Category Archives: Health Issues

5 People Who Made Positive World Changes in 2019

“In a year of many dispiriting headlines, Fixes still found the better angels of human nature at work.” T. Rosenberg, The New York Times

Note: Fixes is a column from the New York Times that looks at solutions to social problems and why they work.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post  with Answer Key

Excerpt: Five Who Spread Hope in 2019-By Tina Rosenberg, The New York Times

“O.K. so Time magazine has Greta Thunberg. But many other individuals also changed the world for the better in 2019. Here, for a second year, is a list of five whose contributions Fixes wrote about.

Scott O’Neill fights tropical disease.

Scott O’Neill, director of the World Mosquito Program, with a cage of Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes in his Melbourne laboratory. Credit- Shaney Cameron

There’s a new weapon in the fight against mosquito-borne diseases.

Before 1970, only nine countries had experienced severe epidemics of dengue fever. Now, the disease is endemic in 100 countries, infects 400 million people a year and is intensifying rapidly.

Like Zika and chikungunya, dengue is spread by the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, and no workable vaccine or cure has been found.

The normal public health response to mosquitoes is attack: spray pesticide, eliminate breeding grounds and help people ward off their bites. But these strategies have failed to control dengue. The world is desperate for something new. Scott O’Neill leads a team that is doing just the opposite — adding millions of mosquitoes to areas affected by disease. Professor O’Neill directs the World Mosquito Program, which is based at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

The mosquitoes the program releases are infected with Wolbachia bacteria, which block their ability to transmit disease. Wolbachia occurs naturally in most insect species and is harmless to vertebrates and humans. When enough Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes are released, they take over the whole population…In Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Wolbachia zones had 76 percent fewer cases of dengue than other areas. Wolbachia has also led to reductions in disease in Brazil and Vietnam.

Kimberly McGrath heals trafficked children.

Kimberly McGrath coordinates foster care services at the Citrus Health Network in Hialeah, Fla. Credit- Maria A. Cardona for The New York Times

What happens to a child who is exploited commercially for sex? Kimberly McGrath is changing the answer to that question. Historically, trafficked children have been arrested for solicitation and sent to juvenile court…’The core understanding was that these were defiant, rebellious youth who would rebel in a family,’ Dr. McGrath said. In 2013, Florida officials asked Dr. McGrath, who coordinates foster care services at the Citrus Health Network in South Florida, to come up with a different response.

She started from the premise that these children were not defiant criminals. A vast majority had been abused, which made them more susceptible to the manipulations of traffickers. And they had never gotten help to recover from that abuse.

Dr. McGrath and her colleagues looked at what had worked for other traumatized children and adapted it to trafficked children. They educated not just therapists and social workers, but also foster parents…’When foster parents are equipped and prepared to deal with their special needs, children thrive in family-based environments,’ she said. “They really are just traumatized kids.’

Dr. Dixon Chibanda transforms global mental health care.

Dr. Dixon Chibanda turned benches into destinations for therapy. Credit- Markus Schreiber:Associated Press

Depression occurs everywhere. By some measures, it’s the world’s most debilitating disease. But treatment is not everywhere. Even in New York City, less than 40 percent of people with depression get treatment. In poor countries, it’s closer to zero percent.

So what can be done in places with no public mental health care and only a tiny number of mental health professionals? As with medical care, the answer is training nonprofessionals. Every health clinic in Harare, Zimbabwe, has a ‘friendship bench‘ in its yard. It’s an ordinary wooden bench. Seated on it is a community health worker with a few weeks’ training in problem-solving therapy. Patients go to the bench, talk to the health worker about their problems and come up with possible solutions. They go home and try them, and return.

The friendship bench was invented in 2006 by a psychiatrist, Dixon Chibanda, after a patient committed suicide. He had asked her to come see him at Harare Central Hospital, but she lived in another city and didn’t have bus fare.

Dr. Chibanda decided to bring treatment for depression to Harare’s health clinics. At first he wanted to train nurses and put offices inside the buildings, but the nurses had not enough  time and clinics had not enough space. But what seemed like a setback is what has allowed the program to spread.

Now, there’s a bench in the yard of every government-run health clinic in Harare, and the practice is spreading throughout Zimbabwe and to other African countries. In a different form, the strategy has also reached New York. Research shows that friendship benches are effective at treating depression.

