Category Archives: Technology

Learn The Art of Storytelling From Pixar and Khan Academy for Free

“There are few organizations in the world that can claim more expertise when it comes to storytelling than Pixar. The Disney-owned animation studio is known for its ability to consistently create world-class movies with gripping narrative alongside stunning visuals.  Now, Pixar is helping others learn the secrets of great storytelling – for free, in partnership with online education provider Khan Academy.”  D.  Etherington, Tech Crunch

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

image:Tech Crunch

Excerpt: Pixar offers free online lessons in storytelling via Khan Academy by Darrell Etherington, Tech Crunch

“The two have teamed up to create “Pixar In A Box,” and in this third instalment of the series, lessons are sourced from Pixar directors and story artists including Inside Out and Up director Pete Docter, Brave director Mark Andrews, Inside Out story artist Domee Shi, and Ratatouille animator Sanjay Patel.

The first lesson is available now, and will provide an introduction to storytelling as well as help you hone your initial creation of things like setting and character.

LESSON 1

LESSON 2

The lessons include both videos and activities for students to complete, and provides a general basis on which to build.

LESSON 3

 

The next installment will focus on Character creation specifically, and others segments will address storyboarding, emotional appeal and more, with releases happening throughout 2017.”

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

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

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


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


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


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


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

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos

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

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

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

  1. Disney animation is well known world wide.
  2. They consistently create world-class movies.
  3. Many films have stunning visuals.
  4. This is the third installment of the series.
  5. Sanjay Patel is an animator.
  6. The first lesson  provides an introduction to storytelling.
  7. The lessons help you hone your initial creation.
  8. The lessons also provide a general basis on which to build.
  9. Issues such as storyboarding will be addressed.
  10. The lessons will focus on technical aspects of movie creation.

ELLteaching 2.0 vocabualry chart

 

Reading Comprehension

Fill-ins

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

Pixar’s___Khan___courses ___topics like ___cameras, effects and___but this is the first to___ on the less ___aspects of movie creation. I expect ___will offer me a job upon___ of this course and then I’ll___my Oscar.

WORDLIST: completion, animations,  include, Academy, win, Pixar,technical, previous, focus, virtual,

 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. In this lesson you’ll hear from Pixar directors.
  2. There a difference between good storytelling and great storytelling.
  3. What makes someone a good storyteller?

II

  1. The two have teamed up to create stories.
  2. The lesson are sourced from Pixar.
  3. The first lesson is available now.

III

  1. The lessons include many videos.
  2. There are activity for students to complete.
  3. The next installment will focus on character creation.

III. Post Reading Activities

WH-How Questions

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

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Questions for Comprehension /Writing

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

1-Minute Free Writing Exercise

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

ANSWER KEY

Category: Technology | Tags:

New Digital Trends for 2017

“Gadget paradise CES (Consumer Electronics Show) comes to Las Vegas every January for just four short days. Fortunately, the stuff unveiled there continues to dazzle and delight us for the rest of the year… What will 2017’s show hold? Here’s my list of the biggest trends to watch for –what you’ll see in the year ahead — as well as a few tips about which companies you should keep an eye on.” J. Kaplan, Digital Trends

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Consumer Electronics Show 2017

Excerpt: Trends You Need to Watch 2017, By Jeremy Kaplan, Digital Trends

“It started out in your phone. You would ask Siri to tell you the weather report or a silly joke. But artificial intelligence and digital assistants are no laughing matter: They are likely the way most Americans will experience the Internet of Things (IoT) explosion, and are finally a cheap and easy way for mere mortals to automate their homes as only the wealthy once could…This will be the first year in which AI-generated art will achieve commercial success.

When the Consumer Electronics Show officially starts next week in Las Vegas, all eyes will be on new midrange smartphones set to debut at the show. SiliconANGLE

During the last few years, we’ve seen small new companies with big visions transform and disrupt the world. Nest kicked the whole IoT thing into high gear, Uber changed the taxi world, and so on. Both blossomed into enormous companies, of course, but the point remains: small companies have done big stuff. This year big names like Comcast and Netflix and Hulu and Amazon may drive the most interesting changes. Take Amazon and its push into artificial intelligence. Sure, other companies are doing it, but it’s the Echo and the Dot that you’ll end up buying.

