“Crayola, Old Navy and Disney are among the brands making colorful masks for children. Child psychologists see this as a positive step toward “normalcy.” D. B. Taylor, The New York Times
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key
“Fall is drawing near, and right on schedule, ads offering discounts on backpacks, notebooks and pencils are beginning to pop up on television and online.
But this year, during a pandemic that has school officials agonizing over how and whether to safely reopen masks are appearing among the glue sticks and glitter as essential back-to-school items.
Companies like Crayola, Old Navy and Disney have begun selling colorful masks for children in packs of four and five as part of their back-to-school offerings… Dr. Andrew Adesman, the chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center in Queens, said the reality is, you want children to go back to school in the safest way possible…” Having child-friendly face masks in terms of fit and appeal are probably more part of the solution than the problem.”
With the school year quickly approaching, schools across the United States are grappling with how to reopen — and whether they can reopen safely at all… There are concerns that the reopening of schools could spark outbreaks, especially among older children. A large study from South Korea found that children younger than 10 transmit the coronavirus much less often than adults, although the risk is not zero.
Children between 10 and 19 can spread the virus at least as efficiently as adults do, the study found…The research does not necessarily prove that children are spreading the virus, but experts said the findings should influence the debate over whether and how to reopen schools…Though scientists and health authorities say that masks reduce the spread of the coronavirus, even adults can’t agree on wearing them.”
“2020 Election Live Updates: Democratic convention speakers will include the Clintons and Obamas, along with Sanders and Kasich. The big names will be augmented by testimonials from “from voters of all kinds — delegates, parents, teachers, small-business owners, essential workers, activists and elected leaders,” culled from “1,000 crowdsourced videos,” officials with the convention’s organizing committee announced on Monday.” The New York Times
Democratic Convention Begins: Monday August 17 — Ends Thursday August 20 Visit The Democratic National Convention Schedule Information Here
Congratulations! Kamala Harris Is Biden’s Choice for Vice President!
“A former rival for the Democratic nomination, she will be the first woman of color to be nominated for national office by a major political party.” By A. Burns and K. Glueck, The New York Times
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
Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos
Directions: Examine the titles of the post and 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.
- Fall is drawing near, and right on schedule.
- But this school year there is a pandemic.
- School officials are agonizing over how and whether to safely reopen.
- Face masks are appearing as essential back-to-school items.
- The idea of colorful masks is all very bright if a little dystopian.
- Some educators feel child-friendly face masks will appeal to kids.
- There are concerns that the reopening of schools could spark outbreaks.
- It had been found that infected children have at least as much of the coronavirus in their noses and throats as infected adults.
- Experts said the findings should influence the debate over whether and how to reopen schools.
- More than half the states have issued mask requirements in recent weeks.
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.
- Masks was designed to help children adapt to the new normal.
- Fall is coming and some schools might open.
- This school year is during a pandemic.
- Schools have two major concerns.
- Some companies is making large quantities of masks for children.
- In addition, items such as face shields are being made for kids.
- It’s all very bright and colorful for kids.
- There is concerns that the reopening of schools could spark outbreaks.
- Some stores want children to pester their parents for masks.
Identify The Speakers
Directions: Read the following quotes from speakers in the article. Then identify the speakers.
- “The reality is, you want children to go back to school in the safest way possible.”
- “The key to getting children to wear masks in school was to make them fun.”
- ” The company had designed its masks to help children adapt to the new normal and feel comfortable in school.”
- “The company had started making face coverings for families at the outset of the pandemic.”
- “Some stores want children to pester their parents for masks, “for kids to say, ‘I want that mask because it’s nicely designed.”
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?
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.
- What are the two main concerns school officials have?
- Which three major companies are selling masks for children?
- In addition to masks what other items are being made for children to wear this fall?
- Dr. Andrew feels that face masks for kids should be viewed in what way?
- The article states, “In most districts where students will be allowed to return to the classroom, they’ll do so with a requirement to wear masks or face coverings, though that directive is not universal.”
- In your opinion, should face masks be required for some kids but not for all? Why or why not?
- The article states, “Children between 10 and 19 can spread the virus at least as efficiently as adults do, the study found.”
- Do you think schools should reopen at all this year? Explain why.
Directions: In 5 minutes to write down three new ideasyou’ve learned about the topic from the reading,two thingsthatyou did not understand in the reading, and one thing youwould like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.
Main Idea / Debate
Directions: Divide students into two teams for this debate. Both teams can use information from the article and sources from the Webto support their arguments.
Team A will list five reasons that support arguments for children returning to school.
Team B will list five reasons that support arguments against children returning to school
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 Pros and Cons Scale organizer from Freeology