Barack Obama: Reflections on a Great President

“Readers describe how they will remember the President as a man and as a leader…He emerged from relative obscurity as a beacon of hope and change. And, despite the roadblocks and setbacks, he remains so. The Obama presidency has been consequential. Especially impressive is his bold leadership on some of the most significant issues of our time, from health care reform to climate change to a nuclear deal with Iran that was once unimaginable. But it is Mr. Obama the man I will remember most.” The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

President Obama in March 2009 reading letters from Americans in his private study late at night. Credit Callie Shell:Aurora Photos

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk down Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day in 2009. Credit Doug Mills:The New York Times

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk along Pennsylvania Avenue during the parade following Obama’s second inauguration Jan. 21, 2013. Credit Joe Klamar-Getty Images.

 

Excerpt: Reflections on Obama New York Times Sunday Review

“The personal indignities to which he was subjected, from ‘birtherism’ to other acts of disrespect and contempt, are a disgrace. Yet he never lost his own dignity or grace.

Mr. Obama gave his Farewell Speech to the Nation from Chicago, January 10, 2017. Doug Mills:The New York Times

The crowd (20,000) stood as Mr. Obama delivered his farewell address. Doug Mills:The New York Times.

Now, with his successor inspiring more fear than hope, President Obama is urging us not to despair. Rather than apocalyptic, he’s still optimistic. Let’s follow his lead. Those of us who share his values should continue to work tirelessly toward the progressive ideals he has espoused. Barack Obama’s story will always represent the unique promise of America.”

P. Sato,Virginia Beach: “I will remember Barack Obama as president in a flurry of images and sounds —

President Obama Cries during Speech on Shooting At Sandy Hook Elementary School CT

body surfing in Hawaii, wiping a tear speaking of the Sandy Hook victims, singing “Amazing Grace,” announcing Osama bin Laden’s demise, dancing with Michelle on inauguration night, holding hands with his daughters, signing the health care act, showing off Muhammad Ali’s boxing gloves, shooting that three-point swish, doing really funny stand-up comedy, resuscitating our American automobile industry, placing medals of honor on soldiers, and always keeping it truly real.

May 1, 2011- President Obama Announces Bin Laden’s Death

Most of all I will remember his presidency as one of a dedicated family man exuding grace, intelligence, humor, wit, compassion, thoughtfulness and fierce commitment to ideals and principles. And, his smile.”

Christmas First Family- Obamas Hannukah

Obama and Biden-A Powerful Brotherhood

S. Skovgaard, Denver:  “I will remember President Obama for his dignity, his humor, his eloquence and especially as the president who shed tears without apology or embarrassment. In that speech in which he discussed  ‘common sense’ gun control measures, he recalled the victims of Sandy Hook and he cried. And I weep now as I write about this memory.”

First Lady Michelle and Barack Obama still in Love.

S. Scandrett, Oakland: “President Obama’s accomplishments in office are numerous, from saving the economy to passing comprehensive health care and financial reform. Yet when the history books describe his time in office, President Obama’s legacy will be defined most significantly by his record on climate change.”

President Barack Obama delivers remarks during COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris, on Nov. 30, 2015.

C. Lanvin, Geneva: “While many journalists are pointing to President Obama’s decency and scandal-free administration as major takeaways, what I have been most impressed with is his international legacy. Having lived many years in Asia, where the United States is often seen as brash and arrogant, I have appreciated how he shows genuine respect for other cultures and religions.”

The World on his shoulders.

S. Birenbaum, Malibu: “I am despondent to see the end of Barack Obama’s presidency. Considering the absolute mess he inherited from the previous administration (endless war, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, America’s global reputation in shambles, etc.), I am sure future historians will rank his time in the Oval Office as the era in which the country took a huge step toward becoming the nation we aspire to be. He and his family restored class, dignity and thought into [the] White House…”

President Obama and Michelle with the girls outside of the White House.

T. Seigel, Weston, Conn:“Barack Obama is the first president to make openly gay and lesbian men and women and transgender individuals feel truly at home in our national government.

S. Crescenzo, Chicago:“Although President Obama’s major policy achievements — passage of the Affordable Care Act and the Iran nuclear deal — are now in danger under a Republican president and Congress, there can be no erasing the moral standards he established.”