Amazon Echo

You’ll read about several hundred companies unveiling 360-degree cameras at CES. Yes, this is neat: Imagine how much more interesting your next selfie is going to be when you can see the band playing behind you, or the mountain peak you stand on…  Insta360 will show off its new camera, which takes 8K 360-degree images.

Insta 360-Youtube

Meanwhile, electric cars are everywhere. From today’s Tesla’s to Faraday Future’s far off promise, from the Chevy Volt to the Toyota Prius, electric cars are having a moment. Faraday Future is certainly among the most interesting of a growing group of domestic and overseas companies created with one explicit goal in mind: to take down Tesla Motors.

Bought a TV? You’ll finally appreciate the investment. Content providers are finally catching up to the wave of improvements from panel makers. Watch for news from Netflix, Comcast, Dish, and others. Meanwhile, CES wouldn’t be CES without televisions. Expect dozens of new devices built around 4K content, including a new line of cameras from audio giant Monster, new TVs from Westinghouse, LG, Samsung, and more.

Best Selling Samsung 4k TV

Concerns about Internet of things, which has been used to create giant botnets, will shape future devices. Enter companies like BullGuard, a security company, which is set to unveil Dojo – a security solution meant to protect smart home devices from cyber threats and botnets.”

BullGuard Dojo smart home security device

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

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

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


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


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


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


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

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos

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

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

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

  1. Artificial intelligence and digital assistants are popular.
  2. The premise is as smart as it is simple.
  3. This year, they swear we’ll finally get high-resolution audio right.
  4. Astell&Kern will have their line of products on display.
  5. Consumers should also watch for ultra fancy digital preamps.
  6. Many companies are building devices to improve your hearing.
  7. There will be many new start-ups at CES.
  8. Several devices smarten your stove to ensure you haven’t left it on by accident.
  9. All of the major cellular carriers will have a presence at the show.
  10. Top Tech of CES awards will  highlight the show’s most innovative products.

Word Map by Against the Odds

 

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.,

“Comcast’s Xfinity___ group is another big ___shaping the IoT space. The ___is as smart as it is simple: Why buy___different devices from different ___operating on different ___with different ___when you can just get them all from one place, and manage it on your TV? People appear to be ___ too; according to Ericsson, more than two out of five advanced ___users would like to get all their___from the biggest five IT companies.”

WORD LIST: internet, companies, Home, several, premise, products, company, responding, protocols, apps,

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. People appear to be responding to the products.
  2. Amazon has pushed into artificial intelligence with the Echo.
  3. Currently there is five big IT companies.

II

  1. This is the year to get high-resolution audio right.
  2. You can also expect new speaker systems.
  3. Several hundred  company will unveil 360-degree cameras.

III

  1. One company claims to offer VR without a headset.
  2. Electric cars will be on display.
  3. Zubie, and many other product will make you a better pilot.

Discussion/Writing

Directions: Place students in  small groups.

  1. Have each group list 3  questions they would like to ask any person mentioned in the article. Groups share questions as a class.
  2. Have each group create of a list of digital products they would invent. Groups share their lists with the class.

3-2-1-Writing

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

ANSWER KEY

Category: Technology

Robots Are Helping Autistic Children in Ways Humans Can Not

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 68 American children has an autism spectrum disorder. Autism varies case by case…recent research has found that autistic children are more comfortable interacting with robots than humans, in part because robots are more predictable and can be controlled. Experts also say teaching social skills to children with autism requires frequent repetition. Last time I checked, robots are great at repetition.” S. Crowe, Robotictrends

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Robots4Autism

 

Excerpt: 5 Promising Robots for Kids with Autism, By Steve Crowe, Robotictrends

“Children with autism have trouble understanding and engaging other people’s emotions, and with socially assistive robots, the child may be more readily engaged without being overwhelmed’ said Laurie Dickstein-Fischer, an assistant professor at Massachusetts’ Salem State University’s School of Education. And since toys are often more approachable than people for children with autism, we’re starting to see an influx of social robots that can be great tools to help autism therapy.”

