Literature

Maya Angelou: A Legend Leaves Us

May 31st, 2014  |  Published in Literature

There are many wonderful adjectives used to describe Maya Angelou, intelligent, beautiful,  powerful, creative, articulate, and courageous. But mere words cannot express all that she was and how much she’ll be missed.

MAYA ANGELOU- April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014.

MAYA ANGELOU- April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key.

Excerpt:  Legendary author Maya Angelou dies at age 86 By F. Karimi and A. Fantz, CNN

A literary voice revered globally for her poetic command and her commitment to civil rights has fallen silent. Maya Angelou died at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on Wednesday, said her literary agent, Helen Brann.

I know Why The Caged Bird Sings By Maya Angelou.

I know Why The Caged Bird Sings By Maya Angelou.

The 86-year-old was a novelist, actress, professor, singer, dancer and activist. In 2010, President Barack Obama awarded her the Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor.One of Angelou’s most revered books was I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Writer Julian Mayfield is said to have described the autobiography as a work of art which eludes description… In 1958, Angelou become a part of the Harlem Writers Guild in New York and played a queen in “The Blacks,” an off-Broadway production by French dramatist Jean Genet.

Affectionately referred to as Dr. Angelou, the professor never went to college. She has more than 30 honorary degrees and taught American studies for years at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem.

Gather Together In My Name By Maya Angelou

Gather Together In My Name By Maya Angelou

I created myself, she has said. I have taught myself so much. Angelou spoke at least six languages and worked at as a newspaper editor in Egypt and Ghana… The famous poet got into writing after a childhood tragedy that stunned her into silence for years. From the silence, a louder voice was born.

Her list of friends is as impressive as her illustrious career. Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey referred to her as “sister friend.” She counted Martin Luther King Jr., with whom she worked during the civil rights movement, among her friends. King was assassinated on her birthday.

In an interview with CNN in January 2009, just days before President Obama was inaugurated for his first term, she gave her thoughts about the United States’ election of its first black president.

Maya Angelou  was awarded The Medal of Freedom by President Obama.

Maya Angelou was awarded The Medal of Freedom by President Obama.

Seeing Obama about to take office made her feel proud, she said.

“I’m excited. I’m hopeful. I’m talking all the time to people, and sometimes I’ve really said it so many times I wonder if I’m coming off like a piece of tape recording, but I’m very proud to be an American.” Read more

Maya Angelou wrote the poem On The Pulse of The Morning for Bill Clinton’s first inauguration, in 1993.NYT Learning Network.

Maya Angelou wrote the poem On The Pulse of The Morning for Bill Clinton’s first inauguration in 1993. NYT Learning Network.

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Maya Angelou  April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

I. Pre-Reading Activities

Brainstorming

Directions: Place students in groups, ask students to think about what they already know about Maya Angelou.  Next, have students look at the picture(s) in the text and generate ideas or words that may be connected to the article. Debrief as a class and list these ideas on the board. The UIE brainstorming chart (sample) for brainstorming the meanings. Brainstorming chart by UIE copy

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 the Enchanted Learning Word Chart for assistance. 

  1.  A literary voice revered globally for her poetic command has fallen silent.
  2. Ms. Angelou’s autobiography is  a work of art which eludes description.
  3. She has more than 30 honorary degrees.
  4. Angelou grew up in the then-racially segregated town of Stamps, Arkansas.
  5. Before President Obama was inaugurated she gave her thoughts about the United States’ election of its first black president.
  6. “In 30 or 40 years, (the election) will not be considered so incredibly important.
  7. There will be other people in those next three or four decades who will run for the presidency.
  8. Angelou spoke in the way that she came to be famous for, each sentence a crescendo of emotion.
  9. I’m very proud to be an American.
  10. Her work on Broadway has been nominated for Tony Awards.

Color Vocabualry Map by Enchanted Learning

Reading Comprehension

 Fill-ins

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

Angelou spent her early years studying ______ in San Francisco but dropped out at age 14, instead becoming the city’s first ___cable car conductor.

Angelou later returned to ___to finish her diploma and gave ___a few weeks after graduation. 

While the 17-year-old single mother ___to support her son, she ___a ____for music and dance, and toured Europe in  ___in the opera production “Porgy and Bess.” In 1957, she recorded her first album, “Miss Calypso.”

In___, Angelou become a part of the ___in New York and played a queen in “The Blacks,” an off-Broadway production by French dramatist Jean Genet.

Affectionately referred to as___, the professor never went to college. She has more than ___and taught American studies for years at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem.

“I created myself,” she has said. “I have taught myself so much.”

Angelou spoke at least ___and worked at as a newspaper editor in Egypt and Ghana. It was during that time that she wrote “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” published in___, the first in a series of ___books.

Word List

Harlem Writers Guild, high school, six languages, autobiographical, African-American female, 1969, dance and drama, 30 honorary degrees, 1958,

birth, Dr. Angelou, the mid-1950s, waited tables, passion, acquired,

 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. A literary voice revered globally for her poetic command.
  2. Maya Angelou died on her home in North Carolina.
  3. President Barack Obama awarded her the Medal of Freedom.

II.

