Category Archives: Sports

What We Know About the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics

“After a year’s delay, the Tokyo Summer Olympics appear set to proceed. The world’s best athletes will once again compete in the pool, on the track, around the velodrome and high above the trampoline. But the circumstances will be most unusual.” V. Mather, The New York Times, April 6, 2021

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Image- Rose Wong, New York Times

Excerpt: The Tokyo Olympics Explained, By Victor Mather, The New York Times, April 6, 2021

Are the 2021 Olympics canceled?

No.

The Summer Games, scheduled for Tokyo in July and August 2020, were delayed for a year because of the pandemic. The Games are currently scheduled to proceed July 23 to Aug. 8, 2021. (There will be a few preliminary events on July 21 and 22.)

The Paralympics, also delayed by a year, are to take place Aug. 24 to Sept. 5.

Will there be anyone in the stands?

Japanese fans can attend events, as of now. But most international visitors will not be allowed to come to Japan for the Olympics. Exceptions will be made for athletes, officials and some news media members.

Are they still having the torch relay?

Yes, the relay got underway in Fukushima, Japan, on March 25. The opening ceremony was closed to the public and the routes are not being announced until 30 minutes before the start time.

Pandemic aside, is the city ready?

Unlike other recent hosts, notably Rio de Janeiro in 2016, it appears that Tokyo has its stadiums and infrastructure in order, although surprises sometimes arise when athletes start arriving.

NOTE: These are only a few questions from the original article by Victor Mather. Please read the entire article with your students. -ESL-Voices

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

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

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


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


Time: Approximately 60 minutes.


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


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

I. Pre-Reading Activities

KWL Chart

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

 

Advanced K-W-L chart.Intervention for Reading

 

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. After a year’s delay, the Tokyo Summer Olympics appear set to proceed.
  2. The world’s best athletes will once again compete in the pool, on the track, and around the velodrome.
  3. But the circumstances will be most unusual.
  4. There will be a few preliminary events on July 21 and 22.
  5. The Paralympics, also delayed by a year, are to take place Aug. 24 to Sept. 5.
  6. T-shirts, mugs, signage and other branded gear will all reflect that.
  7. Are they still having the torch relay?
  8. Spectators can attend only in their home areas and cheering is forbidden.
  9. The committee is also eager to hang on to the billions in television money.
  10. Exceptions will be made for athletes, officials and some news media members.

 

 

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. How many time has Tokyo hosted the Games?
  2. Have the Olympics been canceled or postponed before?
  3. Tokyo has its stadiums and infrastructure in order.

II

  1. The finals will be in the morning Japan time, and prime time in the United States.
  2. Miraitowa are  the mascot of the Games.
  3. Someity is the Paralympics mascot.

III

  1. Two of the biggest stars of recent Games have retire.
  2. Some new events have been added to traditional sports.
  3. There is no prize money from the International Olympic Committee for winners.

 

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, mark it NA. If the statement is false  mark  it F and provide the correct answer. 

  1. The Summer Games, scheduled for Tokyo in July and August 2020, were delayed for a year because of the pandemic.
  2. Surveys reveal that 100 percent of people in Japan think the Games should not go on this summer.
  3. Despite coming a year late, the Games are still called Tokyo 2020.
  4. International visitors will be allowed to attend the Games.
  5. Exceptions  to attend the Games will be made for athletes, officials and some news media members.
  6. They are not having the torch relay at the Games.
  7. Two significant Olympics officials have left their posts after making sexist remarks.
  8. The Summer and Winter Olympics alternate every four years.
  9. Several sports were dropped from the Olympic games.
  10. The five rings, of blue, yellow, black, green and red, date to 1912 and were designed by de Coubertin. The colors were chosen so that every flag in the world would have at least one matching color.

 

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. Are you involved in any sports? Which ones?
  2. Do you watch the Olympic games?
  3. Which season do you prefer  the summer or winter Olympics? Explain why.
  4. Which Olympic events  do you like the most? Why?
  5. Do you have any favorite Olympic athletes? Who are they and in which sport do they excel?
  6. Are you concerned about the summer Olympics being held during the pandemic?
  7. In your opinion should the games be held at all?
  8. Why  are the The International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo organizing committee so determined to hold the games this year?
  9. What is International Olympic Committee doing to insure the safety of the athletes and spectators taking this year?
  10. Which two Japanese officials left their posts? Why?
  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

Category: Sports | Tags:

E-Sports: The New Gateway to Scholarship Money!

