EPA Finding Alternatives to Animal Testing

“The E.P.A. aims to reduce the amount of studies that involve mammal testing by 30 percent by 2025. The move was hailed by animal rights groups, but some researchers said it pushed the agency too quickly into uncharted territory.” M. Zaveri, M. Padilla and J. Peiser, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

photo-Fox29.com

Excerpt: E.P.A. Says It Will Drastically Reduce Animal Testing By M. Zaveri, M. Padilla and J. Peiser, The New York Times

“The Environmental Protection Agency said on Tuesday that it would move away from requiring the testing of potentially harmful chemicals on animals, a decision that was hailed by animal rights groups but criticized by environmentalists and researchers who said the practice was necessary to rigorously safeguard human health.

The E.P.A. Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the agency plans to reduce the amount of studies that involve mammal testing by 30 percent by 2025, and to eliminate the studies entirely by 2035, though some may still be approved on a case-by-case basis.

The agency said it would also invest $4.25 million in projects at four universities and a medical centerthat are developing alternate ways of testing chemicals that do not involve animals. ‘We can protect human health and the environment by using cutting-edge, ethically sound science in our decision-making that efficiently and cost-effectively evaluates potential effects without animal testing,’ Mr. Wheeler said in a memo announcing the changes.

Reducing animal testing-PETA

The E.P.A. has for decades required testing on a variety of animals — including rats, dogs, birds and fish — to gauge their toxicity before the chemicals can be bought, sold or used in the environment…The practice of testing with animals has long prompted complex debates driven by passionate views on morality and scientific imperative. Reaction to Tuesday’s announcement was no different…Kathleen Conlee, the vice president of animal research issues at the Humane Society, said the E.P.A.’s move is ‘broad-sweeping and significant.’

‘This is the first time a government agency has made such a commitment and time lined its specific goals along the way,’ Ms. Conlee said. ‘There’s been a lot of positive action among other federal agencies, but we want to see all government agencies take this step.’ Various government agencies, like the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health, have also been looking to reduce, refine and replace animal testing.

E.P.A. chief directs agency to reduce animal testing. Washington Post

But the F.D.A., which still uses animal testing to a certain extent, does not plan on instituting further cutbacks in light of the E.P.A.’s announcement… Tara Rabin, an F.D.A. spokeswoman, said in a statement. ‘Without the use of animals, it would be impossible to gain some of the important knowledge needed to prevent human and animal suffering for many life-threatening diseases.’

The F.D.A. has been experimenting with alternatives to animal testing for several years. Last year the department proposed a study that would eliminate the use of dogs for testing and ended its use of squirrel monkeys for a nicotine study.

One innovation, which has shown promising results, is a computer microchip lined with living human cells called “Organs-on-Chips.” The device mimics the functions of human organs, allowing researchers to study molecular and cellular function.”

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 improving oral skills. 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

 

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 E.P.A. said the agency plans to reduce the amount of studies that involve mammal testing by 30 percent.
  2. We can protect human health and the environment by using cutting-edge, ethically sound science.
  3. Mr. Wheeler  sent a memo announcing the changes.
  4. The agency could not immediately provide a breakdown of how many of its tests involve mammals.
  5. Many debates on the topic are driven by passionate views on morality and scientific imperative.
  6. The alternatives are more efficient and save lives.
  7. Animal testing is a process that has been honed over decades.
  8. The testing is to gauge chemicals’ impacts on people of various backgrounds.
  9. The F.D.A. still uses animal testing to a certain extent, and does not plan on further cutbacks.
  10. One innovation, which has shown promising results, is a computer microchip lined with living human cells.

ELLteaching 2.0 vocabulary chart

 

 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 agency said it would also invest $4.25 million.
  2. They are developing alternate way of testing chemicals.
  3. The E.P.A. could not provide a breakdown of how many of its tests involve mammals.

II

  1. Animal testing help manufacturers.
  2. The tests are typically conducted by outside parties.
  3. The alternatives are the future.

III

  1. Some think that we should be investing more in this research.
  2. There’s been a lot of positive action among other federal agencies.
  3. The F.D.A. still uses animal testing on a certain extent.

