Category Archives: Education

Supporting the Use of Non-Binary Pronouns in Schools

“Transgender and nonbinary students are urging educators to use inclusive language, but not everyone is on board.” L. K. Wertheimer,The Boston Globe September 28, 2021

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Alia Cusolito, a sophomore at Old Rochester Regional High School in Mattapoisett. Credit- Harry Scales. The Boston Globe

Excerpt: ‘A very scary thing to tell someone’: The debate over gender pronouns in schools, explained By Linda K. Wertheimer September 28, 2021, The Boston Globe

“On the first day of school at Old Rochester Regional High School in Mattapoisett, Alia Cusolito donned cool, 3-inch, dangling sword earrings. The sophomore also pinned a circular black button with ‘they/them’ in silver letters onto their shirt and a pink ‘they/them’ pin to their backpack. The buttons were a plea for respect and for acknowledgement from teachers and peers of Alia’s identity and preferred pronouns. The teen identifies as nonbinary.

‘The language we use to describe ourselves is a choice, but the gender I am is not a choice,’ says Alia, who switched from she/her pronouns to gender-neutral ones in ninth grade. ‘Nonbinary fits me. My identity isn’t a choice.’

As president of the school’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance club, Alia, who is 16, wanted to attend class and walk the halls without the worry that someone, teachers included, might misgender them…Before the school year began, school librarian Allison Barker, adviser to the Gender Sexuality Alliance club (known around the country as GSAs), slipped sample get-to-know-you forms in every teacher’s mailbox. The forms, which students would be asked to fill out, included a blank space to fill in their pronouns and preferred names. Barker has distributed such forms for the past three years to help teachers ease the way for students who may feel anxious to announce their names and pronouns in front of the class.

But Alia’s first two days of school this year were a disappointment. Only three of their nine teachers gave students a way to provide pronouns and names of choice…Many teachers and school administrators I interviewed, including the principal at Old Rochester Regional, say they’re listening and making changes… While asking for pronouns has become routine in some school systems, it isn’t at all commonplace at others.

In some cases, administrators say they’re moving slowly because for many teachers the concept of gender-neutral pronouns is relatively new. And community backlash is a realistic fear. Gender identity, as well as anything to do with the LGBTQ community, used to be a hush-hush topic in schools and elsewhere…In Virginia, a gym teacher sued the Loudoun County school system, contending that his free speech rights were violated when he was suspended for saying at a school board meeting that he wouldn’t refer to transgender students by their preferred pronouns. In August, a judge ruled in his favor… Advocates say the pronoun/name forms are necessary for health and safety reasons. ‘Simply respecting a student’s chosen name and pronoun is the single most important thing you can do to prevent suicide and mental health issues,’ says Kimm Topping, program manager of the Massachusetts Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Students.”

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

KWL Chart

Directions: Have students use the KWL chart to list the information they already know about transgender or non-binary terms. Later in the Post- Reading segment of the lesson, students can fill in what they’ve learned about the topic.

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

Directions: 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. Some people identify as Transgender.
  2. Many teens identify as non-binary.
  3. Alia was president of the school’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance club.
  4. Many students feel anxious saying their names and pronouns in front of the class.
  5. I’ve seen  a new trend myself as a parent.
  6. My son is an eighth-grader in a suburban Boston middle school.
  7. Those who oppose the distribution of pronoun forms, include parents and conservative Christian groups.
  8. At Old Rochester Regional, a collaboration is taking place  between students and the school educators.
  9. Some teachers still called students by their dead names on the first day and some were misgendered.
  10. Students upset about teachers who didn’t distribute the forms expressed their angst on an Instagram site.

Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

 

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,

Devoll, the school’s principal___13 years, wanted___ know how they could fix it. Barker believes consistency is the key. She gave Devoll a copy___ a form that’s gone viral, created___ a Pennsylvania middle school science teacher who runs an Instagram site called Teaching Outside the Binary. Barker praised the form’s inclusion___an option ___students___decide who should know their new identity, including whether guardians and parents should be___ the list. “That’s ___their safety,” Barker says. “They don’t feel comfortable being out ___their parents, but___school, they have found safety___being able ___express their true selves.”

