Category Archives: Culture

“Amelia Earhart’s Disappearance Still Captivates, 80 Years Later”

“They are at it again. And this time they have a photo. Since Amelia Earhart, the famous American aviator, and Fred Noonan, her navigator, disappeared somewhere over the Pacific Ocean during a 1937 attempt to circumnavigate the globe, groups of researchers and historians have argued over their fate. Did they land, or did they crash?…Did their twin-engine Lockheed Electra plunge into the ocean, never to be seen again? Or was it found — and even photographed — on Japanese territory in the years leading up to the United States’ 1941 declaration of war on Japan?” J. Fortin, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

A newly discovered photo shows a woman who resembles Amelia Earhart and a man who appears to be her navigator, Fred Noonan. NBC News

Excerpt: Did Amelia Earhart Survive? A Found Photo Offers a Theory, but No Proof By Jacey Fortin The New York Times

“Sunday was the 80th anniversary of the disappearance of Ms. Earhart and Mr. Noonan. So it is perhaps no surprise that National Geographic recently announced that a team of forensic dogs was being dispatched to a remote atoll to search for the duo’s remains. And now History — formerly ‘The History Channel… is debuting a documentary on Sunday about how Ms. Earhart may have ended up in Japanese custody and imprisoned on the island of Saipan. Various forms of this theory have been tossed around for decades, but a newly discovered photograph is breathing new life into the idea.

Pilot Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, with a map of the Pacific that shows the planned route of their last flight.

The photo, which History said was found in the National Archives by a retired federal agent named Les Kinney, appears to show a tall, trousers-wearing, short-haired woman seated on a dock in Jaluit, an atoll in the Marshall Islands, with her back to the camera. It also appears to show Mr. Noonan and maybe even the Electra itself, on a barge off in the distance.

Shawn Henry, a former F.B.I. executive assistant director who has been working with History to investigate the photo for about a year, said facial identification experts called it likely that the photos showed Ms. Earhart and Mr. Noonan.

He said the Marshall Islands theory is supported by other evidence, too: pieces of metal that were found in the area and could have come from the Electra; an interview Mr. Henry conducted with an islander who claims to have seen Ms. Earhart around the time of her disappearance; and government records citing reports about Ms. Earhart being imprisoned by the Japanese, though the reports mentioned have not been found. He sounded confident — just as confident, in fact, as Ric Gillespie, who may be the best-known proponent of another, entirely different theory.

Francisco Chronicle July 3, 1937,

Mr. Gillespie is the executive director of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, a nonprofit that has spent decades searching for Ms. Earhart. He thinks the aviator landed her plane on an atoll (then called Gardner Island, now Nikumaroro) that is more than a thousand miles away from the Marshall Islands. This week, researchers from that organization are on their 12th mission to Nikumaroro in search of the aviator’s remains.

This headline, from the July 1, 1960 San Mateo Times, was ignored.

‘There is such a public desire for an answer to this mystery,’ Mr. Gillespie said. ‘Because it is such a complex and multidisciplinary effort to investigate it, I see it as a wonderful opportunity to explore and demonstrate and teach how we go about figuring out what is true.’

Mr. Henry said that while the crash-and-sink theory holds weight in the popular imagination, ‘there’s not one shred of evidence that she crashed into the ocean.’ Millions of dollars have been spent to explore ocean floor around Howland Island, and no airplane has turned up yet.”

 

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  Amelia Earhart.  Later in the Post- Reading segment of the lesson, students can fill in what they’ve learned about the topic.

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. Amelia Earhart attempted to circumnavigate the globe.
  2. Scientists used a team of forensic dogs to search for any remains.
  3. Ric Gillespie is a  proponent of another, entirely different theory.
  4. Researchers hunt for the aviator’s remains.
  5. Some think there is a photo of  the plane on a barge off in the distance.
  6. Researchers claim there is other evidence.
  7. Some claim that Ms. Earhart was imprisoned by the Japanese.
  8. Many nonprofit organizations have searched for the aviator.
  9. Many enthusiasts refuse to believe that  Earhart could have disappeared without a trace.
  10. Mr. Henry said that not one shred of evidence can be found.

