Category Archives: Environmental

The Rewards of Shopping for Fashion From A Dump

“I used to be ashamed of my secret. But I’m ready to come clean…When I was a fledgling fashion editor, living broke in New York, the dump was my secret.” V. Hyland, The New York Times, May 4, 2022

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Credit- Illustration by Dana Robinson

 

Excerpt: I’m a Fashion Editor, and I Shop at the Dump, By Véronique Hyland, The New York Times, May 4, 2022

“Or at least, it was a secret in New York. On the summer trips I made to small-town Massachusetts, the dump there was an agora of junk, a festival of refuse — the local newspaper listed what was new and hot, and people gathered just to gossip and shoot the breeze. I’ve never been bold enough to fish directly from the dump’s central piles of rusted castoffs.

But its Swap Shop — a tiny cottage — had come to serve as a free boutique of sorts, and there I discovered many items of weird delight, including a pair of sky blue clogs that could pass for Rachel Comey, and a circa-1970s Gucci scarf, patterned with leaping zebras, that earned me compliments at Paris Fashion Week…I loved the Swap Shop, and not only because everything was free. When I walked into curated, antiseptic boutiques, I felt starved for novelty…As the years went by, and the 1 percent inched closer to making up 100 percent of the town’s population, the summer people began to drop off some jarringly pristine items. I’ve dug out perfectly wearable A.P.C. sweaters and COS shirts, and a family friend told me about finding a Ferragamo bag with leftover cash inside it…Making new things out of others’ castoffs is something small-town America has done for decades, in a sort of municipal precursor to Free cycle or Buy Nothing groups. The importance of sharing resources became increasingly clear as the Covid-19 pandemic raged. For more and more people, getting free stuff from neighbors went from being a quirk, or a fun excuse for a day’s outing, to being a necessary form of mutual aid.”

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. I used to be ashamed of my secret. But I’m ready to come clean.
  2. The tag dated  the garment to the last millennium.
  3. Extravagantly sturdy, it had the air of what magazines might call an investment piece.
  4. My friend sitting next to me at a New York Fashion Week event inquired about its provenance.
  5. My coat was from the dump.
  6. When I was a fledgling fashion editor, the dump was my secret.
  7. I’ve never been bold enough to fish directly from the dump’s central piles of rusted castoffs.
  8. Luxury brands that once destroyed unsold merchandise are now thinking of ways to reinvent it.
  9. I began thrifting and scrounging my way to some semblance of personal style.
  10. Salvage and resale have become antidotes to the conveyor belt of fast fashion.

 

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 I began thrifting/thrift and scrounging mine/my way to some semblance of personnel/personal style, there/their was/were still something shameful about admit/admitting that your/you’re clothes has/had a past/pass, unknowable-to-you life. Ive/I’ve spent/spend a decade and a half covering fashion.

 

Reading Comprehension Fill-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.

(I’m Elle’s fashion features ___now), and ___that time I’ve seen the___ awakening to sustainability and reuse. ___brands that once ___and even___unsold ___are now thinking of ways to ___it.

WORD LIST: reinvent, merchandise, burned, destroyed, Luxury,  over, industry, director

 

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 looked for clothes in a dumpster? If yes, did you find any good items?
  2. Make a list of questions that you would like to ask the author.
  3. 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

Climate Change: We’re Running Out of Ways to Adapt

“Delay means death’: We’re running out of ways to adapt to the climate crisis new report shows. Here are the key takeaways.” R. Ramirez, CNN

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Dead almond trees lie in an open field after they were removed by a farmer because of a lack of water to irrigate them, in Huron, California, in July 2021. The authors say drought has put a hard limit on adaptation for almond growing. CNN

Excerpt: Delay Means Death By Rachel Ramirez, CNN February 28, 2022

“Climate change is on course to transform life on Earth as we know it, and unless global warming is dramatically slowed, billions of people and other species will reach points where they can no longer adapt to the new normal, according to a major report published Monday.

