Category Archives: Music

Death of The Purple Prince

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

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Prince. photo-trendnewsamerica

Prince. photo-trendnewsamerica

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

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

Prince. photo: Richard E. Aaron:Redferns

Prince. photo: Richard E. Aaron:Redferns

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

Prince performing in Los Angeles in 2009 K. Dowling

Prince performing in Los Angeles in 2009 K. Dowling

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

You Tube: Purple Rain Trailer

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

Prince London O2 Arena September 9, 2007. vintagerock

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

curiosityWe’ll Miss Him

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

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

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


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


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


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


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

I. Pre-Reading Activities

KWL Chart

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

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

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

II. While Reading 

Word Inference

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

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

Vocabulary Organizer by Against the Odds

 

Reading Comprehension

 Fill-ins

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

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

Word List: musicians, penchant, plenty, fondness,

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

 Grammar Focus

Word -Recognition

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

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

III. Post Reading 

Graphic Organizers

Finding the main idea

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

Main idea chart By Write Design

Main idea chart By Write Design

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

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

1-Minute Free Writing Exercise

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

ANSWER KEY

Category: Music | Tags:

What Does ‘Auld Lang Syne’ Mean?

“Here it is. The answer to a perennial question of what on earth does “Auld Lang Syne” mean? The confusion over the song is arguably almost as much of a tradition as the song itself. As revelers stumble and mumble through the verses-singing the “auld lang syne” part much louder than the rest of the song because it’s really the only part people know-someone always asks what the words mean.” C. Ng Abcnews

Auld Lang Syne

Auld Lang Syne

Excerpt: ‘Auld Lang Syne’: What Does it Mean Again? By Christina Ng

“Despite its strong association with New Year’s Eve, “Auld Lang Syne,” written by Robert Burns in the 1700s, was never intended to be a holiday song.

Image- themorgan

Image- themorgan

Guy Lombardo is credited with popularizing the song when his band used it as a segue between two radio programs during a live performance at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York in 1929. By coincidence, they played “Auld Lang Syne” just after the clock hit midnight, and a New Year’s tradition was born.

The song, and the confusion that comes with it, has been immortalized in countless movies and TV shows…So as you surround yourself with friends old and new tonight, sing on. And if you really want to impress people, here are the lyrics to the English translated version of the song you’ll probably hear:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And auld lang syne

Auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne
For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne

For those who have never heard this song listen below:

FROM ESL-VOICES:NEW YEAR 2016 copy

 

Category: Holidays, Music | Tags:

Bjork: Still Beautifully Creative!

“For her new album, Bjork has merged the two sides of her artistry to create a new experience of music — again. Every album  Bjork produces resolves itself into a story. The story begins with the songs, the raw material through which Bjork channels emotion, autobiographical experience and philosophical ideas. E. Witt-The NYT 

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Bjork-Photograph by Inez and Vinoodh. Styled by Mel Ottenberg

Bjork-Photograph by Inez and Vinoodh. Styled by Mel Ottenberg

Excerpt:

The Peculiar Genius of Bjork  BY Emily Witt, The New York Times

“The songs cohere into a universe. They take on colors, elements, an instrumental sound. They have a physical character, whom Bjork will portray on the album cover: the volcanic beats of Homogenic as a patriotic warrior; the tribal rhythms and trumpets of Volta as a wanderer in electric blue, neon green and red.

The albums and their stories map the bifurcation of Bjork’s artistry. There is Bjork the musician, who creates her music in an emotional cocoon, tinkering with technologies, concepts and feelings; and Bjork the producer and curator, who seeks out collaborators to help her translate her work beyond sound, who has an unparalleled ability to disperse herself across a vast range of media.Bjork-Homogenic- Time Magazine

Bjork has been feeling a little sensitive about her visual collaborations lately. It’s not that she isn’t proud of them, but she worries sometimes that the visual element of her work overshadows the music, her life’s obsession.

Bjork, now 49, spent her teens and early 20s immersed in the collective do-it-yourself ethos of Iceland, where if someone else wanted to put out a record we would just make the poster by hand.

The move from the provincial to the global, from the charming mess of homegrown collaboration to the unknown possibilities of a career as a soloist in a newer genre of music, was also her declaration of independence from the macho vernacular of rock ‘n’ roll.

Bjork:Volta

Bjork:Volta

From then on, mostly it was my songs and my vision, and I would decide what would be in which song and when. Going forward, she would express her vision clearly to her collaborators, and choose them with great care.

