Combat Zone Classrooms… in the U.S.?

“For nine months in Kandahar, Afghanistan, I went through the same routine every day. I put on my uniform and tied my boots. I put a magazine in my 9-millimeter handgun and locked it in my hip holster. I put a 30-round magazine in my M4 and slung it over my shoulder… That was my standard procedure while serving with the United States Army in a combat zone. When I left active duty in 2014, I never expected that those skills would be applicable to my next job, as a high school teacher in San Jose, Calif.” A. Nicolas, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Debate.org

Excerpt: A Combat Zone, With Desks, Ashley Nicolas, The New York Times

“But the reality is that much of what I learned in the Army is horrifyingly relevant in the classroom. My school conducted drills similar to those that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., even before a gunman opened fire last week and killed 17 people. Our first drill, during which staff practiced sheltering students and barricading doors, exposed countless weaknesses, making it obvious to me that we were woefully unprepared to protect our charges… The classroom was big, with doors on opposite ends. I wrestled with the idea of enlisting the help of my maturest students in securing such a large space, ultimately deciding that I would take only volunteers from my upper-class classroom aides.

The shooting in Parkland, Fla., has reignited debates about legal priorities in America. Cartoon- Patrick Chappatte-The New York Times

I pondered how to construct impromptu blockades to delay or confuse an attacker. My helpers and I moved the cart of class iPads to where it could be easily pushed in front of the door — an ideal barricade. Still, the large windows extending the length of the room, once a pleasing feature, now looked only like a gaping vulnerability. We covered the windows in butcher block paper to obstruct the view from outside…I considered the fastest way to get my students into cover, or at least concealment, and agonized over how to keep dozens of 14-year-olds calm during an attack. I was preparing my classroom for combat.

aurorasentinel.com

But our school was built to cultivate learning, not withstand an attack; our teachers were trained to instruct, not shield students from bullets. Fortunately, I never had to confront the horror of a gunman roaming the hallways of my school…As children and parents appear on TV begging for action, our elected officials insist that even the best gun control and safety reforms would not eliminate attacks.

Against Guns.com

Some, like Senator Mike Rounds, Republican of South Dakota, extol the virtues of layered defense systems, similar to those employed at military checkpoints. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos called for teachers to have the ‘opportunity and option’ to carry weapons in school…Others suggest putting combat veterans in classrooms…Instead of curbing the violence, our leaders prefer to go on the defensive and fortify our schools against the next semiautomatic rifle that will ‘inevitably’ walk through the door.

Colorado to arm teachers in classrooms. | Sherdog Forums | UFC …

But our legal system is designed to evolve, to push us toward a ‘more perfect union.’ Yes, we need to arm our teachers — with the support of effective gun control, comprehensive background checks, better information-sharing between local and federal authorities, engaged parents and school-sponsored mental health care providers to identify troubled students before they become killers…America’s schools should not be a combat zone.”

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:  First, have students examine the title of the post and the photos. After they examine the photos, ask students to create a list of  words and  ideas  that they think might be related to this article. 

Second, after creating the list of words and ideas, ask students to explain what they think the cartoons mean.

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 reality is that there are too many shootings in our schools.
  2. My school conducted drills similar to those in the army.
  3. School staff practiced sheltering students and barricading doors.
  4. Our classroom was exposed to countless weaknesses.
  5. I had to enlist the help of my maturest students.
  6. I pondered how to construct impromptu blockades.
  7. I also took a tourniquet from an old Army first aid kit.
  8. Our school was built to cultivate learning.
  9. Even the best gun control and safety reforms would not eliminate attacks.
  10. We need to curb the violence.

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 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.

These ___would prefer to___our children to ___interactions with ___guards and our ___to the awful ____of using deadly___ rather than ___in a principled conversation about gun control.

WORDLIST:  engage,  force, possibility, teachers,   people, subject,  daily,  armed,

 

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. Taking actions that make these calamities far less frequent is a priority.
  2. I took a oath to protect and defend my country.
  3. I did not consider the dangers involved.

II

  1. Tragically people died trying to save others.
  2. We  need to strengthen gun control in these country.
  3. Teachers  should not carry weapons in the classroom.

III

  1. The classroom was big, with doors on opposite end.
  2. Parkland could have been my classroom.
  3. There should not be armed guards in our schools.

 

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?

Group Debates

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 teachers being armed in the classroom.

