“Hillary Clinton’s advisers are seeking insights about Mr. Trump’s deepest insecurities as they devise strategies to needle and undermine him at the first presidential debate, the most anticipated in a generation. Her team is also getting advice from psychology experts to help create a personality profile of Mr. Trump to gauge how he may respond to attacks and deal with a woman as his sole adversary on the debate stage.” P. Healy and M. Flegenheimer The New York Times
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key
They are undertaking a forensic-style analysis of Mr. Trump’s performances in the Republican primary debates, cataloging strengths and weaknesses as well as trigger points that caused him to lash out in less-than-presidential ways.
As Mrs. Clinton pores over this voluminous research with her debate team, most recently for several hours on Friday, and her aides continue searching for someone who can rattle her as a Trump stand-in during mock debates, Mr. Trump is taking the opposite tack.
Though he spent hours with his debate team the last two Sundays, the sessions were more freewheeling than focused, and he can barely conceal his disdain for laborious and theatrical practice sessions.
I believe you can prep too much for those things, Mr. Trump said in an interview last week. “It can be dangerous. You can sound scripted or phony — like you’re trying to be someone you’re not… Mrs. Clinton, a deeply competitive debater, wants to crush Mr. Trump on live television, but not with an avalanche of policy details; she is searching for ways to bait him into making blunders.”
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
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 Presidential Debates. Later in the Post- Reading segment of the lesson, students can fill in what they’ve learned about the topic.
II. While Reading Activities
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.
- They are undertaking a forensic-style analysis of Trump’s performances.
- They are finding trigger points that caused him to lash out in less-than-presidential ways.
- Mrs. Clinton pores over this voluminous research.
- Some things caused him to lash out in less-than-presidential ways.
- Mr. Trump is taking the opposite tack.
- He spent hours with his debate team the last two Sundays.
- Some believe that one can prep too much for those things.
- Some preparations can be illuminating about the candidates.
- Mrs. Clinton is a deeply competitive debater.
- Mrs. Clinton wants to crush Mr. Trump on live television.
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.
Rarely are ___as illuminating about the ___as a debate itself, but Mrs. Clinton’s and Mr. Trump’s ___different ___to the Sept. 26 face-off are more___about their ___and battlefield instincts than most other___in the campaign.
WORD LIST: candidates, egos, preparations, strikingly, revealing, moments, approaches,
Directions: Students choose the correct word to complete the sentences taken from the article. They are to choose from the options presented.
As Mrs. Clinton pores/pours over this volume/voluminous research with her debate team/term, most recently for several hours/hour on Friday, and her aides continue stitching/searching for someone who can rattles/rattle her as a Trump stand-in during mock/mack debates, Mr. Trump is taking the opposite tack. Though he spent hours with his debate team the last two Sundays, the sessions/session were more freewheeling than focused, and he can barely conceal/cancel his disdain for Labradors/laborious and theatrical practice sessions.
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.
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.