“Brett Kavanaugh unequivocally denies allegations of sexual misconduct two women have made against him But [the] Supreme Court nominee has gone beyond simply denying those allegations about his behavior 30 years ago. In the process, Kavanaugh has deepened questions about his present-day credibility – a bedrock requirement for the lifetime job he now seeks.” J. Harwood, CNBC News
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key
“In an interview with Fox News, Kavanaugh all but denied even participating in the raucous party culture of elite private schools he attended. Instead, he portrayed himself as dutiful and devout.
‘I went to an all-boys Catholic high school,’ explained Kavanaugh, now a federal appeals court judge. ‘I was focused on academics and athletics, going to church every Sunday at Little Flower, working on my service projects, and friendship – friendship with my fellow classmates, and friendship with the girls from the local all-girls Catholic schools.’
Kavanaugh acknowledged attending parties where, with the drinking age then at 18, ‘seniors were legal and had beer there.’ Never, he insisted, had he become so inebriated as to subsequently forget his actions.
He didn’t stop there. Kavanaugh denied not just sexual misconduct, but having sex at all during high school and ‘for many years thereafter.’
The judge’s self-description strains credulity in multiple ways.
One Yale classmate promptly spoke up to say Kavanaugh once told him a contradictory story about his sexual experience. Another recalled Kavanaugh’s penchant for becoming ‘incoherently drunk.’
That matches public evidence from Kavanaugh’s high school days. Kavanaugh’s friend and Georgetown prep football teammate, Mark Judge, wrote a memoir entitled ‘Wasted’ that described a hard-drinking milieu involving a character identified as ‘Bart O’Kavanaugh.’
Nor does Kavanaugh’s pious current account line up with his Georgetown Prep yearbook. Among his activities, it lists ‘100 Kegs or Bust’ and Beach Week Ralph Club – biggest contributor… Kavanaugh inspired doubts about his truthfulness before the misconduct allegations surfaced.
He evaded questions about whether he’d join other Republican-appointed justices to reverse the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortions rights decision, even though he emerged as a Supreme Court prospect from a conservative vetting process designed to ensure that he will…’Judge Kavanaugh has repeatedly made misleading and at times false statements,’ Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said earlier this month.”
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: 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.
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.
- A bedrock requirement for a Supreme Court Justice is honesty.
- Kavanaugh denied even participating in the raucous parties.
- He portrayed himself as dutiful and devout.
- Some people become so inebriated they forget their actions.
- His friend told a story that contradicted the original one.
- Mark Judge, wrote a memoir entitled ‘Wasted’.
- Kavanaugh acknowledged attending parties where beer was served.
- The judge’s self-description strains credulity.
- A classmate recalled Kavanaugh’s penchant for becoming incoherently drunk.
- Kavanaugh paints a pious picture of himself.
Directions: Place students in groups and after they have read the entire article, have them complete the following sentencestaken 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.
Kavanaugh___ knowledge of the___that, as a Bush White House___, he had been using ___Democratic intelligence in ___strategy to ___judicial nominees. A Senate Republican aide had ___it from Senate Democratic ___files.
WORD LIST: computer, purloined, confirm, plotting, stolen, aide, disclaimed, fact,
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.
Time/Thyme and again, Kavanaugh appear/appears to have/has misled the Senate over/under oath. Republicans rejected/reject those earlier Democratic credibility/credible complaints as simple partisanship. Now, seek/seeking to shield himself/his from his female accusers, Kavanaugh has/have invited new ones.
III. Post Reading Activities
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.
Directions: Divide students into two teams for this debate. Both teams can use the article as their source of information or sources from the Web.
Team A will list five reasons for why they believe Brett Kavanaugh is truthful.
Team B will list five reasons why they believe Brett Kavanaugh is not truthful.
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
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.