Jane Goodall is 87 and Still A Crusader!

Image- janegoodall.org

“Wherever the story of our natural world ultimately lands, Jane Goodall will have earned a proud place in its telling.”D. Marchese, The New York Times, July 12, 2021

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Excerpt: Why Jane Goodall Still Has Hope for Us Humans, By David Marchese, The New York Times, July 12, 2021

Note: [The following is an interview with Ms. Jane Goodall conducted  by David Marchese, The New York Times]

“Goodall, 87, first found fame in the early 1960s for her paradigm-busting work as a primatologist. Studying the chimpanzees of Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania, she was the first to observe those entrancing animals eating meat and using tools, thus expanding our understanding of primate capabilities.

While that work is likely to remain what the public primarily associates her with, Goodall’s career as an activist is arguably her more important legacy. She has spent 44 years leading conservation efforts through her Jane Goodall Institute and seeding the future with like-minded souls via the Roots & Shoots educational programs for young people, which can be found in more than 60 countries and have nurtured millions of students.

Jane Goodall with a group of Roots & Shoots members in Salzburg, Austria. Credit- Jane Goodall Institute:Templeton Prize

DM: The stories you tell about the planet and conservation have to do with instilling hope…But all we have to do is look around to see the persuasiveness of stories built on fear and anger. Have you ever wondered if tapping into those emotions might be useful?

JG: No. It’s one of my big complaints when I talk to the media: Yes, we absolutely need to know all the doom and gloom because we are approaching a crossroads, and if we don’t take action it could be too late. But traveling the world I’d see so many projects of restoration, animal and plant species being rescued from the brink of extinction, people tackling what seemed impossible and not giving up. Those are the stories that should have equal time, because they’re what gives people hope. If you don’t have hope, why bother? Why should I bother to think about my ecological footprint if I don’t think that what I do is going to make a difference?

The Jane Goodall Institute

DM: Are there ideas you have about conservation that you feel are too radical to express publicly?

JG: Absolutely. I would never approach people about the crisis of the billions of animals in the factory farms and say you’ve got to be vegan. People have to change gradually. If you eat meat one less day a week, that’s the beginning. Bad zoos, you want to close them down, but you’ve got to work out what are we going to do with the animals when we do get it closed down. You have to make compromises… I don’t ever want to appear holier than thou. You’ve got to be reasonable. If you tell people, ‘You’ve got to stop doing that,’ they immediately don’t want to talk to you. The main thing is to keep a channel open. Young activists, sometimes they’re inexperienced and demand something. They ask my advice, and I say: Talk about how the issue is affecting you. How you feel about it. I think that’s the way forward. But that’s just my way.

DM: You mentioned zoos. Should they exist?

JG: Oh, yeah. The really good ones have people who understand the animals. They’ve got lovely enclosures. They do a lot of education, especially for children. They put money into conservation programs in the field. They give veterinary training for people caring for animals in captivity around the world. The other thing is, people think out in the wild is utopia for animals. If they’d seen the places I’ve seen, where you hear the chain saws approaching while snares are catching chimps and others are being shot. Then you watch a group of chimps in a good zoo: two or three males grooming, two females lying in the sun, the babies playing. You think, let me put myself in the position of a chimp: I’d rather be in a zoo. People often don’t think from the point of view of the animal.

Jane Goodall, pictured here with baby chimp. Image credit- The Jane Goodall Institute:Hugo van Lawick.

DM: This is maybe a goofy question, but did you ever personally identify with a chimp you studied?

JG: Nobody has asked me that before. The answer is no. There were chimps I liked a lot. Chimps I loved, I guess you could say. Chimps I totally disliked. [Goodall takes a photo down from the bookshelf behind her.] This one here, I’ll show him to you because he was very special. He was the first one to lose his fear of me.

DM: David Greybeard.

JG: Yes, David Greybeard.  He showed me tool-using, helped me get the trust of the others. [Goodall takes down another photo.] Then this one is Frodo. He was a bully. He attacked me several times, but not with a desire to hurt or kill, because otherwise I wouldn’t be here. He was just asserting his dominance.

I was always saying in my mind, Frodo, I know you’re dominant. You do not have to prove it. When he was young, other infants would be playing, and Frodo would join in, and the others would immediately stop because when Frodo joined in then the game would turn nasty, and he’d hurt somebody.

DM: There are obviously plenty of unanswered questions about primate behavior. In your mind, does the same apply to humans?

JG: You’re asking me, ‘Do you understand human nature?’ Definitely not. But I think there are people, for example strict materialists or religious fundamentalists, who have schematics that they feel afford them an understanding of all human behavior.

