Category Archives: Culture

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

13-Year-old Hunts…With Her Eagle!

Ashol-Pan is a member of the Kazakh people in the Altai mountains of western Mongolia. What distinguishes Ashol-Pan from other 13-year-old girls is that she is a huntress and her partner is a huge golden eagle! She is believed to be the first female in Mongolia to take part in an activity reserved solely for men in the last 2,000 years. In addition, photographer Asher Svidensky captured breath-taking pictures of Ashol-Pan and her beautiful golden eagle.

Huntress Ashol-Pan. Photo- Asher Svidensky.

Huntress Ashol-Pan and her Golden eagle.Photo- Asher Svidensky.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key.

Excerpt: A 13-year-old eagle huntress in Mongolia by William Kremer, BBC

“A photographer who snapped what could be the world’s only girl hunting with a golden eagle says watching her work was an amazing sight.
Most children, Asher Svidensky says, are a little intimidated by golden eagles. Kazakh boys in western Mongolia start learning how to use the huge birds to hunt for foxes and hares at the age of 13, when the eagles sit heavily on their undeveloped arms. Svidensky, a photographer and travel writer, shot five boys learning the skill – and he also photographed Ashol-Pan.

Photo- Asher Svidensky.

Photo- Asher Svidensky.

The Kazakhs of the Altai mountain range in western Mongolia are the only people that hunt with golden eagles, and today there are around 400 practising falconers. Ashol-Pan, the daughter of a particularly celebrated hunter, may well be the country’s only apprentice huntress…The skill of hunting with eagles, Svidensky says, lies in harnessing an unpredictable force of nature.

You don't really control the eagle.  Ashol-Pan Photo- Asher Svidensky

You don’t really control the eagle. Ashol-Pan Photo- Asher Svidensky

You don’t really control the eagle. You can try and make her hunt an animal – and then it’s a matter of nature. What will the eagle do? Will she make it? How will you get her back afterwards?
The eagles are not bred in captivity, but taken from nests at a young age. Female eaglets are chosen since they grow to a larger size –

The females grow large. Asher Svidensky.

The females grow large. Asher Svidensky.

Photo- Asher Svidensky.

Photo- Asher Svidensky.

a large adult might be as heavy as seven kilos, with a wingspan of over 230cm.
After years of service, on a spring morning, a hunter releases his mature eagle a final time, leaving a butchered sheep on the mountain as a farewell present. That’s how the Kazakh eagle hunters make sure that the eagles go back to nature and have their own strong newborns, for the sake of future generations.

13-year-old Ashol-Pan is shy. Photo- Asher Svidensky.

13-year-old Ashol-Pan is shy. Photo- Asher Svidensky.

He describes Ashol-Pan as a smiling, sweet and shy girl. His photographs of her engaging in what has been a male activity for around 2,000 years say something about Mongolia in the 21st Century.” Read more…

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate – Advanced

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

Time: Approximately 2 hours.

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

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

I. Pre-Reading Activities

Analyzing headings and photos

Directions:  Ask students to examine the titles of the post and of the actual article they are about to read. Then, have them  examine the photos. Based on these sources,  ask students to create a list of  words and  ideas  that they think might be related to this article.

KWL Chart

Directions: Have students use this  KWL chart from Michigan State University to list the information they already know about Mongolia, golden eagles, and hunting.  Later in the Post- Reading segment of the lesson, students can fill in what they’ve learned about these topics.

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

 

II. While Reading Activities

Vocabulary

Word Inference

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

  1. Most children are a little intimidated by golden eagles.
  2. Kazakh boys start learning how to use the huge birds to hunt for foxes and hares.
  3. Today there are around 400 practicing falconers.
  4. A hunt begins with days of trekking on horseback.
  5. After a fox is spotted, riders charge towards it to flush it into the open.
  6. The skill of hunting with eagles  lies in harnessing an unpredictable force of nature.
  7. The eagles are not bred in captivity.
  8. Female eaglets are chosen since they grow to a larger size.
  9. Hunters make sure that the eagles go back to nature and have their own newborns, for the sake of future generations.
  10. The generation that will decide what will happen with every tradition.

