Category Archives: Technology

“Life in the Age of Facial Recognition”

“The human face is a remarkable piece of work. The astonishing variety of facial features helps people recognize each other and is crucial to the formation of complex societies…Technology is rapidly catching up with the human ability to read faces. In America facial recognition is used by churches to track worshippers’ attendance; in Britain, by retailers to spot past shoplifters. This year Welsh police used it to arrest a suspect outside a football game.” The Economist

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Future of Life Institute

Excerpt: Life in the age of facial recognition  By The Economist

“In China it verifies the identities of ride-hailing drivers, permits tourists to enter attractions and lets people pay for things with a smile. Apple’s new iPhone is expected to use it to unlock the homescreenSet against human skills, such applications might seem incremental.

Some breakthroughs, such as flight or the internet, obviously transform human abilities; facial recognition seems merely to encode them. Although faces are peculiar to individuals, they are also public, so technology does not, at first sight, intrude on something that is private. And yet the ability to record, store and analyze images of faces cheaply, quickly and on a vast scale promises one day to bring about fundamental changes to notions of privacy, fairness and trust.

The Guardian

Start with privacy. One big difference between faces and other biometric data, such as fingerprints, is that they work at a distance. Anyone with a phone can take a picture for facial-recognition programs to use. FindFace, an app in Russia, compares snaps of strangers with pictures on VKontakte, a social network, and can identify people with a 70% accuracy rate. Facebook’s bank of facial images cannot be scraped by others, but the Silicon Valley giant could obtain pictures of visitors to a car showroom, say, and later use facial recognition to serve them ads for cars.

Some firms are analysing faces to provide automated diagnoses of rare genetic conditions, such as Hajdu-Cheney syndrome, far earlier than would otherwise be possible. Systems that measure emotion may give autistic people a grasp of social signals they find elusive. But the technology also threatens. Researchers at Stanford University have demonstrated that, when shown pictures of one gay man, and one straight man, the algorithm could attribute their sexuality correctly 81% of the time.

Humans managed only 61% .  In countries where homosexuality is a crime, software which promises to infer sexuality from a face is an alarming prospect.  Less violent forms of discrimination could also become common. Employers can already act on their prejudices to deny people a job. But facial recognition could make such bias routine, enabling firms to filter all job applications for ethnicity and signs of intelligence and sexuality… Moreover, such systems may be biased against those who do not have white skin, since algorithms trained on data sets of mostly white faces do not work well with different ethnicities.

Such biases have cropped up in automated assessments used to inform courts’ decisions about bail and sentencing… The basis of social interactions might change, too, from a set of commitments founded on trust to calculations of risk and reward derived from the information a computer attaches to someone’s face. Cameras will only become more common with the spread of wearable devices.

Efforts to bamboozle facial-recognition systems, from sunglasses to make-up, are already being overtaken; research from the University of Cambridge shows that artificial intelligence can reconstruct the facial structures of people in disguise. Google has explicitly turned its back on matching faces to identities, for fear of its misuse by undemocratic regimes. Other tech firms seem less picky. Amazon and Microsoft are both using their cloud services to offer face recognition; it is central to Facebook’s plans.

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: Using a Pre-reading Organizer

Directions:  Ask 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. Technology can verify the identity of just about anyone.
  2. There are many breakthroughs in this field.
  3. Some facial recognition devices only encode features.
  4. There are notions of privacy, fairness and trust.
  5. One big difference between faces and other biometric data, such as fingerprints, is that they work at a distance.
  6. Governments will not want to forgo matching faces to identities.
  7. Face recognition is being used by many big tech companies.
  8. The FBI has photographs of half of America’s adult population stored in databases.
  9. Some private firms are unable to connect images and identity.
  10. Some systems may be biased against persons of color.

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.

People___much of their ___lives, in the___ and the courtroom as well as the___and the___reading faces, for signs of___, hostility,___ and deceit. They also ___plenty of time trying to dissimulate.

WORD LIST: spend, trust, attraction, bar, spend, bedroom, waking,  office,

 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.

Relationships might become more ration/rational, but also more transactional. Laws against discrimination can be apple/applied to an employer screening candidates’ images. Suppliers/slippers of commercial face-recognition systems might submit/submitted to audits, to demonstrate that their systems are not propagating bias unintentionally. Firms/Forms that use such technologies should be held/hold accountable. Such rules cannot alter the direction of travel, however.

III. Post Reading Activities

Finding The Main Idea

Directions:  Have students use this advanced organizer from Write Design to assist them with  discussing  or writing about  the main idea and points from the article.