Dr. Rebekah Gee makes medicines affordable.

Dr. Rebekah Gee, Louisiana’s health secretary. Credit- Tom Williams:CQ Roll Call, via Associated Press

Louisiana is doing two things no other state is doing about hepatitis C, which kills more Americans than all other infectious diseases combined. One is that the state is suddenly treating more people.

Hep C is curable — but the drugs are astronomically expensive. Even the cheapest generic version in the United States costs $24,000 for a course of treatment. (In India, the same drug is $550.) Because of the price, state Medicaid programs ration the drugs. In 2018, Louisiana treated 1,200 people… Louisiana could do that because of the second innovation: The drugs were made a lot less expensive. In July, the state began buying hep C medicines in a new way. Just as you pay Netflix a flat fee for all you want to watch, Louisiana now pays Asegua Therapeutics $58 million per year for all the hep C medicine the state can use.

Dr. Rebekah Gee, Louisiana’s secretary of health, adopted the scheme from Australia, where it has allowed Australia to treat seven times as many patients for the same money. Louisiana is the first state in America to do the same. The State of Washington is about to start as well. Other states are likely to follow.

Phil Keisling deepens democracy.

Illustration by Jeffrey Henson Scales; photographs by Marcin Jastrzebski and Digiphoto:iStock, via Getty Images

There’s a lot of attention, and rightly so, paid to Republican efforts to suppress voting. But there’s also a movement in both parties to expand voting. It abandons the traditional polling booth in favor of voting at home

It’s one of the most effective ways to increase turnout — possibly the best way.

Increasingly, other states are following the path first set by Oregon, which mails every voter a ballot. Voters fill it out at their leisure and mail it in or drop it off at a ballot center.

In next year’s elections, all voters in Oregon, Colorado, Washington, Utah and Hawaii will vote at home. California will soon follow. Large parts of North Dakota and Nebraska vote at home. In last year’s midterms, 69 percent of all votes in the West were cast by voters who received ballots in the mail.

Phil Keisling was Oregon’s secretary of state, in charge of elections, when Oregon began home voting in 1998. Now he leads the Vote at Home Institute.

The institute asserts that it saves taxpayers money (some election officials disagree). It argues that because the approach uses paper ballots, it’s secure against hacking… Home voting probably doesn’t affect turnout in big elections. But it does in local elections, races at the end of the ballot, ballot propositions and judicial elections.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

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

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


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


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


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


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

Pre-reading Exercises

 

 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. Before 1970, only nine countries had experienced severe epidemics of dengue fever.
  2. The normal public health response to mosquitoes is attack: spray pesticide.
  3. What happens to a child who is exploited?
  4. Historically, trafficked children have been arrested for solicitation.
  5. Depression occurs everywhere.
  6. So what can be done in places with no public mental health care?
  7. Louisiana is doing two things no other state is doing about hepatitis C.
  8. Hepatitis C kills more Americans than all other infectious diseases combined.
  9. There’s a lot of attention, and rightly so, paid to Republican efforts to suppress voting.
  10. Increasingly, other states are following the path first set by Oregon, which mails every voter a ballot.

Source: New Oxford American Dictionary   

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

Many other individual also changed the world for the better in 2019.

The normal public health response to mosquitoes is attack.

The mosquitoes the program releases are infected with Wolbachia bacteria.

II

The friendship bench was invented in 2006.

There’s a bench in the yard of every government-run health clinic in Harare.

Louisiana is treating more people for hepatitis C.

III

Because of an price, state Medicaid programs ration their drugs.

In next year’s elections, all voters in Oregon, Colorado, Washington, Utah and Hawaii will vote at home.

Turnout for these elections can be in the single digits.

Identify The  Speakers

Directions: Place students in groups. Hand out the following quotes from speakers in the article. Members are to identify the speakers from the article. The first group to correctlyidentify all of the speakers wins.

  1. “People who understand dengue and live in transmission areas are horrified and scared.”
  2. “Now we know they really are just extremely traumatized youth.”
  3. I started to realize that psychiatry in an institution is not the way to go. We have to take it to the community.”
  4. “Why couldn’t we change health care in this country?”
  5. “For millions of citizens, especially those with uncertain work schedules, family obligations and other daily demands, the traditional polling place has now become the most powerful voter suppression tool of all.”