 

Reading Comprehension

True /False/NA-Statements 

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

  1. According to the article, the E.P.A. aims to increase  the amount of studies that involve mammal testing.
  2. This is the first time a government agency has made such a commitment.
  3. Tracey Woodruff is a professor at the University of Boston.
  4. This decision was supported by environmentalists and researchers.
  5. The agency said it would also invest $ 1 million in developing alternate ways of testing chemicals that do not involve animals.
  6. Andrew Wheeler is the E.P.A. Administrator.
  7. Many zoos will benefit from this decision.
  8. The E.P.A. has for decades required testing on a variety of animals — including rats, dogs, birds and fish.
  9. Animal testing helps manufacturers prove to the general public  that their chemicals meet federal safety standards.
  10. The F.D.A. has been experimenting with alternatives to animal testing for several years.

 

III. Post Reading Activities

Who Said That?  Identifying  Speakers from the Article

Directions: Place students in groups. Hand out the following quotes from speakers in the article. Members are to identify the speakers from the article. The first group to correctlyidentify all of the speakers wins.

  1. “I definitely think we should be investing more in this research,” referring to alternative testing.
  2. “While the F.D.A. is committed to doing all that it can to reduce the reliance on animal-based studies, there are still many areas where animal research is necessary,”
  3. “We are really excited as this has been something we’ve wanted for quite some time.”
  4. “We can protect human health and the environment by using cutting-edge, ethically sound science in our decision-making that efficiently and cost-effectively evaluates potential effects without animal testing,”
  5. “This is the first time a government agency has made such a commitment and time-lined its specific goals along the way.”

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

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

  1. The article states, “The Environmental Protection Agency said on Tuesday that it would move away from requiring the testing of potentially harmful chemicals on animals, a decision that was hailed by animal rights groups but criticized by environmentalists and researchers who said the practice was necessary to rigorously safeguard human health.”  Do you  agree with the E.P.A. that moving away from using animals for testing is the right move to make?  Or  Do you think that testing harmful chemical on animals is necessary to protect human lives? 
  2. Tara Rabin, an F.D.A. spokeswoman, said in a statement, ‘Without the use of animals, it would be impossible to gain some of the important knowledge needed to prevent human and animal suffering for many life-threatening diseases.’ Do you think that there are certain times when animal testing is necessary? Explain your answer.

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.

Extra Activity:

Main Idea / Debate

Directions: Divide students into  two teams for this debate. Both teams can use the article as their source of information or sources from the Web.

Team A will list five reasons for Animal testing.

Team B will list  five reasons against Animal testing.

Each team will have time to state their points of view,  and the teacher decides which team made their points.  

For organization, have students use this great Pros and Cons Scale organizer  from Freeology.

Pros and Cons Chart

 

ANSWER KEY

Category: Animals, Science

Instagram Has A New Anti-Bullying Feature!

“Blocking a bully on social media doesn’t always bring an end to online abuse. And in some cases, it can make face-to-face interactions with the bully even worse.” A. Juhasz, NPR

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post  with Answer Key

Credit: NPR

Excerpt: Instagram Now Lets You Control Your Bully’s Comments, Aubri Juhasz, NPR

“That’s what Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, said he found out when he started talking to teenagers about their experiences with bullying on the platform.

‘Most of it seems to happen between people who know each other in real life … and teenagers are often reluctant to report or block their peers who bully them online,’ Mosseri said in an interview last month with NPR’s Audie Cornish.

Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, speaks about the social media platform’s anti-bullying efforts at the F8 developers conference in San Jose, Calif., on April 30.

‘The controls that we had before were insufficient.’ That’s why this week Instagram announced a new anti-bullying feature called Restrict.

Teenagers told Mosseri and other Instagram researchers that they often didn’t block bullies on the platform for two reasons. First, blocking a bully — something that the bully is aware of — can actually escalate the situation and result in more abuse on the platform or elsewhere.