“Behind a glass partition at the Microsoft store at the Roosevelt Field Mall on Long Island, 10 teenage boys settled into seats in a rectangular formation. Each sat behind a laptop computer, ears warmed by a bulky headset. Parents and grandparents circled the room, peering over shoulders at screens.The room had the feel of a sporting event, and it was — a group of competitive video gamers on the Bay Shore High School e-sports team were competing in a scrimmage and playing their way toward college scholarships.” A.Dollinger, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

At the computers are, from left, Dimetrius, Randy Garcia and Kyle Champlin. Credit B. Perkins, NYT

 

Excerpt: Video Games Are A Waste of Time? Not for Those With E-sports Scholarships By A. Dollinger, The New York Times

“Multiplayer video games played competitively, often with spectators, are known as e-sports, and they have became a gateway to college scholarship money. Over the past two years, the National Association of Collegiate Esports, which is engaged with 98 varsity programs across the United States and Canada, has helped to facilitate $16 million in scholarships, according to the executive director, Michael Brooks. In higher education, e-sports live in various departments. Sometimes they are part of student affairs; some schools place them within an engineering or design program; and, more rarely, they have their place in athletics.

At Robert Morris University Illinois, e-sports is part of the athletics department. Team members have access to athletic trainers and are put through light fitness training. Players attend practice Monday through Thursday, from 4:30 to 9 p.m., with an hour break for dinner. They analyze film, participate in team-building activities, sit for communication sessions.

Dimetrius at the keyboard as his mother, Anne Bostick, captures the action and his coach, Chris Champlin, watches. Beth Perkins for The New York Times

‘The games that are competitively viable in the collegiate sphere have real depth, have deep levels of strategy, and require strategic teamwork and require real mastery to be successful — and not just by yourself, within a team environment and through using tactics,’ said Kurt Melcher, who runs the program at Robert Morris.

A few years out of college, Mr. Melcher was the soccer coach and associate athletic director for Robert Morris By 2013, he noticed a college community emerging. Students were organizing themselves, creating their own opportunities for gaming. So he took a proposal to the university administration: What if game play were an athletic endeavor? ‘If you look at sports, how do you define what is more of a sport? Is football more of a sport than men’s tennis or women’s tennis, and is golf more or less of a sport than hockey?’ he said.

Today, almost 90 Robert Morris students play, and about 80 of them receive e-sports scholarships, Mr. Melcher said. Varsity-level players can receive scholarships that cover up to 70 percent of their tuition; reserve players receive 35 percent tuition coverage.

Members of the Bay Shore High School e-sports team look on as Matthew Ruiz competes at the Microsoft store at the Roosevelt Field Mall on Long Island. Credit Beth Perkins for The New York Times

At the University of California Irvine, where e-sports fall under student affairs, gamers must try out for a team and scholarship offers come later. There are 23 students on e-sports scholarships at U.C.I. this year, on varsity and junior varsity teams, said Mark Deppe, who runs the university’s e-sports program.

There’s discipline involved, there’s practice involved, there’s teamwork and collaboration involved, but also the physical aspect,” said Mark Candella, known as Garvey, the director of strategic partnerships for the streaming platform Twitch. ‘These young people can do up to 360 controlled precise actions per minute. Their fingers and hands and their eyes move so quickly in exact coordination.’

Organized competitive gaming on both the high school and university levels lives in purposeful defiance of the gamer stereotype: as Mr. Melcher said, ‘a kid locked in a basement, antisocial, angry, drinks 50 Mountain Dews and doesn’t sort of become a valuable person in society.’ In the educational sphere, game play often brings students out of basements and bedrooms.

At Bay Shore High School, Ryan Champlin, a senior, started the team with the help of his father, Chris; younger brother, Kyle; and computer teacher, Mike Masino. The team is part of the school’s computer club.

