Category Archives: Technology

New Wi-Fi Kiosks Attract Drinkers, Drug Users, and Porn Watchers!

“The Wi-Fi kiosks were designed to replace phone booths and allow users to consult maps, maybe check the weather or charge their phones. But they have also attracted people who linger for hours, sometimes drinking and doing drugs and, sometimes, boldly watching pornography on the sidewalks.” P. McGeehan, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

a-man-sings-and-dances-to-a-song-playing-on-a-linknyc-wi-fi-kiosk-on-wednesday-credit-bryan-thomas-for-the-new-york-times

a-man-sings-and-dances-to-a-song-playing-on-a-linknyc-wi-fi-kiosk-on-wednesday-credit-bryan-thomas-for-the-new-york-times

Excerpt: Wi-Fi Kiosks Will Lose Internet Browsers,  Patrick McGeehan, The New York Times

“Now, yielding to complaints, the operators of the kiosks, LinkNYC network, are shutting off their internet browsers.

The switch is an admission that in some neighborhoods, particularly in Midtown Manhattan, the kiosks have created more problems than benefits. Elected officials have demanded changes in the system, saying they were overwhelmed with complaints from residents and businesses about people spending hours entertaining themselves.

wi-fi-kiosks-have-become-living-rooms-for-vagrants-new-york-post

wi-fi-kiosks-have-become-living-rooms-for-vagrants-new-york-post

Mayor Bill de Blasio introduced the network with fanfare in February as a key plank of his promise to bridge the digital divide in the city. The kiosks were designed to replace more than 7,500 public pay phones and bring free Wi-Fi and phone service to every neighborhood.

Users were expected to make short stops at the kiosks. But they quickly attracted the homeless and other idle people who took full advantage of the unlimited access to the internet to watch movies and play music for hours…

a man gets comfy using one of the new wi-fi kiosks as a living room. NYPost

a man gets comfy using one of the new wi-fi kiosks as a living room. NYPost

In explaining the change, the operators of LinkNYC said that some users have been monopolizing the Link tablets and using them inappropriately, preventing others from being able to use them while frustrating the residents and businesses around them.

They said they would switch off the browsing functions on the computer tablets built into the kiosks as a temporary solution while they consider permanent changes, including limiting how long people can use the tablets.”

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. The Wi-Fi kiosks were designed to replace phone booths.
  2. Mayor Bill de Blasio introduced the network with fanfare in February.
  3. Elected officials were overwhelmed with complaints from residents.
  4. The Wi-Fi kiosks  were supposed to bridge the digital divide in the city.
  5. The kiosks quickly attracted the homeless and other idle people.
  6. These kiosks are often monopolized by individuals.
  7. Officials agreed to a moratorium on the installation of additional kiosks.
  8. Officials said they would switch off the browsing functions.
  9. Many people were using them inappropriately.
  10. Rude people have been  frustrating the residents and businesses around them.

Reading Comprehension

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

Now, yielding/yield to complaints, the operas/operators of the kiosks, LinkNYC network, are shutting off their/there internet browsers/brows. The switch is an admit/admission that in some neighborhoods/neighbor, particularly in Midtown Manhattan, the kiosks have created/create more problems than beneficial/benefits. Elected officials have demanded/demand changes in the system, saying they were overwhelmed with compliant/complaints from residents/residential and businesses about people spending/spend hours entertaining themselves.

 Grammar Focus

Using Adjectives  to describe pictures    

Directions: Have students choose a picture from the article  and write a descriptive paragraph using adjectives.  For a review of Adjectives visit ESL Voices Grammar

III. Post Reading Activities

Discussion/Writing Activities

Directions: Place students in groups and assign each group one side of the following argument.  Allow groups to develop their arguments and conclude with a class debate.

Argument: Wi-Fi Kiosks are a good idea/bad idea. Each group should provide support either from the article or other web resources.

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 | Tags:

The Power of Pokémon Go on Kids…and Adults

“It is strange to live in a place where the skeletons of Alaskan king salmon, loosed from bald eagles’ talons, sometimes plummet to the sidewalk. It is strange to live in a place where brown bears are so populous that hikers tie bells to their dogs and wrists. Where ravens as big as house cats caw and the sun barely sets into the ocean beside a dormant volcano. Stranger still, however, to see young people hold their phones to their faces and scan this landscape for an elusive Jigglypuff.”A. Butcher, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

image- serebii.net

image- serebii.net

Pikachu (Polygon)

Excerpt: Pokémon Go See the World in Its Splendor By Amy Butcher, The New York Times

“Bubble-gum pink, more cotton candy than animal, the Jigglypuff might lurk, my students tell me, in the woods among the scattered totem poles. Or perhaps along the harbor, where yachts and trolling boats rock between rows of barnacled piers.