ELLteaching 2.0 vocabualry chart

 

Reading Comprehension

Fill-ins

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

Mr. Gillespie is the executive ___of The International Group for Historic ___Recovery, a ___that has spent___searching for Ms. Earhart. He thinks the___landed her plane on an ___(then called Gardner Island, now Nikumaroro) that is more than a___miles away from the Marshall Islands.

WORD LIST: thousand, nonprofit, Aircraft, director, decades, aviator, atoll,

Grammar Focus:  Word -Recognition

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

The voyage/voter  is the one being supplied/supported, in part, by National Geographic and four dogsThe organization’s/organizer’s  previous missions/misses have found promises/promising artifacts/artificial, like pieces/pies of what could be airplane metal/meals and parts of jars/jugs manufactured by American companies during the 1930s — including one used for a fickle/freckle ointment for women, which wouldn’t have been out of place among the possessions of the freckled female aviator.

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?

KWL Chart

Directions:  Have students  fill in the last column of the KWL chart if they used one in the pre-reading segment of this lesson.

Discussion for Comprehension /Writing

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

Extra: Web Search

Directions: In groups/partners have students search the web for additional information about Amelia Earhart.  Students can either have further discussions or write an essay about the  material they have found.

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: Culture, History | Tags:

The Philippines: Living With The Dead To Survive

“Manila North Cemetery, opened in 1904, is one of the oldest and largest in the Philippines. Its elaborate mausoleums and endless rows of humble, stacked tombs are home to an estimated one million of the dead —  the cemetery is also inhabited by some of Manila’s poorest people. Many live in the crypts and mausoleums of wealthy families, who pay them a stipend to clean and watch over them.” A. Dean, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Noemi Canilang, 41, resting in a family mausoleum with her 8-month-old grandchild. She has cared for the mausoleum for 25 years. Credit Adam Dean, NYT

 

Excerpt: Hard Life Among the Dead in the Philippines, By Adam Dean, The New York Times

“Others find different ways to engage the economy of death and burial. ‘There is really no work here inside the cemetery, so I taught myself how to do this in 2007,’ Ferdinand Zapata, 39, said as he chiseled the name of a dead man into an ornate marble headstone. As many as a quarter of Manila’s 12 million people are informal settlers. Those in the cemetery prefer its relative quiet and safety to the city’s dangerous shantytowns. The resourcefulness needed to live a life of such insecurity is on full display here.

Sitting on a tomb, Lorgen Lozano, 14, watches a soap opera in the mausoleum where her family lives. She sleeps on the tomb at night. Credit Adam Dean, NYT

In mausoleums, and in makeshift structures built over tombs, families go about their days. They chat, play cards and watch soap operas on TVs mounted near headstones or ornamental crosses. At night, people sleep on the tombs. The thought of that may be jarring, but for the residents it is a practical choice. And many in this devoutly religious country see the boundary between the living and the dead as porous. Electricity in these converted homes is jury-rigged, and most residents don’t have running water. At the few public wells, people line up with carts loaded with empty water bottles, waiting to fill them up.

A family eating lunch in Manila North Cemetery, where they live among the tombs. Credit Adam Dean NYT

Children played in a pool on a tomb. Credit Adam Dean NYT

Amid all of this, the normal business of a cemetery goes on. On a busy day there can be as many as 80 funerals.

[Funeral] Family and friends paid their respects to Glen Baleña, 26. Credit Adam Dean NYT

Residents say drug use and crime have been on the rise in recent years; Mr. Zapata, the headstone carver, dated it to roughly 2000, when slum clearance nearby led to a wave of new residents. President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody crackdown on drug dealers and addicts has also been felt at Manila North. In September, three men were killed here in what the police called an antidrug sting operation; they were said to have been trying to sell $10 worth of shabu [methamphetamine]…As the heat of the day dies away, boys and young men play basketball on improvised courts, or a version of billiards that’s popular in the slums of the Philippines.

Residents playing a version of billiards.Credit Adam Dean NYT

Night often finds Mr. Gonzalez, the 74-year-old who was working on a crossword in his family crypt, sleeping there. But he is not a resident — he owns a condominium in Manila. His neighborhood, though, is more dangerous than the cemetery. As he put it, ‘The dead can’t harm you.”