Bjork tailored her collaborations to the specificity of each song, to the character and story that she wanted to convey.

She rarely records in a studio, preferring the spontaneous session. Antony Hegarty, who sings accompaniment on a song on the new album, recorded the track while they were on vacation in the Caribbean.

She creates a circle around her which is her universe, and before each circle closes itself she jumps outside to create a new circle…So each album goes into a new direction regardless of the success of the previous one.”

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

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) 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

 Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos

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

Pre-reading Organizer By Scholastic.

Pre-reading Organizer By Scholastic.

II. While Reading 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 songs cohere into a universe.
  2. The albums and their stories map the bifurcation of Bjork’s artistry.
  3. They are the stories that have coalesced.
  4. It is the Saturday before the winter solstice.
  5. Bjork has been  feeling sensitive about her visual collaborations.
  6. Bjork moved from the provincial to the global.
  7. It was her independence from the macho vernacular of rock ‘n’ roll.
  8. Each album doubled as a nexus of to often-obscure fashion designers.
  9. I can see Bjork shaking her head and morphing into a polar bear.
  10. She doesn’t make records in a traditional way.

Color Vocabualry Map by Enchanted Learning

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. Bjork keeps a small cabin near New York.
  2. Bjork drove to the cabin in a Land Rover.
  3. Bjork  still worries about  the visual element of her work.
  4. Bjork is 50 years-old.
  5. She made a record of folk songs at age 11.
  6. Her first solo album was called ME.
  7. Human Behavior was  her first music video as a solo artist.
  8. Bjork exposed popular audiences to often-obscure fashion designers.
  9. Bjork loved to dress up as clowns when she was young.
  10. She will be making a  feature film soon.

 Grammar Focus

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

For a review of Adjectives visit ESL Voices Grammar

III. 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 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 following  two statements were taken from the article. Rephrase each one, then discuss the meaning with the members of your group.

“Bjork has been feeling a little sensitive about her visual collaborations lately. It’s not that she isn’t proud of them, but she worries sometimes that the visual element of her work overshadows the music, her life’s obsession.”

“She creates a circle around her which is her universe, and before each circle closes itself she jumps outside to create a new circle,” said Gondry. “So each album goes into a new direction regardless of the success of the previous one.”

2.With your group members make a list of questions you would ask Bjork if you met her.

1-Minute Free Writing Exercise

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

ANSWER KEY

Category: Music | Tags:

Singer Cher on Aging: She Isn’t Going Gently!

The singer Cher is ageless and she has no intention of “Going Gentle Into That Good Night” any time soon. Cher  has always been known for her outrageous costumes, along with her outspoken ideas (including her gay son, her younger boyfriends, and her plastic surgeries) no matter what she does she’ll always be one of America’s favorite pop icons!

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key.

Cher at the American Masters. Photo- Cher News

Cher at the American Masters. Photo- Cher News

Excerpt: Cher Talks About (What Else?) Being Cher  By Jacob Bernstein, The New York Times

“After nearly a half-century of being world famous, Cher has encountered every type of boldface name. She’s shared a stage with Bette Midler, and worked for Phil Spector, who was her first boss and, she says, paid her $25 for a year’s work. She even had a thing with Tom Cruise back in the ’80s before he became a Scientologist.

Cher in LA Photo-IDLator

Cher in LA Photo-IDLator

So when a caller to Andy Cohen’s show, Watch What Happens Live,asked her last Thursday whom she’d most like to to shake hands with, there really wasn’t much to say besides Jesus Christ.

Cher, 67 and conservatively dressed (for her) in a black-and-white striped Ann Demeulemeester jacket and black-and-white harlequin pants, knew exactly what she would ask him, too. “I would just say, ‘Dude, what’s the deal?’ ” she said to the small, mostly gay crowd.

She spoke frankly about the journey of her son Chaz Bono from female to male, and about the fact that she still has trouble with which pronouns to use… admitting that she had a tough time emotionally with his sex change at first but has since come around and couldn’t be prouder of him.

Dazzling silver outfit. Photo- Styleite

Dazzling silver outfit. Photo- Styleite

She said that her romantic relationship with Robert Camilletti, a bagel-shop worker and bartender nearly two decades her junior (she was 40 and he was 22 when they became involved) was the easiest involvement she ever had.

There was never a problem. Never a worry. I’m temperamental. Not like a star, but I’m mercurial, and if I was, like, having some sort of tizzy, he’d say, ‘I’m going to get cigarettes and I’ll bring you a black and white cookie.