Obamas Welcome Kids to White House for Easter Egg Roll

You sure are tall, Mr Obama! The president meets Halle Major during a visit by children from the Make-A-Wish charity at the Oval Office

D. Bernstein, Sacramento: A memorable part of President Obama’s legacy will be of a man who knew how to laugh at himself…He was serious about his responsibilities to all of us. He partnered with his wife, Michelle, to keep his daughters largely out of public scrutiny. He maintained his family’s values, like the dinner hour spent together. In so many ways, he was easy to relate to, even though none of us had lived a life that was in any way comparable to his. I will miss him!”

Festive- The First Family pictured outside Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, after Sunday’s Easter service

The President and First Lady

A young Obama with his grandparents Stanley and Madelyn Dunham while he [attended] Columbia University. Photo- The dailymail

All flavors of people adore Obama.

S.  L. Sparks Ga.:“I will remember Barack Obama as the most admirable man to hold the office of the presidency in my lifetime (70 years). My admiration has nothing to do with his policy successes or failures. No, my admiration is based on his deportment as a human being. He is an exemplary husband and father; he treats others with respect; he pursues the greater good over personal gain; his actions are guided by strong ethical and moral convictions; In short, he is the human being I have always endeavored to become.”

The President walking away-Rose-Garden. Huffington Post

“America is not the project of any one person. Because the single most powerful word in our democracy is the word ‘We.’ ‘We The People.’ ‘We Shall Overcome.’ ‘Yes, We Can.”

~PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA~

President Obama’s Farewell Speech to the Nation, January 10, 2017.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

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

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


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


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


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


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

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos

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

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

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

  1. He was subjected to personal indignities.
  2. President Obama is urging us not to despair.
  3. Obama’s story will always represent the unique promise of America.
  4. President Obama is known for his dignity.
  5. President Obama’s accomplishments in office are numerous.
  6. He took office at a true crossroads for our planet.
  7. President Obama’s decency is known world-wide.
  8. He has been restrained in the use of military force.
  9. His legacy to me is his tireless warmth.
  10. My heart is truly heavy as President Obama leaves office.

Reading Comprehension: Fill-ins

Directions: Place students in groups and after they have read the entire article, have them complete the following paragraph 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.

Watching ___at the Kennedy Center Honors show on ___every December has reliably put a lump in my throat. The way he grinned, and___, and ___in time with the___eyes ___ and ___the words — unquestionably___. But the lump came from seeing his ___in the ___range of talent being celebrated, the ___of Americans’ creativity on___display.

WORD LIST: extraordinary, cool, diversity, grooved, President Obama, glorious, palpable pleasure, television,  shook his head, music, mouthed,  closed,

 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. President Obama domestic legacy is one of thoughtful policy.
  2. President Obama’s accomplishments in office are numerous.
  3. Mr. Obama met the moment boldly.

II

  1. President Obama showed  their humanity.
  2. Many journalists are pointing to President Obama’s decency.
  3. President Obama  was a dedicated family man exuding grace and intelligence.

III

  1. Pride organizations can be found at the Justice Department.
  2. It is because of him that I finally  find my place in America.
  3. He rescued the economy and led international efforts to slow climate change.

III. Post Reading Activities

WH-How Questions

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

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Questions for Comprehension /Writing

Directions: Place students in groups and have 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. “Mr. Obama never lost faith in his countrymen and always acted on behalf of the many rather than the few. He rescued the economy, led international efforts to slow climate change, and struck at terrorists from the skies to minimize American casualties. He took important steps to protect the environment. Sadly, he was unable to pass immigration reform or gun-control measures, but not for lack of trying.”
  2. “I was 8 years old when President Obama took office in 2009. I watched the inauguration all the adults in my life were calling ‘historic.’ President Obama would be the one to make our government feel human to me… Here was a president who delivered arguably the funniest White House Correspondents Dinner speech ever, here was a dad who made jokes that made me groan out of sympathy for Malia and Sasha.”

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

Was 2016 Really the Worst Year for this Country?