Here’s the other reason: When you block a bully, you render yourself invisible, but at the same time you give up your ability to see what the bully is doing. To counter abuse, you often have to know what is happening.

Instagram says Restrict addresses these concerns by taking a more nuanced approach. If someone is bullying you on the platform — posting mean comments on your photos or sending you offensive messages — the new feature allows you to restrict the person’s actions.

Instagram- NPR

Once you’ve restricted a user, comments on your posts from that person require your approval. You can see the comment and so can the bully, but unless you choose to release it, no one else can.

Messages from the restricted user will be sent to a separate inbox, and you can choose whether or not you want to read them. If you do, the bully won’t receive a read receipt…A lot of bullying happens on Instagram, and Mosseri, who started as head of the platform a little over a year ago, said he is committed to changing that.”

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.

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 pictures in the text and generate ideas or words that may be connected to the article.  Regroup as a class and list these ideas on the board. Students can use a brainstorming chart for assistance.

Brainstorming Map by rentonschools.us

 

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. A lot of bullying happens on Instagram.
  2. Teenagers are often reluctant to report or block their bullies.
  3. The controls that we had before were insufficient.
  4. Blocking a bully  can actually escalate the situation.
  5. To counter abuse, you often have to know what is happening.
  6. When you block a bully, you render yourself invisible.
  7. Teenagers never block their peers.
  8. Instagram says Restrict addresses these concerns by taking a more nuanced approach.
  9. Once you’ve restricted a user, comments from that person require your approval.
  10. What we aspire to do is to lead the fight against online bullying.

Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

 

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 within the sentences.

Instagram has/have been criticized as provide/providing a unique set of/on tools this/that enable bullying. It’s easy to set/sit up anonymous profiles that can than/then be used to troll others. The scale of the platform allows hurtful comments/comment or harassing post/posts to go viral. And while parents and teachers/teach may be able to observe and stop/stopped  bullying that happens face-to-face, online bullying are/is often hidden.

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.

“What we___to do — and this will take years, I want to be clear — is to___ the fight against ___bullying,” Mosseri said at Facebook’s ___F8 developers ___last April.

In an ___with NPR’s Cornish, Mosseri discussed being ___as a child.

WORD LIST:    annual,   lead,  conference, bullied,  interview, aspire,  online,

 

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 Questions for Comprehension /Writing

  1. Have you or someone you know experienced online bullying? If so, describe the experience and how it ended.
  2. In the article what are the two reasons teenagers give for not blocking bullies online?
  3. What is it that Adam Mosseri wishes to do about online bullying?
  4. According to the teens interviewed who are the bullies online?
  5. What is the name of Instagram’s new anti-bullying feature?
  6. In your own words explain how this feature will address issues of bullying.
  7. With group members list additional ways bullying can be stopped.

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

The Joy and Pain of Being Bilingual

“The bittersweet discovery that language, and the stories it carries, is not a straight path.” N. Sylvester, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Excerpt: The Beauty of Being Bilingual, Natalia Sylvester, The New York Times

“My parents refused to let my sister and me forget how to speak Spanish by pretending they didn’t understand when we spoke English. Spanish was the only language we were allowed to speak in our one-bedroom apartment in Miami in the late 1980s.

We both graduated from English as a second language lessons in record time as kindergartners and first graders, and we longed to play and talk and live in English as if it were a shiny new toy…I’m most thankful that I can speak Spanish because it has allowed me to help others.

There was the young mother who wanted to know whether she could leave a cumbersome diaper bin aside at the register at Goodwill while she shopped. The cashier shook her head dismissively and said she didn’t understand. It wasn’t difficult to read the woman’s gestures — she was struggling to push her baby’s carriage while lugging the large box around the store. Even after I told the cashier what the woman was saying, her irritation was palpable. The air of judgment is one I’ve come to recognize: How dare this woman not speak English…”I don’t understand,’ she kept saying, though the mother’s gestures transcended language.

I choose not to understand is what she really meant…If you go back one generation, you’ll hear stories of people like my in-laws, whose teachers in Florida beat them for speaking in school the language they spoke at home.