Reading Comprehension Identify The  Speakers

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

  1. “I think it’s not asking very much to simply ask a child what they would like to be called.”
  2. “I think everyone who cares about children is on a learning curve. Our understanding of gender identity has evolved in the last decade.”
  3. Advocates say the pronoun/name forms are necessary for health and safety reasons. “Simply respecting a student’s chosen name and pronoun is the single most important thing you can do to prevent suicide and mental health issues.”
  4. “Expanding the curriculum and letting students be called what they want in school are both part of making schools safer.”
  5. “What other emotional and mental labor do queer and trans kids need to put in before we’ll be shown basic respect?” 

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 consider yourself transgender  or non-binary?
  2. If so, how do you want others to address you?
  3. Do you know someone who identifies as transgender  or non-binary?
  4. In this article how does Alia identify?
  5. What was one of Alia’s fears going back to class?
  6. Which pronoun has been in use since 1375?
  7. What did the school librarian suggest students do before the school year began  to help teachers get to know them?
  8. Did all of the teachers comply with students’ preferences?
  9. What is a ‘dead name’ ?
  10. Why was Alia frustrated? How did they feel about the teachers’ support?
  11. How does Alia’s father feel about the situation at her school?
  12. Why are so many teachers and administrators afraid to use gender-neutral pronouns?
  13. Why would there be community backlash over using gender-neutral pronouns in schools?
  14. What incident occurred in the Loudoun County school in Virginia?
  15. How do opponents of transgender and non-binary pronoun forms view this topic?
  16. According to the recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey, what happens to youths who identify as LGBTQ in Massachusetts?
  17. What happened during the Stonewall riots in 1969?
  18. (Groups might research the riots and  share presentations with the class)
  19. After reading this article list three new ideas  that 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.  Share your responses with your class.

ANSWER KEY

The Resistance of Celebrating Christopher Columbus Continues

“Christopher Columbus undoubtedly changed the world. But was it for the better?” History Editors, updated, October 9, 2020

Lovella Black Bear, left, holds a sign calling for the abolishment of Columbus Day during a 2015 demonstration for Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson:AP)

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Excerpt:  Why Columbus Day Courts Controversy, History.com, October 2020 “More than 500 years after he ‘discovered’ the New World—kicking off centuries of exploration and colonization of the Americas—Christopher Columbus is honored with a federal holiday on the second Monday of every October.

Spaniards enslaving the Native Americans. Universal History Archive:UIG:Getty Images

However, as historians have continued to dig into the life of Christopher Columbus, controversy has arisen over continuing to honor the Italian explorer as a hero. Like many European explorers, Christopher Columbus encountered indigenous people throughout his voyages.

Native students, faculty members, and friends gather to honor Johns Hopkins University’s first Indigenous Peoples Day. October 11, 2018, Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo courtesy of Tom Jefferson Jr.)

 

There are three main sources of controversy involving his interactions with the indigenous people he labeled ‘Indians’: the use of violence and slavery, the forced conversion of native peoples to Christianity and the introduction of a host of new diseases that would have dramatic long-term effects on native people in the Americas.

California Natives gather in front of City Hall to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day. October 14, 2019, Los Angeles, California. (Photo courtesy of Helena Tsosie)

On his first day in the New World, he ordered six of the natives to be seized, writing in his journal that he believed they would be good servants. Throughout his years in the New World, Columbus enacted policies of forced labor in which natives were put to work for the sake of profits.

Old Statue of Chris Columbus

Later, Columbus sent thousands of peaceful Taino ‘Indians’ from the island of Hispaniola to Spain to be sold. Many died en route…Eventually, his methods and actions caught up with Columbus. A number of settlers lobbied against him at the Spanish court, accusing Columbus of mismanagement…This historical record has cast Columbus’ legacy under a cloud of controversy. Protests at Columbus Day parades, efforts to eliminate him from classroom curricula and calls for changing the federal holiday have all followed.”