The UN-backed report, based on years of research from hundreds of scientists, found that the impacts from human-caused climate change were larger than previously thought. The report’s authors say these impacts are happening much faster and are more disruptive and widespread than scientists expected 20 years ago.

Bleaching of the coral reefs around French Polynesia in 2019 CNN

The authors point to enormous inequities in the climate crisis, finding that those who contribute the least to the problem are the worst affected, and warn of irreversible impacts if the world exceeds 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres called the report ‘an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership,’ and he warned that ‘delay means death.’

A flood defense wall being constructed on the east side of Manhattan in New York City on December 11, 2021.

He also said that “current events” showed the world was too reliant of fossil fuels, calling them ‘a dead end,’ in an apparent reference to the Ukraine conflict and energy crisis…Warming beyond 1.5 degrees could have irreversible consequences…And some changes may be permanent, even if the planet cools back down…With every extreme event, ecosystems are being pushed more toward so-called tipping points beyond which irreversible changes can happen, according to the report…And although the natural world has adapted to changing climates over millions of years, the pace of human-caused global warming is pushing many of the planet’s most critical systems — like rainforests, coral reefs and the Arctic — to the brink. More extreme weather doesn’t just affect humans, it is causing mass die-offs in plants and animals.

A man works in the Swiss Alps at the Rhone Glacier in October 2021, which is partially covered with insulating foam to prevent it from melting due to global warming. CNN

‘What we really wanted to show is that ecosystems and all sectors of human society and human well-being fundamentally depends on water,’ Tabea Lissner, a scientist at Climate Analytics and an author on the report, told CNN… Decision makers also need to be intentional in helping the most disadvantaged communities and countries, so no one gets left behind in the process.”

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

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

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


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


Time: Approximately 60 minutes.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos

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

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

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

  1. Unless global warming is slowed, billions of people and other species will die.
  2. Scientists, found that the impacts of climate change were larger than previously thought.
  3. Scientists  say these impacts are happening much faster and are more disruptive and widespread than 20 years ago.
  4. The facts are undeniable.
  5. This abdication of leadership is criminal.
  6. The world’s biggest polluters are guilty of arson of our only home.
  7. Warming beyond 1.5 degrees could have irreversible consequences.
  8. Scientists have warned for decades warming needs to  stay below 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.
  9. Greenhouse gas emissions will push warming to 1.5ºC.
  10. With every extreme event, ecosystems are being pushed more toward tipping points.

 

 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. At warming of 2 degrees, as many as 18% of all land species will be at high risk of extinction.
  2. Coral reefs in much locations are already beyond tipping points.
  3. We’re running out of ways to adapt.

II

  1. Adaptation are finding ways to live with the change.
  2. A lot of the world’s resources goes toward reducing greenhouse emissions.
  3. The report focuses on the interconnectedness between the Earth’s ecosystems and humans.

III

  1. Humans fundamentally depend on water.
  2. The people who is least responsible are the most affected.
  3. As the climate crisis advances, more people will be forced to relocate.

Reading Comprehension: Identify The  Speakers

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

  1. This person called the report “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership,” and he warned that “delay means death.”
  2. “At warming of 2 degrees, for example, as many as 18% of all land species will be at high risk of extinction, according to the report. At 4 degrees, 50% of species are threatened.”
  3. We have seen that the vast majority of climate finance goes towards mitigation rather than adaptation…So although adaptation is taking place, there is not enough funding, and it is not a high priority, which are then leading to these limits.”
  4. “What we really wanted to show is that ecosystems and all sectors of human society and human well-being fundamentally depends on water.”
  5. “We live in an unequal world…The losses are inequitably distributed among communities, especially those communities that have historically been disadvantaged from decision-making, and now we’re seeing some of that inequality manifest as well in the choices we make to adapt.”
  6. “as climate change worsens, more indigenous people will lose the land, water and biodiversity they depend on.
  7. “When the Earth doesn’t become farmable, the dependence in the livelihood that communities have on farming and on production of food, not only will the incomes be lost, but that food security will be lost.”