Jigglypuff

Jigglypuff

The shells crunch beneath their feet as the kids lift their screens into the air, scanning sky and earth and sea, ignoring jellyfish and banana slugs, saying, quietly, It’s just another Rattata.

Rattata is a Normal type Pokémon.

I used to be obsessed with Pokémon. A middle schooler when the game was first released in the late ’90s… My companion of choice was Charmander, tiny and orange and adorable.

Charmander is a Fire type Pokémon.

Charmander is a Fire type Pokémon.

How easily my parents bribed me in return for buying booster packs. How many weeds I pulled in pursuit of a Mewtwo.

Mewtwo

Whole rooms were vacuumed of Ritz crackers and crayon tips because of the possibility of a bumbling Snorlax, a skin-shredding Dratini…But upon the release, early this month, of Pokémon Go — the long-awaited augmented-reality iPhone and Android counterpart to the original Game Boy series — I found I had evolved to the curmudgeonly attributes of the nearly 30.

Phones away! became my mantra. I said it dozens of times a day. I was teaching at a fine arts camp in Sitka, Alaska, when the game came out… They were enrolled in courses in juggling, sketch comedy and opera. They were practicing the ancient Japanese pottery-making technique of raku.

But they were also playing the great Japanese game Pokémon Go, like everyone else. The students pointed their cameras at the blackboard, bouncing digital Poké Balls to capture creatures, laughing when a wormy Weedle landed on another student or slithered across a desk.

More than anything, I couldn’t understand why my students — living in pristine, picturesque Alaska — were so enamored of the invented wilderness superimposed on their screens. The real thing was all around them.

Days later, upon return to my Ohio home, when I no longer felt I had to set an example, I downloaded the game myself.

My community came to life in vibrant shades of pastel blue and green, the grid of my neighborhood alive with magic… The whole idea of Pokémon Go is to visit where you have not been, to trace sites both new and foreign.”

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  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 a brainstorming chart for assistance.

The UIE brainstorming chart (sample)

Brainstorming chart by UIE copy

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

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

  1. The kids lift their screens into the air scanning sky and earth.
  2. I used to be obsessed with Pokémon
  3. My companion of choice was Charmander.
  4. I liked  how the adolescent things gave way to jutting claws.
  5. How easily my parents bribed me.
  6. I was, in short, enraptured.
  7. I had evolved to the curmudgeonly attributes of the nearly 30.
  8. The game seemed an incredible nuisance in the classroom.
  9. The restaurants I most frequently patronize are a mile away.
  10. The game thrives most through collaboration.

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.

My___ came to life in___shades of___ blue and green, the grid of my___ alive with magic. I caught a Bulbasaur on my comforter. A fluffy ___lurked within the garden. In jest, my ___and I walked a block in pursuit of___ leaves that indicated an___not yet ___in our Pokédex. We caught him and___the block. Then another. We walked five miles.

WORD LIST: pastel, community, boyfriend, walked,

vibrant, neighborhood, Eevee, captured, rustling, animal.

 Grammar Focus

Using Adjectives  to describe pictures    

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

III. Post Reading Activities

WH-How Questions

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

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion/Writing Activities

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. “More than anything, I couldn’t understand why my students living in pristine, picturesque Alaska — were so enamored of the invented wilderness superimposed on their screens. The real thing was all around them.”
  2. “The game seemed an incredible nuisance in the classroom, but also in the cafeteria and the auditorium, at our nightly events and on the campus green… They were respectful when class started, or when the lights dimmed for a performance, but still I resented the game and its viral international reception.”
  3. Have you played the Pokémon Go game? If so describe your experince.
  4. Do you think that Pokémon Go is a good idea for children? What about adults? Provide reasons for your answers.

Additional Class Activities for Pokémon Go

“How can you utilize the game “Pokemon Go” into your classroom in a meaningful way? Harnessing student excitement of this game can easily be used to support all kinds of fun and pedagogically-sound lessons and activities.” Visit Discovery Education with Kathy’s Katch  August 2016: Pokémon Go in the classroom

ANSWER KEY

Category: Technology | Tags:

Shocking Bad Habits!