‘The Silicon Valley school is offering almost a full ride,’ Ryan said, in the form of an athletics scholarship for e-sports and a leadership scholarship that would make him assistant director of the e-sports program.The same scholarship if I was playing football or lacrosse.”

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

Stimulating background knowledge: Brainstorming

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

G. Cluster Brainstorming-workshopexercises

 

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. A group of competitive video gamers were competing.
  2. They were part of an e-sports team.
  3. Team members have access to athletic trainers.
  4. Members participate in team-building activities.
  5. The games are competitively viable in the collegiate sphere. 
  6. Mr. Melcher wanted the games to be an athletic endeavor.
  7. Varsity-level players can receive scholarships that cover up to 70 percent of their tuition.
  8. Players scrimmage other teams.
  9. The league has dozens of recruiters looking for scholarship candidates.
  10. Their fingers and hands and their eyes move so quickly in exact coordination.

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.

Meanwhile, some___ offer___ scholarships not associated with ___or specific games. New York University awards an e-sports___ to one student per year who is ___in the gaming ___and interested in ___in some part of the ___industry.

WORD LIST: gaming, teams, community, scholarship, active, e-sports, schools, working,

 

 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. There is 10 teenage boys settled into seats ready to play.
  2. Each sat behind a laptop computer.
  3. Parents and grandparents circled the room.

 

II

  1. Multiplayer video games are played competitively.
  2. In higher education, e-sports live in various departments.
  3. Players attends practice Monday through Thursday.

 

III

  1. Today, almost 90 Robert Morris students play.
  2. E-sports players at U.C.I. devote 15 to 20 hour a week.
  3. There’s discipline,  practice, and  teamwork involved.

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.Groups can search online for additional information about E-Sports.

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: Sports, Technology | Tags:

Super Bowl LII Will Be The Most Watched Television Event of the Year…Why?

“I am a Catholic. He is a priest. It seemed natural to ask the Rev. James Martin if it was morally wrong to enjoy watching professional football, namely the Super Bowl, on Sunday. Martin is a Jesuit, which is the order that produced Pope Francis and provided the foundation (for better or worse) of my education. He is a writer, a thinker and an acknowledged public intellectual. But Martin, a Philadelphian, is also an unabashed Eagles fan… He, too, is uncomfortable enjoying a brutal sport that has imperiled the health of its work force.” J.  Drape, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Patriots and Eagles. Photo-endzone.

 

Excerpt: ‘The American Dilemma’: Why Do We Still Watch Football? By  Joe Drape, The New York Times

“Still, Martin will meet his 86-year-old mother at his sister’s home in New Jersey on Sunday and pull hard for the Philadelphia Eagles to win their first Super Bowl title.

‘I don’t think it’s a stretch to ask that question, but I’m not sure what the answer is,’ Martin said. ‘I have watched with interest the progression of medical research. Are we using their bodies for profit? Are we using their bodies for our enjoyment?’

Tom Brady, quarterback for the Patriots. PHOTO- USAtoday

C.T.E. has been found in the brain of one dead N.F.L. player after another. Published studies have found a correlation between the total number of years one plays tackle football and the likelihood of one’s developing brain disease later in life.

NY Daily News

Still, we shrug. Last year, 111.3 million people tuned in to CBS’s Super Bowl broadcast, according to Nielsen.

Primitive Technology- This photo was taken in 1912 of a man testing a football helmet. The big question of “did it work?” remains a mystery. Photo- historyinorbit.com

Even with N.F.L. regular-season ratings down 12 percent this season, Eagles-Patriots on Sunday will almost certainly be the most-watched television event of the year — as the previous year’s Super Bowl was… Stories of concussions do not affect viewership of the game for 77 percent of fans, as two-thirds of them told pollsters they believed player safety had been prioritized, according to the annual Burson-Marsteller Super Bowl survey

The Seattle Seahawks win. abc.net

Alan Schwarz, the former New York Times reporter who exposed football’s concussion crisis, said that the issue does not discourage him from watching the N.F.L.

usatoday.com

‘I have no problem watching the N.F.L. — these are grown men making grown men’s decisions,’ said Schwarz, whose investigative articles from 2007 to 2011 compelled new safety rules for players of all ages.

