17-year old Claressa Shields of Flint, Michigan, is the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal in the sport of boxing. Claressa also won the only gold medal for the United States in this Olympic event.
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key
Here are excerpts from her victory: Claressa Shields wins only gold medal for U.S. boxing at London Olympics, and the first by a woman, The Washington Post
“LONDON — The public address announcer blared, The gold medalist and Olympic champion . . .and that’s about the point that 17-year old Claressa Shields lost it. She started laughing uncontrollably before the announcer could even say her name. And once the medal was around her neck, she immediately clutched it, waving it from side to side and lifting it above her head. The excitement had taken over every nerve and every muscle…
She laughed throughout the medal ceremony, after her 19-12 victory over Russian Nadezda Torlopova made Shields, a middleweight, the only American boxer at these Olympics — and the first U.S. woman — to win boxing gold. The whole time she kept grabbing at the shiny disc, making sure it was real and that it was really hers…Her new prize, she said, is something she’ll wear every single day because it represents so much… Just a teenager — 165 pounds packed with personality, strength and charm — Shields has a lot of life experience behind her. Too much of it, really. She’s from Flint, Mich., a hard-luck town where every victory is a big one.
Working daily with Crutchfield, Shields became the youngest boxer to make the U.S. team. Her family couldn’t afford to come to London, but her coach did. He helped guide her through the tough bracket… After disappointing performances by the U.S. men’s boxers, Shields performance was one of the few bright spots at these Olympics, the first in which women’s boxing was considered a medal sport…She tried to guess how life might be different now: History will remember her, she figures, and people will see her as an inspiration…”
Our Congratulations to Claressa and to all of the women who participated in this historical Olympic event!
Level: Low – High Intermediate
Language Skills: Reading, writing, speaking. Vocabulary activities are included.
Time: Approximately 1 1/2 hours.
Materials: Student handouts (from this lesson) and access to news article.
Objective: Students will read and share their thoughts about the article through discussions. They will learn new vocabulary, and express their views on the topic by writing.
I. Pre-Reading Tasks
- Prediction: Analyzing headings and photos
Directions: Have students read the title of the post, and of the actual article. Then, have them analyze the photos. Based on these sources, have students create a list of words and ideas that they think might be in this article.
Students might use this pre-reading organizer by Scholastic to assist them in finding the main ideas from the reading.
II. While Reading Tasks
- Vocabulary-Word Inference
Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary or thesaurus for assistance.
- The public address announcer blared…
- She started laughing uncontrollably before the announcer could even say her name.
- “I thought I was gonna have a seizure,” Shields said later.
- Just a teenager — 165 pounds packed with personality, strength and charm…
- At age 11, she wandered into a gym and met Jason Crutchfield, a journeyman fighter …
- In Flint, hope is a precious commodity.
- Shields cruised the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds…
- At the arena Thursday, she didn’t even notice one of the loudest, most raucous crowds at these Olympics…
- Shields remained the aggressor and added to her lead.
- Shields closed out the victory with a decisive final round…
- Questions for Reading Comprehension: True / False
Directions: The following statements were taken from the article. If a statement is true, students write (T) if a statement is false they write (F) and provide the correct answer from the article.
- Shields, a middleweight, was the only American boxer at these Olympics — and the first U.S. woman — to win boxing gold.
- Claressa cried throughout the medal ceremony.
- Claressa said that her new prize is something she’ll wear every single day because it represents so much.
- She’s from Flint, Missouri, a hard-luck town where every victory is a big one.
- Her father served time in prison for breaking and entering.
- Working daily with Crutchfield, Shields became the second youngest boxer to make the U.S. team.
- Before the fight, Shields phoned her family.
- The U.S. men’s boxers had disappointing performances.
- Claressa stated, “I might have 10,000 followers when I get back on Twitter,”.
- Shields will begin her senior year of high school soon and says she she’ll try to defend her Olympic title in 2016.
- Grammar Focus: Identifying Parts of Speech
Directions: Have students identify the verbs in the following paragraphs, then use the words to write a short paragraph concerning female professional boxing.
“I earned this,” she said. “This is my medal. I worked too hard. I worked really hard for this medal. I can’t even explain all the pain that I had went through, all the people I had to deal with. And just life, period.”…Working daily with Crutchfield, Shields became the youngest boxer to make the U.S. team. Her family couldn’t afford to come to London, but her coach did. He helped guide her through the tough bracket.
III. Post Reading Tasks
- Reading Comprehension Check
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?
- Essay Writing
Directions: Have students choose a topic and write an essay.
Review ESL Voices Modes of Essay Writing.
- The article states that “Shields, a middleweight, the only American boxer at these Olympics — and the first U.S. woman — to win boxing gold.” In your opinion, do you think this is too much responsibility for a 17-year-old? Write an essay in which you explain your views.
- Write an essay in which you state reasons for supporting professional female boxing, or oppose this sport.
- The article states, “Shields will begin her senior year of high school soon and says she doesn’t know whether she’ll try to defend her Olympic title in 2016. There has never before been a U.S. female gold-winning boxer, and she doesn’t know what opportunities might come along.” Write an essay in which you provide Claressa with advice as to what she should do in the future.
- Group Activity: Role Play
Directions: Within your group create a list of questions you would like to ask Claressa Shields. Then have each member take turns playing the roles of Claressa, and a sports interviewer.
ANSWER Key: Claressa Shields wins Gold.