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. The following article is about the climate change crisis we are currently experiencing.Have you noticed any changes in the weather in your area in the past two years? For example, does it seem warmer or colder than usual? Does it snow more or less? Are the days getting warmer? Has there been any change in the plant or animal life in your area?
  2. What will happen to the earth if warming goes above 1.5 degrees Celsius?
  3. According to scientists, even if the planet cooled down can the damage be undone?
  4. Explain the ‘lowest emission scenario’.
  5. Provide examples of what will happen if ecosystems are pushed more toward so-called tipping points.
  6. What are researchers saying about coral reefs?
  7. According to the article not only does extreme weather affect humans, what other damage does it cause?
  8. Which people are the most affected by drastic climate change?
  9. Where in the U.S. is water shortage at dangerous levels?
  10. As the climate crisis advances, what happens to the people who depend on farming for survival?
  11. 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

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

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

How ‘Silent Spring’ Ignited the Environmental Movement

Illustration by Valero Doval

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

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

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

Level: Intermediate -Advanced


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


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


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


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

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

I. Pre-Reading Tasks

Stimulating background knowledge:

KWL Chart

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

Brainstorming

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

II. While Reading Tasks

Vocabulary-Word Inference

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

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

Questions  for Reading Comprehension: True / False

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

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

Grammar Focus: Identifying Parts of Speech

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

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

ANSWER KEY

III. Post Reading Tasks

KWL Chart

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

Discussion/Essay Writing

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

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

Information for Group Projects

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

 

AnyChart Documentation

The Biggest Environmental Problems of 2021

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

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

• Food Waste

• Biodiversity Loss

• Plastic Pollution

• Deforestation

• Air Pollution

• Agriculture

•Global Warming From Fossil Fuels

Biggest Environmental  Problems in the Late 1960s

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

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

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

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

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

 

Jane Goodall is 87 and Still A Crusader!

Image- janegoodall.org

“Wherever the story of our natural world ultimately lands, Jane Goodall will have earned a proud place in its telling.”D. Marchese, The New York Times, July 12, 2021

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Excerpt: Why Jane Goodall Still Has Hope for Us Humans, By David Marchese, The New York Times, July 12, 2021

Note: [The following is an interview with Ms. Jane Goodall conducted  by David Marchese, The New York Times]

“Goodall, 87, first found fame in the early 1960s for her paradigm-busting work as a primatologist. Studying the chimpanzees of Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania, she was the first to observe those entrancing animals eating meat and using tools, thus expanding our understanding of primate capabilities.

While that work is likely to remain what the public primarily associates her with, Goodall’s career as an activist is arguably her more important legacy. She has spent 44 years leading conservation efforts through her Jane Goodall Institute and seeding the future with like-minded souls via the Roots & Shoots educational programs for young people, which can be found in more than 60 countries and have nurtured millions of students.

Jane Goodall with a group of Roots & Shoots members in Salzburg, Austria. Credit- Jane Goodall Institute:Templeton Prize

DM: The stories you tell about the planet and conservation have to do with instilling hope…But all we have to do is look around to see the persuasiveness of stories built on fear and anger. Have you ever wondered if tapping into those emotions might be useful?

JG: No. It’s one of my big complaints when I talk to the media: Yes, we absolutely need to know all the doom and gloom because we are approaching a crossroads, and if we don’t take action it could be too late. But traveling the world I’d see so many projects of restoration, animal and plant species being rescued from the brink of extinction, people tackling what seemed impossible and not giving up. Those are the stories that should have equal time, because they’re what gives people hope. If you don’t have hope, why bother? Why should I bother to think about my ecological footprint if I don’t think that what I do is going to make a difference?