  1. Angelou spend her early years studying dance and drama.
  2. Angelou later returned to high school to finish her diploma.
  3. In 1958, Angelou become a part of the Harlem Writers Guild in New York .

III.

  1. She has much than 30 honorary degrees.
  2. Angelou was born April 4, 1928.
  3. The famous poet got into writing after a childhood tragedy.

III. Post Reading Tasks

Reading Comprehension Check

WH-How Questions

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

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion/Writing Exercise

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

Maya Angelou made the following statements. Rephrase them  into your words:

  1. “I want to write so well that a person is 30 or 40 pages in a book of mine … before she realizes she’s reading,” Angelou said.” Seeing Obama about to take office made her feel proud, she said.
  2. “I’m excited. I’m hopeful. I’m talking all the time to people, and sometimes I’ve really said it so many times I wonder if I’m coming off like a piece of tape recording, but I’m very proud to be an American.”
  3. In 30 or 40 years, (the election) will not be considered so incredibly important. … There will be other people in those next three or four decades who will run for the presidency — some women, some native American, some Spanish-speaking, some Asian. We’re about to grow up in this country.”
  4. “Our country needs us all right now to stand up and be counted. We need to try to be great citizens. We are necessary in this country, and we need to give something — that is to say, go to a local hospital, go to the children’s ward and offer an hour twice a month that you can give them reading children’s stories or poetry…go to an old folks’ home and read the newspaper to somebody. Go to your church or your synagogue or your mosque, and say, ‘I’d like to be of service. I have one hour twice a month.”

In groups choose one of the following topics to research and present to the class:

The Biography of Maya Angelou

The Presidential Medal of Freedom

Book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Poem, On the Pulse of Morning by Maya Angelou

3-2-1-Writing Activity

Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down at least three new ideas they’ve learned about_____ from the reading. Ask them to write down two things they did not understand in the reading. Then have them write one thing they would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class. Note: For the lower levels allow more time for this writing activity. 

IV. Listening Activity

Video Clip: The Revelation That Changed Dr. Maya Angelou’s Life – Super Soul Sunday – Oprah Winfrey Network

While Listening Activities

True /False/NA-Statements

Directions: Review the statements with students before the watching the video. As students listen to the video if a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is  not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.

  1. Oprah asked Maya Angelou, “Where do you go for comfort?”
  2. Maya Angelou responded with the word “Church.”
  3. Oprah asked Maya Angelou, “What is the name of your church?
  4. Maya Angelou responded, “ the Christian Church.”
  5. Maya first discovered the Unity Church in her 20s.
  6. Her friend invited her to a service.
  7. Founded in 1889, the Unity Church is a Christian movement that emphasizes affirmative prayer and education as a path to spirituality.
  8. Maya took an online course in Unity.
  9. Maya wanted to become a member.
  10. The line from the book Maya mentions is “God loves me”.

Video Link

ANSWER KEY: Maya Angelou

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Amy Tan: More History and Family Secrets

November 24th, 2013  |  Published in Education, Literature

Author Amy Tan is especially known for her best seller The Joy Luck Club which was also a major film. Tan’s other best selling novels include The Kitchen God’s Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter’s Daughter, and Saving Fish from Drowning. Her themes usually explore the relationships between mothers and daughters, historical connections to ancestors, comparisons of  Chinese and American cultures, along with  mysterious family secrets.  Her latest novel The Valley of Amazement brings the same elements of  historical information and mystery as her  previous books.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key.

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan. Amazon

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan. Amazon

Excerpt: Amy Tan’s Latest: Mothers, Daughters… By Jane Ciabattari NPR Books

“Family secrets, life-changing betrayals and the paradox of wondering about the old country while belonging to the new are at the heart of Amy Tan’s work. She enthralled readers of her phenomenally successful first novel, The Joy Luck Club (1989), with the interlocking stories of four Chinese-born mothers and their four California-born daughters… 

Amy Tan and photo of her grandmother. Photo- ABC news

Amy Tan and photo of her grandmother. Photo- ABC news

Thanks to a family mystery — the discovery of a photograph that raises the possibility that her own grandmother might have been a courtesan in China early in the last century — Tan focuses her new novel on the elegant and trend-setting first-class “houses of flowers” for which Shanghai’s international zone was once known.

Photo- Newsfiber

Photo- Newsfiber

The novel opens with Violet Minturn at 7, a “thoroughly American girl in race, manners, and speech,” who lives with her mother, Lulu Minturn. By taking a child’s perspective, Tan creates a sense of innocence, even wonder, at the goings-on in Hidden Jade Path. Tan sets the stage with sumptuous furnishings. As a child, Violet discovers Lu Shing’s landscape painting, “The Valley of Amazement,” among Lulu’s treasures. 