“Oh, 2016. The year it all went to hell. The year nothing made sense…Where were you when you decided this would be how we remembered the year? When you decided 2016 was pure trash, utter filth, a fire in a dumpster? Was it when David Bowie died? Or when Prince ended his purple reign? Or when you realized that, whoever won, Election 2016 was going to be a hot, smoldering mess? Was it Brexit? Was it Harambe? Which terror attack did it for you? …But — and this is the strange part — by many measures, 2016 wasn’t nearly as bad as certain portions of the Internet have made it out to be. And it surely can’t be the worst year of all time.” S. Sanders, NPR

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Excerpt: Should We All Just Stop Calling 2016 ‘The Worst’? By Sam Sanders, NPR

“For millions of Americans whose wages went up, or who re-entered the economy (the U.S. has enjoyed an unemployment rate under 5 percent for months), maybe their year was good, too. The vast majority of Americans lived lives free from any direct personal effects from incidences of global (or even national) terror, or wars throughout the globe (not to minimize global unrest, which is a constant, and particularly troubling this year). Multiple measures of consumer confidence, in fact, trended up this year, in spite of months full of headlines indicating a world on the brink. Of something. Or a lot of things. The markets are up, too. And more people have health insurance. So, why then, is 2016 the worst?

Large portions of the Internet have declared 2016 one of the worst years-Luciano-LozanoGetty-ImagesIkon.

Well, let’s start with the obvious: the election. There’s no need to recount it all. But it was a hot mess. Russian hacks, assertions of the size of one’s manhood on a debate stage,  FBI investigations and Access Hollywood videos. But there’s more than that. Some of the ‘2016 is awful’ rhetoric might be about the way we all consumed the headlines this year. Amy Mitchell, director of Journalism Research at the Pew Research Center, says what we’ve been witnessing in news consumption trends over the last few years has changed us.

Every five minutes, another sad headline, another Twitter mention or fight, another shared link on Facebook, another push notification. Another hit. And even if the news isn’t even explicitly about us, trust, we’re still taking a hit…

But culture always reflects the time. There must be something deeper, a certain logic or pathology that would lead thousands to deem this year so awful, and to declare as much, so publicly, and consistently, online, for months…For most of us, myself included, tweeting that 2016 is the worst, or even tweeting at all, is an exercise in privilege. The air in which one offers cultural criticism (including this very essay), memes and gif-able 140-character bursts, is rarefied. If your year was really the worst, you probably wouldn’t be tweeting about it. We weren’t in this spot a few years ago — this collective, ironic, gripe-fest — during those glory days of tweeting about being bored in meetings or what you had for lunch, or being so numbingly comfortable in your own world that you put your home address on Facebook.

Smile, 2017 is going to be better!

That seems to be all over now…So, 2016. Sure. Let’s call it the worst. But let’s also acknowledge that saying 2016 is the worst on Twitter says more about the tweeter, and the medium, than perhaps about the year itself.”

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. Now it’s all irony, or sarcasm.
  2. Social media isn’t nice anymore.
  3. At it’s best, it’s just a little flip.
  4. We are in this collective, ironic, gripe-fest.
  5. Back then we were all so numbingly comfortable in  our own world.
  6. Now our feeds are just a record of discontent.
  7. You don’t necessarily go online looking for news each and every time.
  8. That constant bumping into news and online becomes an assault.
  9. Some people are constantly online and engaged in some way.
  10. A lot of the headlines we consumed this year was negative.

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.

Now it’s all irony/iron, or sarcasm, or bomb/bombast. Saying 2016 is the worst online might just be us accepting that social/socially media caught up with the lesser angels/angles of our nature/natural. Social media/meds isn’t nice anymore. At it’s best, it’s just a little flip/slip. Now our feeds are just a record of discontent, or the performance thereof.

Grammar: Identifying Articles

Directions: Have students choose the correct English articles (THE, A, AN) to fill in the blank sentences.

Some of ___2016 is awful rhetoric might be about___ way we all consumed___ headlines this year.

A lot of ___shift to digital is presenting___news experience that is more mixed in with other kinds of activities.

That constant bumping into news and online discord can over time becomes___ assault.