Word Chart By Education Oasis

Reading Comprehension

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

  1. Ashol-Pan is from Thailand.
  2. According to the article Ashol-Pan could be the world’s only girl hunting with a golden eagle.
  3. The Kazakhs of the Altai mountain range in western Mongolia are one of several groups that hunt with golden eagles.
  4. They hunt in summer, when the sun is warm for the eagles.
  5. According to the article the hunters don’t really control the eagle.
  6. Male eaglets are chosen since they grow to a larger size.
  7. After years of service a hunter releases his mature eagle back to nature.
  8. Golden eagles have at least 3 eaglets per year.
  9. Ashol-Pan is described as a smiling, and assertive.
  10. Her parents want her to become a doctor.

Grammar Focus

Using Adjectives to describe pictures
Directions:Have students choose a picture from this lesson and write a descriptive paragraph using adjectives. Students can share their stories with the class. For a review of Adjectives visit ESL Voices Grammar: Adjectives.

III. Post Reading Tasks

Reading Comprehension Check

WH-How Questions

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

Who or What is the article about?
Where does the action/event take place?
When does the action/event take place?
Why did the action/event occur?
How did the action/event occur?

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/Writing Exercise

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

  1. The article states, “The Kazakhs of the Altai mountain range in western Mongolia are the only people that hunt with golden eagles, and today there are around 400 practising falconers. Ashol-Pan, the daughter of a particularly celebrated hunter, may well be the country’s only apprentice huntress.” How would you put this into your own words?
  2. The Kazakhs use the golden eagles as a means of hunting for food. Can you think of other groups of people who use animals to assist in hunting?
  3. It states, “The skill of hunting with eagles, Svidensky says, lies in harnessing an unpredictable force of nature. “You don’t really control the eagle. You can try and make her hunt an animal – and then it’s a matter of nature. What will the eagle do? Will she make it? How will you get her back afterwards?” Based on this information, how difficult would it be to train a golden eagle to hunt? How long do you think it would take you to train an eagle?
  4. Have you ever hunted in your country? If yes, provide examples. If you have not, would you like to learn how to hunt? Provide reasons for why or why not.
  5. With your group research what life is like for a teen living in Mongolia today. For example, the types of homes, transportation, foods, clothing, and communication.

IV. Listening Activity

Video Clip: The Eagle Hunters of Mongolia

“This is a digital story about the art and sport of hunting with golden eagles in western Mongolia.” 

Pre-Listening

Listening for New Vocabulary or New Terms

Directions: Here is a list of words from the video. Have students find the meanings before they listen to the video. As students listen, they are to  check off the words and phrases as they hear them.

  1. Altai Mountains
  2. raptors
  3. formidable 
  4. predators
  5. utilized
  6. aggressive
  7. Marmots

video Link

While Listening Activities

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

  1.  The  Altai Mountains is also the birthplace of the accident/ ancient art of falconry.
  2.  Today political borders/binders divide the region.
  3. The nomadic people that residence/reside here live as they always have in conjunction with the land and with nature.
  4. The people of the  Altai  maintain/mountain a strong and connected relationship with nature.
  5. The  Kazakhs like many, were persecuted for practicing their cultural/culture traditions.
  6. One of the highest expressions/express of the culture is the ancient art of eagle hunting.
  7. Golden eagles are  deployed/employed as they are the largest and most powerful of the raptures.
  8. With the wing span/sprain of up to 8 feet these formidable predators can weight up  to 5 kilograms.
  9.  It is the  male/female  golden eagle that is utilized as they are larger and more aggressive than their male counterparts.
  10. The eagle is fed/federal grown squirrel and marmot.

 Post-Listening Activities

Questions for Discussion

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

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

2. Did  you learn any new information?

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

ANSWER KEY

Category: Culture | Tags: ,

The Beauty of Global Christmas Festivities

It’s that time of the year when people world-wide celebrate Christmas. This is one of our favorite lessons on Christmas celebrations. The following article highlights six countries and their unique traditions for celebrating Christmas.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key.

U.S. President Obama and the  First Lady celebrate Christmas.

U.S. President Obama and the First Lady celebrate Christmas.

Excerpt: Six Christmas Traditions From Around the World, By Jane Margolies, The New York Times

“Christmas trees, Santa Claus and gingerbread lattes are all well and good. But with the homogenizing creep of Yuletide customs, travelers might well worry they’ll go to the trouble of getting somewhere new over the holidays only to find it’s just like everywhere else. Not the six places here. Each has its own way of celebrating Christmas, and with the festivities unfolding in plazas, parks and other public places, travelers are free to join right in.