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. Amazon

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. Amazon

Some three-quarters of the way through the novel, Tan loops back to tell the story of Lulu’s early years…By structuring the novel in this manner, Tan makes poignant how the fates of Lulu and Violet mirror each other in uncanny ways, and builds to her startling conclusion.” Read more…

FROM ESL VOICES:

 

Happy Thanksgiving Photo- PSD SuppliesPhoto: PSD Supplies

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. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through discussions, and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

Stimulating background knowledge

Brainstorming

Directions: Place students in groups, ask students to think about what they already know about  the author Amy Tan, her novels, and China.  Next, have students look at the picture(s) in the text and generate ideas or words that may be connected to the article. Debrief as a class and list these ideas on the board. Students can use this great Brainstorming chart from Kootation.comGreat Brainstorming chart from Kootation.com

II. While Reading Activities
Vocabulary

Word Inference

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

  1. Family secrets and the paradox of wondering about the old country are at the heart of Amy Tan’s work.
  2. She enthralled readers with The Joy Luck Club.
  3. Tan followed up with equally enduring portraits of fierce immigrant mothers.
  4. Tan focuses her new novel on the elegant “houses of flowers”.
  5. By taking a child’s perspective, Tan creates a sense of innocence.
  6. Tan sets the stage with sumptuous furnishings.
  7. Tan gives us a cast of finely drawn and idiosyncratic minor characters.
  8. After a series of wrenching betrayals, Lulu strikes back.
  9. Violet and her mother face ominous crossroads.
  10. She dallies with a smarmy American.

 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. Accordig to the article the novel opens with 10-year-old Violet Minturn.
  2. Violet’s father is a Chinese diplomat.
  3. Violet’s mother had a happy childhood.
  4. Violet’s father, Lu Shing, met her mother in San Francisco.
  5. We learn that Violet’s father was from a little town in China.
  6. Violet discovered Lu Shing’s landscape painting, “The Valley of Amazement” when she was little.
  7. Lulu is lazy and rich.
  8. In the novel Violet was abandoned by her mother.
  9. Within the novel Tan loops back to tell the story of Lulu’s early years.
  10. LuLu meets an American who helps her.

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. Amy Tan enthralled readers with the novel The Joy Luck Club.
  2. Tan created portraits of fierce immigrant mother.
  3. There were courtesans in early China.

II

  1. The novel creates romance and illusion.
  2. From a child’s perspective, Tan creates a sense of innocence.
  3. Tan sets the stage by sumptuous furnishings.

III

  1. Was the painting meant to depict a feeling of hope?
  2. Violet and her mother reinvent herself.
  3. Tan gives a vivid picture of Violet’s journey.

III. Post Reading Tasks

Reading Comprehension Check

Graphic Organizers: Finding the main idea

Directions: Have students use this colorful graphic organizer from Enchanted Learning to assist them with discussing or writing about the main points from the article.

WH-organizer from Enchanted Learning

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. Amy Tan’s  novels  revolve around themes such as difficult mother-daughter relationships, cultural comparisons between America and China, and family secrets.  In your opinion, why are these topics so interesting to people?
  2. Which age group do you think read Tan’s novels?  Provide reasons why.
  3. Which of the themes in Tan’s novels do you find most interesting? Why?
  4. If you could write a novel, what topics would you choose and why?

IV. Listening Activity 

Video: Amy Tan Discusses her new novel  “The Valley of Amazement” with “CBS This Morning”.

“Best-selling author Amy Tan has written “The Valley of Amazement” about the world of high-class courtesans in Shanghai. Tan joins the “CBS This Morning” co-hosts to discuss her new book and what she uncovered about her own family during the research.”

 While Listening Activities

True /False/NA-Statements

Directions: Review the statements with students before the watching the video.  As students listen to the video if  a statement is true they mark it T.  If the statement is  not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they  mark  it F and provide the correct answer.

  1. Amy Tan’s books have sold more than 5 million copies world wide
  2. Her books have been translated into  35 languages.
  3. Tan found a photo of her grandmother which led her to write this novel.
  4. Amy Tan’s grandmother was dressed as a courtesan in the photo.
  5. A courtesan  was a woman who courted men in high-class brothels in Shanghai.
  6. In the novel the protagonist Violet is half American and half Chinese.
  7. According to Tan, the courtesan’s life was one of beauty and brutality.
  8. During this era, Chinese women were restricted in general.
  9. Tan wants readers to understand the book is about mothers and daughters, and how people are shaped by their circumstances or by choices they make.

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 Amy Tan changed in any way?   If yes, describe in what way.  If no, describe your original opinion.

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

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

ANSWER KEY: Amy Tan, The Valley of Amazement 

 

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J. D. Salinger’s Secrets Revealed…Maybe

September 8th, 2013  |  Published in Literature

J. D. Salinger is most remembered for his wonderful novel “Catcher in the Rye”.  Salinger was not only known as  a literary legend, but also as  a man who cherished his privacy.  According to the trailer for the new film about the famous author,  the biggest secrets from Salinger’s life will finally be revealed to the public, although his son Matthew Salinger is skeptical that the public will learn anything “secret” about his famous father.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key.

The mysterious J.D. Salinger.

The mysterious J.D. Salinger.

Excerpt: Film on Salinger Claims More Books Are Coming, By  M. Cieply and J. Bosman, New York Times

J. D. Salinger may not be done publishing after all, according to claims in a new film and book set for release next week.

Mr. Salinger, who died in 2010 at the age of 91, has been known for a distinguished but scant literary oeuvre that was capped by the enormous success of his 1951 novel, The Catcher in the Rye. But a forthcoming documentary and related book, both titled “Salinger,” include detailed assertions that Mr. Salinger instructed his estate to publish at least five additional books — some of them entirely new, some extending past work — in a sequence that he intended to begin as early as 2015.