Patriots vs. Packers

‘After being kept in the dark for so many years by their employers, they now know they could wind up brain-damaged. Fine. They’re professional daredevils. It wasn’t immoral to watch Evel Knievel. We watch stuntmen in movies.’

Photo of Tennessee Titans WR Justin McCareins getting sandwiched on a hit. InternetMedicine.com

Many Americans say they have been turned off by on-field protests during games (61 percent, according to the Burson-Marsteller survey), but most say they plan to watch the game even if there are protests.

The Ravens win superbowl. Wahsington Times

Bryan Partee is the executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Marshall, Tex., the town that brought us the great Y. A. Tittle as well as Dennis Partee, Bryan’s father, who was a kicker for the San Diego Chargers in the 1960s and 1970s.  Dennis Partee, 70, has Parkinson’s disease and is part of the N.F.L.’s concussion settlement.

Very young football players. Youtube

His love for the game has been passed down through the family. Bryan Partee played football in high school; his 10-year-old son, Noah, will not. Yet they will all watch Sunday’s game together.”

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  the topic.  Next, have students look at the pictures in the text and generate ideas or words that may be connected to the article.  Regroup as a class and list these ideas on the board. Students can use a brainstorming chart for assistance.

Brainstorming chart by UIE copy

 

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. Football is the American dilemma.
  2. People watched  several renditions of  the video.
  3. Are we using their bodies for profit?
  4. C.T.E. has been found in the brain of  many N.F.L. players.
  5. Studies have found a correlation between the number of years  one plays and  developing brain disease later in life.
  6. Still,  many viewers shrug off the results of the studies.
  7. Stories of concussions do not affect viewership of the game.
  8. They’re professional daredevils.
  9. Many believe that Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, was blackballed by the N.F.L.
  10. Some parents watch the game  with an increasing amount of dread.

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.

Jelani Cobb, the New Yorker___ and educator, said he would not be watching on___, but his reason had nothing to do with the game’s ___and ___for life-threatening injury. He is not watching because he believes Colin Kaepernick, the ___San Francisco 49ers___, was ___by the N.F.L. for for social justice when he chose to take a knee for the national ___before games.

WORD LIST:  anthem ,protesting, quarterback,  blackballed, potential, former, violence, writer, Sunday,

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.

Soon/so  my wife and I, like millions/mill of other parrots/parents, will have to make a similar decision/decide about our own football-crazy 13-year-old. We know the long-term rakes/risks now, and that makes/make what used to be a simple decision far more harrowing. No priest/price will be able to help us. The N.F.L. should be as worried about that as I am.

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

  1. Do you like to watch football  games?
  2. Do you play football? Do you play soccer?
  3. What are the similarities (if any ) between American football and soccer?
  4. Why do you think football is described as “The American Dilemma”?
  5. Look at the pictures. Which ones encourage  people to play football? Why?
  6. In your opinion,  are there ways  to make football less dangerous for players?
  7. Do you think football will change in 20 years?  If yes explain how, if no explain why not.

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: Sports | Tags: ,

After The Olympics? Join Cirque du Soleil!

“After competing in trampoline at the 2000 Olympics, Lee Brearley of Britain went on to performing double flips on stage in a zoot suit… First time on Broadway, and I wear a skirt, he said of his costume for the Cleopatra scene in Paramour, the Cirque du Soleil musical… At the moment, 21 Olympians — two of them medalists — perform in eight United States-based Cirque du Soleil shows. Jeffrey Wammes, a gymnast from the Netherlands who ended his career in Rio, is about to make it 22.” K. Whiteside, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Lee Brearley on a trampoline during training for Paramour, the Cirque du Soleil musical. Credit- George Etheredge:The New York Times

Jeffrey Wammes is a Dutch gymnast.

Jeffrey Wammes is a Dutch gymnast.

Excerpt: For Some Athletes, Olympic Rings Give Way to the Circus Ring-By  Kelly Whiteside, The New York Times

“By the time the Rio Olympics concluded Sunday, many athletes had gone home to begin or resume other careers. Maya DiRado, an American swimmer who won four medals in Rio, has said that a business analyst job awaits her. The Canadian distance runner Lanni Marchant is a criminal defense lawyer.

