Category Archives: Culture

How to Entertain Your Kids This Summer If You Can’t Hire Mary Poppins!

“You can keep your family safe and sane by encouraging old-school play, embarking on some D.I.Y. projects and, yes, even embracing boredom.”A. Slolski, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Excerpt: How to Entertain Your Kids This Summer? Maybe Don’t By A. Slolski, The New York Times

“A funny thing about summer: It is long. It is also hot. This one comes in the middle of a global pandemic.

And even in a changed and changing world, I have reserved some mental energy for panicking about how my kids, husband and I will make it to September without everyone’s brains turning into Haribo gummies. Let me put it this way: On a recent rainy Saturday, we baked banana bread and played games. We made lunch together, built a cardboard lantern and learned about the constellations. It was exhausting. And they still put down two Disney movies. Three months into school closures, my children have watched every show. There are no shows left.

And yet, working from home with small children, an ordeal and a privilege, has been de rigueur since agrarianism got going. Parents managed it for thousands of years — without day care, compulsory schooling or camps. What did children used to do all day? Short answer: They worked and they played, often with minimal adult supervision.

Children at play in Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s 1560 painting Children’s Games.Credit- Kunsthistorisches Museum

In an email, Mintz, a history professor at the University of Texas at Austin, pointed to Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s 1560 painting Children’s Games. A canvas to give social-distancing enforcers nightmares, it shows 100 or so Flemish youths disporting themselves with hoops, stilts, bubbles, marbles, the occasional pig bladder and the wholesome fun of beating one another with a scourge. The Flemish parents are elsewhere, presumably answering emails or cracking open a brown ale.

The painting suggests that a lot of play is social, a difficulty in a pandemic. But it also insists that the desire for play is innate and that children will find ways to amuse themselves, especially if you can supply some rudimentary toys — kites, cards, blocks, dolls, balls, paper boats and paper airplanes, a garden hose if you have one, a half-filled tub…This may also be a good time to get away from the idea that play should be educational or S.T.E.M.-enhancing. ‘All play is productive,’ Mintz said. ‘They will learn something from whatever they do.’

Bored children during the summer.

Still, children may not want to play on their own or with a sibling, and you may have conference calls or Twitter threads that beckon. Which means they will claim boredom, and more than likely they will whine about it. What should you do? Nothing.

Feeling that we ought to keep kids happy and entertained is a comparatively modern mind-set and speaks to certain resources and luxuries. Instead of trying to prevent boredom, maybe welcome it and see what children do…Housework can also become a form of play…’The thing to remember is that kids want to help, so try to get them in the habit of doing some of those things,’ Lenore Skenazy, president of Let Grow, a nonprofit promoting childhood independence said. A 3-year-old separating laundry is quite possible and also quite fun… If you can take a few extra minutes to gamify the chore — Mary Poppins’s ‘Spoonful of Sugar’ approach — they may even enjoy it.

A pandemic isn’t forever… ‘Don’t think that there’s something wrong with you or that you haven’t been the perfect camp counselor and made it a fun and exciting and rewarding summer for everyone,’ Skenazy said. “I mean, just give yourself a break.”

 

“I’ve said from the outset of this election that we are in a battle for the soul of this nation. Who we are. What we believe. And maybe most important — who we want to be. It’s all at stake.”~Democratic Presidential Leader Joe Biden~

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: Using a Pre-reading Organizer

Directions: Have  students to examine the title of the post and of the actual article they are about to read. Then, have them  examine the photos. Ask students to write a paragraph describing what they think this article will discuss. Students can use a Pre-reading organizer for assistance.

Pre-reading chart by J. Swann

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

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

  1. Parents no longer have to worry about keeping their kids entertained.
  2. You can keep your family safe and sane by encouraging old-school play.
  3. Also embarking on some D.I.Y. projects helps.
  4. This summer comes in the middle of a global pandemic.
  5. I have reserved some mental energy for panicking about how my kids, husband and I will make it this summer.
  6. We built a cardboard lantern and learned about the constellations.
  7. It was exhausting.
  8. Working from home with small children, can be an ordeal and a privilege.
  9. Working from home with small children has been de rigueur since agrarianism got going.
  10. Parents managed it for thousands of years — without day care, compulsory schooling or camps.