Directions near Castleton in the Peak District in Derbyshire, England, where Christmas singing resounds in local caves. Credit- Jamie Duff:Press Association Images

Directions near Castleton in the Peak District in Derbyshire, England, where Christmas singing resounds in local caves. Credit- Jamie Duff:Press Association Images

Castleton, England

This pretty English village in Derbyshire’s Peak District is known for its walking paths and, high on a hill, the picturesque ruins of a Norman castle. It’s also home to four spectacular caverns bristling with stalagmites and stalactites. On weekends leading up to Christmas two of the caves offer caroling sing-alongs.The Basilica of the Nativity, on the place where Christ was born, in Bethlehem. Credit- Nasser Shiyoukhi:Associated Press

Jerusalem

In most parts of Israel, where Christians make up about 2 percent of the population, it’s business as usual on Dec. 24 and 25. But in this city where Jesus lived and died, Christmas is joyously celebrated in the Christian quarter of the Old City. Churches decorated with trees conduct nonstop services in many languages with Jews and Muslims often sitting in. Marching bands and bagpipers led by Arabian horses weave through the narrow streets to Manger Square, the plaza outside the Basilica of the Nativity, which stands on the grotto where Jesus was born.

Sculptures made of radishes are shown at Noche de Rábanos (Night of the Radishes) in Oaxaca, Mexico. Credit- Judith Haden:DanitaDelimont.com

Sculptures made of radishes are shown at Noche de Rábanos (Night of the Radishes) in Oaxaca, Mexico. Credit- Judith Haden:DanitaDelimont.com

Oaxaca, Mexico

Posadas — door-to-door processions that re-enact Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter — and a parade with candlelit paper lanterns fill the streets of this city in southwestern Mexico… But the most awe-inspiring custom is the century-old competition known as the Noche de Rábanos (Night of the Radishes) on the evening of Dec. 23. In the zócalo, the city’s central square, under a canopy of lights, farmers display elaborate sculptures — nativity scenes, robed kings, musicians — all carved out of the giant radishes grown locally.

Père and Mère Noël stroll the streets of Quebec City. Credit- Christinne Muschi for The New York Times

Père and Mère Noël stroll the streets of Quebec City. Credit- Christinne Muschi for The New York Times

Quebec City

 You would think temperatures in the teens and wind whipping off the St. Lawrence River would drive everyone indoors. But the 403-year-old capital of Quebec province revels in the outdoors at Christmastime, when stone buildings sparkle with lights. Fortify yourself with maple sugar pie from the Ferme Line & Steve Morency stand at Le Marché de Noel in the farmers’ market in the Old Port area.

Christmas lights decorate the Piazza di Spagna in Rome. Credit Alseeandro Bianchi:Reuters

Christmas lights decorate the Piazza di Spagna in Rome. Credit Alseeandro Bianchi:Reuters

Rome

Although the larger-than-life nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square is under wraps until Dec. 24, when this year’s still-top-secret version will be unveiled just in time for the Pope’s midnight Mass, you can feast your eyes on the remarkably detailed 18th-century Neapolitan carved-wood crib… Piazza del Popolo, to see crib elements made of everything from coral to chocolate. Or just duck into any church or cathedral you happen by.

Farolitos, paper bags with votive candles inside, illuminate Taos, N.M. Credit- Walter Bibikov:DaniaDelimont.com

Farolitos, paper bags with votive candles inside, illuminate Taos, N.M. Credit- Walter Bibikov:DaniaDelimont.com

Taos, N.M.

Bonfires blaze nightly in the plazas, bringing a block-party vibe to this New Mexico town. Farolitos (brown paper bags lighted with votive candles) line streets, snaking past galleries and art studios… When the Spanish came here in the 17th century, they brought their culture, and today celebrations blend Catholic and Native American traditions.”

 

WISHING EVERYONE A JOYOUS CHRISTMAS!

~ESL VOICES~

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

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

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate -Advanced

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

Time: Approximately 2 hours.

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

Objective: Students will read the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. In addition, students will express their personal views on the topic through discussions, and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Tasks
Stimulating background knowledge

Brainstorming

Directions: Place students in groups, to find out what they already know about Christmas celebrations in different countries. Next, have students look at the pictures in the article to generate ideas or words about the topic. Debrief as a class and list these ideas on the board.