Go back yet another generation and you’ll hear of the state-sanctioned racial terror inflicted on residents of Mexican descent in Texas in the late 1800s and early 1900s…Those whose parents tried to shield them from discrimination by not passing it on are often expected to be fluent in a language they never had the chance to forget.

Those of us who managed to hold on to it, despite the pressures to assimilate, know that our imperfect Spanish is a privilege we are often shamed for both inside and outside of our communities. And those of us who speak only Spanish are too often dismissed and worse, targeted — by women pushing shopping carts, by ICE raids, by gunmen with anti-immigrant manifestoes.

Their terror makes victims of us all…How do you translate fear to those you cannot trust? At a Costco Tire Center in Texas this week, a woman asked the man who had just helped me whether he spoke Spanish. He answered no, flatly… I volunteered to interpret. I found myself interpreting her words verbatim, forgetting to switch from the first person to the third…In her face I saw my friends, my mother, my grandmother and me, each of us with different degrees of Spanish and English, all rooted in a desire to feel accepted and understood.”

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 improving oral skills. 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. Those of us who grew up bilingual understand the complexities of embracing either language.
  2. My parents pretended that they didn’t understand  English.
  3. My mother feigned confusion anytime we slipped into English.
  4. I would let out exasperated sighs.
  5. She interrupted us to correct our grammar in Spanish.
  6. One day you’ll thank me, my mother retorted.
  7. The cashier shook her head dismissively and said she didn’t understand
  8. I found myself interpreting her words verbatim.
  9. The Latina woman was struggling and needed someone to interpret for her.
  10. “I don’t understand,” she kept saying, though the mother’s gestures transcended language.

Grammar Focus: Identifying 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.

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

My parents refused___let my sister and me forget how___speak Spanish.

Spanish was the only language we were allowed ___ speak____our one-bedroom apartment ___Miami ___the late 1980s.

___kindergartners and first graders we longed ___play and talk and live___ English.

We would let out exasperated sighs ___having ___repeat ourselves ___Spanish.

 

Reading ComprehensionFill-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.

Those of us who’ve served as ___in everyday life know it’s a ___privilege.

You find ___in the in-between spaces of ___ but never the right ___to ___ them.

You hear the___of someone being ___in your voice, and the sound of someone being unseen in the ___.

WORD LIST:  silence, language,  express,  heard, sound ,  interpreters,  bittersweet, words, truths,

 

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 Questions for Comprehension /Writing

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

  1. Are you bilingual? If yes what languages do you speak?
  2. In your experience, is being bilingual a good thing or not?
  3. the author begins by stating, My parents refused to let my sister and me forget how to speak Spanish by pretending they didn’t understand when we spoke English. Spanish was the only language we were allowed to speak in our one-bedroom apartment in Miami in the late 1980s.”  Why did her parents forbid them to speak English at home? Did your parents do the same or did you grow up speaking both English and your native language?
  4. In her encounter with a cashier, the author states, “The air of judgment is one I’ve come to recognize: How dare this woman not speak English, how dare this other woman speak both English and Spanish.” Have you ever encountered people who were jealous of the fact that you are bilingual?
  5. Do you help others with English translation? Describe a situation when someone was grateful that you were there to help them.
  6. In general, do you feel that people here in the U.S  treat you differently because you’re bilingual?
  7. Should people who come to live in the U.S. learn English? Why?

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: Education, Social Issues | Tags:

Sesame Street Muppet Sparks Controversy Among Autism Groups

“An autistic ‘Sesame Street’ muppet  is caught in a conflict between the most prominent autism organization in the United States advocating for early intervention, and autistic adults who see the condition as a difference, not a disease needing to be cured.” L. Bever, The Washington Post

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Excerpt: How a ‘Sesame Street’ Muppet became embroiled in a controversy over autism, By Lindsey Bever, Washington Post

“Since 2017, a Muppet named Julia has given children on the spectrum a role model and helped parents and peers understand the condition. The red-haired, green-eyed 4-year-old flaps her hands when she gets excited, cries when loud noises overwhelm her and communicates in her own way and her own time, sometimes using a communication device. Autistic self-advocates, who were consulted in her creation, have applauded how she is not only depicted but also accepted by other human and Muppet characters on the show.