Discussion for Comprehension /Writing

Directions: Place students in groups and have them  discuss the following 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. “China’s government keeps a record of its citizens’ faces; photographs of half of America’s adult population are stored in databases that can be used by the FBI. Law-enforcement agencies now have a powerful weapon in their ability to track criminals, but at enormous potential cost to citizens’ privacy.
  2. The face is not just a name-tag. It displays a lot of other information—and machines can read that, too.”
  3. “Eventually, continuous facial recording and gadgets that paint computerized data onto the real world might change the texture of social interactions. Dissembling helps grease the wheels of daily life.”

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: Technology

“The Secret to a Good Robot Teacher”

“Why is educational technology such a disappointment? In recent years, parents and schools have been exposing children to a range of computer-mediated instruction, and adults have been turning to “brain training” apps to sharpen their minds, but the results have not been encouraging. A six-year research project commissioned by the Department of Education examined different cybertechnology programs across thousands of students in hundreds of schools and found little to no evidence that they improved academic performance.” D. DeSteno, C. Breazeal and P. Harris, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Photo: DailyMail

Excerpt: The Secret to a Good Robot Teacher, D. DeSteno, C. Breazeal and P. Harris, The New York Times

“Unfortunately, it appears the same goes for cognitive-training programs. Lumos Labs, the company behind Lumosity, one of the leading programs in this area, agreed to pay $2 million to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission that it misled customers with claims that Lumosity improved people’s performance in school and at work. In our view, the problem stems partly from the fact that the designers of these technologies rely on an erroneous set of assumptions about how the mind learns.

It was through other people’s testimony or through interactive discourse and exploration with them that we learned facts about our world and new ways of solving problems… To investigate the importance such social cues might play in learning from technology, we recently conducted a study with 4- to 7-year-old children from schools in Boston.

The children listened to a story read by a robot that looked like a cute plush creature with an animated face that allowed for emotional expressions and eye and mouth movements. For half the children, the robot made use of these capabilities, responding to events in the story and to the children’s answers to its questions in a manner that expressed typical social and emotional cues.

children learn from a friendly animated robot.
trendsetter.com

For the other children, the robot was “flat”: It told the same story, but didn’t emit or respond with the typically expected cues. As the children listened to the story, we measured their engagement and attention using automated software to track facial, head and eye movements.

image- Gulf News

To gauge their understanding and use of the new vocabulary words embedded in the story, we had the children retell the story to a puppet both immediately afterward and again after a four- to six-week delay. Among those children who recalled and correctly used at least one of the target vocabulary words during the immediate retelling of the story, the total number used was greater for those who listened to the expressive robot than for those who listened to the flat one…Put simply, children were not only more attentive to and motivated by a socially expressive robot, but they also processed what they learned from it more deeply…Notably, it’s not that the children liked the expressive robot more. They didn’t; we asked. Rather, it’s that the presence of social cues made the expressive robot, and therefore its information, seem more reliable and trustworthy.

The upshot of these findings is clear. If we want to use technology to help people learn, we have to provide information in the way the human mind evolved to receive it. We have to speak the mind’s language, and that includes the language not only of information but also of social cues.”

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: Using a Pre-reading Organizer

Directions:  Ask 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. There are many cognitive-training programs.
  2. Many erroneous assumptions were made.
  3. Today, technologies make use of virtual agents.
  4. Social cues are important in learning from technology.
  5. Good robots use emotional expressions.
  6. To gauge their understanding, the children retold the story to a puppet.
  7. Moreover, children interacted with the robots.
  8. Toward the end of the experiment, a new animal appeared.
  9. The upshot of these findings was clear.
  10. The children who liked robots showed greater levels of concentration.

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. Lumosity, agreed to pay $2  thousand to settle charges.
  2. Designers of these technologies rely on an erroneous set of assumptions about how the mind learns.
  3. The human brain has evolved to take in, analyze and store information in a specific way.
  4. A study was conducted with 11- to 15-year-old children from schools in Boston.
  5. In general children responded more to the robot with the  animated face.
  6. Testers had the children retell the story to a human teacher immediately afterward.
  7. Children who interacted with the expressive robot showed greater levels of concentration.
  8. This test proved that children will grow up to like robots.
  9. Another study was conducted with  adults.
  10. According to the researchers, there’s more to learning than just listening and remembering.

 Grammar Focus

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.

Toward the end of the___, a new appeared, affording kids the ___to ask ___and learn about it. Here, 82 percent of the ___chose to seek ___about the new animal from the properly___robot as opposed to its partner. What’s more, even when both___ offered information about the new animal, the children were significantly more likely to ___the information from the ___one.

WORD LIST: expressive, experiment, expressive, information,

children, questions, opportunity, animal, believe,  robots,

III. Post Reading Activities

Finding The Main Idea

Directions:  Have students use this advanced organizer from Write Design to assist them with  discussing  or writing about  the main idea and points from the article.