Grammar Focus: Identifying Prepositions

Directions: The following sentences are from the news article.For each sentence choose the correct preposition from the choices listed. Note that not all prepositions listed are in the article.

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

You can keep your family safe and sane___encouraging old-school play, embarking___some D.I.Y. projects.

And even___a changed and changing world, I have reserved some mental energy ___panicking___how my kids, husband and I will make it ___September.

The desire___play is innate and that children will find ways___amuse themselves, especially if you can supply some rudimentary toys.

This may also be a good time___ get away ___the idea that play should be educational or S.T.E.M.-enhancing.

Still, children may not want___ play ___their own.

 

Identify The  Speakers

Directions:  Have students read the following quotes from speakers in the article to  see if they can identify the speakers.

  1. The pandemic has exaggerated and intensified the worst features of children’s play today: adult intrusion; the decline of physical, outdoor and social play; and mediation by screens.”
  2. Feeling that we ought to keep kids happy and entertained is a comparatively modern mind-set and speaks to certain resources and luxuries. Instead of trying to prevent boredom, maybe welcome it and see what children do.”
  3. “The thing to remember is that kids want to help, so try to get them in the habit of doing some of those things.”

 

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

  1. Why is the author concerned about this summer with her kids?
  2. What activities did the author and her husband  do with their children?
  3. Why does the author say, “I have reserved some mental energy for panicking about how my kids, husband and I will make it to September without everyone’s brains turning into Haribo gummies.”
  4. According to the author how did parents manage children a long time ago— without day care, compulsory schooling or camps?
  5. What does author Steven Mintz suggest that parents do with their kids?
  6. When children show boredom, what does author Tom Hodgkinson, suggest?
  7. Describe the D.I.Y. Approach to Culture.
  8. Make a list of activities children can do this summer.

 

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

 

Category: Children/Teens, Culture

Museums Are Seeking Covid-19 Memorabilia

“Wanted: Artifacts that show how Americans navigated the Covid-19 crisis. The trick is determining what’s historically valuable.” A. Popescu, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Excerpt:How Will We Remember the Pandemic? Museums Are Already DecidingBy Adam Popescu, The New York Times

“Six-year-old Franklin Wong captured the simple frustrationof being a student in this city’s Unified School District in mid-March, after his classes were canceled. He wrote in big blocky letters: ‘ did not go anywhere,’ and added an unhappy face in green and red crayon for his remote-learning assignment.

Six-year-old Franklin Wong’s journal entry… It is in the collection of the Autry Museum of the American West.Credit- Franklin Wong

This may be the first time a first grader’s homework is headed to a permanent museum collection instead of a parent’s refrigerator door, a novelty that underscores how far into uncharted waters curators are sailing.

The Autry Museum of the American West, which recently acquired Franklin’s diary, is among the growing contingent of museums, academic institutions and historical societies from here to Bozeman, Mont., and Washington, D.C., that have begun recording this moment of collective uncertainty in the country’s war against the coronavirus…Museums are not just seeking artists’ works but everyone’s memories — the more personal, the better — in an effort that recalls the repositories of first-person testimony, along with material evidence and historical records, gathered by cultural institutions after Sept. 11.

Jake Sheiner, out of work since mid-March, has painted scenes of his home quarantine. They were collected by the University of Southern California Libraries.Credit- J. Sheiner,

But some scholars and historians point to today’s challenges of depicting an event authentically and from many angles when there is still no end in sight to the pandemic. And, they ask, when everything is an artifact, what is truly historically important — and just whose Covid stories are being told in these archives, and whose are not?…Organizers had a decade after Sept. 11 to assemble multiple views of history that would be examined in repositories culminating in the National September 11 Memorial Museum at ground zero — and even longer to put together the many Holocaust Museums scattered across the globe…In the cases of Holocaust and September 11 museums, personal items represented the memories and traumas of everyday people. As institutions rush to bear witness to the pandemic, some historians ask, will they serve us all and account for the deep divides this virus has tapped?