Promising Robots for Kids with Autism:

Nao

Nao, the two-foot-tall humanoid robot from Aldebaran Robotics, can do a lot more than dance and look cute. The French company discovered Nao’s success in the classroom, resulting in the launch of ASK (Autism Solutions for Kids) Nao program.

Milo

Milo, a two-foot-tall humanoid robot, has proven to be very effective at reaching children with autism who have difficulty interacting with humans…Milo speaks 20% slower than an average human and has a limited range of facial expressions and is less likely to express emotions that get in the way of autistic children learning. Milo can repeat lessons over and over again without getting frustrated, saying things exactly the same way each time.

Leka

Leka has been co-developed with parents, therapists and caregivers to make therapy more accessible to children with autism, Down’s syndrome, or multiple disabilities. Leka’s goal is to help these children become more independent and improve their motor and social skills.

Darwin-OP2

The Darwin-OP2 is a humanoid robot created by Chung Hyuk Park, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at George Washington University. Darwin-OP2 can interact with autistic children by playing soccer, dancing, and performing other activities. For example, Darwin-OP2 can say in a monotone voice that he is excited to “be friends and play soccer” with you as he kicks a little red ball.

Buddy

Blue Frog Robotics, creator of Buddy the personal robot, is working with Auticiel to integrate apps that will help children with autism and other special needs learn to communicate, interact with others, and be more autonomous.

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

Stimulating background knowledge: Brainstorming

Directions: Place students in groups, ask students to think about what they already know about  social robots. 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 a brainstorming chart for assistance.

G. Cluster Brainstorming-workshopexercises

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart By Ellteaching 2.0 for assistance.

  1. We’re starting to see an influx of social robots.
  2. Leka the social robot was launched on Indiegogo.
  3. We must make therapy more accessible to children with autism.
  4. Nao’s tasks are semi-autonomous.
  5. Teachers can select and personalize tasks.
  6. Robots  are less intimidating than human playmates.
  7. Children with autism and other special needs learn to interact with others.
  8. Based on a child’s abilities, users can customize the level of difficulty.
  9. Buddy displays a video on his face showing how to wash hands step-by-step.
  10. Buddy dances and congratulates the child.

Reading Comprehension: Sentence Match

Directions: Students  are to complete the sentences from the article by selecting the correct words or phrases.

  1. Children with autism ___
  2. Toys are often more ___
  3. The robot’s goal is to help these children___
  4. We rounded up robots looking to have a___
  5. A French company discovered Nao’s success___
  6. When autistic children are engaged and comfortable,___

PHRASES:

A.  improve their motor skills.   

B. much bigger impact on autism therapy.

C.  in the classroom.   

D. have trouble understanding and engaging. 

E. they’re better able to learn. 

F.  approachable than people.

 Grammar Focus: Word Recognition

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

The Darwin-OP2 is in the early/easy stages of development/develop, but Yetta Myrick, the mother of a 12-year-old son diagnosed/ diagnoses  with autism, says the possibilities are interesting/intriguing. She says her son, who hasn’t met Darwin-OP2, would like the robot/robber because he is less confusing/confused and intimidating than human playmates.

III. Post Reading Activities

WH-How Questions

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

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Questions for Comprehension /Writing

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

  1. The article states, Robots are helping autistic children in ways humans can’t.” With your group create a list of the things robots can do to help these children.
  2. Out of the robots mentioned in this article, which do you think is the most helpful? Why? Which do you think is the least helpful? Why?
  3. With your group create a robot that you think would be helpful to children with special needs. Draw pictures of what your think the robot should look like.

3-2-1-Writing

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

ANSWER KEY

Category: Autism, Technology

Found: Secret Farm in England Where Amazon Tests Its Drones

“After hours of searching, I pulled onto a dirt track here in the rolling hills of Cambridgeshire and spotted a small dot whirring across the blue sky, gently swaying in the breeze as it steadily flew about 200 feet above the ground. Jackpot: It was an Amazon drone. Amazon, the giant e-commerce company, began secretly testing unmanned aircraft this summer at an undisclosed location in Britain.  I set out to find the top secret site, wanting to see how we all may one day receive online deliveries.” M. Scott, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

photo-youtube

photo-youtube

Excerpt: A Peek at the Secret English Farm Where Amazon Tests Its Drones By Mark Scott, The New York Times