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. Wikipedia.

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. Wikipedia.

The new books and stories were largely written before Mr. Salinger assigned his output to a trust in 2008, and would greatly expand the Salinger legacy.

One collection, to be called “The Family Glass,” would add five new stories to an assembly of previously published stories about the fictional Glass family, which figured in Mr. Salinger’s “Franny and Zooey” and elsewhere, according to the claims, which surfaced in interviews and previews of the documentary and book last week.J D Salinger“Uncover the Mystery but Don’t Spoil the Secrets!”

Another would include a retooled version of a publicly known but unpublished tale, “The Last and Best of the Peter Pans,” which is to be collected with new stories and existing work about the fictional Caulfields, including “Catcher in the Rye.” 

Matthew Salinger, who is Mr. Salinger’s son, and shares responsibility for the Salinger estate with Colleen O’Neill, the author’s widow, declined to discuss plans or the book and film. He said Ms. O’Neill, who did not respond directly to a separate query, would also decline to comment.

In an interview earlier this year, Matthew Salinger said he was skeptical that the planned book and documentary would deepen public understanding of his father, who, he said, for decades had confined his intimate dealings to a small circle of seven or eight people.

Even in old age Salinger never liked being photographed.1988. NYBooks.

Even in old age Salinger never liked being photographed.1988. NYBooks.

The documentary is directed by Shane Salerno, a filmmaker who spent nine years researching and filming the movie that is set for release by the Weinstein Company on Sept. 6, and will air later on PBS in the American Masters series. The companion book, co-written by David Shields, is to be published by Simon & Schuster on Sept. 3.

The book and film have been marketed with the promise of revelations about Mr. Salinger, whose penchant for privacy became a hallmark.”

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. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through discussions, and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions

Analyzing headings and photos

Directions:  Ask students to read the title 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 write a paragraph describing J.D. Salinger .

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 or thesaurus for assistance. Have students use the Word organizer from Enchanted Learning to assist them with new vocabulary. Color Vocabualry Map by Enchanted Learning

  1. Mr. Salinger, has been known for a distinguished but scant literary oeuvre.
  2. There is a forthcoming documentary about Salinger.
  3. Mr. Salinger instructed his estate to publish at least five additional books.
  4. There are previously published stories about the fictional Glass family.
  5. Another  publication would include a retooled version of  the story.
  6. For decades, those in touch with Mr. Salinger have said that he had continued to write assiduously, though he stopped publishing.
  7. Matthew Salinger said he was skeptical that the  film would deepen public understanding of his father.
  8. The film and book provide a somewhat unconventional, tour through the life of an author.
  9. For Mr. Salerno, the simultaneous release of both film and book culminate a quest.
  10. Salinger is going to have a second act said Mr. Salerno. “There’s no precedent for this.”

 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. Mr. Salinger  died in 2012.
  2. Salinger had a happy childhood.
  3. His first wife was American.
  4. Both the documentary and book are titled “Salinger”.
  5. The new books and stories were largely written before Mr. Salinger assigned his output to a trust in 2008.
  6. One collection, is to be called “The Family Plastic”.
  7. Salinger was a known democrat.
  8. Matthew Salinger, is Mr. Salinger’s son.
  9. Matthew Salinger has 3 children.
  10. J. D. Salinger confined his intimate dealings to a small circle of seven or eight people.

 Grammar Focus

Sentence Scramble

Directions:  The following sentences from the article are scrambled. Have students unscramble each sentence. Students can find the original sentences in the reading to check their work.

  1. One collection, to be called “The Family Glass,” would add five new stories to an assembly of previously published stories.
  2. “He did rely on some anonymous sources, and I’ve talked to him about that,” said Mr. Karp.
  3.  J. D. Salinger may not be done publishing after all, according to claims in a new film and book set for release next week.
  4. The new books and stories were largely written before Mr. Salinger assigned his output to a trust in 2008, and would greatly expand the Salinger legacy.
  5. For decades, those in touch with Mr. Salinger have said that he had continued to write assiduously, though he stopped publishing.

III. Post Reading Tasks

Reading Comprehension Check

WH-How Questions

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

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion/Writing Exercise

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

  1. J.D.Salinger was known as a recluse. Provide several reasons why some famous people might want to be left out of the public’s eye.
  2. Can you think of other famous people who kept their lives private?  Include famous people in your country.
  3. The article states,” For decades, those in touch with Mr. Salinger have said that he had continued to write assiduously, though he stopped publishing after a long story…” Why would he continue to write stories and not publish them?
  4. If your were a famus writer, would you prefer to stay in the public’s eye, or keep your life private as J.D. Salinger? Provide reasons for your answer.

IV. Listening Activity   

Video ClipRemembering J.D. Salinger on Charlie Rose with Adam Gopnick from the New Yorker Magazine. 

Talk show host Charlie Rose and  author Adam Gopnick  discuss J.D. Salinger’s novels.

