Is Your Online Date Telling the Truth?

“How much dishonesty do you expect when interacting with people online? Probably a lot. The anonymity that the web can provide is notorious for facilitating deception in chat rooms and other virtual venues.”C. B. Miller, The New York Times,Aug. 6, 2021

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Credit- Illustration by Nicholas Konrad:The New York Times; photograph by Vladans:Getty Images

 

Excerpt: Is Your Crush on OkCupid Telling You the Truth? By Christian B. Miller, The New York Times,Aug. 6, 2021

“Even when people present their real identities online, as they often do on social media or online dating websites, we doubt the veracity of much of what they say. When the psychologist Michelle Drouin asked people to estimate the percentage of people who were always honest on social media, the average answer was 2 percent. For online dating, it dropped to zero.

This cynicism is mistaken. Despite the proliferationof blatantly false information in certain regions of the internet, research suggests that the content on many online platforms is remarkably trustworthy.

Consider online dating sites. In a 2008 study, the communication professor Catalina Toma and her colleagues found that about 80 percent of participants with online dating profiles lied about their height, weight or age — but usually only to a very small extent (less than one inch off on height and 0.55 years on age, on average).

Something similar is true of the employment website LinkedIn. In a 2012 study by the communication researchers Jamie Guillory and Jeffrey Hancock, participants made either a traditional résumé, a LinkedIn profile that was publicly viewable or a LinkedIn profile that was viewable only by the researchers. It turned out that the rates of lying were roughly equal in all three groups (about three lies, on average, per résumé)… What explains the low rates of dishonesty online? It could be, of course, that most of us are just honest people in general. But if that were true, deception would be rare in anonymous online settings, too, and it isn’t.

A more likely explanation is that when you identify yourself online, your behavior can become very publicly exposed.”

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 60 minutes.


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.

 Predictions: Using a Pre-reading Organizer

Directions: Examine the title of the post and of the actual article. Next examine  any photos. Write a paragraph describing what you think this article will discuss. A pre-reading organizer may be used.

Pre-reading chart by J. Swann

 

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

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

  1. How much dishonesty do you expect when interacting with people online?
  2. The anonymity that the web can provide is notorious for facilitating deception in chat rooms.
  3. There are many virtual venues.
  4. Despite the proliferation of false information in regions of the internet, content on many online platforms is trustworthy.
  5. LinkedIn résumés, however, were less deceptive.
  6. Facebook profiles were highly correlated with the users’ actual personality traits.
  7. What explains the low rates of dishonesty online?
  8. Most of us want to be thought of as honest people.
  9. We have expectations about the trustworthiness of online communication.
  10. People are searching for authentic relationships.

 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.  Identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I

  1. People sometimes present their real identities online.
  2. We doubt the veracity of much of what they say.
  3. This cynicism are mistaken.

II

  1. Something similar is true of the employment website LinkedIn.
  2. LinkedIn résumés was less deceptive.
  3. Facebook has  surprisingly low levels of dishonesty.

III

  1. When you identify yourself online, your behavior can become publicly exposed.
  2. Lying online creates an heightened repetitional risk.
  3. Deception online is not as widespread as we might expect.

 

Reading Comprehension Identify The  Speakers

Directions: Read the following quotes from the speakers in the article. Then identify the speakers.

  1. She asked people to estimate the percentage of people who were always honest on social media.
  2. This person found that about 80 percent of participants with online dating profiles lied about their height, weight or age — but usually only to a very small extent.
  3. This team conducted a program where participants made either a traditional résumé, a LinkedIn profile that was publicly viewable or a LinkedIn profile that was viewable only by the researchers. It turned out that the rates of lying were roughly equal in all three groups (about three lies, on average, per résumé).

 

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

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

  1. Have you ever used an online dating service? If yes, describe your experience.
  2. According to research how much of the content on online platforms truthful?
  3. In some cases, it  was found to be even be more trustworthy than which other types of communication?
  4. What was surprising about information found on Facebook?
  5. In the areas of work experiences and responsibilities which online media website was less deceptive?
  6. What percentage of participants with online dating profiles lied about their height, weight or age?
  7. What explains the low rates of dishonesty online?
  8. List any new information that you have learned after reading this article.