“Every January for the past decade, Jessica Irish of Saline, Mich., has made the same New Year’s Resolution: ‘to cut out late night snacking and lose 30 pounds’ Like millions of Americans, Ms. Irish, 31, usually makes it about two weeks. But this year is different. I’ve already lost 18 pounds and maintained my diet more consistently than ever….she uses the Pavlok to give herself a lightning-quick electric shock.” J. Jolly, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Image: The Daily Mail

Image: The Daily Mail

Excerpt: A Shocking Way (Really) to Break Bad Habits, J. Jolly, The New York Times

“Ms. Irish credits a new wearable device called Pavlok for doing what years of diets, weight-loss programs, expensive gyms and her own willpower could not…Every time I took a bite, I zapped myself, she said. I did it five times on the first night, two times on the second night, and by the third day I didn’t have any cravings anymore.

As the name suggests, the $199 Pavlok, worn on the wrist, uses the classic theory of Pavlovian conditioning to create a negative association with a specific action.

Next time you smoke, bite your nails or eat junk food, one tap of the device or a smartphone app will deliver a shock. The zap lasts only a fraction of a second, though the severity of the shock is up to you. It can be set between 50 volts, which feels like a strong vibration, and 450 volts, which feels like getting stung by a bee with a stinger the size of an ice pick.

You tube Pavlok Bracelet

You tube Pavlok Bracelet

By comparison, a police Taser typically releases about 50,000 volts…Set on low, it feels like a strong tickle. Set on high, it hurts. A lot… Bud Hennekes, 24, a blogger in St. Louis, said he had used Pavlok to kick a nearly two-pack-a-day cigarette habit…When I used Pavlok, the cravings completely went away. I don’t know if it’s science or a placebo effect or what, and I don’t really care because it worked.”

Related:

Assessing the Fitness of Wearable Tech

Apps to Improve Your Swing, Lift or Stride

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

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

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


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


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


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


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

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions: Using a Pre-reading Organizer

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

Pre-reading chart by J. Swann

Pre-reading chart by J. Swann

II. While Reading 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. For the past decade people have been trying to break bad habits.
  2. Pavlok   is a new wearable device.
  3. Pavlok gives out a lightning-quick electric shock.
  4. Some gadgets dabble in behavioral change.
  5. I wore it for a week, zapping myself every time I ate dessert.
  6. My goal was to curb my craving for sweets.
  7. Some people see this as an awful torture device.
  8. It’s not designed to be painful.
  9. Researchers have questioned the ethical nature of shock intervention.
  10. The practice of aversion therapy has been around for 80 years.

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.

Dr. Marc Potenza, a ___of ___at Yale, says___ have questioned the___ nature of shock intervention when more___options like ___behavioral therapies, pharmaceutical ___and 12-step programs are available.

Word List: psychiatry, professor, cognitive, researchers, ethical, comfortable, interventions,

Grammar: Identifying Articles

Directions: Have students choose the correct articles to fill in the blanks.

English Articles:  A, An, The

As___name suggests,___$199 Pavlok, worn on___wrist, uses ___classic theory of Pavlovian conditioning to create ___negative association with___ specific action. Next time you smoke, bite your nails or eat junk food, one tap of ___device or___smartphone app will deliver___shock. ___ zap lasts only___fraction of___ second, though___severity of ___shock is up to you.

III. Post Reading Activities

WH-How Questions

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

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion/Writing Activities

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. “Despite the potential for pain and the lack of science backing a long-term effect, user feedback on Facebook groups and message boards has been enthusiastic about the device, especially as a last resort for problems like overeating and binge drinking.”

2. “When one of my patients told me he was using it last year to help him get out of bed in the morning, I was skeptical at first…I mean, the notion of being shocked — you can have a little reservation. But when you understand how to use it properly and people are more engaged in their own treatment, they tend to follow through with it more.”