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 cemetery has many elaborate mausoleums.
  2. The residents watch soap operas on TVs mounted near headstones.
  3. The thought of sleeping on a tomb that may be jarring.
  4. This is a devoutly religious country.
  5. Electricity in these converted homes is jury-rigged.
  6. The cemetery is dense with tombs and crypts.
  7. President Duterte led a  bloody crackdown on drug dealers and addicts.
  8. During the day, new homes are built from modest tombs.
  9. Workers add makeshift roofs of corrugated iron, often scavenged from somewhere else.
  10. The cemetery’s many children play among the tombs, and are unconcerned about ghosts.

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. Manila North Cemetery opened in 2004.
  2. As many as a quarter of Manila’s 12 million people are informal settlers in the cemetery.
  3. In mausoleums, and in makeshift structures built over tombs, families remain quiet out of respect for the dead.
  4. They have electricity and running water.
  5. At night, people sleep on the tombs.
  6. Electricity in these converted homes is jury-rigged.
  7. Amid all of this, the normal business of a cemetery goes on.
  8. Tombs are generally  bought for five years.
  9. People leave offerings of snacks, drinks and sometimes cigarettes at their relatives’ gravesides.
  10. Residents say drug use and crime have gone down in recent years.

Grammar 

Using Adjectives  to describe pictures    

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

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 for Comprehension /Writing

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

1-Minute Free Writing Exercise

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

ANSWER KEY

Category: Culture | Tags:

When Your Daughter Becomes Your Son

“I don’t like calling bodies wrong. That’s what Schuyler Bailar, a transgender swimmer for Harvard, tells 60 Minutes…  And yet, as Schuyler, who was born female, entered puberty, he felt increasingly alienated from his body.” L. Stahl, CBS News

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Shuyler Bailar as a girl. Photo-dailymail

Shuyler Bailar as a girl. Photo-dailymail

Schuyler Bailar as a male. Photo- swimmingworld

Schuyler Bailar as a male. Photo- swimmingworld

Excerpt: What’s it like when your daughter becomes your son CBS 60 Minutes– By Lesley Stahl,  CBS 60 minutes

“I watched my brother go through puberty and he grew into his body, Schuyler says. I was like, Why does he get to grow into his body? I feel like I’m growing out of mine. I feel like my body is– is growing away from me.

On 60 Minutes this week, correspondent Lesley Stahl explores how Schuyler came to terms with being transgender and the difficult choice he faced when he started Harvard last fall: compete as a star swimmer on the women’s team, as planned, or swim with the men and lose the glory of winning.

Schuyler Bailar prepares to compete against Harvard rival Columbia University. CBS News

Schuyler Bailar prepares to compete against Harvard rival Columbia University. CBS News

But Schuyler wasn’t the only one who had to adjust to a new reality. Stahl interviews his parents — Gregor and Terry Bailar — about what it’s like to realize your daughter is actually your son… Schuyler had been depressed as a girl and suffered through eating disorders. His mother told us that she feared for his life.

So it was that serious, Stahl tells Overtime. In a way, I think that they were as relieved as Schuyler was to figure it out. And they accepted it because they knew it was real.

Gregor and Terry Bailar -- CBS News

Gregor and Terry Bailar — CBS News

More dramatically, his parents had to adjust to seeing their family in a new light. They thought they had a little girl, and now they have two sons.

Stahl ask Schuyler if he thinks his mother experienced a sense of loss when he transitioned. I don’t want to believe that there is because that makes me sad and makes me feel at fault, but I know there is.”

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

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. Her brother went  through puberty.
  2. Schuyler came to terms with being transgender.
  3. Schuyler had to adjust to a new reality.
  4. Schuyler had been depressed as a girl.
  5. The parents accepted it.
  6. But that didn’t make it an easy adjustment.
  7. He also started taking testosterone.
  8. This ushered in a second puberty.
  9. His mother experienced a sense of loss when he transitioned.
  10. Schuyler is content.

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.

More drama/dramatically, his parents/patents had to adjustment/adjust to seeing their familiar/family in a new lite/light. They thought they had a little girl, and now they have two sons. So I’m sure that they were going through/threw emotions, Stahl tells Overtime. But Schuyler was never made to feel that they were against this, that they were unhappy about it. They just supported him. And it was wonderment/wonderful.

