“What if emojis could relay serious, even scary situations and allow children to get the help they need?… A Swedish non-profit hopes a new set of emojis they released will help children and teenagers signal instances of abuse or communicate their stressful situations to adults when words aren’t enough.”J. Barajas, PBS
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key
Excerpt: New emojis help children report abuse where words fail By Joshua Barajas, PBS
“BRIS, an organization that runs a national children’s helpline, created the Abused Emojis an application that comes with a range of images that depict bad feelings and illustrate mistreatment. BRIS spokeswoman Silvia Ernhagen said the emojis are a door opener for children to talk about these difficult topics.
[The abuse emojis] could be a way of starting to signal that you do need help, but you’re too afraid maybe to put your own words on it because once you put words on it, it starts to get scary, Ernhagen said. Sometimes it’s easier to express feelings with pictures or drawings.
BRIS hopes the emojis expand a child’s vocabulary to communicate without words. In one emoji, a familiar poop symbol sits atop a child’s head. It’s similar to saying that you feel like crap, Ernhagen said.”
If you need help or have questions about child abuse, call the Child help National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) then push 1 to talk to a counselor. The Hotline counselors are available 365 days a year to help kids, and adults who are worried about kids they suspect are being abused.
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post
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 of abused children. Next, have students look at the pictures in the text and generate ideas or words that may be connected to the article. List these ideas on the board. Students can use a brainstorming chart by UIE for assistance.
II. While Reading Tasks
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.
- Bris is a non-profit organization.
- The application has images that depict bad feelings.
- The images also illustrate mistreatment.
- This is a way for children to signal they need help.
- For some it’s easier to express feelings with pictures.
- These are not a typical set of joyful emojis.
- Nothing comparable exists in the US.
- The skull represents a child contemplating dark thoughts.
- BRIS hopes the emojis will expand a child’s vocabulary.
- There’s also one for verbal abuse.
Directions: Students choose the correct word to complete the sentences taken from the article. They are to choose from the options presented.
BRIS, an organize/organization that runs/ruins a national children’s helpline, create/created theAbused Emojis, an application/apply that comes with a range/ranges of imagine/images that depict bad feelings and illusion/illustrate mistreatment. BRIS spokeswoman Silvia Ernhagen said the emojis are a “door opener” for children to take/talk about these difficult topics.
[The abuse emojis] could be a way of starting to signal/sign that you do need help, but you’re too afraid maybe to put your known/own words on it because once you put words on it, it starts to get scary/scared.
Using Adjectives to describe pictures
Directions: Have students choose several pictures from the article and write a sentence describing the emotion.
III. Post Reading Tasks
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?
Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.
1. The following two statements were taken from the article. Rephrase each statement in your own words, then discuss the meaning with the members of your group.
“BRIS hopes the emojis expand a child’s vocabulary to communicate without words. In one emoji, a familiar poop symbol sits atop a child’s head. It’s similar to saying that you feel like crap.”
“The emojis would allow nonverbal or pre-verbal children, as well as children from different cultures, to overcome any language barriers.”
2. Do you think the new emojis will be helpful to young children? Explain why or why not.
3. With your group members think of other emojis that may be helpful.
Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about emojis 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.