The Jane Goodall Institute

DM: Are there ideas you have about conservation that you feel are too radical to express publicly?

JG: Absolutely. I would never approach people about the crisis of the billions of animals in the factory farms and say you’ve got to be vegan. People have to change gradually. If you eat meat one less day a week, that’s the beginning. Bad zoos, you want to close them down, but you’ve got to work out what are we going to do with the animals when we do get it closed down. You have to make compromises… I don’t ever want to appear holier than thou. You’ve got to be reasonable. If you tell people, ‘You’ve got to stop doing that,’ they immediately don’t want to talk to you. The main thing is to keep a channel open. Young activists, sometimes they’re inexperienced and demand something. They ask my advice, and I say: Talk about how the issue is affecting you. How you feel about it. I think that’s the way forward. But that’s just my way.

DM: You mentioned zoos. Should they exist?

JG: Oh, yeah. The really good ones have people who understand the animals. They’ve got lovely enclosures. They do a lot of education, especially for children. They put money into conservation programs in the field. They give veterinary training for people caring for animals in captivity around the world. The other thing is, people think out in the wild is utopia for animals. If they’d seen the places I’ve seen, where you hear the chain saws approaching while snares are catching chimps and others are being shot. Then you watch a group of chimps in a good zoo: two or three males grooming, two females lying in the sun, the babies playing. You think, let me put myself in the position of a chimp: I’d rather be in a zoo. People often don’t think from the point of view of the animal.

Jane Goodall, pictured here with baby chimp. Image credit- The Jane Goodall Institute:Hugo van Lawick.

DM: This is maybe a goofy question, but did you ever personally identify with a chimp you studied?

JG: Nobody has asked me that before. The answer is no. There were chimps I liked a lot. Chimps I loved, I guess you could say. Chimps I totally disliked. [Goodall takes a photo down from the bookshelf behind her.] This one here, I’ll show him to you because he was very special. He was the first one to lose his fear of me.

DM: David Greybeard.

JG: Yes, David Greybeard.  He showed me tool-using, helped me get the trust of the others. [Goodall takes down another photo.] Then this one is Frodo. He was a bully. He attacked me several times, but not with a desire to hurt or kill, because otherwise I wouldn’t be here. He was just asserting his dominance.

I was always saying in my mind, Frodo, I know you’re dominant. You do not have to prove it. When he was young, other infants would be playing, and Frodo would join in, and the others would immediately stop because when Frodo joined in then the game would turn nasty, and he’d hurt somebody.

DM: There are obviously plenty of unanswered questions about primate behavior. In your mind, does the same apply to humans?

JG: You’re asking me, ‘Do you understand human nature?’ Definitely not. But I think there are people, for example strict materialists or religious fundamentalists, who have schematics that they feel afford them an understanding of all human behavior.

Religious fundamentalism is one of the strangest things. Religion has a bad name because of fundamentalism. But if you look at every major religion, the golden rule is the same: Do to others as you would have them do to you. These fundamentalists are not actually preaching about the fundamental principles of the religion that they are talking about. They’re educating young people to believe ridiculous things. At the beginning of Islam, nobody ever said that if you went and blew yourself up and killed lots of people, you’d go to heaven. Religion can be so damaging. When I think of our attitude to animals in Genesis, where man is told that he has ‘dominion’ over the birds and the fish and the animals and so on — the actual word, I’m told, is not dominion, it’s stewardship. Which is very different.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

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

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


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


Time: Approximately 60 minutes.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos

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

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

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

  1. Goodall first found fame in the early 1960s for her work as a primatologist.
  2. Studying the chimpanzees of Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania, she was the first to observe those animals using tools.
  3. Goodall is globally known as an activist.
  4. This is arguably her most important legacy.
  5. She has spent 44 years leading conservation efforts through her Jane Goodall Institute.
  6. Jane Goodall believes that we should be aware of all of the doom and gloom in the world.
  7. Traveling the world Jane has seen many projects of restoration.
  8. Many animal and plant species are being rescued from the brink of extinction.
  9. We should be aware of our ecological footprints.
  10. Some people have ideas about conservation that are too radical.

