Category Archives: Health Issues

Warning: COVID-19 Is Not Over Yet

“In a now-viral video, hundreds of students and teachers gathered to welcome two Ukrainian children, refugees of war, on their first day of school in Naples, Italy…But there was also this sign that their well-being will be paramount in their new school — every student, teacher, and staff member wore a face mask. So did the two children.” R. Graham, The Boston Globe, March 19, 2022

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Omicron BA.2 Variant Represents Rising Share of U.S. Covid-19 Cases -WSJ-MARCH 22, 2022

Excerpt: No, COVID Isn’t Over, By Renee Graham, The Boston Globe, March 19, 2022

“This was an unintentional but pointed reminder: The COVID-19 pandemic is not over…Businesses nationwide have dropped proof-of-vaccination requirements for customers. Those home COVID tests that were impossible to find in December (and were exorbitantly expensivewhen available) are plentiful again on drugstore shelves.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical adviser, hasn’t been a regular on TV in weeks. And with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s vicious invasion of Ukraine dominating headlines, cable news stations’ once-daily parade of medical professionals has been supplanted by retired generals and foreign policy experts…Americans moving on from COVID doesn’t mean COVID has moved on from us… Waning vaccine immunity remains a concern. Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for a second booster shot for those 65 and older…What other countries are enduring will find its way here. We’ve seen this pattern before, and the CDC is already reporting an uptick of COVID-19 in wastewater samples nationwide.

‘Everybody wants to return to normal, everybody wants to put the virus behind us in the rearview mirror, which is, I think, what we should aspire to,’ Fauci said recently. Even if the virus seems to be subsiding here, he warned, ‘we have gone in the right direction in four other variants’ only to have COVID come roaring back again with horrific results.’

COVID is still here, but what seems to be all but gone is the leadership on every level to do everything possible to eradicate it.”

RELATED ARTICLE:

The BA.2 subvariant of Omicron accounts for over half of new U.S. coronavirus cases, the C.D.C. estimates. By Adeel Hassan, The New York Times, March 30, 2022

“The highly contagious Omicron subvariant known as BA.2, which led to a surge of coronavirus cases in Europe, is now the dominant version of the virus in new U.S. cases, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday.”

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. Hundreds of students and teachers gathered to welcome two Ukrainian children, refugees of war.
  2. It was a stirring moment to watch this brother and sister, who had lost so much in their homeland, being embraced in a new country.
  3. But there was also this sign that their well-being will be paramount in their new school as every person present  wore a face mask. So did the two children.
  4. This was an unintentional but pointed reminder: The COVID-19 pandemic is not over.
  5. When Hawaii ends its indoor mask mandate on March 26, it will be the last state to do so.
  6. Those home COVID tests that were impossible to find in December (and were exorbitantly expensive  when available) are plentiful again.
  7. With the invasion of the Ukraine the daily  feedback by medical professionals has been supplanted by retired generals and foreign policy experts.
  8. At his recent State of the Union speech where most in attendance were unmasked, President Biden took a cautious victory lap. 
  9. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 66 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated.
  10. Vaccination rates have flatlined.

Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

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.

Yet what we keeping/keep hearing is/are that we’re/were getting back to normally/normal. And this is what ‘normal’ looks like — at less/least 1,000 people a day/days perishing from COVID; American vaccine/vaccinated interest that has/have fallen off a cliff; and persistent vaccine inequality/equality and lack of access around the world.

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.

Waning___ immunity remains a___. Pfizer and ___are seeking emergency___ from the ___Administration for a second___ shot for those ___and older. That recommendation will probably extend to ___people as well, because existing ___protection was not as___ when ___became the dominant___.

WORD LIST: Omicron, robust, vaccine, younger, 65, Food and Drug, authorization, booster, vaccine, concern, BioNTech,  variant

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. Were you or someone you know affected by COVID-19?
  2. Do you believe that COVID-19 and the variants are gone and we can now get back to a normal life?
  3. What does  a “normal” life means to you?
  4. In Naples, Italy how did everyone know that COVID-19 was still present?
  5. According to the article which state will be the last to  end its indoor mask mandate?
  6. What other signs are there that people feel that the COVID-19  pandemic is over?
  7. Who is Dr. Anthony Fauci? Why is he important to the U.S.?
  8. Who made the following statement and why? Thanks to the progress we’ve made in the past year, COVID-19 no longer need control our lives,.”
  9. Approximately how many people have died from the virus world wide? According to the article, how many Americans will have died by the end of April 2022?
  10. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approximately what percentage of Americans have been vaccinated?
  11. What is the name of the newest subvariant? Why is the variant considered more dangerous than the others?
  12. After reading this article, have any of your views about COVID-19 changed? Have your ideas about what is “normal” changed? Why or why not?
  13. List three new ideas  that you’ve learned about the topic from the reading,  two things that you did not understand in the reading, and one thing you  would like to know that the article did not mention.  Share your responses with your class.