Discussion for Comprehension /Writing

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: Technology | Tags:

“Please Prove You’re Not a Robot”

“When science fiction writers first imagined robot invasions, the idea was that bots would become smart and powerful enough to take over the world by force, whether on their own or as directed by some evildoer. In reality, something only slightly less scary is happening. Robots are getting better, every day, at impersonating humans.”  T. WU, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Living a Dream – blogger

 

Excerpt:  Please Prove You’re Not a Robot By  Tim Wu

“Robots posing as people have become a menace. For popular Broadway shows (need we say “Hamilton”?), it is actually bots, not humans, who do much and maybe most of the ticket buying. Shows sell out immediately, and the middlemen (quite literally, evil robot masters) reap millions in ill-gotten gains.

Philip Howard, who runs the Computational Propaganda Research Project at Oxford, studied the deployment of propaganda bots during voting on Brexit, and the recent American and French presidential elections. Twitter is particularly distorted by its millions of robot accounts; during the French election, it was principally Twitter robots who were trying to make #MacronLeaks into a scandal.

Image-me.me

Facebook has admitted it was essentially hacked during the American election in November. In Michigan, Mr. Howard notes, ‘junk news was shared just as widely as professional news in the days leading up to the election.’

Impossible CAPTCHA – It Doesn’t Really matter if you’re human or not. image. SEO Smarty

To be sure, today’s impersonation-bots are different from the robots imagined in science fiction: They aren’t sentient, don’t carry weapons and don’t have physical bodies. Instead, fake humans just have whatever is necessary to make them seem human enough to ‘pass’: a name, perhaps a virtual appearance, a credit-card number and, if necessary, a profession, birthday and home address.

They are brought to life by programs or scripts that give one person the power to imitate thousands.

In film Wearable ‘Anti AI AI’ detects fake voices. Daily Mail

The problem is almost certain to get worse, spreading to even more areas of life as bots are trained to become better at mimicking humans.

mage- The Daily Star

In coming years, campaign finance limits will be (and maybe already are) evaded by robot armies posing as ‘small’ donors. And actual voting is another obvious target — perhaps the ultimate target.

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.

G. Cluster Brainstorming-workshopexercises

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. Many opportunists use robots.
  2. Robots posing as people have become a menace.
  3. Oxford students  studied the deployment of propaganda bots.
  4. Facebook has admitted it was hacked.
  5. Today’s impersonation-bots are different.
  6. One person the power to imitate thousands.
  7. It is actually bots, not humans, who do much and maybe most of the ticket buying.
  8. Defenses such as  Captchas are built.
  9. Improved robot detection might help us find the robot masters.
  10. Automated processes should be required to state, ‘I am a robot.

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.

Robots are also being used to___the ___features of the ___state. This spring, the Federal Communications Commission put its proposed ___of net___up for public comment. In___years such proceedings___ millions of (human) commentators. This time, someone with an ___but no actual public support unleashed___who ___ (via stolen identities) hundreds of thousands of people, flooding the system with___ comments against federal net neutrality rules.

 

WORD LIST: agenda, fake, democratic, attack, previous, impersonated,  neutrality, administrative,  revocation, robots,   attracted,

Grammar Focus Word -Recognition

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

When directed/dictated by opportunists, mathematicians/malefactors and sometimes even nation-states, they pose/prose a particular threat/thread to democratic societies, which are promised/premised on being open to the people.

Robots posing as people have become a menace/mention. For popular Broadway shows (need we say “Hamilton”?), it is actually bots, not humanoids/humans, who do much and maybe most of the ticket buying.

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 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

Category: Technology

Dear Roswell Aliens: Please, Please Abduct Me!

“William Brazel strolled through the grassy pasture toward his flock of sheep. A July thunderstorm had swept across the desert the evening before not an uncommon occurrence in that part of New Mexico, near Roswell…an unfamiliar sight caught his eye: Debris lay strewn about the land in front of him. The year was 1947. A few days later, on July 8, a surreal headline appeared on the front page of The Roswell Daily newspaper. It said the military had captured a ‘flying saucer’ on a ranch outside of town. The next day the Army corrected its news release. A weather balloon had crashed, not a flying disc. No longer would the sleepy little town of Roswell be known simply as the dairy capital of the Southwest.” L. Sharrett, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

close encounters of the third kind

 

Excerpt: Roswell’s Mysteries Are Life’s Mysteries By Luke Sharrett, The New York Times

 

“Since the early ’90s a steady stream of tourists have passed through Roswell in search of the truth and souvenirs. Most locals would agree that government cover-ups are very good for business. Downtown Roswell is now home to half a dozen alien-themed souvenir shops located a stone’s throw from the International U.F.O. Museum and Research Center.

The longer one is in Roswell, the harder it becomes to avoid trying to answer the question, Did an alien spacecraft really crash to earth 70 years ago? Are we all alone in the universe? Does any of this even matter?

