“Anger has a bad reputation, but it is a basic human emotion like any other. Here’s how to help children cope.” C.Pearson,The New York Times, June 28, 2022
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key
“I never really witnessed pure rage up close until I became a parent of toddlers. My children, who are a bit older now, weren’t big tantrum throwers. But when they went for it, they really went for it: screaming, sobbing, full-body shaking —the works…Fortunately, their respective meltdown phases were brief. I say “fortunately,” because I didn’t do much to help tame their outbursts. I was flummoxed by their fits of anger, and sometimes worried about who I was raising.
Learning to manage anger is a lifelong skill that allows children to function at home, in school and out in the world without losing control. And it’s a skill that parents can help their kids cultivate, even starting when they are babies and toddlers, by encouraging them to develop outlets and modeling strong coping skills yourself.”
Additional Reading [Excellent article ~ ESL-Voices]:
This story is part of a series from NPR’s Science desk called ‘The Other Side of Anger’.
“For more than 30 years, the Inuit welcomed anthropologist Jean Briggs into their lives so she could study how they raise their children…Back in the 1960s, a Harvard graduate student made a landmark discovery about the nature of human anger.”
“…Across the board, all the moms mention one golden rule: Don’t shout or yell at small children…Traditionally, the Inuit saw yelling at a small child as demeaning. It’s as if the adult is having a tantrum; it’s basically stooping to the level of the child, Briggs documented.”
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
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.
- I never really witnessed pure rage up close until I became a parent of toddlers.
- My children, who are a bit older now, weren’t big tantrum throwers.
- But when they went for it, they really went for it.
- Fortunately, their respective meltdown phases were brief.
- “Fortunately,” because I didn’t do much to help tame their outbursts.
- I was flummoxed by their fits of anger.
- Anger isn’t bad nor is expressing it inherently dangerous.
- Learning to manage anger is a lifelong skill.
- It’s a skill that parents can help their kids cultivate.
- Anger is a basic human emotion.
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.
- How to Raise Kids Who Are Good at Getting Angry.
- Anger have a bad reputation.
- Anger is a basic human emotion like any other.
- I never really witnessed pure rage.
- I was flummoxed by there fits of anger.
- Many of us were taught that anger is bad.
- Learning to manage anger is a lifelong skill.
- Don’t be afraid for tantrums.
- Some emotions are really stressful.
Reading Comprehension: Identify The Speakers
Directions: Read the following quotes from the speakers in the article. Then identify the speakers.
- “Many of us were taught that anger is bad, and that to show we’re angry and express our feelings is bad…But anger isn’t bad, Dr. McCoy said, nor is expressing it inherently dangerous or disrespectful.”
- “When it comes to kids and anger, it can help to remember a few simple facts: First, anger is a basic human emotion. And second, emotions exist to tell us about ourselves and our relationships.”
- “It’s not uncommon for toddlers or preschoolers to have tantrums several times a week…The average length of toddler tantrums is around three minutes but there is a wide range in how long they can go on — anywhere between 1 and 20 minutes.”
III. Post Reading Activities
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?
Questions for Discussion and Comprehension
Directions: In groups answer the following questions:
*[ Please Note: Questions 1 and 2 are from NPR website]
- How do you get your kids to do things without yelling or shouting?
- How did your parents get you to do things without yelling or scolding?
- 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.
- List 3 questions that you would like to ask any person mentioned in the article. Groups share questions as a class.