While Listening Activities
True /False/NA-Statements

Directions: Review the statements with students before the watching the video. As students listen to the video if a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is  not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.

  1. J.D. Salinger’s home was in Cornish New York when he died.
  2. Salinger was 72 years old when he died.
  3. Salinger changed American literature with his book Catcher in the Rye.
  4. Salinger had a wife and 3 kids.
  5. J.D. Salinger was also known as an open person.
  6. In 1953 salinger moved from New york to live in rural New Hampshire.
  7. Adam Gopnick read from Catcher in the Rye.
  8. J.D. Salinger also wrote the book The Glass Family Stories.
  9. J.D. Salinger was a soldier.
  10. Salinger stopped writing publicly when he was 66 years old.
  11. Gopnick read a description of Mrs. Glass
  12. Gopnick stated that Salinger’s writing tended to be spiritual.
  13. One critic stated that Salinger fell in love too deeply with his own characters.
  14. Gopnick was friends with Salinger.

V. 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 J.D. Salinger changed in any way?   If yes, describe in what way.  If no, describe your original opinion.
  2. With your group members, make up questions that you would like to ask the speakers, or Salinger if you had the opportunity.

ANSWER KEY: J.D. Salinger

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Revisiting Hemingway… In Audio

May 30th, 2013  |  Published in Education, Literature, Technology

We all love to read Ernest Hemingway’s novels, we even like to see some of his famous characters them portrayed on the silver screen by actors.  Now, we can listen to his classic stories on audio tapes. The set sells for $399 and is entitled, The full Ernest Hemingway Audio Library Collection.  Author  Paul Hendrickson provides a review of this collection.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key.

Ernest Hemingway Audio Collection by Simon & Shuster. Amazon.

Ernest Hemingway Audio Collection by Simon & Shuster. Amazon.

Excerpt: An Audible Feast The Ernest Hemingway Audiobook Library, By P. Hendrickson, New York Times

“In a foreshortened life that didn’t make 62, Ernest Hemingway got a lot down on paper. If, by his middle and later years, enough of it seemed self-­parodying and sometimes even mawkish, great swaths of it remain immortal — and not just the early work, as some critics would claim. Hemingway changed the look and sound of American speech on the printed page.

Hemingway’s Boat- Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost, 1934-1961 By  Paul Hendrickson. Good Reads.

Hemingway’s Boat- Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost, 1934-1961 By
Paul Hendrickson. Good Reads.

But how did he get so much work done, the stories, the novels, the nonfiction (not to mention the thousands of letters he wrote), amid all that wasteful boozing and boasting, the depressions, the freakish accidents, the bouts of soaring blood pressure, the stark-awake and Seconal-stoked nights?

Ernest Hemingway. Photo: The Hemingway Project

Ernest Hemingway. Photo: The Hemingway Project

While that part of Hemingway is not untrue, it’s also the case that he was a far more tormented and sickly soul, both physically and emotionally, than we ever really guessed.

One answer to the riddle of how so many words were set down, in spite of everything, is that Hemingway kept struggling — I’d call it heroically — no matter where he was or what ailed him, to find his way to his writing table. The movable space could be on his fishing cruiser in the Gulf Stream, or in a hotel room in Spain while bombardments were going on outside the window, or under the mosquito netting of a sleeping tent in Africa.

Ernest Hemingway. Photo: The Hemingway Project

Ernest Hemingway. Photo: The Hemingway Project

The point is, he kept trying to work… “The Ernest Hemingway Audiobook Library” has been packaged now in a handsome, door-stopping black-and-white 15-disc, MP3 CD slipcase, narrated by celebrated actors and lesser-­known performers. The shebang adds up to a running time of about 133 hours. 

Ernest Hemingway. Photo: The Hemingway Project .

Ernest Hemingway. Photo: The Hemingway Project .

No, I didn’t listen to it all. I fished around, working toward things I have long worshiped and others about which I have felt minor embarrassment. I’ll acknowledge that these were the first audiobooks of any kind I have ever listened to in bulk. I’ve never wanted to be an audiophile of literature, certainly not of Hemingway. His sentences were in my head, my ear. I didn’t need people reading him to me, not even Donald Sutherland or Stacy Keach or William Hurt or Brian Dennehy. Or so I thought.

Ernest Hemingway. Photos: The Hemingway Project.

Ernest Hemingway. Photos: The Hemingway Project.

But a funny thing happened on the way to my expected disregard for these recordings, which in some cases are something like one-man old-time radio productions: I began to love the sound of Hemingway, if not exactly in new ways, at least in heightened ways…

Ernest Hemingway with sons Patrick (left) and Gregory (right)-not dated. Photograph in the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

Ernest Hemingway with sons Patrick (left) and Gregory (right)-not dated. Photograph in the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

Oh, yes, I have to tell you about the bonus track. It’s an interview with Hemingway’s surviving son, Patrick Hemingway, conducted in 2007 at his Montana home. “Mouse,” as his father nicknamed him, and who’ll be 85 in June, wishes to remember the good parts of his dad, naturally.  

Patrick Hemingway at PEN 2009. Photo JFK Library.

Patrick Hemingway at PEN 2009. Photo JFK Library.