 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  Click HERE 

III. Post Reading Activities

Graphic Organizers: Finding the main idea

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

Discussion/Writing Activities

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

1-Minute Free Writing Exercise

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

ANSWER KEY

Category: Culture | Tags:

Masculinity: The Tough-guy Stereotypes Live On

“Last semester, a student in the masculinity course I teach showed a video clip she had found online of a toddler getting what appeared to be his first vaccinations. Off camera, we hear his father’s voice. I’ll hold your hand, O.K.? Then, as his son becomes increasingly agitated: Don’t cry!…Say you’re a man: ‘I’m a man! The video ends with the toddler screwing up his face in anger and pounding his chest. I’m a man! he barks through tears and gritted teeth.” A. Reiner, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Image- Ben Wiseman for The New York Times

Image- Ben Wiseman for The New York Times

Excerpt:  Teaching Men to Be Emotionally Honest  by Andrew Reiner, NYT

“The home video was right on point, illustrating the takeaway for the course: how boys are taught, sometimes with the best of intentions, to mutate their emotional suffering into anger. More immediately, it captured, in profound concision, the earliest stirrings of a male identity at war with itself.

This is no small thing. As students discover in this course, an Honors College seminar called Real Men Smile: The Changing Face of Masculinity, what boys seem to need is the very thing they fear. Yet when they are immunized against this deeper emotional honesty, the results have far-reaching, often devastating consequences…

Ben Wiseman for The New York Times

Ben Wiseman for The New York Times

The course Real Men Smile, which examines how the perceptions of masculinity have and haven’t changed since the 18th century, grew out of a provocative lecture by Michael Kimmel, the seminal researcher and author in the growing field of masculine studies… I wanted the course to explore this hallmark of the masculine psyche — the shame over feeling any sadness, despair or strong emotion other than anger, let alone expressing it and the resulting alienation.

image-emotional-intelligence

image-emotional-intelligence

Research shows what early childhood teachers have always known: that from infancy through age 4 or 5, boys are more emotive than girls. One study out of Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital in 1999 found that 6-month-old boys were more likely to show facial expressions of anger, to fuss, to gesture to be picked up and tended to cry more than girls.”

Visit our Guest Lesson Plans to see the wonderful activities for  elementary learners:

The Emperor and The Nightingale . imagebgfl.org

The Emperor and The Nightingale . imagebgfl.org

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 Tasks

Word Inference

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

  1. The video illustrated the takeaway for the course.
  2. Boys are taught to mutate their suffering into anger.
  3. They are immunized against this deeper emotional honesty.
  4. These are tough-guy stereotypes.
  5. People take the seminar to learn.
  6. Boys get involved in extracurricular activities.
  7. But these activities are often denigrated as un-masculine.
  8. His voice quavering, the young man stammered something.
  9. Many young men are vulnerable.
  10. This leads to the erosion of male privilege.
Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

 

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.

Some cultural/culture critics like/link such mounting/mountain emotional vulnerability to the erosion/erosive of male privilege/privy and all that it snails/entails. This perceived threat/treat of diminishing power is exposing ugly, at times menace/menacing fault lines in the male psyche. Experts/exports point to sexual assaults on campus and even mass murders like those at a community college in Oregon and a movie theater in Colorado. These gunmen were believed to share/shove two hyper-masculine traits: feelings of profound isolate/isolation and a compulsion for viral notoriety.

 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,

___this assignment students needed ___explore the norms___masculinity.  I wanted the course___explore this hallmark___the masculine psyche. Even___ this point___the semester the students seemed blind___ their ideas.

II. Post Reading Tasks

WH-How Questions

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

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them  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 discussion topics.

  1. “So why don’t campuses have more resource centers for men? Only a precious few — the University of Massachusetts and Simon Fraser University among them — offer ways for all men to explore their shared struggles. And these don’t exist without pushback. Talk of empowering men emotionally yields eye rolling at best, furious protest at worst — as when the Simon Fraser center was proposed, in 2012, and men and women alike challenged the need for a “safe space” for members of the dominant culture.”
  2. Describe your idea of a masculine man and a feminine woman.
  3. In your opinion do  campuses need more facilities that address male issues? Explain why or why not.