 

III. Post Reading Activities

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

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

  1. Which of the profiles do you find most inspiring or heartwarming? Why?
  2. Do they make you more hopeful and optimistic about the world?
  3. Do they inspire you to make a difference? How?
  4. Have you observed other ordinary heroes of 2019 in the news?In your community? Describe them.
  5. What qualities make it possible for individuals to affect change?
  6. Do you think you made a positive difference in the lives of others in 2019? Explain how.
  7. Has anyone made a difference in your life this past year? 

 

3-2-1-Writing

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

ANSWER KEY

Robotic Duck Helps Kids Battling Cancer

“Children battling cancer can’t always express their feelings. Now a robotic duck is doing it for them.” P. Holley, The Washington Post

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Savi Abdallah-Sinha, a 4-year-old battling leukemia, interacts with a robotic duck (Peter Holley:The Washington Post)

Robotic Duck Help Children  By Peter Holley, The Washington Post   

It was hard enough that Savi Abdallah-Sinha was only two years old when he began undergoing chemotherapy treatment to rid his body of leukemia. What made his situation even more difficult, his parents say, was knowing that the little boy was so young he lacked the words to communicate the many varieties of acute pain he was experiencing. Each time a new drug was introduced or a round of treatment completed, the boy’s inner world remained largely mysterious to the adults caring for him. 

This adorable robot duck helps kids cope with cancer treatments. Mashable

‘He couldn’t even say, ‘Why am I taking this medication?’ his father, Rachid Abdallah, said from a family room inside Children’s National Health System in Washington D.C., recalling the first months after his son’s chemotherapy began. ‘At the same time, we didn’t have the words to give him answers or explain to him what was making him sick.’ Nearly a year ago — as Savi’s own understanding of his illness was just beginning to come into focus — the Washington D.C. family received a new tool to help them communicate through the fog of cancer: a quacking robotic duck resembling a soft stuffed animal.

My Special Aflac Duck. Broadchannel

A partnership between the insurance company Aflac, whose company mascot is a duck, and the robotics toy company Sproutel, the social robot, known as My Special Aflac Duck uses a series of touch sensors that enable the device to respond to the person interacting with it. Merging play with tools that help doctors do their jobs, the robot — which has four patents pending — can turn it’s neck, nuzzle, open it’s beak and emit sounds and vibrations. When doctors need a patient to breathe in a rhythmic pattern, the duck can emit a series of pulses, designed to mimic a heartbeat, that can help to calm a child and guide their breathing.

Aaron Horowitz, co-founder and CEO of Sproutel. People

When doctors administer medication to their patients, a toy syringe can be attached to the robot that allows a child to mimic giving the duck medication as well. Aflac, which introduced a quacking duck in its commercials nearly two decades ago, has donated just over 4,000 of the robotic ducks to nearly 200 hospitals across the country.

Though the duck is designed to be a companion for children battling illness, hospital workers say it also gives children a way to express their emotions when their words are not readily available.

The robot includes multiple plastic emoji discs, each representing a different emotion. When a disc is placed against the duck’s chest, the robot acts out the emotion, unleashing happy chirps or uneasy moans. Abdallah calls the robot a ‘great translator.’

Now four, his son is able to express how he’s feeling with much more precision, offering his parents small details that were unavailable to them when he was younger (Savi is in his final phase — and the least intensive — of his 3-year chemotherapy plan, doctors say).”

Another Great Story:

“A young girl was afraid of IVs. So she invented a teddy bear to disguise them [Medi Teddy].” https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/13/health/iv-teddy-bear-medi-teddy-trnd/index.html

Medi Teddy is designed to conceal a bag of IV fluid, medication, or blood product from the patient.

MEDI TEDDY Website for Donations: “Donations received through this site are for the purpose of donating Medi Teddys to children from all over the world who are requesting them.  Thank you for your generosity!” https://www.medi-teddy.org

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:  Have students  examine the titles of the post and of the actual article. After they examine the photos, ask students to create a list of  words and  ideas  that they 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. Savi Abdallah was only two years old when he began undergoing chemotherapy.
  2. The little boy was so young he lacked the words to communicate.
  3. There were many varieties of acute pain he was experiencing.
  4. Aflac is a quacking robotic duck.
  5. The insurance company Aflac, had a partnership with robotics toy company Sproutel.
  6. Merging play with tools help doctors do their jobs.
  7. The duck can emit a series of pulses, designed to mimic a heartbeat.
  8. Aflac introduced a quacking duck in its commercials nearly two decades ago.
  9. It can be therapeutic to educate a child.
  10. Now four, his son is able to express how he’s feeling with much more precision.