Have students  use the UIE brainstorming chart (sample) for brainstorming the meanings of terms.Brainstorming chart by UIE copy

II. While Reading Tasks

 Vocabulary

Words In Context

  1.  This pretty English village in Derbyshire’s Peak District is known for … the picturesque ruins of a Norman castle.
  2. At Peak Cavern’s evening songfests participants sit inside the… cave — which has great acoustics — to belt out “We Three Kings” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
  3. From Jerusalem, many people make the pilgrimage six miles south to Bethlehem…
  4. …the plaza outside the Basilica of the Nativity, which stands on the grotto where Jesus was born.
  5. Posadas — door-to-door processions that re-enact Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter…
  6. But the most awe-inspiring custom is the century-old competition known as the Noche de Rábanos…
  7. But the 403-year-old capital of Quebec province revels in the outdoors at Christmastime…
  8. Or just duck into any church or cathedral you happen by.
  9. …along with burlap-and-straw depictions of the Italian witch called La Befana, said to fly around on a broomstick at Epiphany…
  10. Bonfires blaze nightly in the plazas, bringing a block-party vibe to this New Mexico town.

Reading Comprehension

True / False/ NA

Directions:  The following statements were taken from the article.  If  a statement is true, students write (T) if  a statement is false they  write (F)  and  provide the correct answer from the article. If the statement is  not applicable, they mark it NA

  1. Each country mentioned in the article has similar ways of celebrating Christmas.
  2. This pretty English village in Derbyshire’s Peak District is known for its walking paths.
  3. On weekends leading up to Christmas in Derbyshire’s Peak  people can  sing in the caves.
  4. From Bethlehem  many people make the pilgrimage six miles south to Jerusalem, to celebrate.
  5. In Oaxaca, Mexico, the most awe-inspiring custom is the century-old competition known as El  Día de los Muertos on the evening of Dec. 23.
  6.  Creations such as Nativity scenes, robed kings, musicians, are all carved out of the giant radishes grown locally.
  7. In Quebec City the 403-year-old capital of Quebec province revels in the outdoors at Christmastime.
  8. In Rome the larger-than-life nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square is under wraps until Dec. 24 … will be unveiled just in time for the Pope’s midnight Mass.
  9. La Befana, is an Italian santa  said to fly around on a broomstick at Epiphany, dropping down chimneys to leave candy or lumps of coal.
  10. In Taos, N.M. celebrations blend Catholic and Native American traditions.

•  Grammar Focus

Using Adjectives  to describe pictures    

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

 

III. Post Reading Tasks

Reading Comprehension Check

WH-How Questions

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

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

 

Discussion/Writing Tasks 

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

  1. Describe how Christmas is celebrated in your country.
  2. Which celebration described in this article is your favorite? Explain why.
  3. List the similarities and differences  between the six celebrations.

 

Group Project:

Directions: Have students go to this site Santa’s Net  which has a large collection of traditions  from different countries.  Have each group choose a country that celebrates Christmas differently from the ones mentioned here, and describe that  country’s celebration.

IV. Listening Activity   

Video Clip:  First Lady Previews the 2012 White House Holiday Decorations

First Lady Michelle Obama welcomes military families, including Gold Star and Blue Star parents, spouses and children, to the White House for the first viewing of the 2012 holiday decorations.

While Listening Tasks

Sentence  Fill-ins

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

1. As First Lady, I think you all know that I have had the ___of traveling all across this country.

a. privilege

b. joy

c. honor

2. It’s a___ house.  I like it.

a. cold

b. cool

c. cozy

3. Our___ families truly represent the very best that this country has to offer.

a. merry

b. militia

c. military

4. You are just ___ focused parents.

a. phenomenal

b. phenomena

c. phenomenon

5. And then, there are our military kids.  You guys look ___today, and handsome and very clean.

a. gifted

b. glamorous

c. gorgeous

6. And we’re going to try to change that, because we’re going to have sugar and ___and stuff like that.

a. goo

b. glue

c. glute

7. And so many of you step up and handle your ___while mom or dad is away.  Right?  You do what you can do.

a. business

b. jobs

c. duties

8. And I just want you all to ___– all of you — just how proud we are.

a. understand

b. no

c. know

9. And that’s really why we wanted to___all of you here today — to say thank you.

a. include

b. invite

c. welcome

10. And we are also___ our military families with some very special decorations on the official White House Christmas tree that’s in the Blue Room.

a. honoring

b. welcoming

c. hosting

Post-Listening Tasks

Questions for Discussion

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

  1. After listening to this video what do you think of Mrs. Obama plan to invite the children of military parents for fun activities at the White House?
  2. What is your personal opinion of Michelle Obama? Would you like to meet her?
  3. With your group members, make up questions that you would like to ask the  First Lady or her staff members. Share them with the class.

ANSWER KEY: Christmas Traditions