I once got to go fishing on the Henrys Fork of the Snake River with him. He was generous, affectionate company, just as his father had described him fictionally in “Islands in the Stream.” He had a high and nearly constant squealy laugh — at least until we climbed into our waders and went fishing after dark, going single file and silently to the bank in the Idaho moonlight. This was in 1987, and he was about to turn 59.” Read more…

 

ESL Voices Lesson Plans for  stories by Hemingway: Indian Camp,  Soldier’s Home , Cat In The Rain

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. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on Ernest Hemingway’s works on video through discussions, and writing.

I. Pre-Reading

Stimulating background knowledge

Brainstorming

Directions: Place students in groups, ask students to think about what they already know about  Ernest Hemingway,  his stories, and audio books.  Next, have students look at the picture(s) in the article  and generate ideas or words that may be connected to the article.  Debrief as a class and list these ideas on the board. Have students use the brainstorming chart by Very Novel.com.

Brainstorming chart by Very Novel.com

 

II. While Reading

Vocabulary

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary or thesaurus for assistance. Have the students write sentences using each word. Have students use the Word organizer from Enchanted Learning to assist them with new vocabulary.

Color Vocabualry Map by Enchanted LearningSentences:

  1. By his middle and later years, enough of it seemed self-­parodying and sometimes even mawkish.
  2. And this is not even to dwell on all the time he devoted to indulging his passions for fishing and hunting.
  3. That is how we think of him when we squint and say his name.
  4. Hemingway was a far more tormented and sickly soul, than we ever really guessed.
  5. The movable space could be on his fishing cruiser in the Gulf Stream, or in a hotel room in Spain while bombardments were going on outside the window.
  6. It should also be said that there were years of relative stability and domesticity.
  7. I’ll acknowledge that these were the first audiobooks of any kind I have ever listened to in bulk.
  8. I’ve never wanted to be an audiophile of literature, certainly not of Hemingway.
  9. But a funny thing happened on the way to my expected disregard for these recordings.
  10. He was always a bit fearful of gadgety things.

Reading Comprehension

Unscramble The Events

Directions: Place students in groups and have them place the events in the order that they appear in the article.

  1.  Everything bad about the life of Ernest Hemingway seemed somewhere far behind. The work remained. And the river was there.
  2. One answer to the riddle of how so many words were set down, in spite of everything, is that Hemingway kept struggling  to find his way to his writing table.
  3. Until I heard John Slattery narrate “A Farewell to Arms”  I hadn’t concentrated on the way the characters might have actually sounded in Hemingway’s own imagination.
  4. While that part of Hemingway is not untrue, it’s also the case that he was a far more tormented and sickly soul, both physically and emotionally.
  5. In a foreshortened life that didn’t make 62, Ernest Hemingway got a lot down on paper. 
  6. The movable space could be on his fishing cruiser in the Gulf Stream, or in a hotel room in Spain while bombardments were going on outside the window.
  7. I’ll acknowledge that these were the first audiobooks of any kind I have ever listened to in bulk.
  8. But how did he get so much work done amid all that wasteful boozing, the depressions, the freakish accidents, the bouts of soaring blood pressure, and Seconal-stoked nights?
  9. I had the feeling that Donald Sutherland, who ably dramatizes the 1952 comeback novella, “The Old Man and the Sea” has logged some hours listening to Hemingway’s own recorded voice.
  10. Since 2002, Simon & Schuster Audio has been bringing out (“reintroducing . . . to a new generation of listeners,” as the liner notes put it) virtually the full Hemingway literary corpus.

 Grammar Focus

Using Adjectives  to describe pictures    

Directions: Place students in groups, and have them choose a picture from this lesson. Each group will  write a descriptive paragraph using adjectives. As a class review the adjectives from each group, then share the paragraphs with the class.

For a review of Adjectives visit ESL Voices Grammar

III. Post Reading

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 

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 write an essay on one of the topics.

  1. The article states, “In a foreshortened life that didn’t make 62, Ernest Hemingway got a lot down on paper.” How would you put this sentence into your own words?
  2. From the article we learn that Hemingway “was a far more tormented and sickly soul, both physically and emotionally than we ever really guessed.” Writer George Orwell wrote, “ “A man wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it.”  Give an example of what Orwell meant.
  3. Ernest Hemingway has been quoted as saying, “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”  Rephrase this comment in your own words. Do you agree or disagree with Hemingway? Provide reasons for why or why not.
  4. From this article how would you describe Ernest Hemingway?
  5. Either with a partner or individually, research the following people and write an essay describing the person.
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • Hadley Richardson-Hemingway
  • Gertrude Stein
  • Pauline Pfeiffer Hemingway
  • Waldo Peirce
  • Martha Gellhorn -Hemingway
  • Mary Welsh -Hemingway
  • Jack, Patrick, and Gregory Hemingway

IV. Listening Activity   

Video Clip An Interview with Ernest Hemingway’s Son, Patrick Hemingway (Part I).

Introduction: Sandra Spanier speaks with Ernest Hemingway’s son Patrick about the new picture of his iconic father that emerges in The Letters Of Ernest Hemingway Volume I.