ANSWER KEY

Category: Education

Why Rachel Carson’s ‘Silent Spring’ Still Matters in 2021

“The Biden administration announced on Wednesday that it is banning a common pesticide, widely used since 1965 on fruits and vegetables, from use on food crops because it has been linked to neurological damage in children. The Environmental Protection Agency said this week it would publish a regulation to block the use of chlorpyrifos on food. One of the most widely used pesticides, chlorpyrifos is commonly applied to corn, soybeans, apples, broccoli, asparagus and other produce.” Coral Davenport, The New York Times, August 18, 2021″

How ‘Silent Spring’ Ignited the Environmental Movement

Illustration by Valero Doval

“Nearly 60 years ago, Rachel Carson shocked the agricultural industry with her critique of indiscriminate pesticide use in the United States. Silent Spring, her book, quickly became a trademark of environmental activism, paving the way for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and a plethora of other modern-day protections.” Earthday, September 26, 2019

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Excerpt: How ‘Silent Spring’ Ignited the Environmental Movement, By Eliza Griswold, The New York Times, September 21, 2021

“On June 4, 1963, less than a year after the controversial environmental classic Silent Spring was published, its author, Rachel Carson, testified before a Senate subcommittee on pesticides. She was 56 and dying of breast cancer. She told almost no one. She’d already survived a radical mastectomy. Her pelvis was so riddled with fractures that it was nearly impossible for her to walk to her seat at the wooden table before the Congressional panel. To hide her baldness, she wore a dark brown wig.

Rachel Carson, 1951.Credit…Brooks Studio, from the Rachel Carson Council.

Every once in a while in the history of mankind, a book has appeared which has substantially altered the course of history,” Senator Ernest Gruen­ing, a Democrat from Alaska, told Carson at the time. Silent Spring was published 50 years ago this month. Though she did not set out to do so, Carson influenced the environmental movement as no one had since the 19th century’s most celebrated hermit, Henry David Thoreau, wrote about Walden Pond.

Carson testifying before a Senate subcommittee on pesticides in 1963.Credit…Associated Press

Silent Spring presents a view of nature compromised by synthetic pesticides, especially DDT. Once these pesticides entered the biosphere, Carson argued, they not only killed bugs but also made their way up the food chain to threaten bird and fish populations and could eventually sicken children. Much of the data and case studies that Carson drew from weren’t new; the scientific community had known of these findings for some time, but Carson was the first to put them all together for the general public and to draw stark and far-reaching conclusions. In doing so, Carson, the citizen-scientist, spawned a revolution.

Silent Spring, which has sold more than two million copies, made a powerful case for the idea that if humankind poisoned nature, nature would in turn poison humankind.

‘Our heedless and destructive acts enter into the vast cycles of the earth and in time return to bring hazard to ourselves,’ she told the subcommittee…We still see the effects of unfettered human intervention through Carson’s eyes: she popularized modern ecology.”

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

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

Level: Intermediate -Advanced


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


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


Materials: Student handouts (from this lesson) access to news article, and video.


Objective: Students will read the article
with a focus on reading comprehension and new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic  of environmental damage.

Excerpt: How Silent Spring Ignited the Environmental Movement, By By Eliza Griswold, The New York Times, September 9, 2012

I. Pre-Reading Tasks

Stimulating background knowledge:

KWL Chart

Directions: Place students in groups, ask students to think about what they already know about  the topic and  what they would like to learn.  Have students use the KWL chart KWL  chart. Later in the Post- Reading segment of the lesson, students can fill in what they’ve learned about the topic.

Brainstorming

Next, have students look at the pictures in the article and generate ideas/words that may be connected to the article. Students can use the UIE brainstorming chart (sample) for brainstorming the meanings.  Debrief as a class and list these ideas on the board.