 

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. We absolutely need to know all the doom and gloom.
  2. If you don’t have hope, why bother?
  3. People have to change gradually.

II

  1. Back in the 1970s I didn’t know about factory farms.
  2. Talk about how the issue is affecting you.
  3. people think out in the wild is utopia for animals.

III

  1. People often don’t think from the point of view of the animal.
  2. Chimps act on the spur of the moment.
  3. Chimps can be altruistic.

Reading Comprehension Fill-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.

This___, who, as per ___name for him, had ___facial hair, was the ___one she observed at___ eating meat and using___. He also was the___ to___contact with her, ___the way for others in his___to do the same.

WORD LIST:   group, paving,  initiate ,  first,   tools, Gombe,   first,  distinctive,   chimp

Goodall’s, 

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. Why does Ms. Goodall feel it necessary for us to be aware of the ‘doom and gloom’ printed in the media?
  2. According to Ms. Goodall which stories in the media deserve more attention from us?
  3. What do people generally think about animals out in the wild?  What is the reality for these animals?
  4. Does Jane think chimps are evil?
  5. What is Goodall’s example of ‘evil’?
  6. Does Jane understand human nature?
  7. Do you understand human nature? Explain why or why not.
  8. Make a list of questions that you would like to ask Jane Goodall. Share them with the class.
  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.

Additional Activities

The article states that, “Jane Goodall first found fame in the early 1960s for her paradigm-busting work as a primatologist. Studying the chimpanzees of Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania… While that work is likely to remain what the public primarily associates her with, Goodall’s career as an activist is arguably her more important legacy. She has spent 44 years leading conservation efforts through her Jane Goodall Institute and seeding the future with like-minded souls via the Roots & Shoots educational programs for young people.”

Directions:  Students (in groups) might research  Jane Goodall’s work with chimpanzees beginning with the Jane Goodall Institute website https://janegoodall.org/our-story/about-jane/

Next, students could visit Jane’s famous Roots and Shoots website https://www.rootsandshoots.org  which offers a variety of projects for students.

After, groups  can create graphs, pictures, collages, or models to demonstrate their understanding of Jane’s work with chimpanzees and with preserving our environment.

ANSWER KEY

Embracing Indigenous knowledge to Help Save the Planet

“Nearly two decades ago, when the New Zealand highway authority was planning the Waikato Expressway, people from the Māori tribe Ngāti Naho objected. The highway would encroach on an area that, in Māori tradition, was governed by a water-dwelling creature, a taniwha.” R. Cernansky, The New York Times, July 10, 2021

Maori leaders and members of the Australian Defense Force. Lisa Maree Williams:Getty Images NYT

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Excerpt: Indigenous Knowledge, Innovative Solutions, By Rachel Cernansky, The New York Times, July 10, 2021

“The authorities took those concerns into account and rerouted the road to circumvent the area in question. As a result, a year later, when the area was hit by a major flood, the road was unharmed.

‘I’m still waiting for the headline, ‘Mythical Creature Saves the Taxpayer Millions,’  said Dan Hikuroa, a senior lecturer in Māori studies at the University of Auckland and member of the Ngāti Maniapoto tribe.  He has often wondered if, once the flood hit, the technical team later said, ‘Why didn’t you just say it’s a flood risk area?’

Violet Lawson, a land owner in Kakadu, Australia, studies her land for the right time to set fires that are not too hot but still clear the underlying debris and fuel to prevent larger wildfires. Matthew Abbott for The New York Times

Like many Indigenous peoples around the world, the Māori have developed their understanding of their environment through close observation of the landscape and its behaviors over the course of many generations.