 While Listening Tasks

True  /False/NA Statements

Directions: Review the statements with students before the watching the video.  As students listen to the video if  a statement is true they mark it T,  if the statement is  false they  mark  it F and provide the correct answerIf there is no information available for a statement then students write NA.

  1. According to Patrick Hemingway people imagined  Hemingway as a shy introverted man.
  2. To some, Hemingway  seemed to emphasize his quiet nature.
  3. Patrick thinks this is a ridiculous picture people have of his father.
  4. Patrick describes his father in detail.
  5. One of the main things Patrick learned from reading his father’s letters  was  Hemingway’s deep relationship with his sisters.
  6. From Hemingway’s letters, people can learn what type of food Hemingway enjoyed most.
  7. The letters were interesting because Hemingway wrote so few of them.
  8. Hemingway’s letters are interesting because they are the last great example of letter writing.
  9. According to Patrick, no one writes letters any more because letter writing is a lost art.
  10. Patrick explained his relationship with his father.

Link to video.

Post Listening

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 Ernest Hemingway changed in any way? If yes, describe in what way.  If no, describe your original opinion.

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

3.  With your group members, make up questions that you would like to ask either Patrick or Ernest Hemingway.

ANSWER KEY: Hemingway in Audio

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The Great Gatsby: The “Cover” Story

May 3rd, 2013  |  Published in Education, Literature, Social Issues

Will changing the art work on the cover of a book entice people to buy the book?  Over the years the literary classic The Great Gatsby (published in 1925)  has had various book covers. The latest edition displays a glitzy photo of  Leonardo DiCaprio who is starring in the film version of the story which is  due out in May. Some booksellers are not certain which version of the book (cover) will attract public attention.  In the following article people share their experiences and opinions concerning the changing art covers for The Great Gatsby.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key.

Leonardo diCaprio and Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby. Photo AdR Factory.

Leonardo diCaprio and Carey Mulligan in scene from the movie The Great Gatsby. Photo AdR Factory.

Excerpt: Judging ‘Gatsby’ by Its Cover(s) By Julie Bosman, The New York Times

“The Great Gatsby” has united generations of American readers with its crash-and-burn tale of empty elegance and impossible love on Long Island in the 1920s.

The latest cover for the Great Gatsby. Photo Flicks and Bits.

The latest cover for the Great Gatsby. Photo Flicks and Bits.

Now the novel is dividing the nation’s booksellers with dueling paperback editions: the enigmatic blue cover of the original and the movie tie-in book that went on sale Tuesday, a brash, flashy version with Leonardo DiCaprio front and center. The new edition is timed with the 3-D film adaptation, directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Mr. DiCaprio, that will arrive in theaters on May 10.

The original cover by Francis Coradal-Cugat. Photo- New York Times.

The original cover by Francis Coradal-Cugat. Photo- New York Times.

The new edition, with its Art Deco glitter, presents a stark choice for readers, as well as retailers who are trying to gauge the tastes of their customers. At stores like Barnes & Noble, with its nearly 700 outlets, both editions will be available. But at Walmart, only the movie tie-in edition will be stocked, a tacit acknowledgment that the discount chain’s customers want books that appear fresh and new (even if they happen to have been released in 1925).  And at independent booksellers like McNally Jackson in SoHo, customers who want Older cover.New York Times.2“The Great Gatsby” can purchase only the original: not a single copy of the new, cinematic edition will be for sale. It’s just God-awful,” Kevin Cassem, a bookseller at McNally Jackson, said on Tuesday. “ ‘The Great Gatsby’ is a pillar of American literature, and people don’t want it messed with. We’re selling the classic cover and have no intention of selling the new one.”

Older cover.New York Times.

Older cover.New York Times.

Movie tie-in editions are issued regularly in the book business, but rarely has the contrast between two covers of the same title been so pronounced.

Older cover. Photo:New York Times.

Older cover. Photo:New York Times.

The original art, by Francis Cugat, was completed before the manuscript, according to Scribner, a practice that is common in modern publishing but was rare at the time. The art was initially dismissed as “garish” by *Ernest Hemingway, who wrote in his memoir “A Moveable Feast” that he was “embarrassed by the violence, bad taste and slippery look of it.” It looked the book jacket for a book of bad science fiction,” Hemingway wrote…

Older cover. Photo: New York Times.

Older cover. Photo: New York Times.

While “Gatsby” has been subject to dozens of cover redesigns — and translated into 42 languages, producing covers that read “El Gran Gatsby” and “Gatsby le Magnifique” — it is the original cover that Scribner has kept in print… The tie-in edition is likely to appeal to “the new reader,” said Nan Graham, the publisher of Scribner. “The repeat reader is going to buy the classic cover,” she said in an interview. “A person who is more likely to buy the movie tie-in is reading it for the first time. In Walmart, this is the book you’re going to see.”

Older cover. Photo: New York Times.

Older cover. Photo: New York Times.

Sales history for movie tie-in editions of novels has been mixed. Original covers typically outperform tie-ins because they are on sale longer and because many consumers are reluctant to make a book purchase that appears to be inspired by the local multiplex… As publishers we’re always looking for new readers, and the transformation of a book into a film can exponentially increase consumer awareness…It begins with early press coverage of casting and shooting, and continues through to the film’s prerelease marketing campaign and theatrical run.” Read more…

*Lesson plans for 3 Ernest Hemingway stories.