“In retrospect, signs of Amazon’s secret tests were hidden in plain sight. There was the warning to pilots that unmanned aircraft would be flying in the area, about an hour north of London, until early October; the uncharacteristically fast cellphone reception in such a remote area — a must when processing drone data; and the growing list of jobs and openings at Amazon’s research and development site in Cambridge related to Prime Air, the company’s ambitious plan to use drones for everyday deliveries.

amazon-patners-with-the-uk

amazon-patners-with-the-uk

In Britain, Amazon is working with local authorities to test several aspects of drone technology like piloting the machines beyond the line of sight of operators, a practice still outlawed in the United States. Regulators here first authorized the commercial use of drones in 2010 — years before the Federal Aviation Authority eased its restrictions on remotely piloted aircraft in June. Amazon settled on Britain after the United States initially denied it approval for such tests.

With competitors aplenty, it is not surprising that Amazon wants to hide efforts from prying eyes. In Fulbourn, the nearest village to the test site, where thatch-roofed houses and a centuries-old church stand guard over the quiet main street, few people even knew that the American technology giant had moved in down the road.

they-are-testing-those-drones-here-because-they-cant-do-it-in-america-said-julia-napier.

they-are-testing-those-drones-here-because-they-cant-do-it-in-america-said-julia-napier.

Some people in this rural area have had angry reactions. To Julia Napier, a co-founder of Friends of the Roman Road and Fleam Dyke, a local association that maintains public footpaths around the site, Amazon’s arrival is a potential threat to local wildlife and the wider countryside, something the company has denied.

A company employee called last week, Ms. Napier said, trying to persuade her that the local drone trials were safe and did not pose a risk to wildlife. She remains skeptical.

They are testing those drones here because they can’t do it in America, she said. Whatever the Americans don’t want, I don’t want it, either.”

REMEMBER TO VOTE

vote-hillary-clinton-2

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.

 Predictions: Using a Pre-reading Organizer

Directions:  Ask students to examine the title of the post and of the actual article they are about to read. Then, have them  examine the photos. Ask students to write a paragraph describing what they think this article will discuss. Students can use a Pre-reading organizer for assistance.

Pre-reading chart by J. Swann

Pre-reading chart by J. Swann

 

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

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

  1. People wondered about the unmarked aircraft.
  2. A  large model plane, floated across a field.
  3. In retrospect, signs of Amazon’s secret tests were hidden in plain sight.
  4. There was the warning to pilots about unmanned aircraft.
  5. The company’s plans were  ambitious.
  6. In Britain, Amazon is working with local authorities.
  7. A company spokeswoman declined to comment.
  8. Amazon tried to persuade residents that the drone trials were safe.
  9. People remain skeptical.
  10. I was no closer to finding the elusive drone machines.

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. There was no  warning to pilots that unmanned aircraft would be flying north of London,
  2. Amazon is  as the only company to conduct drone trials.
  3. In New Zealand, Domino’s Pizza is testing drones to ferry fast food across the country.
  4. Google is offering  book orders delivered by drone in Virginia.
  5. Amazon wants to hide efforts from prying eyes to save money.
  6. Some people in this rural area have had angry reactions.
  7. Children also fly the drones.
  8. They are testing those drones here because they can’t do it in America.
  9. Some think that in sparsely populated areas drones could fill an underserved niche of people with limited access to stores.
  10. But in many built-up urban areas, the arrival of drone delivery could quickly become a logistical nightmare.

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.

For places like Worsted Lodge — a sparsely/sparse populated area where farm/fame animals easily outnumber reside/residents — drones could fill/fit an underserved niche/nice of people with limited accessible/access to stores. But in many built-up urban areas, the arrival of drain/drone delivery could quickly become a logistical nightmare/nighttime — something the tests in the Cambridgeshire countryside would not soon solve.

III. Post Reading Activities

Discussion/Writing

The article states, “Regulators here first authorized the commercial use of drones in 2010 — years before the Federal Aviation Authority eased its restrictions on remotely piloted aircraft in June. Amazon settled on Britain after the United States initially denied it approval for such tests.”