Religious fundamentalism is one of the strangest things. Religion has a bad name because of fundamentalism. But if you look at every major religion, the golden rule is the same: Do to others as you would have them do to you. These fundamentalists are not actually preaching about the fundamental principles of the religion that they are talking about. They’re educating young people to believe ridiculous things. At the beginning of Islam, nobody ever said that if you went and blew yourself up and killed lots of people, you’d go to heaven. Religion can be so damaging. When I think of our attitude to animals in Genesis, where man is told that he has ‘dominion’ over the birds and the fish and the animals and so on — the actual word, I’m told, is not dominion, it’s stewardship. Which is very different.

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 60 minutes.


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 of 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

Word Inference

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.

  1. Goodall first found fame in the early 1960s for her work as a primatologist.
  2. Studying the chimpanzees of Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania, she was the first to observe those animals using tools.
  3. Goodall is globally known as an activist.
  4. This is arguably her most important legacy.
  5. She has spent 44 years leading conservation efforts through her Jane Goodall Institute.
  6. Jane Goodall believes that we should be aware of all of the doom and gloom in the world.
  7. Traveling the world Jane has seen many projects of restoration.
  8. Many animal and plant species are being rescued from the brink of extinction.
  9. We should be aware of our ecological footprints.
  10. Some people have ideas about conservation that are too radical.

 

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.

I

  1. We absolutely need to know all the doom and gloom.
  2. If you don’t have hope, why bother?
  3. People have to change gradually.

II

  1. Back in the 1970s I didn’t know about factory farms.
  2. Talk about how the issue is affecting you.
  3. people think out in the wild is utopia for animals.

III

  1. People often don’t think from the point of view of the animal.
  2. Chimps act on the spur of the moment.
  3. Chimps can be altruistic.

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.

This___, who, as per ___name for him, had ___facial hair, was the ___one she observed at___ eating meat and using___. He also was the___ to___contact with her, ___the way for others in his___to do the same.

WORD LIST:   group, paving,  initiate ,  first,   tools, Gombe,   first,  distinctive,   chimp

Goodall’s, 

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 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.

  1. Why does Ms. Goodall feel it necessary for us to be aware of the ‘doom and gloom’ printed in the media?
  2. According to Ms. Goodall which stories in the media deserve more attention from us?
  3. What do people generally think about animals out in the wild?  What is the reality for these animals?
  4. Does Jane think chimps are evil?
  5. What is Goodall’s example of ‘evil’?
  6. Does Jane understand human nature?
  7. Do you understand human nature? Explain why or why not.
  8. Make a list of questions that you would like to ask Jane Goodall. Share them with the class.
  9. List three new ideas  that you’ve learned about the topic from the reading,  two things that you did not understand in the reading, and one thing you  would like to know that the article did not mention.  Share your responses with your class.

Additional Activities

The article states that, “Jane Goodall first found fame in the early 1960s for her paradigm-busting work as a primatologist. Studying the chimpanzees of Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania… While that work is likely to remain what the public primarily associates her with, Goodall’s career as an activist is arguably her more important legacy. She has spent 44 years leading conservation efforts through her Jane Goodall Institute and seeding the future with like-minded souls via the Roots & Shoots educational programs for young people.”

Directions:  Students (in groups) might research  Jane Goodall’s work with chimpanzees beginning with the Jane Goodall Institute website https://janegoodall.org/our-story/about-jane/

Next, students could visit Jane’s famous Roots and Shoots website https://www.rootsandshoots.org  which offers a variety of projects for students.

After, groups  can create graphs, pictures, collages, or models to demonstrate their understanding of Jane’s work with chimpanzees and with preserving our environment.

ANSWER KEY

The Value of Sibling Rivalry

“My 4- and 8-year-old are closer now than they were before the pandemic – I hear the sounds of giggling… But the more time my girls spend together, the more they fight, too. You can’t avoid fighting… Just because sibling rivalry is to be expected does not mean there aren’t ways to mitigate it.” J. Grose, The New York Times, January 2021

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Credit- JooHee Yoon, The New York Times

 

EXCERPT: The Psychology Behind Sibling Rivalry, By Jessica Grose, The New York Times, January 2021

“The most common battlegrounds for my kids are perceived injustices and jockeying for position. The most absurd instance of the latter was when we were waiting to get flu shots this past fall. The girls got into a brawl over who received the first shot. My older daughter “won” that argument, but it was only as she was walking toward the pharmacist’s door that she realized a shot was not actually a prize.