Perhaps the more meaningful question is deeper and more pressing. In Roswell, some of humanity’s foundational yearnings hide in plain sight. Look no farther than the tourist-trap T-shirt rack: ‘The truth is out there.’  ‘I want to believe.’ ‘Aliens please abduct me.’

Roswell T-shirt

 

Absolute truth exists. Our souls long for something to believe in. Things here on earth are not as they should be. The T-shirts know. We are desperate to find meaning in our lives. We search for answers to the tough questions. Who are we? Why are we here? Who will heal our messed-up world?

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. 

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. Debris lay strewn everywhere.
  2. Many people have claimed to have seen  flying saucers.
  3. Others claim they are just weather balloons.
  4. A stream of tourists have passed through Roswell.
  5. Some claim that an alien spacecraft crash to earth.
  6. The government cover-ups are very good.
  7. Many people try to avoid the subject of Aliens.
  8. Are we all alone in the universe?
  9. Our souls long for something to believe in.
  10. We need to find meaning in our lives.

 

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.

The longer one is in___, the ___it becomes to___ trying to answer the question, Did an___ spacecraft really___to earth 70 years ago? Are we all ___in the universe? Does any of this ___matter?

WORD LIST:   even alone, alien,    crash, harder, avoid, Roswell,

 

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.

Absolute truth/trust exists. Our songs/souls long for something to belief/believe in. Things here/hare on earth are not as their/they should be. The T-shirts know. We are desperate to find meaning/mourning in our lives. We search for answers to the though/tough questions. Who are we? Why are we here? Who will heal/heel our messed-up world?

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?

Group Debates

Directions: Place students in two groups and assign each group one side of the following argument.  Allow groups to develop their arguments and conclude with a class debate. Both teams can use the article  as their source of information or sources from the Web.

Team A will list five reasons for the existence of Aliens.

Team B will list  five reasons against the existence of Aliens.

Each team will have time to state their points of view,  and the teacher decides which team made their points.  

For organization, have students use this great Pros and Cons Scale organizer  from Freeology

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: Technology

Kids Learn How to Code Using Sony’s Building Blocks

“Forget everything you think you know about programming: the long hours behind a screen, the lines of code stacking up, all that time spent debugging someone else’s mess. Koov makes learning to code—the basics, at least—as easy as playing with building blocks.” L. Stinson, Wired

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key!

Sony’s KOOV building blocks get your kids coding and building robots in no time

Excerpt: Get Your Kids Coding With Sony’s Clever Building Blocks, by Liz Stinson, WIRED

“The candy-colored blocks snap together like Legos to create interactive robot penguins, trucks, and other cool things. Blueprints guide kids through the process, but as with all the best toys, the real learning comes when the imagination runs wild. ‘These robot recipes are something we see as more of an inspiration,’ says Tim McGregor, a senior marketing manager at Sony Global Education. ‘[We] want to give them skills to build their own unique robots.’ Sony introduced the blocks in Japan last year.

Sony’s programing kit allows children to build what they want.

A companion app teaches programming concepts like looping and  “if-then” logic. (Sony developed the app’s curriculum using MIT’s drag-and-drop Scratch programing language.)

The Koov app includes an educational track explaining how to use the seven different blocks to create all sorts of objects.

‘We teach them techniques to make shapes out of their imagination,’ McGregor says. ‘You have to have a creative mind to be able to do some of these things.” 

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. 

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. Koov blurs the line between learning and playing.
  2. There is an  educational app for the Koov block set.
  3. Koov is a highly marketable toy.
  4. Companies are placing  computing in an environment for kids.
  5. Kids can create interactive robot penguins, and other toys.
  6. Blueprints guide kids through the process.
  7. A companion app teaches concepts like looping and  f-then logic.
  8. Kids can build their own unique robots.
  9. These robot recipes are an inspiration.
  10. The real learning comes when the imagination runs wild.

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.

The candy-colored___ snap together like___ to___interactive robot penguins, trucks, and other cool things. Blueprints ___kids ___the process, but as with all the best toys, the real ___comes when the runs wild. These___recipes are something we ___as more of an inspiration.

WORD LIST:  see, create,  robot, blocks, Legos, guide, through, learning, imagination,

 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. A companion app teach programming.
  2. Blueprints guide kids through the process.
  3. Sony introduced the blocks in Japan last year.

II

 

  1. Kids want to build his own unique robots.
  2. Creating is as easy as playing with building blocks.
  3. The real learning comes  with the imagination.

III

  1. Kids can build a glowing lantern that turns  in and off.
  2. An advanced lesson include a dancing, singing penguin.
  3. The trick is translating abstract into tangible objects.

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 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.

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, Technology