II. While Reading Tasks

Vocabulary-Word Inference

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

  1. Rachel Carson wrote the controversial environmental classic “Silent Spring”in 1962.
  2. Today, we still see the effects of unfettered human intervention through Carson’s eyes.
  3. Saint Rachel, “the nun of nature,” as she is called, is frequently invoked in the name of one environmental cause or another.
  4. Carson was initially ambivalent about taking on what she referred to as “the poison book.”
  5. Silent Spring begins with a myth.
  6. Carson describes a town in the heart of America where all life seemed to live in harmony with its surroundings.
  7. Carson then asks her readers, “By acquiescing in an act that causes such suffering… who among us is not diminished as a human being?”
  8. In Carson’s view, technological innovation could easily and irrevocably disrupt the natural system.
  9. The control of nature was an arrogant idea, and Carson was against human arrogance.
  10. In 1960…after she found out that her breast cancer had metastasized, her tone sharpened toward the apocalyptic.

Questions  for Reading Comprehension: True / False

Directions:  The following statements were taken from the article.  If  a statement is true, students write (T) if  a statement is false they  write (F)  and  provide the correct answer from the article.

  1. The book “Silent Spring”  was never  controversial.
  2. Carson influenced the environmental movement.
  3. Silent Spring presents a view of nature at its best.
  4. Much of the data and case studies that Carson drew from were new.
  5. Since her book, environmental issues have grown smaller these days.
  6. Initially, Carson was reluctant to investigate material for Silent Spring or as she referred to it “the poison book.”
  7. Carson knew that her target audience of popular readers included scientists, but did not include housewives.
  8. Carson wrote about other pesticides, but it was DDT she focused on the most.
  9. At one point, Carson compared the genetic effects of radiation, to chemicals that were being dispersed in the environment.
  10. Carson also had powerful advocates, among them President Lyndon B Johnson.

Grammar Focus: Identifying Parts of Speech

Directions:  Students are to identify the Nouns in the following paragraph, then use as many of the terms as possible to write their own paragraph concerning environmental issues today.

“On June 4, 1963, less than a year after the controversial environmental classic Silent Spring was published, its author, Rachel Carson, testified before a Senate subcommittee on pesticides. She was 56 and dying of breast cancer. She told almost no one. She’d already survived a radical mastectomy. Her pelvis was so riddled with fractures that it was nearly impossible for her to walk to her seat at the wooden table before the Congressional panel. To hide her baldness, she wore a dark brown wig. “Every once in a while in the history of mankind, a book has appeared which has substantially altered the course of history,” Senator Ernest Gruen­ing, a Democrat from Alaska, told Carson at the time.”

ANSWER KEY

III. Post Reading Tasks

KWL Chart

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

Discussion/Essay Writing

 Directions:  Have students choose one of the prompts and write a short essay.

  1.  Write an essay describing Rachel Carson’s life as a young girl (e.g., was she rich/poor? who were her parents? did she have siblings? where did she attend school? What prompted her to write her famous book Silent Spring?)
  2. What is the “Green Movement? Describe its philosophy.
  3. Research the following people: Bill McKibben, Elizabeth Kolbert, and Al Gore. Who are they and what role did they play in environmental changes?
  4. The article states, “Though Carson talked about other pesticides, it was DDT — sprayed aerially over large areas of the United States to control mosquitoes and fire ants — that stood in for this excess.” Research DDT and describe its initial function. What other functions did it serve? What were the results of DDT? Why was Rachel Carson so upset by the continued use of this particular chemical?
  5. Do we still use DDT today in 2021?

Information for Group Projects

Directions: As a group review the list of The Biggest Environmental Problems for 2021 (presented by earth.org).  Then review the list of environmental problems during Carson’s time (1960s-70s) presented by Activism in Michigan.  Use the Venn Digram to compare and contrast the  the environmental problems we face today with those during Carson’s time. Write a brief description of your results. Share with the class.

 

AnyChart Documentation

The Biggest Environmental Problems of 2021

“The climate crisis is accelerating at an unprecedented rate, and we are not ready for it. While the crisis has many factors that play a role in its exacerbation, there are some that warrant more attention than others. Here are some of the biggest environmental problems of our lifetime.” EARTH.ORG

• Poor Governance. In a world governed by economics, our society has failed to factor in the value of Nature. …