1-Minute Free Writing Exercise

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

ANSWER KEY

Category: Culture

Girls Are Tough… If Parents Allow Them To Be

“I was one of the first women in the San Francisco Fire Department. For more than a dozen years, I worked on a busy rig in a tough neighborhood where rundown houses caught fire easily and gangs fought with machetes and .22s…I expected people to question whether I had the physical ability to do the job… What I didn’t expect was the question I heard more than any other: ‘Aren’t you scared?’ Apparently, fear is expected of women.” C. Paul, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Women firefighters NYC. Photo-dnaino.com

Women firefighters NYC. Photo-dnaino.com

Excerpt: Why Do We Teach Girls That It’s Cute to Be Scared? By Caroline Paul, NYT

“…It was strange — and insulting — to have my courage doubted. I never heard my male colleagues asked this…This fear conditioning begins early. Many studies have shown that physical activity — sports, hiking, playing outdoors — is tied to girls’ self-esteem. And yet girls are often warned away from doing anything that involves a hint of risk…I spoke recently to a friend who admitted that she cautioned her daughter much more than her son. ‘But she’s very klutzy,’ the mom explained.

The Iron Workers union has many female members. ironworkers.org

The Iron Workers union has many female members. ironworkers.org

I wondered, wasn’t there a way even a klutzy child could take risks? My friend agreed there might be, but only halfheartedly, and I could see on her face that maternal instinct was sparring with feminism, and feminism was losing. I had been a klutzy child, too. I was also shy, and scared of many things: big kids, whatever might be under my bed at night, school. But I pored over National Geographic and Harriet the Spy. I knew all about Sir Lancelot and the Knights of the Round Table, who wandered the countryside swearing oaths of bravery and honor. None of these characters talked about fear. They talked about courage, exploration and exciting deeds. 

Female boxers. sports.com

Female boxers. sports.com

So I biked down a steep country road (and hit a car). I sledded down an icy hill (and hit a tree). I don’t remember my parents freaking out; they seemed to understand that mishaps were part of childhood. I got a few stitches, and kept biking and sledding…

Women in combat. wgbh.org

Women in combat. wgbh.org

Nobody is saying that injuries are good, or that girls should be reckless. But risk taking is important… Fear becomes a go-to feminine trait, something girls are expected to feel and express at will… We need to embolden girls to master skills that at first appear difficult, even dangerous. When I worked as a firefighter, I was often scared. Of course I was. So were the men. But fear wasn’t a reason to quit. I put my fear where it belonged, behind my feelings of focus, confidence and courage. Then I headed, with my crew, into the burning building.”

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 Tasks

Word Inference

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

  1. It was an insulting remark.
  2. Many of these activities  build self-esteem.
  3. Parents caution their daughters more than their sons.
  4. Her face  showed  the maternal instinct.
  5. I had been a klutzy child.
  6. They talked about courage and exploration.
  7. Mishaps were part of childhood.
  8. With each triumph over fear I gained confidence.
  9. I had been  discouraged from having adventures.
  10. My mom is an outlier

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. According to the author fear conditioning begins late in life.
  2. Studies have shown that  sports, hiking, and playing outdoors is tied to girls’ self-esteem.
  3. Only dads teach their sons to face their fears.
  4. Boys can be taught to fear things.
  5. The author states that she had been a klutzy child.
  6. The author is teaching her daughter to be courageous.
  7. According to one report girls may be more  likely than boys to try challenging physical activities.
  8. The author states that when a girl reaches adulthood it’s too late to teach her empowerment.
  9. We need to embolden girls to master skills that at first appear difficult.
  10. The author  was a police officer.

 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. We must chuck the insidious language of fear.
  2. When girls become woman, this fear manifests in timid decision making.
  3. Parents caution their daughters more than their sons.

II

  1. I was been a klutzy child.
  2. I was also shy and scared of many things.
  3. I knew all about Sir Lancelot and the Knights of the Round Table.

III

  1. Nobody is saying that injuries  is good.
  2. We are failing to prepare them for life.
  3. Fear wasn’t a reason to quit.

III. Post Reading Tasks

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

 

Discussion/Writing Exercise

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

1. We must chuck the insidious language of fear (Be careful! That’s too scary!) and instead use the same terms we offer boys, of bravery and resilience. We need to embolden girls to master skills that at first appear difficult, even dangerous. And it’s not cute when a 10-year-old girl screeches, I’m too scared.”

2. Have group members choose one woman that they admire  and share with the class the reasons why they chose this woman.

1-Minute Free Writing Exercise

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

ANSWER KEY

Category: Culture