ANSWER KEY

The Negative Effects of Permanent Daylight Savings Time!

“The U.S. tried permanent daylight saving time in the 1970s — then quickly rejected it.” S. Davis, NPR March 19, 2022

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Permanent Daylight Savings Time would have Negative effects on everyone.

 

Excerpt: — By Susan Davis, NPR March 19, 2022

The Senate gave itself a pat on the back earlier this week when senators voted without objection to make daylight saving time permanent… However, America tried this before — and the country hated it. In the early 1970s, America was facing an energy crisis so the government tried an experiment. Congress passed a law to make daylight saving time permanent year round, but just for two years...It didn’t work, said David Prerau, one of the nation’s foremost experts on the issue. ‘It became very unpopular very quickly,’ he told NPR.

DST is unhealthy

Americans do not like changing their clocks, but they disliked even more going to work and school in the dark for months…It also didn’t reduce energy consumption as intended. In 1974, Congress repealed the law — before the two-year experiment was even up. Nearly 50 years later, Congress is back at it… Dr. Beth Malow, a neurologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, also testified…She thinks permanent Standard Time is a better choice.

“Zombies? No, IT’S THE FIRST MORNING OF DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME.” Scholastic Scope

‘It’s called Standard Time because ST lines up with our natural, biological rhythms,” she said. Permanent standard time with sunnier mornings and darker evenings would be healthier, especially for front-line workers and school students with early waking hours.”

Related Articles:

5 Deadly Reasons Why Daylight Saving Time Is Bad for You, By Richard E. Cytowic M.D., Psychology Today, March 6. 2020 “The shift disrupts circadian rhythm and raises the risk of stroke and depression.”

Why Daylight Saving Time is unhealthy. A Neurologist explains-By Beth Daley, The Conversation

The Dark Side of Daylight Saving Time, By  Maham Javaid, The Boston Globe, March 19, 2022

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

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

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


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


Time: Approximately 60 minutes.


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


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

I. Pre-Reading Activities

KWL Chart

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 daylight saving time. Next, have students list the information they would like to learnLater in the Post- Reading segment of the lesson, students can fill in what they’ve learned about the topic.

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

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

  1. The U.S. tried permanent Daylight Saving Time (DST) in the 1970s and failed.
  2. In 1974, Congress repealed the law — before the two-year experiment was even up.
  3. Although the Senate voted for permanent DST, many Americans are against it.
  4. The Senate gave itself a pat on the back earlier this week.
  5. The senators voted without objection to make daylight saving time permanent.
  6. Rubio,said  his legislation to end the need to annually change the clocks in March and November was a good one.
  7. The thinking was more sunlight in the evening would reduce the nation’s energy consumption.
  8. In the 1970s the idea of Permanent DST became very unpopular very quickly.
  9. The U.S. tried permanent DST in the 1970s — then quickly rejected it.
  10. Some people are hoping for a compromise between the Senate and the House.

Grammar Focus: Identifying Prepositions

Directions: The following sentences are from the news article.  For each sentence choose the correct preposition from the choices listed. Note that not all prepositions listed are in the article.  Some Examples of Prepositions:  at,  as, across, around,  by, during,  for, from, in, into,  of, on,  over,  off, to, through,  up,  with, since,

Additional Prepositions:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_prepositions

However, America tried this before — and the country hated it. In the early 1970s, America was facing an energy crisis so the government tried an experiment. Congress passed a law to make daylight saving time permanent year round, but just for two years. The thinking was more sunlight in the evening would reduce the nation’s energy consumption. The House has no immediate plans to take up the Senate-passed bill, but there is bipartisan support for it. The Biden administration hasn’t taken a position on it yet.

Reading Comprehension: Identify The  Speakers

image cosmopolitan.com

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

  1. “It didn’t work… It became very unpopular very quickly.”
  2. “Today the Senate has finally delivered on something Americans all over the country want: to never have to change their clocks again.”
  3. “It’s called standard time because ST lines up with our natural, biological rhythms. Permanent standard time with sunnier mornings and darker evenings would be healthier, especially for front-line workers and school students with early waking hours.”
  4. “I don’t have a specific position from the administration at this point in time.”