Ruben Natal-San Miguel’s Toilet Paper Hoarder Manhattan NYC was submitted to the Museum of the City of New York‘s Credit- Ruben Natal-San Miguel

‘Museums are places where we convene to make sense of our shared human experience,’ said Martha S. Jones, a history professor at Johns Hopkins University. ‘Still, the burden, pain and grief of this pandemic are not being experienced in the same way across the nation’s many communities.’

Memories by Amber Ren, a virtual exhibition presented by the Eric Carle museum in Amherst, Mass.

Covid-19 has exposed a vein of bigotry toward Asian-Americans. It has been particularly virulent toward African-Americans, [Native-Americans on the reservations] and Latinos.”

 

Presidential Leader Joseph R. Biden and his advisers see 2020 largely playing out as a referendum on Trump. Credit- Kriston J.  Bethel for The New York Times

“We are a nation in pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us. We are a nation enraged, but we cannot allow our rage to consume us. Please stay safe. Please take care of each other.”~Democratic Presidential Leader Joe Biden~

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 the photos, then create a list of  words and  ideas  that you 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. People are collecting artifacts that show how Americans navigated the Covid-19 crisis.
  2. Six-year-old Franklin Wong’s journal entry was the first assignment he completed since his school closed.
  3. Franklin Wong captured the simple frustration of being a student in this city during the virus.
  4. This may be the first time a first grader’s homework is headed to a permanent museum collection.
  5. This is  a novelty that underscores how far into uncharted waters curators are sailing.
  6. Some people are donating their work to libraries.
  7. This is an effort to recall the repositories of first-person testimony.
  8. Some people are depicting important events from their lives.
  9. Many museums are seeking art from regular people and the requests have struck a chord.
  10. According to Bob McGinnis, the covid-19 experience focuses him on his mortality.

 

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.

But some/sum  scholars and historians point to todays/today’s challenges of/off depicting an event authentically/authentic  and from/form many angels/angles when there is still no end in sight/cite to the pandemic. And, they ask, when/wen everything is a/an artifact, what is truly historically/history important — and just whose Covid story/stories are being/bean told/tell in these archives, and who’s/whose are not?

 

Identify The  Speakers

Directions:  Read the following quotes (and actions) from  people in the article and see if you  can identify them.

  1. “I did not go anywhere.”
  2. “Museums have a responsibility to meet history head on.”
  3. He has been walking the streets snapping photos of his native Queens, sharing images with the Museum of the City of New York.
  4. He has painted scenes of his home quarantine. They were collected by the University of Southern California Libraries.
  5. “It brings into sharp focus my mortality.”
  6. “A successful museum of this kind should provide context and enable future visitors to understand the tenor and temper of the times, including inequities, racial and otherwise.”

 

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. Have you been keeping a journal, photos, or other types of remembrances  during this pandemic? Explain why?
  2. In your opinion is this a good idea?  Why or why not?
  3. Why did The Autry Museum of the American West, want Franklin  Franklin Wong’s journal?
  4. After what other major event in the U.S. did  cultural institutions seek artifacts and repositories of first-person testimony, along with material evidence?
  5. Several scholars and historians are stating some challenges of depicting an event authentically. What are they?
  6. Why did Bob McGinnis leave a three-page essay to to the Covid collection at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas.
  7. After reading this article are you inspired to begin collecting memorabilia to give to museums? Why or why not?
  8. What new information have you learned from this article?

ANSWER KEY

Additional Exercise

Directions: Search the web and see if you can  find the various kinds of things people are giving to museums and other institutions. For example one man in the article left an essay he wrote to his family and  another left  photos he took in his community.