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.

It can/was be therapeutic too/to educate a/an child or its/it can just be/bee therapeutic of/for them/they to play with an/a duck and knot/not even talk/talks about the medical aspect of/for things.

Reading Comprehension Fill-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.

To ___with the painful___of___, children often___ to develop ___strategies that either give them a sense of control in an ___environment or ___them during moments of___stress, experts say.

WORD LIST: pricks, uncertain,extreme,syringes,coping, deal, need,distract,

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

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

  1. In your opinion is this a good solution to help kids communicate with doctors? 
  2. Have you or anyone you know ever used an Aflac duck to help a child?
  3. Can you think of any improvements for the Aflac duck?
  4. Can you see any negative aspects to the Aflac duck? If yes, please explain.
  5. List 3 questions you would like to ask anyone mentioned in the article.  Share your questions with the class.

 

1-Minute Free Writing Exercise

Directions: Allow students 1 minute to write down one new idea they’ve learned from the reading. Ask them to write down one thing they did not understand in the reading.  Review the responses as a class. Note: For the lower levels allow more time for this writing activity.

ANSWER KEY

Category: Education, Health Issues | Tags:

Helping Pediatrics Dispel Myths About Gender Identity

“We’ve all seen news stories about schools attempting to grapple with gender identity issues in children and adolescents, from name changes to restroom policies. In many cases, educators have found themselves making it up as they go along in trying to serve these children — and so has the medical system.” P. Klass, M.D., The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

New guidance for care of Transgender children and teens.Image credit Medscape

Excerpt: Helping Pediatricians Care for Transgender Children PerriKlass, M.D., The New York Times

“This month, the American Academy of Pediatrics put out its first policy statement to guide people providing medical care for children and adolescents who are transgender or questioning their gender identity. 

It arose in part as a direct response to queries from pediatricians, parents and patients, said Dr. Cora Breuner, a professor of pediatrics and adolescent medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital…The goal of treatment is ‘understanding who each individual child is, and supporting them on that journey,’ said Dr. Jason Rafferty, a pediatrician and psychiatrist at Thundermist Health Center and Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Rhode Island, who was the lead author on the statement; he spoke of “creating a system where all children feel they have access to supportive and nonjudgmental care.’

Ellie, left, who is transgender, hugs her brother Ronnie. (Courtesy Ford family). Photo- Washington Post

Dr. Breuner said that ‘many times, when there are gender issues, we don’t have a road map.’ The statement puts forward a model of ‘gender-affirmative care,’ based in the idea that ‘variations in gender identity and expression are normal aspects of human diversity,’ and that mental health problems in these children arise from stigma and negative experiences, and can be prevented by a supportive family and environment — including health care. The term ‘gender diverse’ describes those whose gender identity does not match the sex they have been assigned, or the norms that are expected to go with that assignment.

Notes Blog – Boston Children’s Hospital

‘Gender identity is a brain thing, it’s your sense of whether you’re male or female in your head; it is independent of your body parts, it is independent of who are you attracted to,’ said Dr. John Steever, an adolescent medicine specialist and assistant professor of pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

‘People can have a sense of being male, female, both, somewhere in between, all of these are normal variations,” he said. ‘Just because they’re not very common doesn’t mean they’re abnormal, and my job is to help patients and parents understand all this.

The new A.A.P. statement tries to dispel a variety of myths about growing up with gender identity questions, Dr. Breuner said, such as the idea that parents should assume this is only a passing phase. ‘And still, colleagues look at me askance, say, ‘Isn’t this something they grow out of, I was taught that in medical school,’Dr. Breuner said. ‘So was I. It’s incorrect.’

And these issues sometimes emerge in relatively young children. Children may say that they don’t feel right in their bodies as young as 4 or 5, Dr. Breuner said, or may say more specifically something like, ‘even though I look like a boy, I feel like I’m a girl.’ Some adolescents will decide to pursue further interventions, medical or surgical, sometimes called transitioning.

‘I always tell parents I’m in no rush, I don’t have an agenda here,’ he said. Many kids, he said, feel much better after they start transitioning. On the other hand, ‘just because you start transition doesn’t mean it’s going to be always sunshine and rainbows — kids are going to need support.’