 

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 like the idea of making Daylight Savings Time permanent? Why or why not?
  2. In your opinion, should we keep Standard Time or continue turning the clocks back and forth during the year? Explain your reasons.
  3. According to some senators what is the good news about making daylight savings time permanent?
  4. When was the last time Americans attempted to make daylight saving time  (DST) permanent?
  5. What was the thinking behind this idea at the time?
  6. What were some of the problems with making DST permanent?
  7. According to Americans who experienced DST permanently what was the worst part for them?
  8. Was energy consumption reduced during this time?
  9. When did Congress repeal the law?
  10. What important information did Dr. Beth Malow provide about our health need for  permanent Standard Time?
  11. According to Prerau, what is the best solution?
  12. What opinion does President Joe Biden have about the change?
  13. Make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of permanent DST.
  14. 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

First Special Toys for Special Children

“When you’re raising a child with a disability or a complex medical condition, you need to adopt a new mindset when it comes to fostering their development and finding the right tools to support it.” J. Kim, The New York Times, June 23, 2021

Photo- New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Excerpt: These First Toys for Kids With Disabilities Have Universal Appeal by Julie Kim, The New York Times/Wirecutter June 23, 2021

In 2018, my daughter was diagnosed with a rare genetic deletion that causes a range of developmental delays. Over and over again, doctors would ask me if she had reached this or that milestone. Each time, I answered flatly: no.

Photo- Sarah Kobos

I struggled to square her ‘failure’ on these tests with the strong, happy baby I held in my arms…‘We don’t use milestones,”’said Marybeth Finch, MSPT, a physical therapist and infant development specialist at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland, California, who coordinates a developmental program for babies and toddlers with intellectual and physical disabilities and their caregivers. ‘We’re trained to use toys as tools—that’s what separates us from a typical playgroup,” she explained. “We break child development down into many steps, small pieces of big milestones.’  When it comes to assembling your own toy toolbox, what should be in it?… Some of the recommendations are from Wirecutter’s guides to the best gifts for kids, some are from the bags of therapists, and others are toys I’ve discovered on my own that engage and delight my daughter (and, often, my 8-year-old typically developing son).”

Small maraca rattle. Photo credit- Julie Kim “Many wooden or plastic ‘baby’ rattles are too heavy for some babies and children to hold. Weighing in at a quarter of an ounce, this brightly colored, woven maraca is pure magic. An occupational therapist introduced it to my 8-month-old daughter by rubbing the slight ridges across her palm; the maraca was the first object she held on her own.”

VTech Spin & Discover Ferris Wheel. Photo- VTech “When my daughter was 9 months old, she loved this ferris wheel spinner—a “therapy kid” favorite—right away. Even a gentle pat of the animal-shaped levers results in a vigorous and satisfying whirl.”

Playskool Play Favorites Busy Poppin Pals. Photo- Playskool Playskool’s Busy Poppin’ Pals, a favorite from Wirecutter’s guide to the best gifts for 1-year-olds, has been around since 1980. Today’s version is made from thick, durable plastic, includes a carrying handle, and has been updated with a color palette of bright pastels… With every push, twist, or flick, a corresponding cuddly animal pops up with a crisp snap…And even for this pandemic-weary parent, the animal figures are irresistibly cute.”

 

To View Additional Toys for Special Needs

Awareness Toys Sensory Solutions for All Ages & Abilities!

Learning Resources  Top 5 Toys for Special Needs

Today 26 best gifts and toys for children with special needs in 2021

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. When you’re raising a child with special needs everything is important.
  2. Parents need to assemble various tools to help their child.
  3. There are many good recommendations from reliable sources.
  4. Therapists are one of these sources.
  5. The toys and gear in this guide cover many of these areas.
  6. Each individual child has a different personality.
  7. An occupational therapist introduced it to my 8-month-old daughter to this rattle.
  8. The single bell inside gives just the right amount of auditory feedback.
  9. The  toy rattle also gives tactile feedback.
  10. The Ferris Wheel also has a  catchy tune that keeps  playing in my head.

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. Were trained to use toys as tools.
  2. We break child development down into many steps.
  3. I first spotted a stack of Bilibos in my son’s kindergarten classroom.

II

  1. My daughter started occupational therapy when she was 8 months old.
  2. The first several sessions we’re challenging for her.
  3. The clerk at a local children’s boutique recommended this adorable penguin.

III

  1. Many fabric swings are less expensive.
  2. Cocoon swing are a niche product.
  3. We found the canvas material  to be a bit stiff.

Reading ComprehensionFill-ins

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

My ___started ___therapy when she was 8 ___old and recovering from___. The first several ___were ___for her, so the___ made sure to begin with an ___she enjoyed. The therapist placed the___ on the floor, and, as my daughter ___in it, gave it a few gentle___. The Bilibo became her favorite___, hands down.

WORD LIST: twirls, reclined, Bilibo, activity, therapist, challenging, sessions, surgery, months, daughter, occupational, warmup,

 

III Post Reading

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

  1. Do you or someone you know have a special needs child?
  2. What tools do you use with your child to help with their development?
  3. In your opinion, how important are the first toys/tools for special kids?
  4. Out of all of the toys described in the article, which ones do you think are the best?
  5. After reading this article write down three new ideas that you have learned about this  topic from the reading,  two things that you did not understand in the reading, and one thing that you would like to know that the article did not mention.
  6. List 3 questions that you  would like to ask the author of this article. Share questions as a class.

