Category Archives: Children/Teens

How to Create Safe Spaces for Your Children to Talk to You

Tips for creating safe spaces and developing emotional intelligence in your children.It is never too late to start opening new communication channels with your child. S. Boswell, The New York Times, Oct. 15, 2020

Credit-SuccessfulParenting

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Excerpt: How to Help Kids Open Up About Anything By Shanicia Boswell, The New York Times, Oct. 15, 2020

“Did you learn your lesson?” my mother asked.

Those five words have been etched in my mind since I was a teenager.

I was a good kid… but I was always pushing the boundaries. This time, I had received a speeding ticket for rushing to get home before my curfew. When I told her what had happened, my mother approached me with arms crossed, her tone one of serious concern, but not anger.

I received no actual punishment, but I did have to take responsibility for my actions and pay the ticket with my own money. Growing up, I always found my mother to be a safe space for me.

Credit-GrandrapidKids

Now that I’m a mother, I’ve worked to create those spaces for my daughter. The communication that starts with parents and children is one of the most influential and persuasive ways children can learn to socialize throughout their lives, research shows. 

Taylor Quick, a licensed child therapist for Zola Counseling, a private practice in Charlotte, N.C., defines safe spaces as the relationship that a child has to her parent or caregiver to feel understood and heard..How do we create safe spaces to allow our children to manage their emotions and talk openly?

Credit- MyKidsTime

Have a ‘feelings check-in’…Smith-Crawford suggested parents try this with their children. ‘Ideally, feelings check-ins are done daily, at the end of the day. You can do this with your children until they are adults,’ she said.

Self-awareness, or knowing what you feel and how you feel it, is an important component of emotional intelligence, said Daniel Goleman, Ph.D, the author of Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships.

redit-The Good Men Project

Dr. Goleman has demonstrated how younger children have the power to manage their emotions… My 7-year-old and I have a safety circle. In this circle, we sit face to face to create a feeling of [being] equal…It is never too late to start opening new communication channels with your child, especially as we are spending so much more time together during the pandemic. By helping our children talk openly at home, we are preparing them to communicate and connect with others and to use their voice powerfully in the world.”

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: 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. Tips for creating safe spaces and developing emotional intelligence in your children.
  2. Those five words have been etched in my mind since I was a teenager.
  3. I was a good kid growing up  between boys and shenanigans.
  4. I was always pushing the boundaries.
  5. The communication  has to start with parents and children.
  6. Many parents feel that making  a curfew for kids is important.
  7. This is  one of the most influential ways children can learn to socialize throughout their lives.
  8. Children feel more empowered after their feelings have been validated.
  9. I want the children and the family to identify and be aware of the feelings that they’ve experienced.
  10. Self-awareness is an important component of emotional intelligence.

 

 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. Those five word have been etched in my mind.
  2. I was a good kid but I was always pushing the boundaries.
  3. I had a speeding ticket for rushing to get home before my curfew.

II

  1. Now that I’m a mother, I’ve worked to create those spaces for my daughter.
  2. How do we create safe spaces for our children?
  3. Parents should have check-ins with their children.

III

  1. Showing child how to calm down is important.
  2. Younger children have the power to manage their emotions.
  3. My 7-year-old and I have a safety circle.

 

Reading Comprehension

Identify The  Speakers

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

  1. ” Growing up, I always found my mother to be a safe space for me.”
  2. Defines safe spaces as “the relationship that a child has to her parent or caregiver to feel understood and heard.”
  3. “I want the children and the family to identify and be aware of the feelings that they’ve experienced throughout their week but also be able to connect that feeling with a certain circumstance or event.”
  4. “Self-awareness, or knowing what you feel and how you feel it, is an important component of emotional intelligence.”
  5. “My parents listen to me because they want to support me and they want to be there for me.”
  6. He suggests,” we can ask our children how we are doing as parents.”

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 feel it is important for children or adults to have a safe place? Please explain why.
  2. Do you have a safe place? Why?
  3. How does Taylor Quick defines safe places?
  4. According to Ms. Quick, when do children feel more empowered?
  5. Describe ‘feelings check-in’
  6. According to Smith-Crawford how long should parents do feelings-check-ins with their children?