Team B will list  five reasons against teachers being armed in the classroom.

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

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

 

Learn How To Survive A Shooting Situation

“With mass shootings in schools, theaters, churches and workplaces, experts in threat assessment have come up with advice about what to do.This is a grim topic for an advice article, and the odds that you personally will be a victim of a mass shooting are low. But experts say mass shootings have become so frequent and deadly in the United States that people should think in advance about how they will respond if the worst happens. In general, they have settled on a simple guideline: “run, hide, fight.” C. Hauser, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Poster: Ready Navy

Excerpt: What to Do When There’s an Active Shooter, Christine Hauser, The New York Times

“The specific situation and location matters. ‘There is never going to be a universal rule for this,’ said Bob Kolasky, an acting deputy undersecretary for the Department of Homeland Security who oversees active shooter training.

You’ve Got to Know What You’d Do Before It Actually Happens.

The department has published detailed advice, defining an ‘active shooter’ as someone with a gun engaged in killing or trying to kill people in a confined and populated place. The advice is based on actual cases. It can be chilling to consider, but the more prepared you are, the better your chances of survival.

The State Office of Risk Management

 

‘There is chaos,’ Mr. Kolasky said. The more you have got protocols in place, the more likely you are to minimize the damage.

Look around you. Where are the exits?

When you hear gunfire, the first response should be to escape. But would you know how to escape? Experts advise being familiar with quick routes out of your workplace. And whenever you are in a new location, take note of the exits. Use them if you are sure that your path will not take you in the gunman’s direction…Do not pull a fire alarm. That creates confusion as to whether what is happening is a drill, as happened in the recent shooting in Parkland, Fla., where the gunman himself pulled the alarm, the authorities said.

Where do I hide?

If escape is not an option, you should hide, although Dr. Blair prefers to use the more active term ‘deny access’ rather than what he calls ‘hide and hope.’ Dart into a room, closet, anywhere there is a door to lock, or at least to close and barricade.

Play Dead?

Playing dead is generally not a good idea, Dr. Blair said. Gunmen have been known to circle back and fire into wounded people or others on the ground, he said. But in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, a teacher remained motionless after being shot in the leg and then escaped after the gunman had moved on…’Keep operating if shot,’ Dr. Blair said. ‘Try to get yourself out.’

What should I do after hiding?

Don’t stop to grab belongings, not even your cellphone. But if you do have one, once you are hidden, call 911, identify yourself and explain briefly what is happening and where. 

  1. Silence the phone or stop speaking but leave it on so the dispatcher can hear. 
  2. Turn off lights.
  3. Do not talk with others in the room if the gunman is nearby. ‘Stay quiet as a mouse,’ Dr. Dietz said.
  4. Social media use might give away your location or help the attacker know where the police are, Dr. Blair warned.

The last resort: Fight.

If you are strong enough, wrestle or jump the gunman if he stops to reload, which could take just seconds. That is how some stopped the gunman who shot former Representative Gabrielle Giffords and others at a supermarket near Tucson, Ariz., in 2011…All of the experts emphasized that confronting the attacker was a last resort.

What if someone else is hurt or calls for help?

If you are safely hidden, think twice about opening the door again, even for colleagues or friends who are knocking or calling for help. ‘Only open the door for someone else if you know the shooter is not in the area,’  Dr. Dietz said.

When help arrives, here is what to do.

When the police arrive, they might not be sure immediately who the suspect is. Put your hands up and spread your fingers to show you are not carrying anything that could be mistaken for a gun. Do not hug the officers, ask them questions or request first aid. Show them, do not tell them, that you are not part of the threat.”

Related Article for Parents and Teachers of Young Children

Creekside Learning

 

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Lesson Plan: Learn How To Survive A Shooting Situation

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 active shooting situations.  Later in the Post- Reading segment of the lesson, students can fill in what they’ve learned about the topic.

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. Bob Kolasky is acting deputy undersecretary for the Department of Homeland Security.
  2. Gunmen usually open fire in a populated and confined place.
  3. This scenario can be chilling to consider.
  4. If you believe you are in the gunman’s line of sight, run in a zigzag course.
  5. Many workplaces and schools prepare workers and students for lockdowns and evacuations.
  6. When you hide try to barricade or lock  the door.
  7. All of the experts emphasized that confronting the attacker was a last resort.
  8. If someone near you is hurt and it would not jeopardize your safety, try to help them.
  9. Use a tourniquet to slow bleeding if possible.
  10. Apply pressure to stanch blood from less severe wounds.

Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

 

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 specific situation and location matters.
  2. If possible pull a fire alarm for assistance.
  3. An active shooter is described  as someone with a gun engaged in killing or trying to kill people in a confined and populated place.
  4. When you hear gunfire, the first response should be to fight.
  5. Whenever you are in a new location, take note of the exits.
  6. If on a higher floor, use elevators. Windows are also an option.
  7. If you believe you are in the gunman’s line of sight, run in a straight line or from cover to cover.
  8. If escape is not an option, you should fight.
  9. You can also hide under your desk if there is no alternative. It’s not the best choice, but removing yourself from the line of sight and gunfire is better than nothing.
  10. Playing dead is generally a good idea.

Grammar Focus: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.

Many ___and schools use ___to prepare workers and students for ___and evacuations.

But if you are someplace like a ___ look for the___ yourself. Mr. Kolasky, who worked with the National Association of Theatre Owners after the Aurora theater shooting in 2012, said___service announcements in theaters often ___them out. But they are only ___to the degree that people pay attention, he said.

WORDLIST: successful, point, public, theater, lockdowns, workplaces,  exits, drills,

III. Post Reading Activities

KWL Chart

Directions:  Have students  fill in the last column of the KWL chart if they used one in the pre-reading segment of this lesson.

Discussion for Comprehension

Ask/Answer  Questions

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.

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

Some UFO Stories Are Just “Too Hard” to Explain Away

“David Fravor, commander of a Navy squadron aboard the USS Nimitz, had an encounter with a UFO that is hard to explain. Thirteen years ago, the Windham, N.H., resident was a veteran US Navy pilot at the controls of an F/A-18-F fighter jet flying off San Diego when he sighted an unidentified flying object and tried to intercept it. ‘I want to join on it. I want to see how close I can get to it,’ Fravor, 53, said, describing his thinking as he began the pursuit. Then the object, which looked like a 4o-foot-long Tic Tac candy, ‘goes whoosh, and it’s gone.’ he said. It accelerated rapidly and disappeared like no aircraft he had ever seen in his career.” The Boston Globe

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

David Fravor, commander of a Navy squadron aboard the USS Nimitz, had an encounter with a UFO that is hard to explain. Photo- M. S. Brauer, The New York Times

Excerpt: This former Navy pilot, who once chased a UFO, says we should take them seriously http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/01/16/this-former-navy-fighter-pilot-who-once-chased-ufo-says-should-take-them-seriously/MtfbLrDhNJRrO0MEzJRbDM/story.html

“David Fravor is a recognizable type. Affable, neatly dressed, with a men’s regular haircut and semi-rimless glasses, he’s a retired military man who works as a consultant in the Boston area. He could be standing in front of you in a Starbucks line and you wouldn’t notice him at all. But the story he has to tell is literally out of this world.

An F:A-18E Super Hornet prepares to land on the flight deck aboard The-aircraft-carrier-USS-Nimitz-

Fravor has been in the news recently after the New York Times broke the story that the Pentagon had a secret program that investigated reports of UFOs. The Defense Department says it closed down the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program in 2012 after five years, but the program’s backers say it remains in existence, investigating UFO reports from service members while carrying out other duties.

‘I know what I saw,’ said Fravor. The incident occurred on Nov. 14, 2004. It was about 140 miles southwest of San Diego, Fravor said. The commander of a squadron of more than 300 service members aboard the carrier USS Nimitz, he was flying a brand-new plane with a weapons systems officer in the back seat. Another fighter from his squadron, with pilot and weapons system officer aboard, was flying with him. It was a perfect Southern California day. A radio operator from the cruiser USS Princeton directed them to an area where the Princeton had been tracking mysterious objects for two weeks…When the two fighters got to the assigned location, they spotted a disturbance under the water, Fravor said.

F:A-18-F fighter jet.

To him, it looked like something the size of a Boeing 737 airplane was underneath, causing waves to break over it. ‘Then we see this bright white object’ above the disturbance, moving erratically, back and forth, left and right, bouncing around like a ping pong ball, he said. Fravor’s jet and the other jet were circling the spot. The other jet was high, Fravor’s jet lower. Trying to get a closer look at the Tic Tac, he began an easy, circular descent toward it. The object ‘starts mirroring me,’ beginning its own circular ascent from the ocean, he said.