3. Do you think you would try using the Pavlok to break a bad habit? Explain why or why not.

4. Search the web to find additional information about the Pavlok and share the new information 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 | Tags:

Xian’er the Robot Monk: Spirituality Meets Artificial Intelligence

“Po, the wisdom-seeking hero of the “Kung Fu Panda” films, might recognize this temple in China where the world’s first robot monk dwells. For Po’s Jade Palace, there is Longquan (Dragon Spring) Temple, a place of Buddhist worship in the mountains northwest of Beijing.As for Po himself, there is Xian’er, the two-foot-tall, advice-dispensing robot whose full title is Worthy Stupid Robot Monk. (In the Beijing dialect, “er, or “stupid,” is a term of affection.)”  By D.K. Tatlow The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Photo- venturebeat

Photo- venturebeat

Excerpt: A Robot Monk Captivates China… Didi K. Tatlow The New York Times

“A childlike creature in an orange Buddhist robe, Xian’er is an object of fascination in China amid an increasingly urgent pursuit of spirituality and, more recently, artificial intelligence. But Xian Fan, the head of the Comic Center, told National Business Daily that the temple did not plan to commercialize the robot and that its development was for the public welfare.REUTERS:Kim Kyung-Hoon And the monks do not seem to be planning a franchise. There is only one robot monk for now, Xian Fan told Beijing News, adding, “We’re not doing this for commerce, but just because we want to use more modern ways to spread Buddhist teachings.

You TubeXian’er in action:

The robot was created last year by the temple in collaboration with about a dozen Chinese technology, culture and investment companies, according to Chinese news reports…Many visitors to Longquan Temple on Wednesday, however, expressed doubt as to whether Xian’er could really help people with their problems, though some said they expected technology to advance so quickly that future generations of robot monks might. A second, smarter Xian’er is already in development, a center employee said.Robot monk. aol.comtiff

Here are some other answers provided by Xian’er, via WeChat:

Q: “What is love?”

A: “Love is your own obsessions not being satisfied, the clashing of other people’s troubles with yours.”

Q: “I don’t want to work.”

A: “If you don’t want to starve and have an O.K. job, work hard.”

Q: “I want to die.”

A: “Don’t assume you’re the most pathetic person in the world.”

 

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

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. Xian’er is an object of fascination in China.
  2. The temple did not plan to commercialize the robot.
  3. The robot was created last year by the temple in collaboration with Chinese companies.
  4. It relies on combinations of words to solve problems.
  5. Look at how fast artificial intelligence is progressing.
  6. A Buddhist at the temple liked the robot.
  7. The robot doesn’t really live up to my expectations.
  8. Future generations of robot monks might be created.
  9. These are the answers to some queries.
  10. Some robots are pretty amazing.

Word Chart By Education Oasis

Reading Comprehension

Fill-ins

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

Many___to Longquan Temple on___, however, ___doubt as to whether Xian’er could really___people with their___, though some said they expected technology to advance so quickly that future generations of___ monks might. A second, smarter Xian’er is already in ___ a center employee said.

Word List: expressed, visitors, help, Wednesday, problems, robot, development,

 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. It’s development was for the public welfare.
  2. We’re not doing this for commerce.
  3. The robot was created last year.

II

  1. As an robot, Xian’er has expanded his repertoire.
  2. He has a touch pad on his chest.
  3. They would not say who the officials were.

III

  1. Po would have be envious of Xian’er.
  2. The robot doesn’t really live up to expectations.
  3. Artificial intelligence is progressing.

III. Post Reading Activities

WH-How Questions

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

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion/Writing Activities

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

1.“I don’t think it’s possible for the intelligence of a robot to be advanced enough to understand human feelings…The robot doesn’t really live up to my expectations. But I’ve seen robots in other parts of the world that can communicate with human beings, and that’s pretty amazing.”

2. Have each group list 3  questions they would like to ask Xian’er.

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

Are You Ready To Clone Your Dead Relatives?

“In 2003, the wife of a 55-year-old Vietnamese carpenter named Le Van died. Heartbroken, he dug up her grave, cast her body in clay and slept next to her for five years…grieving people feel an emotional connection to things that represent dead loved ones, such as headstones, urns and shrines…In the future, people may take that phenomenon to stunning new heights: AI experts predict that humans will replace dead relatives with synthetic robot clones, complete with a digital copy of that person’s brain.” N. O’Neill, The Motherboard

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Bina48 is a Replica of Terasem Movement founder Martine Rothblatt’s wife.

Bina48 is a Replica of Terasem Movement founder Martine Rothblatt’s wife.

Excerpt: Companies Want to Replicate Your Dead Loved Ones.. .N. Oneill, The Motherboard

“It’s like when people stuff a pet cat or dog. We don’t stuff humans but this is a way of ‘stuffing  their information, their personality and mannerisms, said Bruce Duncan, managing director of Terasem Movement, a research foundation that aims to transfer human consciousness to computers and robots.

