportive.
  8. He  acknowledges the project has been bureaucratically challenging.
  9. Australia has strict quarantine controls.
  10. Dearlove is saving a species from extinction.

 

Reading Comprehension: Word -Recognition

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

Conservationists have also tried___ dye into the___ to ___them, but with ___success.

The Australian ___Project is about spreading the risk,” Mr Dearlove says.The___ is to airlift ___white rhinos to ___over the next four years, with the first___of 20 to be brought over by the ___of 2016.

Word List: end, Rhino, devalue, injecting, Australia, horns,  batch, limited, plan,80,

 Grammar Focus: Prepositions

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

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

Snapping___his ankles___ his home___ suburban Sydney is a somewhat yappy little terrier.

Mr Dearlove wants___ bring rhinos___ the same long journey___ Australia.

With such a high rate___ poaching, it’s going___ take time___catch up, says Mr Dearlove.

III. Post Reading Activities

WH-How Questions

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

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion/Writing Activities

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

  1. “The target is to increase the size of the herd from 80 rhinos to about 130 before eventually repatriating them to Africa, if and when the poaching situation improves. But rhinos take time to breed.They have a gestation period of about 16 months and only have one calf at a time.Usually they will wait three to four years before having more offspring.”
  2.  “Australia’s main concern is bio-security. They take the pristine nature of the country very seriously, he says, referring to Australia’s notoriously strict quarantine controls. Initially there was some concern about the animals potentially bringing in foot-and-mouth disease, but those fears have now been addressed.”
  3. “Nowhere is totally safe. But I do think Australia is safer than pretty much anywhere else…Border security is a major focus for both state and federal governments. There is no poaching in Australia today, thank God, and there is no comparable poverty. I really believe that if one rhino got poached in this country all hell would break lose. The Australians would just find it unacceptable.”

3-2-1-Writing

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

ANSWER KEY

Category: Animals | Tags:

Shocking Bad Habits!

“Every January for the past decade, Jessica Irish of Saline, Mich., has made the same New Year’s Resolution: ‘to cut out late night snacking and lose 30 pounds’ Like millions of Americans, Ms. Irish, 31, usually makes it about two weeks. But this year is different. I’ve already lost 18 pounds and maintained my diet more consistently than ever….she uses the Pavlok to give herself a lightning-quick electric shock.” J. Jolly, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Image: The Daily Mail

Image: The Daily Mail

Excerpt: A Shocking Way (Really) to Break Bad Habits, J. Jolly, The New York Times

“Ms. Irish credits a new wearable device called Pavlok for doing what years of diets, weight-loss programs, expensive gyms and her own willpower could not…Every time I took a bite, I zapped myself, she said. I did it five times on the first night, two times on the second night, and by the third day I didn’t have any cravings anymore.

As the name suggests, the $199 Pavlok, worn on the wrist, uses the classic theory of Pavlovian conditioning to create a negative association with a specific action.

Next time you smoke, bite your nails or eat junk food, one tap of the device or a smartphone app will deliver a shock. The zap lasts only a fraction of a second, though the severity of the shock is up to you. It can be set between 50 volts, which feels like a strong vibration, and 450 volts, which feels like getting stung by a bee with a stinger the size of an ice pick.

You tube Pavlok Bracelet

You tube Pavlok Bracelet

By comparison, a police Taser typically releases about 50,000 volts…Set on low, it feels like a strong tickle. Set on high, it hurts. A lot… Bud Hennekes, 24, a blogger in St. Louis, said he had used Pavlok to kick a nearly two-pack-a-day cigarette habit…When I used Pavlok, the cravings completely went away. I don’t know if it’s science or a placebo effect or what, and I don’t really care because it worked.”

Related:

Assessing the Fitness of Wearable Tech

Apps to Improve Your Swing, Lift or Stride

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

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

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


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


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


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


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

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions: Using a Pre-reading Organizer

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

Pre-reading chart by J. Swann

Pre-reading chart by J. Swann

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

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

  1. For the past decade people have been trying to break bad habits.
  2. Pavlok   is a new wearable device.
  3. Pavlok gives out a lightning-quick electric shock.
  4. Some gadgets dabble in behavioral change.
  5. I wore it for a week, zapping myself every time I ate dessert.
  6. My goal was to curb my craving for sweets.
  7. Some people see this as an awful torture device.
  8. It’s not designed to be painful.
  9. Researchers have questioned the ethical nature of shock intervention.
  10. The practice of aversion therapy has been around for 80 years.

Reading Comprehension

Fill-ins

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

Dr. Marc Potenza, a ___of ___at Yale, says___ have questioned the___ nature of shock intervention when more___options like ___behavioral therapies, pharmaceutical ___and 12-step programs are available.

Word List: psychiatry, professor, cognitive, researchers, ethical, comfortable, interventions,

Grammar: Identifying Articles

Directions: Have students choose the correct articles to fill in the blanks.

English Articles:  A, An, The

As___name suggests,___$199 Pavlok, worn on___wrist, uses ___classic theory of Pavlovian conditioning to create ___negative association with___ specific action. Next time you smoke, bite your nails or eat junk food, one tap of ___device or___smartphone app will deliver___shock. ___ zap lasts only___fraction of___ second, though___severity of ___shock is up to you.

III. Post Reading Activities

WH-How Questions

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

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion/Writing Activities

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

1. “Despite the potential for pain and the lack of science backing a long-term effect, user feedback on Facebook groups and message boards has been enthusiastic about the device, especially as a last resort for problems like overeating and binge drinking.”