Additional Activities/Information

Heard Museum Indigenous People Day 2021

Indigenous Peoples’ Celebration

“Celebrate Indigenous art and culture at the Heard Museum. A visit to the museum is a perfect way to support American Indian artists, musicians, filmmakers, writers and chefs. Join us for this special day during which we honor the vitality, beauty and diversity of American Indian people.” Heard Museum 

9 Things to Do on Indigenous Peoples Day!

“Christopher Columbus did not “discover” America. Today, let’s remember and celebrate the Peoples who were here first!

“Over 130 states, cities and universities across the United States have voted to stop recognizing “Columbus Day” in favor of Indigenous Peoples Day, shifting the holiday’s focus from Columbus to the people he encountered in the New World and their modern-day descendants.”  Cultural Survival.orghttps://www.culturalsurvival.org/news/9-things-do-indigenous-peoples-day

Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day!

“It’s time to move beyond the falsehoods of Columbus Day!”

“The United States is grappling with the legacy of slavery, systemic racism, and oppression. This requires us, as responsible citizens, to reflect on our own lives, and question our long-held assumptions. We need, furthermore, to intentionally support efforts to dismantle the stereotypes and bigotry ingrained in our country’s history and culture.” CommonWealthMagazine

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

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

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. 

Pre-Reading Discussion Questions

Directions: Answer the following pre-reading questions:

  1. Why is Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebrated?
  2. Why is Columbus Day is celebrated?
  3. What is the controversy over Columbus Day?

 

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. Columbus is known for the exploration and colonization of the Americas.
  2. Controversy has arisen over continuing to honor the Italian explorer as a hero.
  3. Like many European explorers, Columbus encountered indigenous people throughout his voyages.
  4. There are three main sources of controversy involving his interactions with the indigenous people.
  5. Columbus and his men enslaved many native inhabitants
  6. After an arduous three-month journey Columbus landed on an unknown Caribbean island in 1492.
  7. Natives were put to work in forced labor camps for the sake of profits.
  8. Later, Columbus sent thousands of peaceful Taino from the island of Hispaniola to Spain to be sold.
  9. Those left behind were forced to search for gold in mines.
  10. Columbus lost his governorship and his prestige.

 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. Columbus encountered indigenous people.
  2. There are three main sources of controversy.
  3. Columbus landed on a unknown Caribbean island.

II

  1. On his first day in the New World, he ordered six of the natives to be seized.
  2. Columbus enacted policies of forced labor.
  3. Columbus sent thousands of Taino ‘Indians’ too Spain to be sold.

III

  1. Those left behind were forced to search for gold in mines.
  2. Eventually, his methods and actions caught up with him.
  3. In 1500, the king and queen sent in an royal administrator, who detained Columbus.

Reading ComprehensionFill-ins

Directions: Place students in groups and after they have 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.

In the___sense, ___have used the phrase “Columbian exchange” to ___the ___of plants, ___and goods between the East and West that his ___sparked.

Though the effects were ___and cannot all be ___as negative,___ of Columbus have ___that the ___aspects of this ___added up to biological warfare.

WORD LIST: exchange worst, critics,dismissed, widespread, voyages, animals, exchange, asserted, describe, historians, broader,

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 celebrate Columbus Day? Why?
  2. What name did Columbus give the indigenous people he encountered?
  3. What are the three main sources of controversy involving Columbus’s interactions with the indigenous people he encountered?
  4. Where was the New World actually located?
  5. Why did Columbus seize six natives on the first day in the New World?
  6. Why were Indigenous people enslaved and forced into hard labor?
  7. What happened to the Taino Indigenous People from the Island of Hispaniola?
  8. What eventually happened to Columbus?
  9. What does the term ‘Columbian exchange’  mean?
  10. How did Indigenous Peoples’ Day come to be?
  11. When is Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebrated?
  12. What does Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebrate?
  13. What new information did you learn form reading this article?
  14. After reading this article, have you changed your thoughts about Columbus in any way? 

ANSWER KEY

Category: Education

This Pretty Flower is Carnivorous!