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

KWL Chart

The K-W-L chart is used to activate students’ background knowledge of a topic in order to enhance their comprehension skills.

Advanced K-W-L chart.Intervention for Reading–Michigan State University

 

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. It  can be difficult growing up with gender identity questions.
  2. The American Academy of Pediatrics tries to dispel myths.
  3. The guidelines  were written in part as a direct response to queries from pediatricians, parents and patients
  4. Dr. Jason Rafferty is  a pediatrician.
  5. Dr. Rafferty wants to create a system where all children feel they have access to supportive and nonjudgmental care.
  6. The goal of treatment is understanding who each individual child is.
  7. Just because they’re not very common doesn’t mean they’re abnormal.
  8. Growing up gender-diverse means children and adolescents are much more likely to be bullied.
  9. Dr. Breuner agreed, It’s the environment that endangers the child, she said, not the gender issues.
  10. More adults are also identifying as transgender.

 

Word Map by Against the Oddstiff

 

Reading Comprehension: Fill-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

The biggest ___for doing a lot of this___is to try and ___ some of the traditional ___outcomes that ___or gender-nonconforming youth have ended up with,” Dr. Steever said. “We know that many of these___, if unsupported, have grown up and dealt with ___ ___ideation and attempts, substance use and abuse.

WORD LIST: suicidal, depression, people, transgender, horrible reason,work,prevent, 

 

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.

Growing up/out gender-diverse means child/children and adolescents are/is much more likely/likable to be bully/bullied and excluded, and their/they are at/on high risk for depression, suicidal thoughts and suicide. “The statistics are pretty stark,” Dr. Breuner said/say, “triple the/an rate of suicide, five times the risk of suicidal ideation, bullying, teasing, abuse. It’s just horror/horrific.”

 

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 for Comprehension /Writing

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

  1. What would your reaction be if  your best friend told you that they were transgender?
  2. If there are transgender members in your group see if they’s like to share their experiences. 
  3. The article states,And these issues sometimes emerge in relatively young children. Children may say that they don’t feel right in their bodies as young as four  or five,  Dr. Breuner said, or may say more specifically something like, “even though I look like a boy, I feel like I’m a girl.”   In your opinion, can a young child really know and understand which gender they want to be? Provide reasons for your answer.

1-Minute Free Writing Exercise

Directions: Allow students 1 minute to write down one new idea they’ve learned from the reading. Ask them to write down one thing they did not understand in the reading.  Review the responses as a class.

ANSWER KEY

Learn How To Survive A Shooting Situation

“With mass shootings in schools, theaters, churches and workplaces, experts in threat assessment have come up with advice about what to do.This is a grim topic for an advice article, and the odds that you personally will be a victim of a mass shooting are low. But experts say mass shootings have become so frequent and deadly in the United States that people should think in advance about how they will respond if the worst happens. In general, they have settled on a simple guideline: “run, hide, fight.” C. Hauser, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Poster: Ready Navy

Excerpt: What to Do When There’s an Active Shooter, Christine Hauser, The New York Times

“The specific situation and location matters. ‘There is never going to be a universal rule for this,’ said Bob Kolasky, an acting deputy undersecretary for the Department of Homeland Security who oversees active shooter training.

You’ve Got to Know What You’d Do Before It Actually Happens.

The department has published detailed advice, defining an ‘active shooter’ as someone with a gun engaged in killing or trying to kill people in a confined and populated place. The advice is based on actual cases. It can be chilling to consider, but the more prepared you are, the better your chances of survival.

The State Office of Risk Management

 

‘There is chaos,’ Mr. Kolasky said. The more you have got protocols in place, the more likely you are to minimize the damage.

Look around you. Where are the exits?

When you hear gunfire, the first response should be to escape. But would you know how to escape? Experts advise being familiar with quick routes out of your workplace. And whenever you are in a new location, take note of the exits. Use them if you are sure that your path will not take you in the gunman’s direction…Do not pull a fire alarm. That creates confusion as to whether what is happening is a drill, as happened in the recent shooting in Parkland, Fla., where the gunman himself pulled the alarm, the authorities said.

Where do I hide?

If escape is not an option, you should hide, although Dr. Blair prefers to use the more active term ‘deny access’ rather than what he calls ‘hide and hope.’ Dart into a room, closet, anywhere there is a door to lock, or at least to close and barricade.