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

Is Online Learning Working for Your Child? Here’s How To Tell

“Most parents never expected they’d be in grade school again, and yet, here we are…In a moment when time is precious and energy even more so, it might be challenging for parents to understand how growing a bean in a cup fits into their child’s larger education picture.You may be asking yourself: How will I even know if my child is learning anything this year?” K. Bosch, The New York Times (11/2020)

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Credit- additudemaq

Excerpt: How to Tell if Distance Learning Is Working for Your Kid -Measuring skills, not test scores, is key. By Kim Bosch, The New York Times

“The short answer: Focus on the outcomes. ‘Learning Outcomes’ (which are sometimes called ‘goals’ or even ‘standards’) are a set of skills a student should master by the end of a school year.

For example, a typical outcome for a third-grade student in language arts might be, ‘Student can use transition words to vary sentence structure,’ or in mathematics, ‘Student can estimate and measure perimeter,’… Outcomes are a clear and measurable list of skills…As the education crisis caused by Covid-19 continues, all levels of education should focus more on the number of skills students need to learn rather than the amount of time spent on Zoom.

Credit- edutopia

This is especially important in primary school where education is closely tied to developmental milestones, and for pandemic parents who are struggling to find time and energy to help their kids with online education… So how then do they know whether or not their kids are keeping up in their development?

Figure out how your child’s school measures success.

Credit- chronicle.com

First, go online and see if you can find a copy of your school’s learning plan (here is a good example), or ask your teacher or principal for a complete list of learning goals for your kid’s grade. It is important to note that outcomes are not synonymous to major projects or grades or test scores…Depending on your kid, it might also be a good idea to share the list of outcomes for the year with them. Some kids might like being ‘in’ on the plan, or by focusing on the tasks in a list it might take away the anxiety of getting good grades… Parents are being asked to play a bigger role in their child’s education than ever before, and because of that, they should also be given the information that will allow them to do so. This is why your relationship with your child’s teacher is so important…what was once a conversation about ‘math skills’ (vague) can now be ‘Do you have some ideas about how I can work on X outcome at home?’

Having these conversations helps not only students and parents, but teachers too, since they can give you ideas for how you can support your child in person where maybe they, sadly, cannot right now because of social distancing measures.”

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: Analyzing headings and photos

Directions: Examine the titles of the post and 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. Despite the best efforts of compassionate teachers parents are needed to help with online learning.
  2. Many parents hover over the computer with their kids.
  3. Students are reminded  to document their findings in science class.
  4. Parents are feeling anxious these days.
  5. Learning Outcomes are sometimes called goals.
  6. The author guided faculty through the process of going remote.
  7. It is important to note that outcomes are not synonymous to major projects.
  8. By understanding the learning expectations, parents gain a sense of organization
  9. Once you understand what your kid is expected to learn, you’ll be able to better engage them in the learning process.
  10. For many years, educators have used formal assessments as the measure of a student’s success.

 

 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 never expected they’d be in grade school again.
  2. Parents are still playing a big role in online education this fall.
  3. Parents hover over an computer with their children.

II

  1. Many teachers are compassionate.
  2. Faculty member are asked to focus on what their students still need to learn.
  3. Parents are advised to  go online and find a copy of their school’s learning plan.

III

  1. Understanding the expected outcomes for your child’s grade can be helpful.
  2. It’s important for parent to engage their kids in the learning process.
  3. It is a good idea for parents to share the list of outcomes for the year with kids.

 

Reading Comprehension: Fill-ins

Directions: Have students read the entire article, have them complete the following sentencestaken 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.

Understanding the ___outcomes for your child’s ___can be ___in a couple ways. First, it allows you to ___a bit knowing that your school has a ___plan for your child’s___. It also gives you a ___by which to measure your child’s success.By understanding the learning expectations, ___gain a sense of ___and ___over an otherwise uncontrollable situation.