A number of Olympic gymnasts fall into a different, hair-raising pipeline, filling roles in the ever-expanding universe of Cirque du Soleil. In all, about 40 percent of Cirque’s performers come from artistic, rhythmic and acrobatic gymnastics backgrounds, as well as from trampoline, tumbling, diving and synchronized swimming.

Fabrice Becker won an Olympic gold medal in freestyle skiing for France at the 1992 Winter Olympics. Photo-britannica

Fabrice Becker won an Olympic gold medal in freestyle skiing for France at the 1992 Winter Olympics. Photo-britannica

For Cirque, recruiting high-caliber athletes is almost a no-brainer, said the company’s creative director, Fabrice Becker, who won an Olympic gold medal in freestyle skiing for France at the 1992 Winter Olympics. Cirque, for instance, conducted a workshop with the Canadian national halfpipe team this year. 

Still, the transition from serious competitor to performer can be challenging. As if it were not hard enough to nail a somersault on a trampoline, try doing it while in costume — perhaps as a cricket, with six legs…Some athletes find the transition fairly smooth.

Former Olympian Terry Bartlett in his Las Vegas show. WSJ

Former Olympian Terry Bartlett in his Las Vegas show. WSJ

Terry Bartlett competed in gymnastics at three Olympics for Britain and retired after the Barcelona Games in 1992. Unsure of what to do next, he stumbled on a Cirque du Soleil audition while on vacation in California and accepted a job as an acrobat in Mystère in Las Vegas.After his acrobatic skills began to wane, Bartlett turned to clowning almost 10 years ago.

At 52, he now stars in Cirque wearing a loosey-goosey sailor suit, a clown nose and shoes the size of flippers. Instead of twists and tumbles, there are slapstick and high jinks.”

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

 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. 

Pre-reading Organizer By Scholastic

Pre-reading Organizer By Scholastic

 

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. The Rio Olympics concluded Sunday.
  2. Many athletes go home to begin or resume other careers.
  3. You show people your best, but not in a competitive way.
  4. For Cirque recruiting high-caliber athletes is fun.
  5. Searching for athletes is almost a no-brainer.
  6. The transition from serious competitor to performer can be challenging.
  7. Terry Bartlett stumbled on  Cirque du Soleil.
  8. They were holding an audition for an acrobat.
  9. Some performers are known for their somersaults.
  10. The performances appear like  a blur of a circle.
Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

Reading Comprehension

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.

In the show’s ___moment,___and Dick Tracy-esque ___stage an elaborate chase-and-fight___ on rooftops. Bodies ___in midair like___juggling pins, nearly___. Fourteen___and actors share the___ before the focus narrows on Brearley for his solo.

WORD LIST: paparazzi, crisscross, climatic, mayhem, scene, characters,  human, colliding, acrobats.

 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.

Terry Bartlett competed/completed in gymnastics at tree/three Olympics for Britain and retreated/retired after the Barcelona Games in 1992. Unsure of what/which to do next, he stumbled on a Cirque du Soleil audition/audio while on vacation/vacate in California and accepted/excepted a job as an acrobat in “Mystère” in Las Vegas.

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/Writing Activities

Directions: Place students in groups Have each group list 3  questions they would like to ask any person mentioned in the article. Groups share questions 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: Sports | Tags:

Professional Female Boxers: Pay Still Not Equal to Male Boxers

“There’s a scene in T-Rex  — a documentary that follows the middleweight phenom Claressa Shields from her hometown of Flint, Mich., to the 2012 Olympic Games in London and back again — The reps from Team U.S.A. are discussing her sponsorship opportunities. Team U.S.A.’s public-relations consultant, Julie Goldsticker, looks at Shields and says: I would love for you to stop saying that you like beating people up and making them cry. Shields’s brow creases. She looks completely befuddled. I box, she says.” J. Lowe, New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Claressa Shields wins (2nd) Gold medal in boxing.

Claressa Shields wins (2nd) Gold medal in boxing.