ANSWER KEY

How to Ease Your Child’s Return to School

“As elementary school students return to in-person classes, parents are getting increasingly concerned about their kids’ safety…Added to the worries are fears that after a year of remote learning, some kids have potentially fallen behind or become less comfortable socializing with peers.”  P. Klass, MD, The New York Times, Aug. 17, 2021

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post  with Answer Key

Image- Oscar Nimmo, NYT

Excerpt: How to Prep Kids for a Potentially Bumpy Return to School By Perri Klass, MD, The New York Times, Aug. 17, 2021

“As the American Academy of Pediatrics continues to review the rapidly evolving coronavirus situation in schools, it is still recommending in-person education, said Dr. Sara Bode, chairwoman-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on School Health. But at the same time, it is strongly recommending universal masking and a speedy authorization of vaccines for kids under 12.

Here are some ways you can ensure a smooth re-entry for your child.

Oscar Nimmo NYT

One of the best ways to level a bumpy road back to in-person schooling, said Dr. Bode, who is also a general pediatrician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, is to give children a good sense of what they can expect, and for parents to make clear that they believe a safe return is possible…First, and most importantly, make sure all family members who are eligible are fully vaccinated, said Dr. Grace Black, a general pediatrician affiliated with the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Oscar Nimmo, NYT

This includes kids ages 12 and up, as well as their older siblings, parents and grandparents… Tell your child that the vaccines are safe and effective, said Dr. Danielle Erkoboni, a general pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and that using them in tandem with masks is the best way to keep everyone safe.

image- Oscar Nimmo, New York Times

Frank discussions like these can give children a sense of their own power and agency in a potentially scary time…Because of the large-scale disruptions in learning over the past year, some students will be returning with major gaps in their education, Dr. Bode said, and they will need time to catch up…While the weather is still warm, summer activities and visits with friends — hikes, picnics, ball games in the park — can help reintroduce kids to group activities and take some of the tension out of going back to the classroom…Also make sure that your child’s school is doing everything they can to create a culture of acceptance and compassion, and that they are taking bullying — whether it’s because of weight gain, masking, academic issues or anything else — seriously and addressing it promptly.”

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. The Delta variant has caused a surge in pediatric Covid-19 hospitalizations.
  2. Especially in areas with low vaccination rates.
  3. Some states aren’t mandating masks in classrooms.
  4. Added to the fears that after a year of remote learning, some kids have potentially fallen behind in studies.
  5. Some kids have become less comfortable socializing with peers.
  6. There are ways that you can ensure a smooth re-entry for your child.
  7. Getting the vaccine and using them in tandem with masks keeps everyone safe.
  8. It is important to give children a sense of their own power and agency in a potentially scary time.
  9. Because of the disruptions in learning over the past year, some students will be returning major gaps in their education.
  10. When children are feeling vulnerable, they need more physical affection, reassurance and acknowledgment.

 

Word Map by Against the Odds

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. Be prepared for some challenge.
  2. Be OK with academic imperfection.
  3. Discuss the importance of vaccines and masking.

 

II

  1. Project calm reassurance.
  2. Talk to kids about the types of masks.
  3. Reintroduce social activities safely.

III

  1. Return to an routine.
  2. Help your kids get back on track before school starts.
  3. Try to reestablish some dietary boundaries.

 

Reading Comprehension Identify The  Speakers

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

  1. “As the American Academy of Pediatrics continues to review the rapidly evolving coronavirus situation in schools, it is still recommending in-person education.”
  2. “One of the best ways to level a bumpy road back to in-person schooling is to give children a good sense of what they can expect, and for parents to make clear that they believe a safe return is possible.”
  3. “First, and most importantly, make sure all family members who are eligible are fully vaccinated.”
  4. “As soon as the vaccine is available to kids under 12  it’s important that they get it, too.”
  5. “Tell your child that the vaccines are safe and effective, and that using them in tandem with masks is the best way to keep everyone safe.”

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 school-age kids that are starting school this year?
  2. If so, are you concerned about their health or that they may have fallen behind in their school work? Please explain why.
  3. In your personal opinion should young children start in-person school this year? Why or why not?
  4. According to the article which organization recommends kids attend school in-person?
  5. What are some of the ways mentioned to help your child reenter school this year? Can you think of any other ways?
  6. According to Dr. Grace Black what should all family members do?
  7. Why is it important for children to understand when we ask them to do anything?
  8. How should parents feel if their child’s learning is a little behind other students? 
  9. How should parents and the schools handle bullying or mockery from students who do not wear masks or take safety  precautions?
  10. What things can parents do at home to begin the process of healthy habits in school?

ANSWER KEY