• Food Waste

• Biodiversity Loss

• Plastic Pollution

• Deforestation

• Air Pollution

• Agriculture

•Global Warming From Fossil Fuels

Biggest Environmental  Problems in the Late 1960s

“During the late 1960s, an ‘environmental crisis’ took shape as a series of environmental catastrophes and revelatory books transformed the American environmental consciousness. Soon before the crisis took its final form, several immensely popular books including Rachel Carson’s 1962 Silent Spring and Ralph Nader’s 1965 Unsafe at Any Speed pushed the public to question the relationship between the government, tasked with protecting the public interest, and industries, incentivized to act in their own economic interests.” Michigan -give Earth-a Chance

  • Chemical toxins such as DDT
  • Oil Spills
  • Air Pollution/smog
  • Pollutants in the drinking supply
  • The Population Bomb

Directions: Go through the list of Environmental Organizations and choose one (or as many as you like). Write a short description of the organization including how does it help the environment. Share your views with the class.

35 Environmental Organizations and Nonprofits For a Sustainable Future (List and Ways You Can Get Involved)

Additional Books By Rachel Carson:  For a complete List of Carson’s books 

 

Lesson plan: Labor Day and Unions: From PBS

Labor Day and Unions Today

“Supporters of the California Grape Boycott demonstrate in Toronto, Ontario, December, 1968. Jessica Govea is in the center, front row, wearing poncho. The Delano grape labor strike was organized by the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee and the United Farm Workers against grape growers in California. The strike began on September 8, 1965, and lasted more than five years. Photo of “United Farm Workers Collection, Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University”

Lesson Plan Created by Tina Yalen and Michael Magathan

Repurposed by Katie Gould

Subject

Economics, government, civics

Estimated Time

Two 45 minute classes or one 90 minute block

1 You will want to explain the upcoming main activity simulation briefly to your students and pass out the “Applications” sheets (see handout on the top right of the page) to them two days before the simulation takes place. This will allow you and the students time to select what roles they will play in the simulation.

2 Divide the class into the two teams of Labor and Management and announce who will be playing what role for each team. You can divide students using your Learning Management System for online learning purposes. Pass out, email or upload both sides of the “Demands” sheets to students the night before the simulation.  For homework, have them select the 6 most important demands for their team and be ready to share their choice with their group through the LMS, Google doc or email.

Warm up Activity

Background on Unions and Labor Day

1 Ask students what they know about unions and write their answers on the whiteboards or through the LMS. Many may know nothing about unions, so you may need to prompt them to think of any union-related historical events they may have learned about.

1 Provide students with this definition: an organized association of workers formed to protect and further their rights and interests; a labor union.

2 Watch the short video clips that give a brief background on unions and the holiday Labor Day:

1 A Brief History of Unions”

2 “History of Labor Day”

3 Pass out, email or upload the student handout “Unions Play a Surprising Role in Your Everyday Life.” Have students read and watch the video together which provides examples of how the union plays a role in some everyday topics.

4 Read the interview with Doyle Pryor Assistant General Counsel for the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) from 1992-2012, and learn more about the union’s role in professional sports.

Main Activity

“Negotiation”: A Labor/Management Simulation

Objectives:

to expose students to the dynamics of a labor/management dispute involving a given set of issues

to instill real-world awareness that resolution of conflict often depends on the art of compromise and the acceptance of the need for it

to observe the difference between mediation and arbitration

to improve skills in the following area:

Skills:

analysis of information

creative problem-solving

decision-making

logical thinking

communication skills and public speaking

listening skills

teamwork and leadership skills

Basic Flow of Simulation

“Negotiations” scenario (see materials for scenario and demands) will be given to all students at least two days ahead of the start date as well as applications(see materials for applications) to be a Negotiator or Team Leader.

Each class will be divided into two equal-sized “teams,” the labor team and the management team

 Each team will have its own Team Leader and several teams of Negotiators.

The teacher will serve as Mediator/Arbitrator.

Each team will be given a list of 12 “demands” that its side will be trying to achieve and each team will be asked to choose its top 6 priorities and work hard to achieve them in any agreed upon contract. (see materials for scenario and demands)

There will be several rounds of negotiations. Between rounds, teams will huddle, revise and prepare for the next round.

If needed, there will be a final round of negotiation- with an “all-star” team of negotiators appointed by the team leader w/ advice of his/her team.