Play Dead?

Playing dead is generally not a good idea, Dr. Blair said. Gunmen have been known to circle back and fire into wounded people or others on the ground, he said. But in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, a teacher remained motionless after being shot in the leg and then escaped after the gunman had moved on…’Keep operating if shot,’ Dr. Blair said. ‘Try to get yourself out.’

What should I do after hiding?

Don’t stop to grab belongings, not even your cellphone. But if you do have one, once you are hidden, call 911, identify yourself and explain briefly what is happening and where. 

  1. Silence the phone or stop speaking but leave it on so the dispatcher can hear. 
  2. Turn off lights.
  3. Do not talk with others in the room if the gunman is nearby. ‘Stay quiet as a mouse,’ Dr. Dietz said.
  4. Social media use might give away your location or help the attacker know where the police are, Dr. Blair warned.

The last resort: Fight.

If you are strong enough, wrestle or jump the gunman if he stops to reload, which could take just seconds. That is how some stopped the gunman who shot former Representative Gabrielle Giffords and others at a supermarket near Tucson, Ariz., in 2011…All of the experts emphasized that confronting the attacker was a last resort.

What if someone else is hurt or calls for help?

If you are safely hidden, think twice about opening the door again, even for colleagues or friends who are knocking or calling for help. ‘Only open the door for someone else if you know the shooter is not in the area,’  Dr. Dietz said.

When help arrives, here is what to do.

When the police arrive, they might not be sure immediately who the suspect is. Put your hands up and spread your fingers to show you are not carrying anything that could be mistaken for a gun. Do not hug the officers, ask them questions or request first aid. Show them, do not tell them, that you are not part of the threat.”

Related Article for Parents and Teachers of Young Children
Creekside Learning

 

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Lesson Plan: Learn How To Survive A Shooting Situation

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 learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

KWL Chart

The K-W-L chart is used to activate students’ background knowledge of a topic in order to enhance their comprehension skills.

Directions: Have students use the KWL chart to list the information they already know about active shooting situations.  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: 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. Bob Kolasky is acting deputy undersecretary for the Department of Homeland Security.
  2. Gunmen usually open fire in a populated and confined place.
  3. This scenario can be chilling to consider.
  4. If you believe you are in the gunman’s line of sight, run in a zigzag course.
  5. Many workplaces and schools prepare workers and students for lockdowns and evacuations.
  6. When you hide try to barricade or lock  the door.
  7. All of the experts emphasized that confronting the attacker was a last resort.
  8. If someone near you is hurt and it would not jeopardize your safety, try to help them.
  9. Use a tourniquet to slow bleeding if possible.
  10. Apply pressure to stanch blood from less severe wounds.

Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

 

Reading Comprehension

True /False/NA-Statements

Directions: Review the following statements from the reading.  If  a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is  not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they  mark  it F and provide the correct answer. 

  1. According to the article the specific situation and location matters.
  2. If possible pull a fire alarm for assistance.
  3. An active shooter is described  as someone with a gun engaged in killing or trying to kill people in a confined and populated place.
  4. When you hear gunfire, the first response should be to fight.
  5. Whenever you are in a new location, take note of the exits.
  6. If on a higher floor, use elevators. Windows are also an option.
  7. If you believe you are in the gunman’s line of sight, run in a straight line or from cover to cover.
  8. If escape is not an option, you should fight.
  9. You can also hide under your desk if there is no alternative. It’s not the best choice, but removing yourself from the line of sight and gunfire is better than nothing.
  10. Playing dead is generally a good idea.

Grammar Focus:Fill-ins

Directions: The following sentences are from the article. Choose the correct word for each blank space from the word list  or make up your own words.

Many ___and schools use ___to prepare workers and students for ___and evacuations.

But if you are someplace like a ___ look for the___ yourself. Mr. Kolasky, who worked with the National Association of Theatre Owners after the Aurora theater shooting in 2012, said___service announcements in theaters often ___them out. But they are only ___to the degree that people pay attention, he said.

WORDLIST: successful, point, public, theater, lockdowns, workplaces,  exits, drills,

III. Post Reading Activities

KWL Chart

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

Discussion for Comprehension

Ask/Answer  Questions

Directions:  Place students in groups and have each group list 3  questions they would like to pursue in relation to  the article. Have groups exchange questions. Each group tries to answer the questions listed. All responses are shared as a class.