WORD LIST: control, organization, parents, relax, checklist, development, helpful, focused, grade,

 

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. Are you currently in an online learning program? If so, describe your experience so far. If you are a parent describe your child’s online learning program.
  2. Why are parents playing a big role in online education?
  3. According to the article, why are parents feeling anxious about online education?
  4. What is the best way to measure whether a child is learning a subject?
  5. What is another term for “Learning Outcomes”?
  6. What does OBE stand for?
  7. At her school, what did the author ask her faculty to focus on with their students?
  8. According to the article, what should education at all levels focus on?
  9. What is a good way for parents to find out if their kids are “keeping up in their development”?
  10. Why is knowing the expected outcomes for your child grade important?
  11. Why is sharing the expected outcomes with your child a good idea?
  12. The author states, “For centuries, educators have used formal assessments (tests, worksheets and grades) as the key measure of a student’s “success.” But in these challenging times, it’s important to focus less on the formal evaluation of student skills and more on the ability to demonstrate a skill in any way.”  Why is this important?
  13. Describe some  ways  in which a parent can make up the informal assessment periods kids used to spend with their teachers.
  14. Why is it important for parents to focus on the outcomes of a problem and not the way in which the child achieved them?
  15. What does the author suggest parents should do in regards to their child’s teachers?

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

During Quarantine, Children Return to Their Mother Tongue

“With schools and day cares closed, previously dominant languages — such as English in Britain and the United States — are no longer as overpowering. Instead, children are hearing more of their parents’ mother tongues.”S. Hardach, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

credit- adzuna.co blog

Excerpt:In Quarantine, Kids Pick Up Parents’ Mother Tongues,By Sophie Hardach, The New York Times

“A few days into the lockdown here in London, I noticed a surprising side-effect of the pandemic: My 3-year-old son was speaking more German.

German is my mother tongue, and I have used it with him since he was born, but because everyone around us speaks English, including my British husband, we settled into a pattern typical of mixed families. I spoke to my son in German, and he replied in English. Then Covid-19 reshuffled our linguistic deck. As all of us quarantined at home, my son embraced German with unprecedented enthusiasm. Now, almost six months on, it has become his preferred language. In a complete reversal, he even replies to my husband in German.

My experience is far from unique. All over the world, Covid-19 has forced children to stay inside. In some homes where different languages coexist, this is changing how they speak… children are hearing more of their parents’ mother tongues…Before the lockdown, the children tended to use the dominant languages: English in Britain and Ireland, and Norwegian in Norway (plus English, thanks to television, computer games and other media)… School plays a crucial role with this; in a study of 200 Korean-American families, the portion of firstborn children who spoke Korean to their parents went from almost 80 percent to 34 percent after starting school. Younger siblings spoke even less.

For parents, that sudden rejection of the mother tongue can be bewildering and even painful… In the United States, researchers interested in language have launched an app called KidTalk to gather recordings made before and during Covid-19. Yi Ting Huang, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at the University of Maryland, and Joshua Hartshorne, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at Boston College, have recruited more than 300 families, about a third of which are multilingual, for the project… Dr. Huang plans to use speech-recognition software to analyze the recordings; for example, identifying the number of speakers and languages in each conversation, and tracking any changes…n the past, Dr. Huang said, many researchers and policymakers viewed a child as a water glass that could only hold so much liquid.

‘So we’re just trying to cram as much of one language as opposed to another language,’ she said…Dr. Hartshorne and his partner are also raising their daughter in English and Mandarin, but they have seen the opposite effect…’As the weeks have worn on, we’ve worn down.’ English has become the family’s default language, though the daughter still understands Mandarin…Will all these languages continue to blossom after Covid-19? It’s hard to say.

Some researchers expected children to revert to the dominant language once life returns to normal. Others saw the possibility of a virtuous cycle, with children growing more confident in their second language and using it more in the long run.”

“On the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden went down to Florida in an attempt to help secure the Latino vote in November.”