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

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. “A lot of the shift to digital is presenting a news experience that is more mixed in with other kinds of activities. You don’t necessarily go online looking for news each and every time. Somebody shares it, somebody emails it to you, somebody texts a link. And so many Americans are bumping into the news throughout the course of the day.”
  2. “It’s the medium…using social media to declare 2016 the worst ever is the latest example of how we use the Internet: ironically, with hyperbole, and usually, with a wink and a nod. It’s how we cope…the very act of such tweeting indicates a certain level of privilege. If you’re on Twitter, you’re on a mobile device, probably one of the newest ones, one of the new phones.”

3-2-1-Writing

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

ANSWER KEY

Category: Social Issues | Tags:

Tips: Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Times Square This Year

“As the famous New Year’s Eve Ball descends from the flagpole atop One Times Square, an estimated one million people in the street, millions nationwide and over a billion watching throughout the world are united in bidding a collective farewell to the departing year, and expressing our joy and hope for the year ahead. Here’s everything you need to know about joining the celebration live, in person!” Balldrop

New Year’s Celebration in Times Square, NYC

 

Excerpt: What to Expect on New Years

“Revelers start arriving late in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve. By approximately 3:00 p.m. If you are planning to come to Times Square and join in the festivities, you are advised to enter from Sixth or Eighth Avenue. Your chance of getting a viewing spot near the Ball (at Broadway & 43rd Street) increases the earlier you arrive.

Revelers are directed by the NYPD to gather in separate viewing sections. As one section fills up, the revelers are directed by police to the next viewing section. As the evening progresses, revelers continue to fill the Times Square neighborhood along Broadway and Seventh Avenue moving uptown from 43rd Street to as far as Central Park.

NOTE: All attendees have to go through a security check before entering the viewing areas that are barricaded by the NYPD. Large bags and backpacks are not permitted, so don’t expect to be able to bring a a lot of snacks or drinks for your wait. Though you may be on your feet for hours, public restrooms are not set up for this event.

The celebration begins with the lighting and raising of the New Year’s Eve Ball atop One Times Square. The Ball is lit at 6:00pm and begins its ascent accompanied by special pyrotechnic effects.

Shiny LEDs Ring In the New Year

Then, the Times Square Alliance sanitation crew, clad in bright red uniforms, begins to distribute tens of thousands of fun party favors—those famous hats, glasses, and noisemakers— to the Times Square revelers to help cheer in the New Year.

Sixty seconds before the big moment, the New Year’s Eve Ball begins its descent. At the stroke of Midnight, the Ball’s lights on are turned off as the numerals of the New Year “2017” burst to life shining high above Times Square.

Confetti Time

The world-famous New Year’s Eve confetti is released from the rooftops of buildings throughout Times Square creating a celebratory blizzard of colorful confetti as revelers welcome the New Year accompanied by colorful pyrotechnic effects.”

Category: Holidays | Tags:

O. Henry’s Gift of the Magi Revisited

“O.Henry (William Sydney Porter) wrote “The Gift of the Magi” for his New York World column in December, 1905. If you know anything about him, you won’t be surprised that O.Henry, who died of cirrhosis five years later, wrote his classic holiday story in a bar, Pete’s Tavern, on 18th Street, near Gramercy Place… O.Henry wrote “The Gift of the Magi” in three hours. Was he drinking that afternoon? Did he feel the emotion of the story as he wrote? Or was he knowingly, cynically, exploiting his readers’ desire for a happy ending in the Christmas season? We’ll never know.I loved the ending and never read it without tearing up.” J. Kornbluth, The Huffington Post

Excerpt: “…O.Henry Wrote His Christmas Classic, ‘The Gift Of The Magi,’ In 1905. In ‘The Gift Of Gifts,’ I Update It. J. Kornbluth, The Huffington Post

“The magi, as you know, were wise men — wonderfully wise men — who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents.

The Magi. image- englishatstjohns.wikispace

Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest.

O.Henry (William Sydney Porter) 1862-1910

Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi. For years, I wanted to update “The Gift of the Magi.” Like O.Henry, I was slow to get to it. Unlike O.Henry, some of my story is nonfiction… Unlike O.Henry, it took me more than three hours to write my story. And as for the emotion: yes, I felt it, all of it. As I hope you do.”