Gold Medalist Boxer Claressa Shields. Photo- Erik Madigan Heck, NYT

Gold Medalist Boxer Claressa Shields. Photo- Erik Madigan Heck, NYT

Excerpt: Women Have Been Boxing in the Shadows for Too Long- By Jaime Lowe, The New York Times 

“The paradox is clear: Shields cannot visibly enjoy fighting to succeed financially as a boxer. It’s a violent sport. If she were a man, that bloodlust, that taste for combat, would be courted. It would be used as a selling point to hype fights, as it always has. But for a woman to admit that she likes aggression, relishes controlled rage, thrives on ferocity and enjoys the feeling of gut-punches, well, that is unfathomable, or it seemed so to the Team U.S.A. reps.

Boxer Shelly Vincent-Photo- Edward Diller:DiBella Entertainment

Boxer Shelly Vincent-Photo- Edward Diller:DiBella Entertainment

They had no idea how to sell her, even after she was featured in a multimedia photo essay in The New York Times, profiled by The New Yorker, heard on NPR or highlighted in any number of other media appearances.

They could not figure out how to sell her in spite of her ready-made biopic childhood — a narrative riddled with disadvantage, abuse and sexual violence that ends in winning Olympic gold.

Professional boxer Laila Ali. Photo-boxrec

Professional boxer Laila Ali. Photo-boxrec

Just before Shields left for Rio, where she will compete again as a middleweight boxer, she told me: “People say the way I talk about boxing is too mean and too tough, but I do enjoy hitting people, or I wouldn’t be a boxer. I’m not gonna pretend that isn’t part of it or part of me.”

Shields went on to talk about something a lot of professional female boxers have mentioned before: that there isn’t support for women’s boxing on a professional level. Boxing’s biggest broadcasters — HBO and Showtime — have been reluctant to feature women’s fight cards.”

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  the topic.  Next, have students look at the picture(s) in the text and generate ideas or words that may be connected to the article. Debrief as a class and list these ideas on the board. Students can use a brainstorming chart for assistance.

Brainstorming Map by rentonschools.us

Brainstorming Map by rentonschools.us

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. The paradox is that Shields cannot enjoy fighting to succeed as a boxer financially.
  2. The women’s bouts,  were fought in the afternoon while men fought in prime time.
  3. At one point in history men’s boxing was being promoted as a barroom spectacle.
  4. In 1904,  men’s boxing made its debut as an Olympic sport in St. Louis.
  5. During that time women’s boxing was limited to exhibition bouts.
  6. Boxing, if it was forward-thinking, would recognize that it needs women.
  7. The U.F.C.’s president, Dana White, decided to reverse a 2011 decision barring women.
  8. Other women helped launch this  project.
  9. There is a lack of central authority to ensure that fights are well-matched.
  10. For centuries boxing has been a man’s sport, and when women popped up, it was treated as a novelty.

Reading Comprehension

Fill-ins

Directions: Place students in groups and after they have read the entire article, have them complete the following paragraphs 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.

To ___the___ between Hardy and Vincent, the ___and promoters ___the very thing Team U.S.A. was ___to suppress. The fighters stood toe-to-toe at a news conference…Each said she wanted very badly to___ the other ___in the face. Vincent ___me there was ___behind this, that the women always___ the ___with more action, more punching, more to prove. Breaking ___ceilings or in this case, fists and faces — seems especially___ in a year when Hillary Clinton is poised to be the next___.

WORD LIST: president, accentuated, trying, fighters, significant, publicize, passion, fight, punch, glass, fighter, assured,   steal, show,

 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.

Boxing, if it was smart and forward-thinking, would realize/recognize that it needs/nests women (especially the Claressa Shieldses of the world) in other/order to compete with other combat/combative sports/spots that are dominating/domineer the market. It may be no accident that after a 1-minute-and-41-second technical knockout at the Barclays Center last month, the mane/main line of questioning for the victory/victor, the featherweight Amanda Serrano, was: Are you training in M.M.A.?

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/Writing Activities

Directions: Place students in groups Have each group list 3  questions they would like to ask any person mentioned in the article. Groups share questions as a 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

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