“I’ll tell you what, if I had the talent of any one of these people, I’d be elected president by acclamation,” ~Democratic Presidential Leader Joe Biden~

Biden was referring toLuis Fonsi  [the artist who performed the Spanish song ‘Despacito’] as well as singer Ricky Martin and actress Eva Longoria, who also spoke ahead of Biden in Kissimmee, Florida.”Ed O’Keefe reports.

Election 2020: What to know

How to vote:Find out the rules in your state. Some states have already started sending out mail ballots; see how to make sure yours counts. Absentee and mail ballots are two terms for the same thing, mostly used interchangeably. Barring a landslide, we may not have a result in the presidential election on Nov. 3.

Electoral college map: Who actually votes, and who do they vote for? Explore how shifts in turnout and voting patterns for key demographic groups could affect the presidential race.

Battlegrounds: Want to understand the swing states? Read about Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Florida and Pennsylvania, and sign up for The Trailer and get more states, plus more news and insight from the trail, in your inbox three days a week.

Coming up: Trump and Biden are scheduled to debate three times this fall; here’s what to know about the 2020 presidential debates.

RELATED:

A state-by-state guide to voting in the age of COVID-19 By Nathaniel Rakich and Julia Wolfe Click on your state in the map to see a lot of the information you need in order to cast a ballot this fall — by whatever method you choose. This page will be updated on a regular basis with the latest developments.

 

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
August 10, 1993 – September 18, 2020

Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgAugust 10, 1993 – September 18, 2020

Rest In Love and Peace ESL-Voices

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:  Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos

Directions: Examine the titles of the post and 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.

Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

  1. German is my mother tongue.
  2. The Covid-19 reshuffled our linguistic deck.
  3. All of us are quarantined at home.
  4. My son embraced German  with unprecedented enthusiasm.
  5. My experience is far from unique.
  6. In some homes where different languages coexist, this is changing how they speak.
  7. Dr. Serratrice surveyed the language habits of over 700 multilingual families.
  8. Unless parents take extra measures, the ancestral sound may fade.
  9. For some parents, the school closures are an opportunity to challenge bigger linguistic hierarchies.
  10. Amid the upheaval of Covid-19, kids might be turning to a reassuring language that they associate with parents.  

Grammar Focus: Word -Recognition

Directions: Students choose the correct word to complete the sentences taken from the article.

The parents in/on these family/families spoke/spoken  more than 40 different mother tongues, including French,  Spanish, Hindi, Urdu, Kirundi and Zulu.

Before a/the lockdown, the/an children tended to/too use the dominant languages: English in/on Britain and Ireland, and/an Norwegian in Norway (plus English, thank/thanks too/to television, computer games and another/other media).

Identify The  Speakers

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

  1. “They’re put into this little hothouse of less English, more other languages.”
  2. “When you think about living in a different country and raising your child in your native language, some people think, ‘Oh, it’s the most natural thing and it’s easy,’ because it’s your native language. And that couldn’t be further from the truth.”
  3. “…not all respondents saw their native tongue strengthen. Some even said it was suffering because they were home-schooling the children in Norwegian.”
  4. “Language is a living marker of history and cultural identity, linking immigrant families to their place of origin.”
  5. “I don’t know that we’ve had recent historical precedent for a child’s world to be shrunk down to just the immediate family for months at a time.”
  6. “More than 42 Indigenous languages are spoken in Uganda, but formal education is delivered in English, a legacy of colonialism…the local language Luganda  has gained strength during lockdown.

Graphic Organizers: Finding The Main Idea

Directions:  Have students use this graphic organizer to assist them with  discussing  or writing about  the main points from the article.

Advanced Spider map By writedesignonline

 

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. Besides English, how many other languages do you speak?
  2. If English is not your first language, do you speak your first language at home?
  3. Why are children speaking  more of their first language now?
  4. Why does the author state her  experience is  ‘far from unique’?
  5. Why aren’t children hearing more English during Covid-19?
  6. According to the article, why does the language of the home becomes less and less important to young children?
  7. In general, how do parents feel when their kids stop speaking their mother tongue?
  8. The article states, ‘This echoes research suggesting that passing on one’s language can create better communication between generations and a shared identity and heritage.’  In your own words explain what this means.
  9. What language did Dr. Huang speak as a child? Why did she go back to speaking it as an adult?
  10. Write down one new idea  you’ve learned from this reading.