2. “When one of my patients told me he was using it last year to help him get out of bed in the morning, I was skeptical at first…I mean, the notion of being shocked — you can have a little reservation. But when you understand how to use it properly and people are more engaged in their own treatment, they tend to follow through with it more.”

3. Do you think you would try using the Pavlok to break a bad habit? Explain why or why not.

4. Search the web to find additional information about the Pavlok and share the new information with the class.

3-2-1-Writing

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

ANSWER KEY 

Category: Technology | Tags:

Xian’er the Robot Monk: Spirituality Meets Artificial Intelligence

“Po, the wisdom-seeking hero of the “Kung Fu Panda” films, might recognize this temple in China where the world’s first robot monk dwells. For Po’s Jade Palace, there is Longquan (Dragon Spring) Temple, a place of Buddhist worship in the mountains northwest of Beijing.As for Po himself, there is Xian’er, the two-foot-tall, advice-dispensing robot whose full title is Worthy Stupid Robot Monk. (In the Beijing dialect, “er, or “stupid,” is a term of affection.)”  By D.K. Tatlow The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Photo- venturebeat

Photo- venturebeat

Excerpt: A Robot Monk Captivates China… Didi K. Tatlow The New York Times

“A childlike creature in an orange Buddhist robe, Xian’er is an object of fascination in China amid an increasingly urgent pursuit of spirituality and, more recently, artificial intelligence. But Xian Fan, the head of the Comic Center, told National Business Daily that the temple did not plan to commercialize the robot and that its development was for the public welfare.REUTERS:Kim Kyung-Hoon And the monks do not seem to be planning a franchise. There is only one robot monk for now, Xian Fan told Beijing News, adding, “We’re not doing this for commerce, but just because we want to use more modern ways to spread Buddhist teachings.

You TubeXian’er in action:

The robot was created last year by the temple in collaboration with about a dozen Chinese technology, culture and investment companies, according to Chinese news reports…Many visitors to Longquan Temple on Wednesday, however, expressed doubt as to whether Xian’er could really help people with their problems, though some said they expected technology to advance so quickly that future generations of robot monks might. A second, smarter Xian’er is already in development, a center employee said.Robot monk. aol.comtiff

Here are some other answers provided by Xian’er, via WeChat:

Q: “What is love?”

A: “Love is your own obsessions not being satisfied, the clashing of other people’s troubles with yours.”

Q: “I don’t want to work.”

A: “If you don’t want to starve and have an O.K. job, work hard.”

Q: “I want to die.”

A: “Don’t assume you’re the most pathetic person in the world.”

 

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

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


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


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


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

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos

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

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

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

  1. Xian’er is an object of fascination in China.
  2. The temple did not plan to commercialize the robot.
  3. The robot was created last year by the temple in collaboration with Chinese companies.
  4. It relies on combinations of words to solve problems.
  5. Look at how fast artificial intelligence is progressing.
  6. A Buddhist at the temple liked the robot.
  7. The robot doesn’t really live up to my expectations.
  8. Future generations of robot monks might be created.
  9. These are the answers to some queries.
  10. Some robots are pretty amazing.

Word Chart By Education Oasis

Reading Comprehension

Fill-ins

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

Many___to Longquan Temple on___, however, ___doubt as to whether Xian’er could really___people with their___, though some said they expected technology to advance so quickly that future generations of___ monks might. A second, smarter Xian’er is already in ___ a center employee said.

Word List: expressed, visitors, help, Wednesday, problems, robot, development,

 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. It’s development was for the public welfare.
  2. We’re not doing this for commerce.
  3. The robot was created last year.

II

  1. As an robot, Xian’er has expanded his repertoire.
  2. He has a touch pad on his chest.
  3. They would not say who the officials were.

III

  1. Po would have be envious of Xian’er.
  2. The robot doesn’t really live up to expectations.
  3. Artificial intelligence is progressing.

III. Post Reading Activities

WH-How Questions

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

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion/Writing Activities

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

1.“I don’t think it’s possible for the intelligence of a robot to be advanced enough to understand human feelings…The robot doesn’t really live up to my expectations. But I’ve seen robots in other parts of the world that can communicate with human beings, and that’s pretty amazing.”

2. Have each group list 3  questions they would like to ask Xian’er.

1-Minute Free Writing Exercise

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

ANSWER KEY

Death of The Purple Prince

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

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Prince. photo-trendnewsamerica

Prince. photo-trendnewsamerica

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

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

Prince. photo: Richard E. Aaron:Redferns

Prince. photo: Richard E. Aaron:Redferns

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

Prince performing in Los Angeles in 2009 K. Dowling

Prince performing in Los Angeles in 2009 K. Dowling

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

You Tube: Purple Rain Trailer

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

Prince London O2 Arena September 9, 2007. vintagerock

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

curiosityWe’ll Miss Him

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

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

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


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


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


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


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

I. Pre-Reading Activities

KWL Chart

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

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

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

II. While Reading 

Word Inference

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

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

Vocabulary Organizer by Against the Odds

 

Reading Comprehension

 Fill-ins

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

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

Word List: musicians, penchant, plenty, fondness,

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

 Grammar Focus

Word -Recognition

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

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

III. Post Reading 

Graphic Organizers

Finding the main idea

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

Main idea chart By Write Design

Main idea chart By Write Design

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

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

1-Minute Free Writing Exercise

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

ANSWER KEY

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