On days when we are trapped in the house together and their screaming matches reach operatic levels, their dad and I worry we did something horribly wrong as parents to encourage this volume of strife. But according to Jeanine Vivona, a professor of psychology at the College of New Jersey who has studied sibling rivalry, ‘competition with siblings is just a fact of life. And we, as people with siblings and people with children, can just try to manage it as best we can.’

Observational studies have shown that sibling conflict may happen up to eight times an hour. Other research finds that pairs of sisters tend to be the closest, and that sibling dyads that include a brother have the most conflict.

‘Conflict does decrease into adolescence; it sort of levels off,’ said Mark Ethan Feinberg, a research professor of health and human development at Pennsylvania State University. ‘Early and middle childhood are particularly difficult times for sibling aggression.’

As a study that Feinberg co-authored notes,  the book of Genesis, which includes the ‘founding stories of the Western psyche,’ is dripping with tales of murderous and covetous siblings, like Cain and Abel and Jacob and Esau…dastardly deeds, conflict over parental love is so profound that hundreds of years ago, when child mortality was much higher, children under 5 with close-in-age siblings were more likely to die… While most siblings aren’t fighting for actual scraps, psychologically, sibling rivalry serves a developmental purpose: It helps children figure out what is unique and special about themselves, otherwise known as ‘differentiation.’   Read the entire article for  five suggestions from the experts to handle squabbling sibs.”

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 60 minutes.


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 of 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

Word Inference

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.

  1. The most absurd instances are ones for getting attention.
  2. We did something horribly wrong as parents to encourage this volume of strife.
  3. The girls got into a brawl over who received the first shot.
  4. Some dastardly deeds, in the Bible are centered around sibling rivalry.
  5. This knowledge certainly puts my kids’ fights over who got more ice cream into perspective.
  6. Most siblings don’t continue to fight into adult age.
  7. Psychologically, sibling rivalry serves a developmental purpose.
  8. Just because sibling rivalry is to be expected does not mean there aren’t ways to mitigate it.
  9. Praise them in public and punish them in private.
  10. Children have a tendency to get twitchy when they’re cooped up.

Word Map by Against the Odds

 

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.

Try too/to find moments where/wear everyone can came/come together. You’re/Yourkids/kids’ temperaments and personalities may be/bee similar, oar/or they may not/knot. They may both love/loves dance, ore/or one loves/love dance an/and the other just wants/wantto/two play chess. One might bee/be rigid, and the other is an/a free spirit.

Reading: Identify TheSpeakers

Directions: Read the following quotes from the speakers in the article. Then identify the speakers.

  1. “Competition with siblings is just a fact of life. And we, as people with siblings and people with children, can just try to manage it as best we can.”
  2. “Conflict does decrease into adolescence; it sort of levels off,”
  3. “Early and middle childhood are particularly difficult times for sibling aggression
  4. “Hundreds of years ago, when child mortality was much higher, children under 5 with close-in-age siblings were more likely to die.”
  5. “Figure out what sets them off. Pay attention to what tends to happen before conflict breaks out,”

III Post Reading

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.

  1. Do you have sisters or brothers?
  2. Do you get along with them? Why or why not?
  3. According to the article what are some of the themes in the Bible involving siblings?
  4. What is the  famous story of  sibling rivalry from the Bible? Do you know the story? 
  5. Why were children under 5 with close-in-age siblings more likely to die hundreds of years ago?
  6. Explain the developmental purpose that sibling rivalry serves.
  7. What are the five suggestions from experts to handle sibling rivalry?
  8. When should parents criticize their children?  According to Hunter, what is the advantage of this?

 

3-2-1-Writing

Directions:  List three new ideas that you’ve learned about the topic from the reading, two things that you did not understand in the reading, and one thing you  would like to know that the article did not mention.  Share your responses with your class.

ANSWER KEY

Researchers Are Finding New Ways to Enter Our Dreams

“Scientists are figuring out how to communicate with people while they’re dreaming. What will be discovered on the other side?” V.  Greenwood, The Boston Globe, July 20, 2021

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Illustration- Gregori Saavedra. The Guardian

Excerpt: A passageway is opening into the world of dreams, By Veronique Greenwood, The Boston Globe, July 20, 2021

“Lucid dreamers can control their surroundings and the narrative of their dreams. Near the corner of the small, dark room, there is a narrow folding bed. Every now and then, a speaker on a nearby table emits an eerie violin riff. A line of red lights near the ceiling flashes, then flashes again, bathing the room in a lurid glow. In the bed someone who is fitted with a series of scalp and face electrodes is sleeping.