Her first of two husbands, Sonny Bono (the second was Gregg Allman), was the one she was  most attached to, she said, though the marriage had its complications. It wasn’t like anything before or after…And it wasn’t all roses. It was very Russian roulette.

After that, she discussed her Hollywood career. She admitted that she doesn’t get as many calls as she used to. And that she thought the reason may have something to do with her famously wrinkle-free visage. She recalled reading an article a few years ago in which the reporter said that the star looked neither young nor old, just Cher. Which of course makes it hard for Cher to become a character other than Cher. It didn’t feel very good, but it was true,” she said. I thought: I get that. I understand that.Of aging, she said: It’s a bitch. I don’t like it. Anyone who says they do is lying. Or they don’t have my work.”

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 topic.  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 the Brainstorming chart from Kootation.com

Great 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 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

Sentences:

  1. Cher, 67 was conservatively dressed.
  2. The narrow demographic in Mr. Cohen’s clubhouse did not come as a surprise.
  3. When it was all over, she did not retire to her hotel.
  4. She spoke frankly about the journey of her son Chaz Bono.
  5. She talked about her exes.
  6. She recalled reading an article about herself.
  7. Bob Mackie,  is her longtime friend and partner-in-kitsch.
  8. Some critics may be ruing their words.
  9. Cher descended to the stage.
  10. Moments later, she was ensconced in a booth.

Reading Comprehension

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. Cher is  58 years-old.
  2. The name of the talk show Cher was visiting was Oprah.
  3. Cher wanted to visit the show again in the future.
  4. Cher would like most to shake hands with the president.
  5. The audience at the show was mostly young.
  6. Cher was in New York for the Gay Pride celebration.
  7. Anderson Cooper of CNN arrived for a surprise guest appearance.
  8. Chaz Bono is Cher’s son.
  9. Robert Camilletti is Cher’s publicist.
  10. Sonny Bono and Cher lived in New York for 10 years.

 Grammar Focus

Word Order Puzzle

Directions:  The following 5 sentences from the reading are out of order.  Students can find the original sentences in the reading to check their work.

  1. Her first of two husbands, Sonny Bono (the second was Gregg Allman), was the one she was  most attached to.
  2. The narrow demographic in Mr. Cohen’s clubhouse did not exactly come as a surprise.
  3. Moments later, she was ensconced in a booth with Mr. Cohen.
  4. After nearly a half-century of being world famous, Cher has encountered every type of boldface name.
  5. When it was all over, she did not retire to her hotel for milk and Nilla wafers.

 

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. After, 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. The article states, She admitted that she doesn’t get as many calls as she used to…She recalled reading an article a few years ago in which the reporter said that the star looked neither young nor old, just Cher.” In your own words explain what this means.
  2. From reading this article do you think Cher likes growing old? Provide support from the article for your answer.
  3. In your opinion, when should a performer retire? Provide reasons why.
  4. Choose one of the following people and write a short report: Sony Bono, Chaz Bono, Tom Cruise.

IV. Listening Activity   

Video ClipCher: Watch What Happens Live Season 10 : Truth or Cher!

Cher interviews with host Andy Cohen on his show “Watch What Happens Live”.

 Note: This is the Video Link Only.

 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.

The game played was called “Truth or Chair”.

The basis of the game was that Cher had to answer a question or  perform a task.

Cher’s favorite color is purple.

Cher  understood what the host was talking about in the beginning.

Cher likes living in New York.

The first question was about her family.

Michael Jackson ranked in the top five of her list.

Cher said that her list was long.

The second time Cher chose to perform a dare.

The dare was to re-enact a scene from the movie Moonstruck.

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 Cher 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 Cher.

ANSWER KEY: Cher

Category: Music | Tags:

Autistic 13-year-old Uses Music To Fight Bullies!

Pretty 13-year-old Mano Kolman is Autistic. At her school being bullied by other students was part of her normal day. Many times she sat by herself at lunch, feeling very lonely and isolated. Then her parents took charge, and decided to teach Mano how to play the clarinet. With support from her school band Mano progressed in her studies and in her social life! The Kolmans explain how they helped their daughter change her life for the better.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key.

13-year-old Mano Kolman and her father, Barry. Photo courtesy the Kolman family. CNN.

13-year-old Mano Kolman and her father, Barry. Photo courtesy the Kolman family. CNN.