CLICK BELOW FOR THE CLASSIC LESSON PLAN:

Gift of the Magi by O. Henry Lesson Plan with Answer Key

 

Category: Holidays

Monkeys Would Talk…If Only They Could

“Primates are unquestionably clever: Monkeys can learn how to use money, and chimpanzees have a knack for game theory. But no one has ever taught a nonhuman primate to say ‘hello.’ Scientists have long been intrigued by the failure of primates to talk like us. Understanding the reasons may offer clues to how our own ancestors evolved full-blown speech, one of our most powerful adaptations.” C. Zimmer, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

They think we can’t talk. Image-Big Think

Excerpt: Monkeys Could Talk, but They Don’t Have the Brains for It-By Carl Zimmer, The New York Times

“On Friday, a team of researchers reported that monkeys have a vocal tract capable of human speech. They argue that other primates can’t talk because they lack the right wiring in their brains…Human speech results from a complicated choreography of flowing air and contracting muscles. To make a particular sound, we have to give the vocal tract a particular shape. The vocal tracts of other primates contain the same elements as ours — from vocal cords to tongues to lips — but their geometry is different…the range of vowel sounds that monkeys could make was quite restricted, compared with those produced by humans.

Monkeys-youtube

In theory, the researchers concluded, monkeys can make a fairly wide range of sounds. Looking at the most distinct vocal tract shapes, Dr. Fitch and Dr. Ghazanfar identified five separate vowels among the possibilities. What you get are the vowels in ‘bit,’ ‘bet,’ ‘bat,’ ‘but’ and ‘bought…When the researchers played these sounds to people, they were able to correctly distinguish them most of the time. The scientists could even assemble the sounds into recognizable sentences.So what prevents these monkeys from gabbing all day long by the watering hole? .

Monkeys Lack Brain Circuitry to Speak. image I4U News

..researchers argue that the key to the acquisition of speech lies somewhere in the brain. If they had the brain, they could produce intelligible speech, Dr. Ghazanfar said. Dr. Lieberman isn’t convinced: His view is still that the evolution of human speech had to involve changes in both the brain and the vocal tract. Monkeys in the new study, he noted, failed to make the most distinct sounds in human speech, such as a long e. Without such a full repertoire of distinct sounds, he argues, it’s not possible to speak clearly as we do.”

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 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. Primates are very smart.
  2. Researchers  are intrigued by  monkeys.
  3. Monkeys have a vocal tract capable of human speech.
  4. Scientists debate whether primates can make speechlike sounds.
  5. A crucial part of the evolution of speech was a gradual anatomical change.
  6. Ghazanfar is a neuroscientist.
  7. So what prevents these monkeys from gabbing all day?
  8. If they had the brain, they could produce intelligible speech.
  9. Our ancestors may have evolved special brain circuits.
  10. Monkeys can open their jaws and move other parts of their vocal tracts.

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.

Dr. Lieberman would go on to study/studied  chimpanzee vocal tracts and lock/look for clues/glues  to speech in the fossils of ancient/accent humans and Neanderthals. He argued/agreed that a crucial/special part of the resolution evolution of speech was a gradual anatomical change/chance  to the vocal tract in humans. Crucial to this transition was the human tongue’s decent/descent back into the throat. It’s not until about 75,000 years ago that you find fossils/fossil  of fully modern humans with a vocal tract like that, Dr. Lieberman said in an interview.

 Grammar Focus

Using Adjectives  to describe pictures

   Directions: Have students choose a picture from the article  and write a descriptive paragraph using adjectives.

For a review of Adjectives visit ESL Voices Grammar

III. Post Reading Activities

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.

Discussion/Writing

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

  1. “While monkeys may not have the full range of human vowels, Dr. Barney said, their repertoire is a very good starting place for speech. Still, she cautioned that the new study left important questions about speech unresolved. Vowels are important to speech, for example, but so are consonants. What they’ve shown is that monkeys are vowel-ready, not speech-ready.”
  2. With your group  create a list of topics that you think monkeys would talk about if they could speak. Share the list with the class.

Extra: Web Search

Directions: In groups/partners have students “Google” the topic and see what additional information they can find. Students can either have further discussions or write an essay about the subject.

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