 

Category: Culture, Education, People | Tags:

Teens Get Creative During COVID-19

“Throughout the country, school closures, remote learning and quarantine are redefining the American teen experience. Many are dealing with grief, trauma and loss… For teenagers, there are deep losses, but some are finding bright spots as well.”  A. Homayoun, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Photo- cnbc.com

 

Excerpt: Some Teenagers Are Creating New Rituals in the Pandemic, By Ana Homayoun, The New York Times

“It’s clear that this pandemic has disproportionately impacted low-income families and racial minorities, and some students will experience significant learning loss.

At the same time, some previously overscheduled and sleep-deprived students are surprised to find more time for sleep, less stress around completing schoolwork, and more time for simple activities like reading on the front porch, spending time outdoors or having a leisurely dinner as a family… In a normal school year, Zachary Jones, 17, of Durham, N.C., would see his life ‘swallowed by baseball.’  But Zachary no longer rushes from school to practice to starting homework at 8:30 p.m., and finds that he now has an entire day to do my homework with quality…To regain control at a time of uncertainty and despair, some students are discovering more purposeful ways to channel their energy. Juliette Fore, 16, of Alexandria, Va., initially found quarantine to be a major adjustment.

Photo- economictimes.indiatimes.com

She worried about the health of her 85-year-old grandfather, who lives with her parents and three siblings. When she heard reports of a worldwide increase in domestic violence during lockdown, she started a campaign to gather donations for House of Ruth, a Washington, D.C.-area shelter for victims of abuse…Right before Easter, she and her family delivered two minivans full of donations to the shelter…For Lexi Weintraub, 17, from Irvington, N.Y., in Westchester County, creating new rituals with friends and family has helped diminish the disappointment of a truncated senior year…At home, her mom recently began a nightly tradition to capture memories that might otherwise be forgotten in the middle of a pandemic.”

Democratic Presidential candidate, Joe Biden speaks via video link as family and guests attend the funeral service for George Floyd at The Fountain of Praise church Tuesday, June 9, 2020, in Houston. David J. Phillip-Washingtontimes   

“Now is the time for racial justice. That’s the answer we must give to our children when they ask why. Because when there is justice for George Floyd, we will truly be on our way to racial justice in America,” ~ Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden~

TODAY WE MARCH — TOMORROW WE VOTE!

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 the 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: 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. Throughout the country remote learning and quarantine are redefining the American teen experience.
  2. It’s clear that this pandemic has disproportionately impacted   low income families.
  3. Students are surprised to find more time for sleep, less stress.
  4. Teens are spending time outdoors or having a leisurely dinner as a family.
  5. Many teenagers say this newfound flexibility has helped them stay focus.
  6. Before school went online, Sydney was in the dance ensemble for the spring musical.
  7. Some students are able to continue participating in extracurricular activities.
  8. To regain control at a time of uncertainty and despair, some students are discovering ways to channel their energy.
  9. One student is a self-described extrovert.
  10. Creating new rituals has helped diminish the disappointment of a truncated senior year.

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.

Her friends has/have started/start driving separately on/to a/an parking lot by/bye the Hudson River and tunes/tuning into/onto the same radio station in there/their respective cars while watching/watch the sun set.

Reading Comprehension: Identify The  Speakers

Directions:  Have students read the following quotes from speakers in the article to  see if they can identify the speakers.

  1. “We had probably the best team in our school’s history,”
  2. “Our teachers are really accessible if we have a question, But it’s been difficult. Our learning has kind of been put on hold.”
  3. “I personally don’t like doing math at 8:30 in the morning.”
  4. “The corrections are harder to apply because the teacher isn’t right there with you.”
  5. “I would say the project helped with my coping because it gave me something to really focus on.”
  6. At home, her mom recently began a nightly tradition to capture memories that might otherwise be forgotten in the middle of a pandemic.