Excerpt: Watch out, bullies: She’s got the band behind her By Rachel Rodriguez, CNN

“A few weeks ago, Emmanuela Kolman brought home her middle-school report card. She got an A in band, and her parents couldn’t be prouder.

Any parent would be pleased by an A. But for 13-year-old Emmanuela, who goes by Mano, that A in band is a symbol. It represents eight months of hard work, a collection of new skills, and, most importantly, a complete turnaround in Mano’s social and academic life.

13-year-old Mano Kolman and her father, Barry, prepare to play a clarinet duet together. Photo courtesy the Kolman  Family. Photo: W&L.

13-year-old Mano Kolman and her father, Barry, prepare to play a clarinet duet together. Photo courtesy the Kolman Family. Photo: W&L.

Mano has high-functioning autism. That means she walks and talks a little differently than other kids, her parents say, and she’s “painfully aware” of these differences. Some students at her Staunton, Virginia, middle school treat her as someone who is not very cool…Mano has few friends and frequently eats lunch by herself. She sometimes comes home crying because of teasing. She also experiences sudden outbursts of anger and frustration.

The dream team- Mano with her dad, a music professor, and mom, a counselor. Photo courtesy the Kolman Family. Kolman site.

The dream team- Mano with her dad, a music professor, and mom, a counselor. Photo courtesy the Kolman Family. Kolman site.

Luckily, Mano has the dream team of parents on her side. Barry is a clarinetist and music professor at Washington and Lee University. Her mother, Grace, is a counselor working toward her Ph.D. in counseling and supervision at James Madison University. Last summer they were trying to come up with a strategy to help Mano deal with some of the bullying problems at school and decided to attempt an experiment: Barry would start giving her clarinet lessons…Plus, they both desperately wanted to give Mano a social outlet and help her become part of a group.

Parts of the Clarinet. Photo Clarinet Closet.

Parts of the Clarinet. Photo Clarinet Closet.

The first lesson, they spent 30 minutes just putting the instrument together. With autism, you really need to do one thing at a time,” he said. In music, you usually give about four or five commands per sentence, but for children with autism, you just can’t do that. They kind of freeze; they don’t know what to do first. So I had to kind of slow down.

He learned to speak Mano’s language, too. When she described the different kinds of notes on a page of sheet music as looking like different types of chocolate — dark or white — he went with it.

There are so many things just to get a note, all this coordination, which is very important in Mano’s case,…explaining that it’s sometimes difficult for children with autism to perform several tasks at the same time.

But once she got it, Mano took to the clarinet “like a duck to water.” Her parents noticed changes in her almost right away. It’s been less than a year since she started playing and already, they say, her speech has improved and she’s more focused in school, which has led to better grades.

But by far the biggest change the Kolmans have seen has been the improvement in Mano’s social life.

“Playing music can soothe the pain of isolation and provide a safe space where she is accepted,” said Barry.

Before, Mano wasn’t part of a group. Now she has the band. Her parents can tell from the way she brags about being a member that it’s made a world of difference. Mano’s mother cried as she described how being part of the band has affected Mano — and the whole family.

Clarinet photo from Zazzle.

Clarinet photo from Zazzle.

Barry keeps a journal about the results of teaching Mano clarinet, and he’s posted suggested lesson plans for children with autism on his website. The Kolmans, who have spoken and written about their experience (including on CNN iReport) so that others can benefit, say they’ve received dozens of e-mails from parents of children with autism.” 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.

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 autism through discussions, and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Tasks

 Predictions

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. Based on these sources,  ask students to write a paragraph describing some issues they think this article will discuss. Have students use this great Prereading Organizer from Scholastic.

Pre-reading Organizer By Scholastic

KWL Chart 

The K-W-L chart is used to activate students’ background knowledge of a topic in order to enhance their comprehension skills. The K-W-L stands for: What I Know, What I Want to learn, and What I did Learn.

Directions: Have students use the KWL chart from  Michigan State University to list the information they already know about Autism. Later in the Post- Reading segment of the lesson, students can fill in what they’ve learned about the topic.

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

II. While Reading Tasks

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. It represents eight months of hard work and a complete turnaround in Mano’s social and academic life.
  2. Mano has high-functioning autism.
  3. She also experiences sudden outbursts of anger and frustration.
  4. Last summer they were trying to come up with a strategy to help Mano deal with some of the bullying problems at school.
  5. They both desperately wanted to give Mano a social outlet and help her become part of a group.
  6. But once she got it, Mano took to the clarinet “like a duck to water.”
  7. Neither of Mano’s parents is technically a music therapist.
  8. Playing music can soothe the pain of isolation.
  9. Her parents can tell from the way she brags about being a member that it’s made a world of difference.
  10. I think the way she’s dealing with bullying now is much different.