Julia (center) first appeared online and in printed materials…From left, Elmo, Alan Muraoka, Julia, Abby Cadabby and Big Bird.Zach Hyman:Sesame Workshop

Over the summer, Julia became embroiled in a controversy over a partnership with Autism Speaks, an influential and well-funded organization that some autistic adults say has promoted ideas and interventions that have traumatized many people in their community.

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), an organization run by and for autistic people, announced it had cut ties with ‘Sesame Street’ after the children’s program partnered with Autism Speaks to make the Muppet the face of a public service campaign encouraging early screening and diagnosis of autism.

ASAN has accused Autism Speaks of using ‘language of acceptance and understanding to push resources that further stigma and treat autistic people as burdens on our families.’

It contends that resource materials from Autism Speaks encourage parents ‘to view autism as a terrible disease from which their child can ‘get better.’

‘I think part of why people feel so let down right now is that Sesame Street, as a show, is very, very personal to a lot of our members and a lot of people in the autistic community,’  said Julia Bascom, an autistic self-advocate and executive director of ASAN, explaining that many autistic people have relied on the show as a learning tool…Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president of U.S. social impact at Sesame Workshop, said Sesame is ‘saddened’ ASAN has ended its relationship with the children’s program as it has been ‘incredibly supportive of our efforts along the way and of contributing to Julia.’

The controversy touched a nerve for many autistic adults who say they grew up being taught to conform to the world, rather than being encouraged to find their place in it… Some children with autism were trained to behave more like other children — told to make eye contact, mimic common facial expressions and suppress repetitive behaviors called stimming, such as hand-flapping, bouncing and toe-tapping. They say it induced anxiety and made them [autistic children]  believe there was something wrong with them…Now, this rising generation of autistic adults is joining others in the movement to change autism discussions that, they say, have historically been ‘about us, without us.’

More and more, they are influencing policies, leading protests against misleading anti-vaccine messages and the marketing of quack treatments, pushing for fair representation in media coverage, movies and TV shows, such as ‘Sesame Street,’ and helping to reshape language and outdated opinions about what autism really means.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg

(For example, many self-advocates ask to be called ‘autistic people‘ rather than ‘people with autism’ because the latter implies a disability.) More and more autistic people, such as 16-year-old climate change activist Greta Thunberg, are taking pride in their identities. This month, she called autism her ‘superpower.’

Ari Ne’eman, an autistic adult who co-founded ASAN

‘There are a lot more us who are openly autistic and open about our opinions about the direction of autism research and services,’ said Ari Ne’eman, an autistic adult who co-founded ASAN.

Lydia X.Z. Brown, an autistic attorney based in the Washington area and founder of the Autistic People of Color Fund,

One leader in the movement, Lydia X.Z. Brown, an autistic attorney based in the Washington area and founder of the Autistic People of Color Fund, grew up at the height of the autism panic…’One of the first things I remember being told was that it would be a bad idea to tell other kids at school because then they just might bully me more,’ Brown said…Self-advocates in this rising generation say that they have found their community online — many using the hashtag #ActuallyAutistic to share such experiences, insights and frustrations, to make friends and to fight for change.”

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 improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

Pre-Reading Activities

K-W-L Chart

Directions: Have students use the KWL chart 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

 

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. Some encourage early screening and diagnosis of autism.
  2. The muppet became embroiled in a controversy over autism issues.
  3. Loud noises overwhelm her.
  4. Autistic self-advocates were consulted in her creation.
  5. Some push resources that further stigma of autistic people.
  6. Many people feel so let down right now because  Sesame Street is personal to a lot of members.
  7. Autistic people have relied on the show as a learning tool.
  8. Some children with autism were trained to mimic common facial expressions.
  9. They were also trained to suppress repetitive behaviors.
  10. Autistic people are pushing for fair representation in media coverage.

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.