The real Bina Aspen and her partner Martine Rothblatt who spoke at TED Talk 2015

The real Bina Aspen (l) and her partner Martine Rothblatt (CEO of Terasem Movement)   spoke at TED Talk 2015

The firm has already created thousands of highly detailed mind clones to  log the memories, values and attitudes of specific people. Using the data, scientists created one of the world’s most socially advanced robots, a replica of Terasem Movement founder Martine Rothblatt’s wife, called Bina48, which sells for roughly $150,000.

Chinese researcher Zou Renti has built a robotic clone of himself.

Chinese researcher Zou Renti has built a robotic clone of himself.

Rothblatt, who is also transgender and the highest paid female CEO in America, spearheaded the project to create a digital replica the human brain. She used her wife, Bina Aspen, as an early prototype, installing the real Bina’s mind file into a physical robot designed to look like her.

Made of a skin-like rubber, Bina48 was created using more than 100 hours of audio data recorded by the human Bina about her memories and beliefs. Like the real Bina, the robot loves flowers, has mocha-colored skin and a self-deprecating sense of humor. She makes facial expressions, greets people and has conversations (including some awkward ones), made possible with facial and voice recognition software, motion tracking, and internet connectivity.

Some people find grief to b an excruciating experience.

Some people find grief to b an excruciating experience.

In real life, there’s an actual demand for robot reincarnation, grief experts say. People find grief to be a painful, even excruciating experience. If this is a way to ease that pain, it will be attractive to people, said Robert Zucker, a grief counselor and author of The Journey Through Grief and Loss.

Grief counselor Robert Zucker

Grief counselor Robert Zucker

But like relying too heavily on prescription pills, it may not be a healthy way to cope. There’s something tremendously problematic about it, said Zucker. It seems driven by fear, a desire to numb pain and make the world not feel sorrow. We would be deluding ourselves.

However he added, There are many ways of grieving that are strange and extreme. As long as it doesn’t inhibit that person from moving on with his or her life in a healthy way—maybe it could work for somebody.”

Special: A View of Spring:

Sent in by R. Deck and A. Vargas Needham, MA

Beautiful Flowers sent in by R. Deck

From the garden of R. Deck and L. J. Vargas

Thanks for the Beauty!  

Happy Easter Everyone!

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

The K-W-L chart is used to activate students’ background knowledge of a topic in order to enhance their comprehension skills.

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

KWL Chart from Creately.com

KWL Chart from Creately.com

 

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. We don’t stuff humans.
  2. The aim is  to transfer human consciousness to robots.
  3. The firm has already created thousands of highly detailed  clones.
  4. Scientists created one of the world’s most socially advanced robots.
  5. Rothblatt  is also transgender and the highest paid female CEO.
  6. She used her wife, Bina Aspen, as an early prototype.
  7. She has  a self-deprecating sense of humor.
  8. We’ve been projecting personhood onto inanimate objects for years.
  9. It will probably take decades before robot reincarnation becomes socially acceptable.
  10. Everything down to a person’s mannerisms and quirks can be recreated.
Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

 

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.

Bina48 still has some ___glitches, but she’s a ___proof of concept—the firm’s almost-charming___girl for the techno-immortality movement. She’s  an example of how, in the___, the wall between___and digital worlds may come ___down, Duncan said. The ___of  alive may even evolve to mean, as long as your ___personal information___to be organized and accessible,” he said.

Word List: future, crashing, social, continues, working, essential, poster, biological, definition,

 Grammar Focus: Prepositions

Directions: The following sentences are from the news article.  For each sentence choose the correct preposition from the choices listed. Note that not all prepositions listed are in the article.

Prepositions:  in, for, of, with, by,  on, at, to, as, into, across, around, over,  through, from, during, up, off,

She’s example___how, ___the future, the wall between biological and digital worlds may come crashing down,

At least 56,000 people have already handed ___information ___create mindfiles, a web-based storage space___preserving one’s unique and essential characteristics ___the future.

Some users simply like the idea___living forever.

Others want___ document themselves___ a part of human history.

People think nothing ___ watching videos___important past events ___our lives like weddings and birthdays.

III. Post Reading Tasks

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

Topic organizer. By Enchanted Learning

Discussion/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them discuss the following statement and answer the question. 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. “Tech experts admit it will probably take decades before robot reincarnation becomes socially acceptable…But scientists may never fully capture the essence of a human being, Zucker contended. There’s more to a person than their intellect and experiences. There’s a spiritual aspect.”
  2. Would you consider cloning a dead relative?  Explain why or why not.

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

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