At that point, he said, he decided to cut across and head directly toward the mysterious object. He turned, dove, then pulled up his plane’s nose — and it zoomed away. Fravor then looked for the underwater object, and saw that it, too, had disappeared… Nearing the end of a 24-year career in the Navy and Marines, Fravor had plenty of experience encountering other aircraft in the sky, but this one was different, he said. It was bright white, cylindrical, with rounded ends. It had no wings, no windows, no exhaust plume. He came within nearly a half-mile of it, he estimated. He and his back-seater as well as the men in the other plane saw it with their own eyes for 3 to 5 minutes, he said.

‘What’s unique about [our encounter] is we physically interacted and chased it,’ he said. ‘We literally engaged it.’ Does he think he will ever see a UFO again?

‘Never say never. But there’s, what, 7½ billion people in the world? — and I chased it,’ he said.”

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.

Brainstorming chart by UIE

 

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. David Fravor  was a commander of a Navy squadron.
  2. The story of Fravor’s close encounter accompanied the expose.
  3. According to Fravor, no clouds marred the sky.
  4. The bright white object  was moving erratically back and forth.
  5. The object started mirroring Fravor’s fighter jet.
  6. The  UFO accelerated rapidly.
  7. The fighters conferred and  headed to a rendezvous point 60 miles away.
  8. The speed of the UFO was impressive.
  9. More fighters were launched.
  10. Later, Fravor  told his back-seater that he was pretty weirded out.

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 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.

He got plenty of___back ___the carrier. But he said he was___at the lack of___the Defense Department showed about the___, which happened in an___well-known as a ___training ground.

WORD LIST: Navy, area, encounter, curiosity surprised aboard, ribbing,

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 $22 million/millionaire  reportedly spend/spent on the five-year Pentagon program/programs was like a “rounding error” in the Defense Department’s massive/mission budget, he said. With better funding/funds, he believes a breakthrough could happen. “With the right money/monkey and the right ficus/focus, you can figure this out,” he said. “I think there’s enough brilliant/brilliantly, open minds.”

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 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 topics mentioned.

  1. Do you believe that UFOs are actually beings from another planet? Why or why not?
  2. Have you or someone you know ever seen a UFO? If so please describe the experience.
  3. David Fravor, is a Navy commander  with a 24-year career in the Navy and Marines. Do you believe his story?  Why or why not?
  4. In your opinion, should the U.S. continue to spend money on programs that investigate UFOs? 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

Category: Military, UFOs

SpaceX Falcon: A Roar of Thunder… A Serious Milestone!

“From the same pad where NASA launched rockets that carried astronauts to the moon, a big, new American rocket arced into space on Tuesday. But this time, NASA was not involved. The rocket, the Falcon Heavy, was built by SpaceX, the company founded and run by the billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk. The launch of this turbocharged version of the workhorse Falcon 9 rocket, which has been carrying cargo to space for years, marks an important milestone in spaceflight, the first time a rocket this powerful has been sent into space by a private company rather than a government space agency.” K. Chang, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Excerpt: Falcon Heavy, in a Roar of Thunder, Carries SpaceX’s Ambition Into Orbit-By Kenneth Chang, The New York Times

“The rocket carried a playful payload: Mr. Musk’s red Roadster, an electric sports car built by his other company, Tesla. Strapped inside the car is a mannequin wearing one of SpaceX’s spacesuits. They are expected to orbit the sun for hundreds of millions of years.

Front view from Tesla Roadster on Falcon X Heavy. Credit Daily Express

Side view a Tesla Sports Car Flying Through Space Credit- PetaPixel

The success gives SpaceX momentum to begin developing even larger rockets, which could help fulfill Mr. Musk’s dream of sending people to Mars. To do that, he has described a new-generation rocket called B.F.R. (the B stands for big; the R for rocket) that might be ready to launch in the mid-2020s. The Falcon Heavy’s maiden flight makes pursuit of the goal more plausible.

Elon Musk’s space company launched the most powerful rocket in operation.Credit-Todd Anderson for The New York Times

Mr. Musk’s visions include humans living both on Earth and Mars. He’s part of a new generation of entrepreneurial space pioneers that includes Jeffrey P. Bezos, the founder of Amazon, who has said one of the goals driving his rocket company, Blue Origin, is the prospect of millions of people living in space. Planetary Resources, an American company with a large investment from Luxembourg, hopes to mine asteroids for profit. Moon Express, based in Florida, sees a business in providing regular transportation to and from the moon.