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. Mano is 13-years old.
  2. Mano has high-functioning autism.
  3. Mano took clarinet lessons with the band.
  4. In the first lesson Mano spent 2 hours learning how to play the clarinet.
  5. In music, you usually give about four or five commands per sentence.
  6.  Children with autism need fewer instructions.
  7. Mano’s dad had to learn her language.
  8. Once she understood how things worked, Mano learned the clarinet quickly.
  9. Her speech still needs work, and Mano needs to focus more on her studies.
  10. The biggest change is that Mano now plays in the school band.

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. Mano have high-functioning autism.
  2. That means she walks and talks a little differently than other kids.
  3. She’s “painfully aware” of these differences.

II.

  1. Mano has few friends and frequently eats lunch by herself.
  2. She sometimes comes home crying because of teasing.
  3. She also experiences sudden outbursts on anger and frustration.

III.

  1. Luckily, Mano has the dream team of parents on her side.
  2. Last summer they were trying to come up with a strategy to help Mano.
  3. Barry had taught clarinet to other kid Mano’s age.

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. After, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the discussion topics.

Review ESL Voices Modes of Essay Writing.

  1. The article states, “When she described the different kinds of notes on a page of sheet music as looking like different types of chocolate — dark or white — he went with it.” Can you look at the sheet music (for clarinet)  below and imagine the notes  as pieces of chocolate?
  2. From the article you learn that “Last summer they were trying to come up with a strategy to help Mano deal with some of the bullying problems at school and decided to attempt an experiment: Barry would start giving her clarinet lessons.”  Explain how clairinet lessons helped Mano with bullying issues.
  3. Have you ever met or know someone who is autistic? If yes, describe the person, and your experiences with them. If no, how would you feel about meeting an autistic person?
Clarinet Print Vintage Sheet Music by CharlottesArtShop. Esty.

Clarinet Print Vintage Sheet Music by CharlottesArtShop. Esty.

IV. Listening Activity

Video: Tips for Asperger’s / Autism Children – Preventing Meltdowns & Bullying

This is an informative  video with a clear and easy to understand guide providing some tips to prevent meltdowns in your children with Autism or Asperger’s.

Don’t miss the website Autism Parenthood http://autismparenthood.com

Aspergers Society News letter (free) for parents and care givers of children with Autism or Asperger’s.  http://www.AspergersSociety.org/newsl…

Pre-Listening Exercise
Vocabulary
Directions: Have students find the meanings of these words and phrases from the video before viewing:

Asperger syndrome, meltdown, blackout shades,  to fall off the cliff,  to push over the edge,  to push his buttons,  to blow up,  perspective.

While-Listening Exercise

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 answer. If there is no information available for a statement then students write NA.

  1. Children with Autism and Aspergers rarely  have melt downs.
  2. A meltdown can be occur if they become overwhelmed at a store, or when playing a game.
  3. The first tip to prevent meltdowns is to keep kids away from public places.
  4. Children with Autism and Aspergers can become abusive both verbally and physically.
  5. Bullying is usually not a problem.
  6.  Solving the problem of bullying can be difficult.
  7. School officials should be notified if your child is being bullied.
  8. Children with Autism  and Aspergers need to exercise on a regular basis.
  9. Tip Number Two is to find a safe place for yourself.
  10. The safe place should include darkness and quiet.
  11. Tip Number 3 involves watching for signs of  a meltdown before it happens.
  12. Children with Autism and Aspergers  have difficulty smelling, and hearing.
  13. Tip Number 4 is to always try to understand from their perspective what is causing the anger and frustration.

Link for Asperger’s / Autism Children – Preventing Meltdowns & Bullying

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

2. Did  you  learn any new information about children with Autism and Asperger syndrome ? If so discuss  what you’ve learned.

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

V. Group Project

Barry Araújo Kolman, A Lesson for Children with Autism

Directions: Visit Barry Koloman’s website.

Place students in groups and  give each group one or two lessons from Barry’s 7 -step lesson plan.  Each group will list the  advice from each lesson from Barry’s plan for helping children with Autism. Each group will share what they’ve learned with the class.

ANSWER KEY: Autism and Music.