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. What has been your experience taking online classes so far?
  2. The article states, Many teenagers say this newfound flexibility and fewer outside obligations mean getting more sleep…Zachary no longer rushes from school to practice to starting homework at 8:30 p.m., and finds that he now has ‘an entire day to do  his homework with quality.” Are your able to spend more quality time completing your assignments since the quarantine?
  3. What are  your greatest struggles adjusting  to this new confinement?
  4. The article states, Some students are able to continue participating in extracurricular activities using Zoom and other online tools.” Do you participate in  extracurricular activities using online tools?  What are they?
  5. The article describes how Juliette Fore, 16, started a campaign to gather donations for House of Ruth, a Washington, D.C.-area shelter for victims of abuse.Have you’ve begun any new activities since you’ve been home? If yes, what are they? If no, are you interested in starting new activities?
  6. Do you think you’ve changed in any way due to confinement?   If yes, describe how?
  7. Do you feel closer to your family?
  8. After reading this article name something new that you’ve learned. Discuss what you’ve learned with your group members and share as a class.

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. 

ANSWER KEY

TikTok Teens Prepare For 2020 Presidential Election!

“Teenagers are campaigning, debating, running fact checks and forming party-based coalitions (hype houses). One of them called it cable news for young people.” By T. Lorenz, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

TikTok Teens Get Political-

 

Excerpt:The Political Pundits of TikTok By Taylor Lorenz, The New York Times

“As Twitter and Facebook continue to dominate conversations about social media and the 2020 presidential election, TikTok is quietly becoming a political force.

Teenagers in America — many of them too young to vote — are forming political coalitions on TikTok to campaign for their chosen candidates, post news updates and fact check opponents. They are sharing real-time commentary for an audience that is far more likely to watch YouTube videos than turn on a cable news channel.

In a sense, these TikTok users are building short-form TV networks, each with a cast of talking heads. On TikTok they’re called hype houses, named after the high-powered influencer collab house in Los Angeles. These political houses are not physical homes, but virtual, ideological ones represented by group accounts.

There are conservative-leaning houses… and liberal ones…There are also bipartisan houses, for users who love discourse, and undecided houses, for those who aren’t sure what or whom they love… In recent months, content on TikTok has been getting more political.

Many users are campaigning hard, especially because they may not be of voting age in time for Nov. 3. ‘I feel like I am making an impact on the election even though I can’t vote’ Izzy, 17, said…Many members of Gen Z will be voting for the first time in the 2020 presidential election. Those who can’t have been taking political action in other ways, especially on social media.”

Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden Laces Into Trump for Fanning ‘Flames of Hate’

“In a speech in Philadelphia, Mr. Biden assailed  [Trump’s] handling of the protests over police brutality and racial justice:  “Donald Trump has turned this country into a battlefield riven by old resentments and fresh fears… Is this who we want to be? Is this what we want to pass on to our children and our grandchildren? Fear, anger, finger pointing, rather than the pursuit of happiness? ~ Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden~ June 3, 2020

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

Stimulating background knowledge: Brainstorming

Directions:  Ask students to think about what they already know about  the topic.  Next, have students generate ideas or words that may be connected to the article.  Students can use a brainstorming chart for assistance.

Colorful Brainstorming chart from Live It Magazine.

 

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. As Twitter and Facebook continue to dominate conversations, TikTok is quietly becoming a political force.
  2. Young people are forming political coalitions on TikTok.
  3. These political houses are not physical homes, but virtual, ideological ones.
  4. There are conservative-leaning houses.
  5. There are liberal houses on TikTok.
  6. There are also bipartisan houses.
  7. Like YouTube’s commentators any of these creators have sought to replicate their success on TikTok.
  8. TikTok has struggled to prevent conspiracy theories from spreading.
  9. Many on TikTok debunk false theories.
  10. For many members of political hype houses, tamping down on misinformation is a top concern.

 

 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. Teenagers are campaigning, debating.
  2. They are sharing real-time commentary.
  3. These TikTok users is building short-form TV networks.