3-2-1-Writing

Directions: In 5 minutes to write down three new ideas you’ve learned about the topic from the reading ,two things that you did not understand in the reading, and one thing you would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.

ANSWER KEY

How Schools Are Organizing to Protect Students During Covid-19

An illustrated guide to how schools will try to control the coronavirus when students return to their classrooms, this fall or in the future.” By D. Goldstein, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Credit- The New York Times

 

Excerpt:What Back to School Might Look Like in the Age of Covid-19, By Dana Goldstein, The New York Times

“A typical American school day requires proximity: High school lab partners leaning over a vial. Kindergarten students sharing finger paints. Middle schoolers passing snacks around a cafeteria table.

Credit- The New York Times

This year, nothing about school will be typical. Many of the nation’s largest districts plan to start the academic year online, and it is unclear when students and teachers will be back in classrooms.

Others plan hybrid models, while some are determined to go five days a week.

When school buildings do reopen, whether this fall or next year, buses, hallways, cafeterias and classrooms will need to look very different as long as the coronavirus remains a threat.

Credit- The New York Times

Even teaching, which has evolved in recent decades to emphasize fewer lectures and more collaborative lessons, must change…There is still considerable uncertainty and debate over how easily children of different ages contract and spread the virus, and whether some of the recommended safety guidelines would help or are even necessary.”

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION

The 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, at the close of the Democratic National Convention Thursday night. [8/20] Photo: Olivier Douliery

On Thursday night, [8/20] he was introduced by a video that referenced the loss of his first wife and daughter early in his Senate career and, years later, of his son Beau to brain cancer. “I know how mean and cruel and unfair life can be sometimes…your loved one may have left this earth, but they’ll never leave your heart. They’ll always be with you. You’ll always hear them.”

Vice President Biden with his son Beau at Camp Victory on the Baghdad outskirts in 2009.Credit: Khalid Mohammed

As president, the first step I will take will be to get control of the virus that’s ruined so many lives… Because I understand something this president doesn’t. We will never get our economy back on track, we will never get our kids safely back to school, we will never have our lives back until we deal with this virus.”

Brayden Harrington, 13, spoke about how former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. helped him overcome his stutter in a speech on Thursday at the Democratic National Convention.

“As God’s children, each of us has a purpose in our lives… And we have a great purpose as a nation: to open the doors of opportunity to all Americans; to save our democracy; to be a light to the world once again; to finally live up to and make real the words written in the sacred documents that founded this nation that all men and women are created equal. Endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. Among them, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” 

Biden and Harris: For The American People!

“I will have a great vice president at my side, Senator Kamala Harris,” Biden reminded his listeners. “She is a powerful voice for this nation. Her story is the American story. She knows about all the obstacles thrown in the way of so many in our country: women, Black women, Black Americans, South Asian Americans, immigrants, the left out and left behind. But she’s overcome every obstacle she’s ever faced. No one’s been tougher on the big banks or the gun lobby. No one’s been tougher in calling out this current administration for its extremism, its failure to follow the law, and its failure to simply tell the truth.” 

~Democratic Presidential Leader Joe Biden~

~Democratic Vice-Presidential Leader Kamala Harris~

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.

 Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos

Directions: Examine the titles of the post and 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. 

 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. This is an illustrated guide to how schools will try to control the coronavirus.
  2. A typical American school day requires proximity.
  3. Some schools plan to use hybrid models, while some are determined to go five days a week.
  4. The coronavirus remains a threat to everyone.
  5. Unfortunately, education leaders are relying on a host of conflicting federal, state and public health guidelines.
  6. As a result, schools are adopting a wide range of approaches for the pandemic era.
  7. All schools have one factor to solve which is eliminating proximity.
  8. Getting children to school will be one of the most difficult logistical challenges.
  9. Some state guidelines sketch alternative scenarios.
  10. Schools will  check each student for symptoms before they  enter the classroom.