  1.  What are the current U.S.  air traffic laws concerning operating drones?
  2. Why do you think  Amazon wants to keep its drone testing a secret?
  3. What has been the reaction of the people to the drones in their area?
  4. In your opinion, is using drones for deliveries a good idea? Explain why or why not.
  5. Can you think of any other uses for drones? Create a list of ideas then share them with the class.

1-Minute Free Writing Exercise

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

ANSWER KEY

Category: Technology | Tags:

Are You Prepared to Die for a Trip to Mars?

“The first people who fly with SpaceX to Mars should be ok with the possibility that the decision could cost them their lives, company founder and CEO Elon Musk said…I think the first journeys to Mars are going to be really very dangerous. The risk of fatality will be high; there’s just no way around it…for this reason, he would not suggest sending children on these flights.” M. Wall, Space.com

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

elon-musk-are-you-prepared-to-die-for-mars

elon-musk-are-you-prepared-to-die-for-mars

Excerpt: 1st Mars Colonists Should Be Prepared to Die Elon Musk Says By Mike Wall, Space.com

SpaceX aims to ferry 1 million people to the Red Planet over the next 50 to 100 years using the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS), a rocket-spaceship combo that Musk unveiled Tuesday (Sept. 27) during a talk at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Guadalajara, Mexico. (Well, he unveiled the ITS in concept; neither vehicle has been built yet.)

musk-has-hopes-of-colonising-mars-image-getty

musk-has-hopes-of-colonising-mars-image-getty

Musk painted a picture of a not-too-distant future in which 1,000 or more ITS spaceships, each loaded up with 100 or 200 settlers, zoom off toward Mars simultaneously from Earth orbit.

za-architects-propose-an-underground-colony-on-mars

za-architects-propose-an-underground-colony-on-mars

But it’s naïve to expect that everything will work perfectly from the start, he said. Musk said he’d like to go to Mars, but it’s unclear if he’ll be among the Red Planet vanguard.

credit-nasa

credit-nasa

I would definitely need to have a very good succession plan, because the probability of death is quite high on the first mission, and I’d like to see my kids grow up and everything — so, some pros and cons there.”

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

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

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


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


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


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


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

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos

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

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

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

  1. SpaceX aims to ferry 1 million people to the Red Planet.
  2. Spaceships  will move toward Mars simultaneously from Earth.
  3. It’s naïve to expect that everything will work perfectly.
  4. The risk of fatality will be high.
  5. Musk spoke In a teleconference with reporters.
  6. Musk will not be among the Mars vanguard.
  7. SpaceX  was developed chiefly to help humanity colonize Mars.
  8. Musk reiterated his  argument during the IAC presentation.
  9. There is always a risk of humanity’s extinction.
  10. It would be an incredible adventure.

Reading Comprehension

Fill-ins

Directions: The following sentences are from the article. Choose the correct word for each blank space from the word list  or make up your own words.

Musk has long___ that he ___SpaceX in 2002 ___to help ___colonize Mars. Becoming a multiplanet___ would ___as an insurance policy, minimizing the___ of humanity’s ___should something___ happen on Earth.

WORD LIST: terrible, species, said, risk, humanity, founded, chiefly,  extinction,serve

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. The first journey to Mars will going to be really dangerous.
  2. The risk of fatality will be high.
  3. Setting up shop on Mars isn’t going to be a cakewalk.

II

  1. This is less about who goes there first.
  2. It’s worth the risk to become an multiplanetary species.
  3. Musk says the trip to Mars will be an incredible adventure.

III

  1. Life needs to be more  then just solving problems.
  2. It’s about protecting human life.
  3. This mission is also about having a tremendous sense of adventure.

 

Graphic Organizers: Finding the main idea

Directions: Students could use this  Topic/Concept/Theme organizer from Write Design to assist them with  discussing  or writing about  the main topic or theme of the article.

Advanced Spider map By writedesignonline

Create Questions

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

Group Project: What Will Colonists Need on Mars?

Directions:  In groups make a list of the six most important items you think the first colonists on Mars would need to bring. The items should be necessary for survival.  The group can only choose six items! Get together as a class and create a new list of the six most important items.

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

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