John Elder Robison, an/a autistic people/person and neurodiversity scholar/school at the College of William & Mary, say/said it is important for/about autistic people to spoke/speak for the community, including those with/on intense support needs, to/too show the world this/that we have voices.

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.

Many self-advocates ___autism-rights ___Jim Sinclair for ___the movement, with a pointed open to___in 1993 that___the ___surrounding___and the emphasis on a “cure.”

WORD LIST:  culture,  criticized,   parents, letter,  credit,  autism activist,  starting, 

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?

Speaking/Writing Activity 

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.

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

The Extraordinary Jane Goodall Still Going Strong At 80!

“During her girlhood, Tarzan was her role model. When she realized how chimpanzee habitats were being destroyed, she turned into a crusader. At 85, she’s still preaching: ‘One million species are in danger of extinction…Just think logically. This planet has finite natural resources. And in some places, we’ve used them up faster than Mother Nature can replenish them.  D. Gelles, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Jane Goodall with Motambo, an orphan at the JGI Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center. Courtesy: The Jane Goodall Institute

Excerpt: Jane Goodall Keeps Going, With a Lot of Hope (and a Bit of Whiskey) David Gelles, NYT

“Jane Goodall nursed a glass of neat Irish whiskey. It was the end of a long day of public appearances, and her voice was giving out. That’s what Ms. Goodall does these days. She talks. To anyone who will listen. To children, chief executives and politicians. Her message is always the same: The forests are disappearing. The animals are going quiet. We’re running out of time.

Dr. Jane Goodall. Photo-New York Times

Ms. Goodall, the celebrated primatologist, was in New York as part of her ongoing efforts to raise money for her institute and its affiliates. The nonprofit organization raises money for conservation efforts across Africa, and works with local communities to promote economic self-sufficiency and improve public health. It’s proven to be an effective model for preserving chimpanzee habitats, yet Ms. Goodall is worried it’s not working fast enough.

Her faltering voice was the result of arduous travel and relentless campaigning. Yet her energy didn’t flag. For more than an hour, Ms. Goodall, 85, spoke about her family history, her unconventional career path and how business leaders — and consumers — can make a difference.

The following interview [conducted by David Gelles] was condensed and edited for clarity.

Where’s home for you these days? Mostly hotels and airplanes. But I’ve got a home in England. It’s that house I grew up in. It belonged to my grandmother, she left it to her three daughters and they left it to me and my sister.

What did your parents do for work? My father was an engineer. As soon as World War II was declared, he joined up and went to build Bailey bridges in Burma. My mum looked after us.

What was your first job? My very first job was with my aunt who was a physiotherapist. She had a clinic, and I would go there and take down the notes when the doctors were examining her patients. I learned a lot there about how lucky I was to be born healthy. And I’m so glad I grew up in the war. Children today, they take everything for granted. We had two little squares of chocolate — that was our ration for a week. One egg.

When did you know you wanted to make working with chimpanzees your life’s work? I don’t know that I thought of it quite like that. There was no thought of becoming a scientist, because girls weren’t scientists like that in those days. And actually, there weren’t really any men going out there, living in the wild. So my model was Tarzan.

How did you make it happen against such long odds? When I dreamed of Africa, everybody laughed at me at school. How would I do that? We didn’t have money. Africa was far away. It was the Dark Continent in those days, and I was just a girl. But my mom said, ‘f you really want this, you’re going to have to work really hard.’

When you finally got into the field, how did you approach the work? I didn’t have any academic training, and so I didn’t have this reductionist way of thinking. But fortunately I just applied common sense. I knew that to find out about the chimps, I would have to get their trust. And that took months. They ran away. They’re very conservative.

Did working with chimps teach you anything about humans? That we’ve been very arrogant in thinking that we’re so separate. Chimps turned out to be, not only behaviorally so like us, but also biologically like us, sharing 98.6 percent of DNA, similarities in immune system, blood composition, anatomy of the brain. We’re not, after all, separate from the animal kingdom. We’re part of it.