If both teams agree, any unresolved issues will be resolved by an arbitrator (teacher) who will announce the final decisions on the day of class.

The endpoint/goal of “Negotiation” is to achieve a “contract” between labor and management that includes each side’s top priority without each side feeling like it lost. The goal, in short, is a “win-win” finish, not a “win-lose” finish.

Following final negotiations, the debriefing process will occur. First, each student will analyze the process in writing; this will be followed by a class discussion in person or using the class’s LMS.

Proposed Time Sequence

Day One:

Brief Introductory Remarks (Teacher)

15 minutes: Opening team meetings Goals: Achieve a consensus on 6 priority demands, discuss possible responses to opposition demands, Team Leader- prepare an opening statement, Negotiators- prepare for round one

5 minutes: Both Team leaders make opening presentations (2 minutes each)

10 minutes: Round 1 negotiations, 5 minutes each side to focus on its two highest priorities; Mediator summarizes (Teacher)

10 minutes: Team Meeting to plan for Round 2

Day Two:

Brief Introductory Remarks (Teacher)

10 minutes: Round 2- same rules as Round 1; second set of Negotiators; reverse sequence of teams

5 minutes: Team Meeting to plan for Round 3

10 minutes: Round 3- same rules as Round 1 & 2; third set of Negotiators; reverse sequence of teams

5 minutes: Team Meeting to plan Final Round; All-Star Negotiators selected by Team Leaders with the help/advice from teams

10 minutes: Final Round- same rules as rounds 1, 2, 3; All-Star Negotiators; reverse sequence of teams

Closure: Offer of arbitration; debrief sheet

The Difficulty in Explaining Death to Young Children

“I had no idea how to talk to my children about a loved one’s death.  Living through the past pandemic year, and being inundated with constant news about illness and death, has only made this feeling more urgent. I’m not alone.” K. C. Reilly, The Washington Post, August 14, 2021

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Image- Mark Wang for The Washington Post

 

Excerpt: Talking to children about death, By Katie C. Reilly, The Washington Post, August 14, 2021

“When I was 16, my uncle diedunexpectedly — my first exposure to the death of a loved one. Upon hearing the news, my dad got on a plane and flew to the West Coast to be with my aunt and cousins. When he returned, there was no conversation beyond ‘Uncle Jimmy died.’

I Miss You- A First Look at Death By Pat Thomas

My mother died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, when I was in my late 20s and my father died of cancer four years later. Having never witnessed the grieving process up close before, I felt like something was wrong with me for the intensity of my grief on each parent’s death.

Now as a mother to two small girls, I want to speak to my children about their grandparents and also prepare them for my eventual passing. Living through the past pandemic year, and being inundated with constant news about illness and death, has only made this feeling more urgent. But like many parents, I have no idea about when or how to begin a conversation about death with a child. And apparently, I’m not alone, experts say.

Book- Grandma is a Star by Ligia Carvalho

Many parents — like my father — avoid speaking to their children about death because they want to protect their kids from sadness and pain, says Cara Mearns-Thompson, a licensed clinical social worker focused on grieving children and the co-founder of the Grief Club of Minnesota.

But there’s more than concern for their children that holds many parents back, says Vicki Jay, chief executive of the National Alliance for Children’s Grief. ‘It’s our own uncomfortableness with [the topic] that prevents us from opening up the discussion,’ she says…‘It is important to know that kids grieve differently than adults. And oftentimes, what may appear to be a frivolous play activity for children may actually be a very worthy way that they are working through grief,’ says Linda Goldman, a therapist in Maryland whose work focuses on children and grief…’Society doesn’t realize just how harmful some popular cliches can be to the grieving process,’ Goldman says.

Grandpa is Now in Heaven by Kasie Kennedy

Mearns-Thompson notes that saying someone has ‘passed away”’or that the person is ‘sleeping’ makes it hard for children to understand what has happened (and, others say, may create real uncertainty or even anxiety about what can happen when someone goes to sleep.)

When a parent loses a loved one, they also have an opportunity to teach their children how to grieve in a healthy way by modeling. The best thing you can do for your kids . . . is model to them what a healthy grief experience is…So it is okay to cry in front of your kids.”