3-2-1-Writing

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

ANSWER KEY

Repealing Obamacare = Millions Without Health Care

“On Friday [January 20, 2017-Inauguration Day] as one of his first official acts, Trump signed an executive order that would allow officials to minimize [Obamacare’s] economic burden...The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the repeal of Obamacare could result in 18 million Americans losing their health insurance in the first year after the law is overturned—and could leave more than 30 million people without coverage in ten years.” B. Coombs, CNBC

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif

Excerpt: Obamacare enrollees worry about what comes next By Bertha Coombs, CNBC

Before Obamacare, Alex Travison went without health insurance for years. After getting laid off from GM more than a decade ago, he couldn’t afford the coverage.‘I didn’t have any major health issues in that time, but I did have to see my doctor every so many months, to get my prescriptions filled for my high blood pressure,’ said Travison, during a recent visit to his doctor’s office at the Venice Family Clinic in Los Angeles.

Alex Travison

Now, with government subsidies, he pays about $50 a month for coverage on an exchange plan, an arrangement he said has worked well for him. However, he’s worried he’ll lose his coverage if the Trump administration and Republican Congress make good on their promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  ‘I’m a 64 year old man and things happen very quickly sometimes with your health, he explained. I believe that to take away these benefits from us at this (time) borders on criminal.’

It’s a concern the staff at the Venice Family Clinic is hearing a lot this month from the low-income patients they see here.‘Our patients are very concerned about… their health insurance in the future,’ said Liz Benson Forer, CEO of the Venice Family Clinic. t’s very important that there be some stability in this system as this discussion goes forward.’

Photo: In These Times

The president and Republicans have promised their replacement plan will be able to provide wide access to coverage and will be cheaper, by offering more options. Republicans want to provide an a la carte menu, with more cheaper, skinnier plans for people who don’t consume a lot of health services, and a standard health insurance tax credit for everyone — regardless of whether they get insurance through their employer or buy it on their own.

Yet for people who require a lot of care and prescriptions, health insurance consultant Carolyn McClanahan says that kind of shift will require careful planning.

‘The big thing they’re going to have to think about if they have a chronic illness, [is] their ongoing expenses are going to be pretty extensive, so they need to have a lot of money set aside,’ said McClanahan.”

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 learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

Stimulating background knowledge: Brainstorming

Directions: Place students in groups, ask students to think about what they already know about  Obamacare.  Next, have students look at the pictures in the text and generate ideas or words that may be connected to the topic. Debrief as a class and list these ideas on the board. Students can use a brainstorming chart for assistance.

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. Travison went without health insurance for more than a decade.
  2. Now, with government subsidies, he pays about $50 a month for coverage.
  3. It’s very important that there be some stability in this system.
  4. Republicans offered assurances that the current administration was committed to maintaining health care.
  5. It is estimated that 20 million Americans have gained coverage under the ACA.
  6. According to the current administration nobody is interested in pulling the rug out from under anybody.
  7. It’s absolutely imperative that all individuals have health care.
  8. There are no details on how the administration would achieve that objective.
  9. People who have a chronic illness need to have a lot of money set aside.
  10. It says in our Declaration of Independence ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ is for all people.

Reading Comprehension: Word -Recognition

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

“The president/precedence and Republicans have promiscuous /promised their replacement plan/plans will be able to provision/provide wide access/success  to coverage and will be cheap/cheaper, by offering more options/opinions. They liken/like Obamacare to a big fixed-price buffet, with its record/required preventive health/help benefits/befits for every plan and tax subsidies for low-income Americans.”

 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. People is worried they’ll lose their coverage.
  2. Patients are very concerned about their health insurance.
  3. That is not our goal, nor is it our desire.

II

  1. The administration offered no details for an replacement.
  2. Obamacare helped many people.
  3. Republicans want to provide a different plan.

III

  1. They are also proposing bigger tax deductions.
  2. There are people who require a lot of care and prescriptions.
  3. Many people will need to have a lot of money sit aside.

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?

Comprehension /Writing

Directions: Place students in groups  and  have each group compose a letter or note to a  person mentioned in the article telling her/him their thoughts on the topic. Share the letters as a class.

3-2-1-Writing

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

ANSWER KEY

Category: Health Issues