Now the New Zealand Environmental Protection Agency regularly looks for ways to integrate traditional Māori knowledge, or mātauranga, into its decision-making…Western-trained researchers and governments are increasingly recognizing the wealth of knowledge that Indigenous communities have amassed to coexist with and protect their environments over hundreds or even thousands of years. Peer-reviewed scientific journals have published studies demonstrating that around the world, Indigenous-managed lands have far more biodiversity intact than other lands, even those set aside for conservation… This is ever more urgent, particularly as the climate crisis unfolds…Indigenous scholars warn, though, that while traditional knowledge can be used to benefit the world, it can also be mishandled or exploited.

Dominique David Chavez, a descendant of the Arawak Taíno in the Caribbean, and a research fellow at the Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona and the National Science Foundation, says that, as Western scientists, ‘we are trained to go into communities, get that knowledge and go back to our institutions and disseminate it in academic journals.’

That can be disruptive to traditional knowledge sharing, from one generation to another, she says, which should be the priority — ensuring that Indigenous knowledge systems are preserved in and supportive of the communities that developed them…Ideally, the shared use of Indigenous knowledge can help mend broken relationships between Indigenous and Western communities.”

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 usea dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. Indigenous people help their countries world-wide.
  2. Maori leaders and members of the Australian Defense Force worked together.
  3. The highway would encroach on a sacred area.
  4. The Māori have developed their understanding of their environment through close observation.
  5. The New Zealand Environmental Protection Agency regularly looks for ways to integrate traditional Māori knowledge.
  6. Indigenous communities and governments have learned to coexist.
  7. Indigenous scholars warn, traditional knowledge can be used to benefit the world, it can also be mishandled or exploited.
  8. Many believe that Indigenous knowledge systems should be preserved.
  9. Bridging Indigenous and Western science also means respecting the ecosystem.
  10. Some people still use industrial pesticides.

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. The New Zealand highway is planned two decades ago.
  2. The Māori are ilke many Indigenous peoples around the world.
  3. The authorities rerouted the road.

II

  1. Mr. Hikuroa has been appointed the culture commissioner for UNESCO New Zealand.
  2. Western-trained researchers is recognizing that Indigenous communities have valuable knowledge.
  3. Indigenous knowledge can deepen Western scientists’ understanding of their own research.

III

  1. Traditional knowledge should be shared from one generation to another.
  2. The scientific method are designed to be indifferent to morals or values.
  3. Government regulations had already restricted the  harvest of sweetgrass.

 

Reading Comprehension

Identify The  Speakers

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

  1. “I’m still waiting for the headline, ‘Mythical Creature Saves the Taxpayer Millions.”
  2. “Why didn’t you just say it’s a flood risk area?”
  3. “As Western scientists, we are trained to go into communities, get that knowledge and go back to our institutions and disseminate it in academic journals.”
  4. “That can be disruptive to traditional knowledge sharing, from one generation to another, which should be the priority.”
  5. “In Indigenous sciences, it’s not possible to separate the knowledge from the ethics of the responsibility for that knowledge — whereas in Western science, we do that all the time.”
  6. “The scientific method is designed to be indifferent to morals or values. Indigenous knowledge puts them back in.”
  7. “That’s one of the reasons Native people were systematically removed from what are today’s national parks, because of this idea that people and nature can’t coexist in a good way.”

 

III. Post Reading Activities

WH-How Questions

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

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

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

  1. Do you have ways of helping our planet? For example, recycling helps address climate change.
  2. Why did the Māori tribe object to having the highway built?
  3. Why do you think the authorities in New Zealand listened to the Māori?
  4. From the article,Dan Hikuroa, a senior lecturer in Māori studies stated, “I’m still waiting for the headline, ‘Mythical Creature Saves the Taxpayer Millions.” Why do you think he said that? Was he joking?
  5. What is ‘regenerative agriculture’ ?
  6. Who  did Australian authorities consult last year while combating wildfires?
  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.
  8. With your group members make a list of ways you can help with global warming.

ANSWER KEY