II

  1. Their are bipartisan houses for users who love discourse.
  2. TikTok is cable news for young people.
  3. TikToks  run a maximum of 60 seconds.

III

  1. Many users are campaigning hard because they may not be of voting age in time for Nov. 3.
  2. For many tamping down on misinformation is a top concern.
  3. Political TikToks often rely on popular trends and dances.

 

Reading Comprehension: Identify The  Speakers

Directions:  Have students read the following quotes from speakers in the article to  see if they can identify the speakers.

  1. “I do feel like TikTok is cable news for young people.”
  2. I feel like I am making an impact on the election even though I can’t vote.”
  3. “A lot of political stuff is on Facebook and Twitter, but Gen Z isn’t really into that stuff.”
  4. [referring to the misinformation on the platform.] “Knowing that one million impressionable teens have seen this video and chosen to believe or not believe it.”
  5. “Many members of Gen Z will be voting for the first time in the 2020 presidential election.”

 

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 a member of TikTok, Facebook or any other social media platform?
  2. If yes, what information do you provide? If no, would you consider becoming a member of any media platform?
  3. In your opinion, do you think teens getting involved in politics at an early age is a good idea? Provide reasons for your answer.
  4. Describe ‘Duetting’ on TikTok.
  5. What is a main concern for the majority of the members on TikTok?
  6. After reading this article name at least one thing new that you’ve learned.

 

3-2-1-Writing

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

ANSWER KEY

 

Group Project Create An  Online Video Using TikTok

Directions: Have students go to the TikTok site and see if they can create a short video.Ultimate Tik Tok Guide – How to Tik Tok & How to Make a Tik Tok Video that Gets Likes

 

CNN and Sesame Street are refocusing their second town hall to address racism.

The show will talk to kids about racism, the recent nationwide protests, embracing diversity and being more empathetic and understanding. A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Kids and Families’ will air on Saturday, June 6, at 10 a.m. ET.

The Importance of Play for Children During Social Distancing

“Parents across the globe are scrambling to fill their kids’ time, trying to become home school teachers and meet their schools’ variousrequirements. But maybe we need to let children play more instead.” L. R.McRobbie, The Boston Globe

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

The Boston Globe

 

Excerpt: No summer camp, no problem. The value of play during a pandemic — By Linda R. McRobbie, The Boston Globe

“States are starting to re-open, but parents facing the end of the school year are at loose ends, not knowing whether camps, summer schools, pools, and playgrounds will be open after the school year ends. Though the prospect of a summer of agonized choruses of “I’m bored!” might be more daunting than a summer of more social distancing, we might actually find ourselves confronted by something we desperately need: An opportunity to play.

Play is difficult to define, at least according to the academics who study it. Broadly speaking, it’s an activity that is directed by the individual or at least of their own volition, that is intrinsically enjoyable, personally meaningful, engaging, and most importantly, fun. Kids, of course, know play when they see it. And they know that play has value, even if adults don’t always remember that…Research demonstrates that it fosters development of emotional regulation and executive function — things like problem solving, focusing on a task, paying attention, and making sense of our experience of the world. Very recent research — out just this month — also indicates that how much access small children have to play is an indicator of their own sense of wellbeing. Play is so essential, so integral to normal development and positive mental health, that it is enshrined in the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child. (However, Wales is the only country that protects that right by law.)

And yet, American playtime is dwindling. Since at least the early 1980s, if not before, child development experts have warned that diminished playtime — and the freedom that entails — is having adverse effects on American children…But the abrupt closure of many schools in March meant that all of a sudden, kids had a lot more undirected, unstructured time, time to not worry so much about achievement and to play. And though this silver lining is perhaps only visible if you squint hard enough, it’s a silver lining nonetheless, because play is even more valuable during periods of stress…And as terrifying as the prospect of a summer of no organized fun seems, remember: It’s all right to let children be bored. “Kids figure out how to play all the time and actually, the figuring it out is building life skills.”