 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. Kindergarten students likes to share finger paints.
  2. Middle schoolers pass snacks around a cafeteria table.
  3. High schoolers share cellphones.

II

  1. Some schools are determined to go five days a week.
  2. Other schools will use a hybrid model.
  3. This year, nothing about school will be typical.

III

  1. For about half of American students, the school day typically begins with a bus trip.
  2. Families should not cluster at the bus stop.
  3. Some schools will hire monitors to check students’ symptoms before they board the bus.

Reading Comprehension Fill-ins

Directions: Read the entire article, then  complete the following sentences taken from the article.  You can use the words and terms from the list provided, or provide your own terms.

Young ___may be the hardest to ___apart, given their ___energy, need for hands-on play and___nature. And most___acknowledge that it is not realistic to expect them to wear ___all day.

Many ___will try to keep students in___ by limiting class ___to about 12 students and by ___interaction between classrooms. That way, they can ___shutting down entirely if a single pod has a ___case.

WORD LIST: avoid, sizes, pods, masks, guidelines, affectionate, schools, frenetic, children, reducing, positive, keep,

III. Post Reading Activities

WH-How Questions

Directions: 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. To help stop the spread of the virus what is the one factor that all schools must agree upon?
  2. Where is the first place students come into contact with each other?
  3. According to the article how many students should ride the school buses during Covid-19?
  4. What will be the very first thing children will have to have done before entering the school?
  5. What happens to students who fail the symptom check?
  6. What do schools plan to do with large spaces like gyms and cafeterias?
  7. The article states “Schools are not planning to follow a traditional bell schedule.”  How do schools now plan to schedule lunch and bathroom breaks during the day?

3-2-1-Writing

Directions: In 5 minutes write down three new ideas  you’ve learned about the topic from the reading,  two things  that  you did not understand in the reading, and one thing you  would like to know that the article did not mention.

ANSWER KEY

Picture Books to Fire the Imagination of Kids

“These journeys of the imagination explore what it means to be human.” J. Krauss, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

From Lali’s Feather Credit- S. Fizer Coleman

 

Excerpt:  8 Picture Books That Let Young Minds Wonder and Wander on Their Own, By J. Krauss, The New York Times

I Dream of A Journey, By Akiko Miyakoshi

Written and illustrated by Akiko Miyakoshi.

“A plaque, next to rows of glimmering keys, reads ‘Solitude Hotel.’  It is late in the grainy black-and-white night, and the eyes of the anthropomorphic innkeeper, who stands still behind the desk, are soulful. Later, as he closes them, he yearns to go ‘far, far away.’ The pages turn to muted color. We see him with a ‘big suitcase,’ riding a bicycle, crossing a bridge…”

From When You Look Up By Decur

Written and illustrated by Decur.

“Children will pore over this moody watercolor-soaked story of an introvert’s creative awakening, which contains within it a bright collage of weirdly wonderful dreams and nightmares, while adults will covet it as a work of art that speaks to their inner child. A picture book-graphic novel hybrid by the self-taught Argentine artist Guillermo Decurgez (known as Decur),… it begins on “moving day,” as a boy who believes the world exists only inside his cellphone finds a mysterious notebook in the secret compartment of a desk in his new room…”

Lift By Minh Lê, Illustrated by Dan Santat.

“A girl who loves to push buttons loses it when her baby brother finally succeeds in reaching one inside their apartment building’s elevator. After the elevator’s repair, she secretly snatches the old “up” button from the lobby trash, tapes it outside her closet door and embarks on nightly ‘out of this world’ all-on-her-own adventures…”

From “Lift”Credit…Dan Santat

 

A Story About Afiya, By James Berry, Illustrated by Anna Cunha.

“This joyous celebration of childhood, culture and place by the late Jamaican poet follows a young girl named Afiya (‘health’ in Swahili) whose summer frock ‘collects’ what she sees as she dances across an island in motion: One day butterflies adhere to it, imprinting their vivid patterns, another day flocks of birds or fish in the waves. For its Brazilian illustrator each airy panoramic spread is a fresh canvas, like Afiya’s newly washed dress each morning…”

From A Story About Afiya Credit-Anna Cunha

LaLi’s Feather, By Farhana Zia. Illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman.