Additional Information:

How To Talk to Kids About Death: “Discussing death with your kids can be a real concern and many tend to avoid it. Death is however an inevitable part of life and it is our responsibility to ensure our kids are aware of it and know it’s okay to discuss it.” Child Development Institute

Little Parachutes – Picture Books about death and bereavement

“Books which tackle the difficult subjects of death, bereavement and loss. Grieving children may find comfort or answers to challenging questions in the pages of these books… The death of a grandparent, for example, may raise different questions than the death of a younger person. A sudden and unexpected death may evoke different responses in a child than a bereavement that has come from a longer illness. We have provided lots of books in this section to help you find one that works for your child and situation.” Little Parachutes

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 60 minutes.


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: Examine the titles of the post and of the actual article.  Examine any photos, then create a list of  words and  ideas  that you  and your group members think might be related to this article. 

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

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

  1. When I was 16, my uncle died unexpectedly.
  2. I had never witnessed the grieving process up close before.
  3. Many parents — like my father — avoid speaking to their children about death.
  4. Constant news about illness and death this past year  has only made this feeling more urgent.
  5. Parents feel concern for their children.
  6. It is never too early to speak to children about death, but in an age-appropriate manner.
  7. Society doesn’t realize just how harmful some popular cliches can be to the grieving process.
  8. It can be heart-wrenching to tell kids a loved one is never coming back.
  9. Being honest with children also helps to establish trust, experts say.
  10. Young people have this vivid imagination.

Word Map by Against the Odds

 

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.  Identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I

  1. Parents can’t protect children from seeing or hearing about death.
  2. It is never two early to speak to children about death.
  3. Death is a normal and natural part of our life.

II

  1. Children’s grief will also vary depending on their developmental stage.
  2. They will understand death in new and different ways.
  3. It is important too know that kids grieve differently than adults.

III

  1. When speaking two children about death, it’s important for parents to use clear terminology.
  2. Using the word death is appropriate.
  3. Telling them simple, and honest information is the best approach.

 

Reading Comprehension Identify The  Speakers

Directions: Read the following quotes from the speakers in the article then identify the speakers.

  1. Many parents — like my father — avoid speaking to their children about death because they want to protect their kids from sadness and pain.”
  2. “…there’s more than concern for their children that holds many parents back. It’s our own uncomfortableness with [the topic] that prevents us from opening up the discussion.”
  3. “Children’s grief will also vary depending on their developmental stage.”
  4. “It is important to know that kids grieve differently than adults. And oftentimes, what may appear to be a frivolous play activity for children may actually be a very worthy way that they are working through grief.”
  5. “Sometimes “my [younger] daughter will say to me, ‘Is Daddy ever coming back?’ And as heart-wrenching as it is to tell her “no, Daddy isn’t coming back.”

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

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

  1.  Have you had to speak to young children about the death of a loved one (your kids, young siblings, cousins etc.) since covid-19? At any other time? If so, please describe your experience.
  2. What is the reason many parents  (or care givers) avoid speaking to their children about death?
  3. How do most adults feel about the topic of death?
  4. According to a recent study how many children have lost a parent or caregiver to covid-19?
  5. When is the right time to begin speaking to children about death?
  6. Why will children’s grief vary?
  7. How do children grieve differently than adults?
  8. How did therapist Linda Goldman help a little boy who lost his mom?
  9. When speaking to children about death what is the best terminology to use?

ANSWER KEY

How to Ease Your Child’s Return to School

“As elementary school students return to in-person classes, parents are getting increasingly concerned about their kids’ safety…Added to the worries are fears that after a year of remote learning, some kids have potentially fallen behind or become less comfortable socializing with peers.”  P. Klass, MD, The New York Times, Aug. 17, 2021

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post  with Answer Key

Image- Oscar Nimmo, NYT

Excerpt: How to Prep Kids for a Potentially Bumpy Return to School By Perri Klass, MD, The New York Times, Aug. 17, 2021

“As the American Academy of Pediatrics continues to review the rapidly evolving coronavirus situation in schools, it is still recommending in-person education, said Dr. Sara Bode, chairwoman-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on School Health. But at the same time, it is strongly recommending universal masking and a speedy authorization of vaccines for kids under 12.