Did becoming an activist come naturally to you? No, I was very shy. It happened because I helped organize this conference in 1986. The purpose was to find out if chimp behavior might differ in different environments, or is it so innately chimp that you find it everywhere. But we also had a session on conservation. And in all of these sites, forests were going, chimp numbers were dropping. It was the beginning of the bush meat trade, of chimpanzees caught and wire snares, losing hand and feet. Poachers shooting mothers to steal babies to sell as pets overseas, or training for circuses…After seeing that secretly filmed footage from a medical research lab, I couldn’t sleep. I went to the conference as a scientist, and I left as an activist.

What have you found to be some effective strategies to promote conservation? When we went to find out about the chimps’ problems in Gombe, Tanzania, we also learned about the suffering of the people — poverty, lack of health care and education…So we set up micro credit, based on the work of Muhammad Yunus…We started restoring fertility to the overused farmland, bringing in better health education and family planning information.

Now they love us, and they have agreed to put up a buffer zone between Gombe and the villages, and now they’re creating corridors for the Gombe isolated chimps to interact with other chimpanzee groups. And if you fly over Gombe today, there are no bare hills anymore.

Jane Goodall always travels with a stuffed animal named Mr. H to remind her of the indomitable human spirit.

What’s your message to business leaders today? How can it make sense if we carry on in the way we are now, with business as usual, to have unlimited economic development on a planet with finite natural resources, and a growing population?

But consumers, at least if they’re not living in poverty, have an enormous role to play, too. If you don’t like the way the business does its business, don’t buy their products.

This is beginning to create change. People should think about the consequences of the little choices they make each day.”

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 improving oral skills. 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

 

 

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. Jane Goodall nursed a glass of neat Irish whiskey.
  2. Ms. Goodall is a  celebrated primatologist.
  3. Ms. Goodall was in New York as part of her ongoing efforts to raise money for her institute and its affiliates.
  4. Her institute is effective for preserving chimpanzee habitats.
  5. According to Ms. Goodall, one million species are in danger of extinction.
  6. Her faltering voice was the result of arduous travel and relentless campaigning.
  7. Ms. Goodall 85, spoke about her family history, her unconventional career.
  8. Her nonprofit organization works with local communities to promote economic self-sufficiency and improve public health.
  9. If any of the family doesn’t want to inherit the house, it can’t just be sold.
  10. Jane’s family used to get food parcels from Australia.

 

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. At 85, she’s still preach.
  2. It was the end of a long day of public appearances.
  3. Ms. Goodall talks to anyone who will listen.

II

  1. Her message is always the same: The forests are disappearing.
  2. Ms. Goodall is an celebrated primatologist.
  3. The nonprofit organization raises money for conservation efforts across Africa.

III

  1. One million species are in danger of extinction.
  2. Her faltering voice was the result of arduous travel.
  3. For more than an hour, Ms. Goodall spoke about her family history.

 

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. Jane Goodall is a primate.
  2. Ms. Goodall is  75 years old.
  3. She has a home in England.
  4. Jane’s father was an engineer during War II.
  5. Her mother served in the military.
  6. Jane has two  sisters.
  7. Her very first job was with an aunt who was a physiotherapist.
  8. Her uncle Rex, joined the air force and he was killed.
  9. Jane had a Masters in biology when she first began working with chimps.
  10. Some of the problems for the people  in Gombe, Tanzania, were poverty, lack of health care and education.

 

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use theWH-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 Questions for Comprehension /Writing

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

  1. Jane states, “I’m so glad I grew up in the war.” Explain why she made this statement.
  2. How did Jane’s uncle die?  What effect did this have on Jane’s mother? Why?
  3. According to the article someone told Jane the following, “If you really want this, you’re going to have to work really hard. Take advantage of every opportunity, and don’t give up.” Who said this and why?
  4. According to Dr. Goodall, what did her work with chimps teach her about humans?
  5. Why did Jane’s mother send her to live with a German family? Do you think that Jane learned a lesson  from this experience? What?
  6. Would you like to be a primatologist? Please explain why or why not? 
  7. Describe how your country is (or is not) helping to conserve wild life and forests.
  8. List 3  questions that you would like to ask Dr. Goodall. Share the questions 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