“When local birds disown the ‘lost’ feather Lali finds, she scoffs, imagining it can do ‘100 things!’— tickle, twirl, whirl — until a gust of wind lifts it high above the tamarind trees and it becomes everyone’s prize. Then she finds a button, and the pattern repeats…”

A Wave of Stars”Written by Dolores Brown. Illustrated by Sonja Wimmer.

“Two sea creature friends accidentally look at a moonbow and become human in this book that reads like a Scandinavian fairy tale. Mimbi the seal, clutching a mer-king doll, becomes a girl and Kipo the turtle, bereft of his shell, a boy…”

A Wave of Stars, Credit- Sonja Wimmer.

 

Sandcastle Written and illustrated by Einat Tsarfati.

The fun of this treasure trove begins with its tactile cover: a sandpapery castle against the glossy blue-sky antics of the girl who built it. Inside, the things royal guests love about it (‘It’s 100 percent sand’; ‘You can hear the ocean!’) presage its cathartic end.

From Sandcastle Credit…Einat Tsarfati

 

“Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., join hands as they watch fireworks during the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention on Aug. 20, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware. Jill Biden is seen on the left.” (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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: Examine the titles of the post and 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

Vocabulary 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. A plaque, next to rows of glimmering keys, reads “Solitude Hotel.”
  2. The eyes of the anthropomorphic innkeeper behind the desk are soulful.
  3. There are scenes that hover between fantasy and reality.
  4. Children will pore over this moody watercolor-soaked story.
  5. It contains within it a bright collage of weirdly wonderful dreams and nightmares,
  6. The story was written by Minh Lê and Illustrated by Dan Santat.
  7. The little girl embarks on nightly out of this world all-on-her-own adventures.
  8. The story is about  a young girl named Afiya  whose summer frock collects what she sees as she dances.
  9. The fun of this treasure trove begins with its tactile cover.
  10. The story includes  the  antics of the girl who built the sand castle.

 

Grammar Focus: Word -Recognition

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

Children will pore/pour over this mode/moody watercolor-soaked story/stories of an introvert’s creative awakening, which contains wither/within it a bright/bitecollege/collage of weirdly/weird wonderful dreams and nightmares, while adults will covet/cover it as a work of art that speaks to their inner child.

 

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, mark it NA. If the statement is false  mark  it F and provide the correct answer. 

  1. In the story I Dream of A Journey, By Akiko Miyakoshi, the name of the hotel is Solitude Hotel.
  2. The inn keeper in the story is very happy!
  3. In the story When You Look Up by Decur, there is a boy who believes the world exists only inside his baseball glove.
  4. The story Lift by by Minh Lê, concerns a girl who loves to push buttons.
  5. The girl in the story secretly snatches the old up button from the lobby trash,  and tapes it outside her Kitchen door.
  6. Every time she pushes the ‘button’  the girl embarks on nightly ‘out of this world’  all-on-her-own adventures.
  7. In A Story About Afiya by James Berry, the young girl’s name (Afiya) means  happiness in Swahili.
  8. The story focuses on Afiya’s dress and the various things that adhere to it.
  9. The illustrator Anna Cunha is Brazilian.
  10. In the story Lali’s Feather, we see that local birds disown the ‘lost’ feather Lali finds.

 

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: Answer the following questions from the article.

  1. Have you ever written a book for children?
  2. Have you thought about writing a book?
  3. Out of the books listed in the article which ones do you think kids would like the best?    Explain why.
  4. Make a list of topics that would be suitable for children in this day and age.
  5. After reading this article, In 5 minutes to write down three new ideas  you’ve learned about the topic from the reading,  two things  that  you did not understand in the reading, and one thing you  would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.

ANSWER KEY

Extra Activity

Write A Children’s Book!

With your group (or alone) write a children’s book.

First, read: How to Write a Children’s Book Outline”