Here are some ways you can ensure a smooth re-entry for your child.

Oscar Nimmo NYT

One of the best ways to level a bumpy road back to in-person schooling, said Dr. Bode, who is also a general pediatrician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, is to give children a good sense of what they can expect, and for parents to make clear that they believe a safe return is possible…First, and most importantly, make sure all family members who are eligible are fully vaccinated, said Dr. Grace Black, a general pediatrician affiliated with the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Oscar Nimmo, NYT

This includes kids ages 12 and up, as well as their older siblings, parents and grandparents… Tell your child that the vaccines are safe and effective, said Dr. Danielle Erkoboni, a general pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and that using them in tandem with masks is the best way to keep everyone safe.

image- Oscar Nimmo, New York Times

Frank discussions like these can give children a sense of their own power and agency in a potentially scary time…Because of the large-scale disruptions in learning over the past year, some students will be returning with major gaps in their education, Dr. Bode said, and they will need time to catch up…While the weather is still warm, summer activities and visits with friends — hikes, picnics, ball games in the park — can help reintroduce kids to group activities and take some of the tension out of going back to the classroom…Also make sure that your child’s school is doing everything they can to create a culture of acceptance and compassion, and that they are taking bullying — whether it’s because of weight gain, masking, academic issues or anything else — seriously and addressing it promptly.”

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 60 minutes.


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: Examine the titles of the post and of the actual article.  Examine any photos, then create a list of  words and  ideas  that you  and your group members think might be related to this article. 

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

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

  1. The Delta variant has caused a surge in pediatric Covid-19 hospitalizations.
  2. Especially in areas with low vaccination rates.
  3. Some states aren’t mandating masks in classrooms.
  4. Added to the fears that after a year of remote learning, some kids have potentially fallen behind in studies.
  5. Some kids have become less comfortable socializing with peers.
  6. There are ways that you can ensure a smooth re-entry for your child.
  7. Getting the vaccine and using them in tandem with masks keeps everyone safe.
  8. It is important to give children a sense of their own power and agency in a potentially scary time.
  9. Because of the disruptions in learning over the past year, some students will be returning major gaps in their education.
  10. When children are feeling vulnerable, they need more physical affection, reassurance and acknowledgment.

 

Word Map by Against the Odds

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.  Identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I

  1. Be prepared for some challenge.
  2. Be OK with academic imperfection.
  3. Discuss the importance of vaccines and masking.

 

II

  1. Project calm reassurance.
  2. Talk to kids about the types of masks.
  3. Reintroduce social activities safely.

III

  1. Return to an routine.
  2. Help your kids get back on track before school starts.
  3. Try to reestablish some dietary boundaries.

 

Reading Comprehension Identify The  Speakers

Directions: Read the following quotes from the speakers in the article. Then identify the speakers.

  1. “As the American Academy of Pediatrics continues to review the rapidly evolving coronavirus situation in schools, it is still recommending in-person education.”
  2. “One of the best ways to level a bumpy road back to in-person schooling is to give children a good sense of what they can expect, and for parents to make clear that they believe a safe return is possible.”
  3. “First, and most importantly, make sure all family members who are eligible are fully vaccinated.”
  4. “As soon as the vaccine is available to kids under 12  it’s important that they get it, too.”
  5. “Tell your child that the vaccines are safe and effective, and that using them in tandem with masks is the best way to keep everyone safe.”

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: Have  students discuss the following questions/statements. Afterwards,  students share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the topics mentioned.

  1. Do you have school-age kids that are starting school this year?
  2. If so, are you concerned about their health or that they may have fallen behind in their school work? Please explain why.
  3. In your personal opinion should young children start in-person school this year? Why or why not?
  4. According to the article which organization recommends kids attend school in-person?
  5. What are some of the ways mentioned to help your child reenter school this year? Can you think of any other ways?
  6. According to Dr. Grace Black what should all family members do?
  7. Why is it important for children to understand when we ask them to do anything?
  8. How should parents feel if their child’s learning is a little behind other students? 
  9. How should parents and the schools handle bullying or mockery from students who do not wear masks or take safety  precautions?
  10. What things can parents do at home to begin the process of healthy habits in school?

ANSWER KEY