“That this perennial wildflower digests trapped insects suggests that other plants’ appetites for animals may be overlooked.”  A. Elbein, The New York Times,  Aug. 9, 2021

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

The perennial wildflower lives in environments similar to other carnivorous plants’, but its digestion of insects was not observed until recently.Credit- Qianshi Lin

 

Excerpt:  This Flower Hides a Secret: It’s Actually a Carnivore, By Asher Elbein, The New York Times,  Aug. 9, 2021

“This wildflower looks innocent. Found in wetlands not far from major cities in the Pacific Northwest, it lures in pollinators with white blossoms atop a long, sticky stem. You can even buy seeds of the Western false asphodel in garden stores.

A close-up of Western false asphodel stems shows insects trapped on their sticky red hairs. Credit-Qianshi Lin

But according to new research published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, botanists have overlooked a distinguishing feature of the perennial: It is the world’s newest and most unexpected carnivorous plant.

There are 13 known families of carnivorous plants, from insect-eating sundews and Venus flytraps to pitcher plants large enough to drown and devour a mouse. Most live in sunny, moist habitats where vital nutrients are in short supply — peat bogs, acidic fens, jungle canopies — and have to get their nourishment from living prey. ‘Carnivorous plants usually have a strong signal that they’re carnivores,’ said Qianshi Lin, a botanist at the University of British Columbia and an author on the study.During the summer flowering season, Western false asphodels produce leafless flowering stems up to 31 inches tall, which are covered in sticky hairs. While herbarium specimens often have small flies or beetles stuck to those hairs, it was generally believed that the hairs were part of the plant’s defense strategy, killing insects that might attack the leaves and flowers, Dr. Lin said.

The first clue that the plant had an appetite for insects came when T. Gregory Ross, also at the University of British Columbia, noticed markers in the plant’s genetics sometimes associated with carnivorous plants. That was enough for Dr. Lin and his colleagues to take another look…Western false asphodels may be a new example of how certain plants adapt previously existing structures toward carnivory. Plants like the sticky purple geranium and tomato also have adhesive hairs on their surfaces, which are generally considered to function as a defense.”

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. This wildflower looks innocent.
  2. It’s found in wetlands not far from major cities in the Pacific Northwest.
  3. It lures in pollinators with white blossoms atop a long, sticky stem.
  4. But according to new research botanists have overlooked a distinguishing feature of the perennial.
  5. There are 13 known families of carnivorous plants.
  6. There are the insect-eating sundews and Venus flytraps to pitcher plants large enough to drown and devour a mouse.
  7. This plant has long been ignored, because they don’t have any uses.
  8. The perennial wildflower lives in environments similar to other carnivorous plants.
  9. Its digestion of insects was not observed until recently.
  10. Some carnivorous plants appear innocuous.

Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

 

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. This perennial wildflower digests trapped insects.
  2. There is 13 known families of carnivorous plants.
  3. Carnivorous plants usually have a strong signal that they’re carnivores.

II

  1. Most carnivorous plants live in sunny, moist habitats.
  2. Carnivorous plants show that nutrients travel from animals to the plant.
  3. This particular wildflower looked innocence.

III

  1. The Western false asphodel was indeed digesting prey.
  2. Other plants have similar adhesive hairs that they’re use for defense and not digestion.
  3. Carnivorous plants intentionally lure prey toward specialized leaf traps.

 

Reading ComprehensionFill-ins

Directions: Place students in groups and after they have read the entire article, have them complete the following sentences taken from the article. They can use the words and terms from the list provided, or provide their own terms. They are to find the meanings of any new vocabulary.

The first___ that the ___had an ___for ___came when T. Gregory Ross, also___ the University of British Columbia, noticed___ in the plant’s ___sometimes ___with ___plants. That was enough for Dr. Lin and his___to take another look.

WORD LIST: colleagues, carnivorous, associated, genetics, at, markers, appetite,  clue, plant, insects,

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 seen a carnivorous plant?  If so where? Have you ever owned one? What did you observe about the plant?
  2. What kind of signals do plants have that show they are carnivorous?
  3. Who discovered that this particular plant was carnivorous?
  4. What is needed to prove that a plant is carnivorous?
  5. What do researchers think that the plant is doing what with the excess insect nutrients?
  6. Why does Dr. Fleischmann think the false asphodel may not be a carnivorous plant?
  7. List three new ideas that 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.  Share your responses with your class.