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. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through discussions, and writing.

I. Pre-Reading

 Predictions

Analyzing headings and photos

Directions:  Ask students to read the title of the post and of  the article.  Then, have them  examine the photos of the various redesigns for the book The Great Gatsby. Based on these sources,  ask students to create a list of  words and  ideas  that they think might be related to this article.

II. While Reading

Vocabulary

Word Inference

Directions:Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary or thesaurus for assistance. They might like  to work with this whimsical Vocabulary Organizer by D. Mays!

Whimsical Vocabulary Organizer by Danielle Mays

  1. “The Great Gatsby” has united generations of American readers.
  2. The enigmatic blue cover of the original and the movie tie-in book that went on sale Tuesday are in conflict.
  3. The new edition, with its Art Deco glitter, presents a stark choice for readers.
  4. Retailers are trying to gauge the tastes of their customers.
  5. But at Walmart, only the movie tie-in edition will be stocked, a tacit acknowledgment that customers want books that appear fresh and new.
  6. Rarely has the contrast between two covers of the same title been so pronounced.
  7. The original art, by Francis Cugat, was completed before the manuscript, according to Scribner.
  8. E-book sales have been skyrocketing.
  9.  There are some people who are reading all the time, and there are people who only read selectively.
  10. Publishers were trying to reach readers who might be more tuned into what was happening in Hollywood.

Reading Comprehension

True / False/ NA

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

  1. The Great Gatsby was written in the 1990s.
  2. According to the article, the controversy  has to do with the different artists.
  3. The new edition has the photo of  F. Scott Fitzgerald on the cover.
  4. So far this year, sales of the paperback with the original jacket art  have been extraordinary.
  5. At Walmart, both editions of the book will be stocked.
  6. Ernest Hemingway, stated that he was “embarrassed” by the current cover.
  7. According to the article, the tie-in edition is likely to appeal to the new reader.
  8. The Great Gatsby is frequently described as the greatest American novel.
  9. Sales history for movie tie-in editions of novels has been mixed.
  10. People usually read all of the time.

Grammar Focus

Using Adjectives  to describe pictures

Directions: Place students in groups, and have them choose a picture from this lesson. Each group will  write a descriptive paragraph using adjectives. As a class review the adjectives from each group, then share the paragraphs with the class. For a review of Adjectives visit ESL Voices Grammar

III. Post Reading

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 

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 write an essay on one of the topics.

  1. Based on your personal experience, do you buy a book mainly for the contents or for the artwork on the cover? Explain your reasons.
  2. Review all of the covers shown. Which one appeals to you the most? Why?  Would you buy the book based on the cover that you chose?
  3. The article states that While “Gatsby” has been subject to dozens of cover redesigns… it is the original cover that Scribner has kept in print.”  Why did the publisher keep the original cover?
  4. Looking at the first 2 covers (the new movie tie-in, and the original cover) which age group would most likely buy the new version, and which would buy the original? Provide reasons for your choices.
  5. Can you think of other books that have changed their original covers to advertise movies based on the story?

IV. Listening Activity   

Video Clip:  Movie trailer from the “Great Gatsby” with comments from director Baz Luhrmann. The movie is due in Cinemas May 16th 2013.

While Listening 

 Multiple choice Directions: Have students listen to the trailer first, then again answering the questions by choosing  the correct response from the ones provided.

Based on the movie trailer  The Great Gatsby answer the following questions.

1. At the beginning, the man states he got an invitation from___

a. Gatsby

b. Luhrmann

c. Greta

2. Everybody  has their version of the Great Gatsby in their___

a.thoughts

b.ideas

c. minds

3. Gatsby tells the man if there anything you want just___

a. get it.

b. pay for it.

c. ask for it.

4. What does the  phrase “do you want to sit on the sidelines or do you want to play ball?” mean as it’s used in this context?

a. Not do your part

b. just observe and not be actively involved in something

c. Don’t play baseball

5. Baz Luhrmann wanted the movie to feel___

a. classical.

b. old fashioned.

c. contemporary.

6. Baz Luhrmann admits that he drawn to___

a. tragic romances.

b. crime dramas.

c. comedies.

7. Gatsby tells a man that he knows___

a. his life.

b. his strife.

c. his wife.

8. It was said that he threw all those parties hoping that she’d  wander in one night. Who is the “he” the person is referring to?

a.  The brother

b. Gatsby

c. Baz Luhrmann

9. It is stated that the world is so  “lush and so intimate” that viewers feel they’re ___on these people’s lives.

a. eavesdropping

b. ignoring in

c. joining with

10. The movie “The Great Gatsby”  is described as having___

a. joy, violence, and happiness

b. passion violence and love

c. passion, hate, and jealousy

Post Listening Questions

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

  1. How would you describe the party scenes from this movie?
  2. How would you describe the people?
  3. Based on this trailer would you go and see the movie? Provide reasons why or why not.

ANSWER KEY : The Great Gatsby

Related

Teaching The Great Gatsby- The New York Times Learning Network-Provides great ideas for teachers using the book in class.

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