For now, the Heavy will enable SpaceX to compete for contracts to launch larger spy satellites, and some experts in spaceflight are encouraging NASA to use private rockets like the Heavy instead of the gigantic and more expensive rocket, the Space Launch System, that is currently being developed in part to take astronauts back to the moon… Just over three minutes after it blasted off, the most suspenseful part of the flight was over, as the boosters dropped off and the second stage continued into Earth orbit.

Two of the boosters land at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station after the launch of SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. Photo- Space.com

Some eight minutes after launch, a pair of sonic booms rocked the area as the two side boosters set down in near synchrony on two landing pads at Cape Canaveral…Once in orbit, the rocket sent back video of the spacesuit-wearing mannequin in the car, with a hand on the steering wheel…In the past year, SpaceX has tabled many of the plans for future development of the Heavy. The company had intended to use the rocket launch one of SpaceX’s capsules, known as the Dragon, without people, on a mission to land on Mars. That was scrapped last summer. Last year, Mr. Musk also said two space tourists would be launched by a Falcon Heavy on an around-the-moon trip this year.

On Monday, he said that for now the company had no immediate plans to make the improvements needed before putting people aboard. Instead, SpaceX is focusing its efforts on the B.F.R. It would be a two-stage rocket: a powerful booster to provide lift out of Earth’s gravity and then a spaceship on top for interplanetary missions.”

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. NASA has launched rockets in the past.
  2. Astronauts have already been to the moon.
  3. Elon Musk, a well known entrepreneur founded Space X.
  4. Strapped inside the car was  a mannequin wearing one of SpaceX’s spacesuits.
  5. Mr. Musk’s visions include humans living both on Earth and Mars.
  6. Some eight minutes after launch, a pair of sonic booms rocked the area.
  7. The success of the Heavy could quell criticism that followed SpaceX’s first launch of the year.
  8. SpaceX officials vociferously asserted that the Falcon 9 performed as expected.
  9. The development of the Heavy took years longer than anticipated.
  10. Mr. Musk said he had aspirational hopes to begin suborbital tests of the spaceship portion next year.

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.

The Falcon___is capable of___140,000___ to low-Earth orbit, more than any othertoday. Because all three ___are to be recovered to fly again, a Falcon Heavy launch costs not much more than one by the company’s___rocket, Mr. Musk said. ___lists a price of $90___for a Falcon Heavy flight, compared with $62 million for one by Falcon 9, a bargain in the context of spaceflight. ___has booked ___Heavy flights for Arabsat, a Saudi Arabian communications company, and the United States Air Force.

WORD LIST: upcoming, SpaceX,  existing, rocket, million,  lifting, SpaceX, Heavy, boosters,  pounds,

 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,

Although delayed___ high-altitude winds, the countdown proceeded smoothly,___ any ___the glitches that have bedeviled other maiden launches___new rockets.

The Heavy roared ___life, a plume___smoke and steam shooting sideways ___the launchpad. It rose___the pad, with an impossibly bright glare ___27 engines___ it. Then a thunderous roar, traveling___the speed___sound, rolled ___ the spectators.

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

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 and try to answer them.

Group Project

How to Make a Water Rocket Launcher From NASA

Students can use simple tools to construct a soda bottle rocket launcher using  hardware and wood. Go to  Nasa.gov

ANSWER KEY

Category: Technology | Tags: ,

Super Bowl LII Will Be The Most Watched Television Event of the Year…Why?

“I am a Catholic. He is a priest. It seemed natural to ask the Rev. James Martin if it was morally wrong to enjoy watching professional football, namely the Super Bowl, on Sunday. Martin is a Jesuit, which is the order that produced Pope Francis and provided the foundation (for better or worse) of my education. He is a writer, a thinker and an acknowledged public intellectual. But Martin, a Philadelphian, is also an unabashed Eagles fan… He, too, is uncomfortable enjoying a brutal sport that has imperiled the health of its work force.” J.  Drape, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Patriots and Eagles. Photo-endzone.

 

Excerpt: ‘The American Dilemma’: Why Do We Still Watch Football? By  Joe Drape, The New York Times

“Still, Martin will meet his 86-year-old mother at his sister’s home in New Jersey on Sunday and pull hard for the Philadelphia Eagles to win their first Super Bowl title.