 

ANSWER KEY

How Much Praise Is Too Much for Kids?

“All those ‘Good jobs!’ might be undermining kids’ independence and self-confidence.” P.  L. Underwood, The New York Times, Aug. 13, 2020

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Praising your child- Family Builders

Excerpt: Are You Overpraising Your Child? By Paul L. Underwood, The New York Times, Aug. 13, 2020

“I love it!” It’s a phrase I’ve uttered countless times, typically in response to a new offering from our family’s artist-in-residence, also known as my 6-year-old daughter. I’m being honest — it’s a treat when she dedicates her work to me, rather than the parent with higher approval ratings (her mother, my wife), and I take a fatherly pride in her choice of colors and attention to detail. But it turns out, I’m also undermining her efforts, by putting myself, and my approval, at the center of the conversation.

Excessive praise can turn your children into narcissists- you are mom

It seems like the right thing to say. After all, how many times have we parents been told that it’s better to pre-emptively praise (and reward) the behavior we want our children to demonstrate, rather than waiting to condemn them for misbehaving.

But, as leading researcher Wendy S. Grolnick, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., puts it, praise also has a dark side.

This is because praising the outcome (‘It’s beautiful!’) or the person (‘You’re so smart!’) encourages the child to focus on those things…As part of the self-esteem movement in the 1970s, parents were often told to give their children positive feedback along the lines of ‘Great job’ or ‘You’re so smart.’

Why you should avoid over-praising your child- Montessori school.ca

This was in contrast to the more removed and discipline-oriented parenting styles of earlier generations, and was intended to be warmer and healthier…Instead, consider simply describing what you observed your child doing, along with a neutral expression of delight: ‘Wow! You dug a big hole in the sandbox with your truck!’ This reinforces the behavior (and communicates that you’re paying attention) without setting an unrealistic standard.”

 

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. Too much praise for a child can be harmful.
  2. It’s a treat when my 3-year-old dedicates her work to me.
  3. I’m also undermining her efforts, by putting my approval, at the center of the conversation.
  4. We want our children to demonstrate good behavior.
  5. Some children might feel She might feel performance anxiety.
  6. They might become more motivated by a parent’s pleasure than by the process that led to it.
  7. Understand your child’s reasons for engaging in a task.
  8. Students revealed frustration with praise that undermined their sense of agency.
  9. It can be tempting to praise a child’s achievement by casually comparing her with others.
  10. This type of praise can foster an unnecessary sense of competition.

 

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.

“When presented/present  with an/a new range of puzzles, children/child in the second group was/were far likelier to choose/chose a more challenging problem. Dr. Dweck also find/found that these child/children said their/they enjoyed solving problems/problem more then/than those in the first group, and/an the researchers concluded they did/done so because they have/had confidence in their abilities.”

Identify The  Speakers

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

  1. “…praise also has a dark side. This is because praising the outcome (It’s beautiful!) or the person (You’re so smart!) encourages the child to focus on those things.”
  2. Her research showed that children felt pressured to live up to their parents’ praise, and this in turn could lead to panic and anxiety.
  3.   “If your child is working on a drawing, for example, you don’t need to comment on every color selection. Wait until the end, when your child shows you the drawing, and then say something like, “Ooh, I see you chose to put the purple next to the brown — that’s so interesting!”
  4. “One of those values is autonomy, so it’s helpful to praise what your child has control over, such as the choices they made along the way of solving a problem or drawing a picture. This helps keep expectations realistic.”

 

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. When you were young did your parents praise you a lot?
  2. If you have children, do you praise them often?
  3. According to Dr, Grolnick, what are some dark sides to praise?
  4. What suggestions are provided on how to praise your child?
  5. According to the research in the 90s, how did certain types of praise affect children?
  6. What was the outcomes when children were praised on their efforts, instead of their selves?
  7. Why is it a bad idea to praise your child by comparing them to others?
  8. What is ‘praise addiction’?
  9. List three new ideas  that 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.  Share your responses with your class.

ANSWER KEY

 

Category: Education

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