Related:

Sesame Street’s Grover On Coping During Coronavirus: Just For Kids

By C. Turner and A. Kamenetz, NPR

Courtesy of Sesame Workshop

“Kids have lots of questions about staying home right now. When can I go out to see my friends again? When will this be over? To answer them (and have a little fun), NPR’s Life Kit reached out to Sesame Street’s beloved monster, Grover, to speak directly to kids.”

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his wife, Jill Biden, at a veterans memorial in Wilmington, Del. May 25, 2020. Credit- Erin Schaff:The New York Times

“What gives me hope is when I see somebody do just the little things they didn’t have to do, to go out of their way,” ~Joe Biden~

UPDATED ARTICLE:

5 Ways White People Can Take Action in Response to White and State-Sanctioned Violence –

A portrait of George Floyd is seen as part of a memorial for him Wednesday near the site of his arrest. AP Photo:Jim Mone

“On Monday evening, George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police. Video surfaced of a white police officer holding his knee to Floyd’s neck for eight minutes while Floyd pleaded with police saying “I can’t breathe.” Floyd became unresponsive and died shortly after at Hennepin County Medical Center…In this moment, we know there are thousands of white people who are looking for direction and a way to show up alongside Black communities and communities of color. Welcome. You are needed. Here are a few ways to start showing up — not just in words but in action.”  READ  HERE – MEDIUM.COM

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: Using a Pre-reading Organizer

Directions: Havestudents to examine the title of the post and of the actual article they are about to read.Ask students to write a paragraph describing what they think this article will discuss. Students can use a Pre-reading organizer for assistance.

Pre-reading chart by J. Swann

 

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

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

  1. Play is a very important factor in child development.
  2. Many parents are at loose ends as summer nears.
  3. Parents dread the agonized choruses of “I’m bored!”
  4. Having bored children can be more daunting.
  5. Children need the opportunity to play.
  6. Play is an activity by an individual and of their own volition.
  7. Play, is a necessary component of building social bonds.
  8. Play is essential to positive mental health.
  9.  In America,  playtime is dwindling.
  10. The abrupt closure of many schools in March meant that  kids had a lot more undirected, unstructured time.

Grammar Focus: Identifying Prepositions

Directions: The following sentences are from the news article.For each sentence choose the correct preposition from the choices listed. Note that not all prepositions listed are in the article.

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

In the early part___ the 2000s, governmental policies prioritized literacy and numeracy skills ___less easily tested skills, such___social-emotional ability, despite warnings ___early childhood education experts and bodies such ___the American Academy___Pediatrics. Average recess time in America — unstructured time___children___ engage___ the kind ___play they want — has shrunk ___just 25 minutes, far less than most other countries___ the world.

 

Reading Comprehension

Identify TheSpeakers

Directions:Have students read the following quotes from speakers in the article tosee if they can identify the speakers.

  1. “Play, she says, is a necessary component of building social bonds, first with parents and caregivers and then with other adults and peers.”
  2. “But play, by its very nature, also prepares individuals to deal with uncertainty and “feel comfortable with risk-taking.”
  3. “Play can also help clarify precisely what those negative emotions are about. Kids can be terrible communicators, but play is their medium.”
  4. “However, none of us should read too much into what we see in children’s play. . . interpreting children’s play is very fraught.”

III. Post Reading Activities

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use theWH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

Directions: Havestudents 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. Why are parents suddenly worried about summer?
  2. Are you a parent? Do you have the same concerns as the parents in this article? Why or why not?
  3. How do academics define “play”?
  4. According to Laura Huerta Migus, why is playing necessary for building social bonds?
  5. According to researchers play fosters what other important developments for children?
  6. According to the article, since the 1980s playtime has been diminishing in America. What are some of the reasons for this?
  7. What kind of effect is reduced play having on American children? Do you agree with this statement? Why/why not?
  8. In the article there are ways to allow children to have fun especially during this time of social distancing from their playmates. Name some of the ways.
  9. Can you think of other ways to make fun things for children to play?
  10. What new information have you learned from this article?

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