‘I don’t think it’s a stretch to ask that question, but I’m not sure what the answer is,’ Martin said. ‘I have watched with interest the progression of medical research. Are we using their bodies for profit? Are we using their bodies for our enjoyment?’

Tom Brady, quarterback for the Patriots. PHOTO- USAtoday

C.T.E. has been found in the brain of one dead N.F.L. player after another. Published studies have found a correlation between the total number of years one plays tackle football and the likelihood of one’s developing brain disease later in life.

NY Daily News

Still, we shrug. Last year, 111.3 million people tuned in to CBS’s Super Bowl broadcast, according to Nielsen.

Primitive Technology- This photo was taken in 1912 of a man testing a football helmet. The big question of “did it work?” remains a mystery. Photo- historyinorbit.com

Even with N.F.L. regular-season ratings down 12 percent this season, Eagles-Patriots on Sunday will almost certainly be the most-watched television event of the year — as the previous year’s Super Bowl was… Stories of concussions do not affect viewership of the game for 77 percent of fans, as two-thirds of them told pollsters they believed player safety had been prioritized, according to the annual Burson-Marsteller Super Bowl survey

The Seattle Seahawks win. abc.net

Alan Schwarz, the former New York Times reporter who exposed football’s concussion crisis, said that the issue does not discourage him from watching the N.F.L.

usatoday.com

‘I have no problem watching the N.F.L. — these are grown men making grown men’s decisions,’ said Schwarz, whose investigative articles from 2007 to 2011 compelled new safety rules for players of all ages.

Patriots vs. Packers

‘After being kept in the dark for so many years by their employers, they now know they could wind up brain-damaged. Fine. They’re professional daredevils. It wasn’t immoral to watch Evel Knievel. We watch stuntmen in movies.’

Photo of Tennessee Titans WR Justin McCareins getting sandwiched on a hit. InternetMedicine.com

Many Americans say they have been turned off by on-field protests during games (61 percent, according to the Burson-Marsteller survey), but most say they plan to watch the game even if there are protests.

The Ravens win superbowl. Wahsington Times

Bryan Partee is the executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Marshall, Tex., the town that brought us the great Y. A. Tittle as well as Dennis Partee, Bryan’s father, who was a kicker for the San Diego Chargers in the 1960s and 1970s.  Dennis Partee, 70, has Parkinson’s disease and is part of the N.F.L.’s concussion settlement.

Very young football players. Youtube

His love for the game has been passed down through the family. Bryan Partee played football in high school; his 10-year-old son, Noah, will not. Yet they will all watch Sunday’s game together.”

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 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 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. Football is the American dilemma.
  2. People watched  several renditions of  the video.
  3. Are we using their bodies for profit?
  4. C.T.E. has been found in the brain of  many N.F.L. players.
  5. Studies have found a correlation between the number of years  one plays and  developing brain disease later in life.
  6. Still,  many viewers shrug off the results of the studies.
  7. Stories of concussions do not affect viewership of the game.
  8. They’re professional daredevils.
  9. Many believe that Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, was blackballed by the N.F.L.
  10. Some parents watch the game  with an increasing amount of dread.

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.

Jelani Cobb, the New Yorker___ and educator, said he would not be watching on___, but his reason had nothing to do with the game’s ___and ___for life-threatening injury. He is not watching because he believes Colin Kaepernick, the ___San Francisco 49ers___, was ___by the N.F.L. for for social justice when he chose to take a knee for the national ___before games.

WORD LIST:  anthem ,protesting, quarterback,  blackballed, potential, former, violence, writer, Sunday,

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.

Soon/so  my wife and I, like millions/mill of other parrots/parents, will have to make a similar decision/decide about our own football-crazy 13-year-old. We know the long-term rakes/risks now, and that makes/make what used to be a simple decision far more harrowing. No priest/price will be able to help us. The N.F.L. should be as worried about that as I am.

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 for Comprehension /Writing

  1. Do you like to watch football  games?
  2. Do you play football? Do you play soccer?
  3. What are the similarities (if any ) between American football and soccer?
  4. Why do you think football is described as “The American Dilemma”?
  5. Look at the pictures. Which ones encourage  people to play football? Why?
  6. In your opinion,  are there ways  to make football less dangerous for players?
  7. Do you think football will change in 20 years?  If yes explain how, if no explain why not.

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: Sports | Tags: ,