Sleep Lab -Boston Medical Center

This surreal tableau is part of scientists’ effort to breach the wall between the waking world and wherever it is we are when we’re dreaming. The researchers who control the speaker and flashing lights in the lab of Ken Paller, a neuroscientist at Northwestern University, in Evanston, Ill., have been asking questions of people who are dreaming and hoping to get answers.

The Netherlands Institut

The dreamers have talked back in a handful of cases. Or rather, signaled back, swiveling their closed eyes back and forth or making little muscle twitches to answer arithmetic problems asked by an experimenter…It’s not quite on the level of “Inception,” the 2010 movie in which Leonardo DiCaprio enters people’s dreams to steal their secrets, but it could be a way to learn more about the peculiar places we inhabit, built by our brains without our knowledge, when we lie down to sleep.

Poster from film: Inception

Researchers have found that lucid dreamers can move their closed eyes voluntarily while asleep and can signal using a prearranged rapid movement — left-right-left-right — that they’ve become lucid. The sleeper may then perform another prearranged task, like singing a song or practicing a workout in the dream and then signal again when they’ve completed it. This has allowed researchers to ask big questions. Do activities take the same amount of time in a dream as in waking life? (Yes, it appears.)”

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 60 minutes.


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 of 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

Word Inference

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.

  1. Scientists are figuring out how to communicate with people while they’re dreaming.
  2. Lucid dreamers can control their surroundings and the narrative of their dreams.
  3. Every now and then, a speaker on a nearby table emits an eerie violin riff.
  4. In the bed someone is fitted with a series of scalp and face electrodes.
  5. This surreal tableau is an effort to breach the wall between the waking world and when we’re dreaming.
  6. Some dreamers  can signal back by making little muscle twitches.
  7. It’s not quite on the level of “Inception,” the 2010 movie.
  8. Some believe that we enter an alternate life while sleeping.
  9. A phenomenon called lucid dreaming offers the possibility of communication in real time.
  10. Some experimenters spoke these questions, some used Morse code.

 

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.

I

  1. Scientists are figuring out how to communicate with people while they’re dreaming.
  2. What will be discover on the other side?
  3. The researchers control the speaker and flashing lights in the lab.

II

  1. The dreamers have talked back on a handful of cases.
  2. Two-way communication with dreamers is possible.
  3. But there is a delay between a dream and when scientists can try to learn about it.

III

  1. Lucid dreaming offers an possibility of communication in real time.
  2. It is possible for some people to train themselves to dream this way.
  3. Researchers have found that lucid dreamers can move their closed eyes voluntarily while asleep.

 

Reading Comprehension

Identify The  Speakers

Directions: Read the following quotes and descriptions  from (and of)  the speakers in the article. Then identify the speakers.

  1. This scientist is part of the group of researchers who control the people  who are dreaming.
  2. “One of the main challenges of doing dream research is that you only have access to the dream experience, the dream report, after the fact.”
  3. This sleep researcher helped bring the subject of Lucid dreamers to the mainstream.
  4. He and his colleagues have found that when lucid dreamers trace a line with their eyes they move with a smoothness they don’t have when awake and imagining the same experience.
  5. “It is not clear why some people perceived the questions and others did not…But staying lucid is like balancing on a knife’s edge…On the one hand, you may get so excited you’ve achieved lucidity that you wake up. On the other, you can fall back into the deep, languid waters of regular dreaming, losing the ability to participate in experiments.
  6. However, the method will always be really difficult and impractical, in the sense that you have to test dozens of participants before getting one instance of really convincing, successful communication.”

 

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.

  1. Do you dream often? Can you remember your dreams when you wake up?
  2. According to the article have dreamers ever spoken (or signaled) back to the scientists?  How?
  3. What are some of the positive advantages of learning about our dreams?
  4. What type of  experiments did the researchers ask the sleepers to perform?
  5. At the present,  what’s the best way to get information about  what we dream about?
  6. Explain what Lucid Dreaming means.
  7. What are some of the things that  lucid dreamers can do?
  8. What are some questions researchers ask about lucid dreamers?
  9. In the 2010 movie ‘Inception,’ Leonardo DiCaprio enters people’s dreams to steal their secrets. In your opinion, do you believe this could actually happen with further dream research?
  10. Why are researchers cautious about future research in dreaming?
  11. In your opinion, are these experiments useful or harmful? Please provide reasons for your answers.

 

3-2-1-Writing

Directions: In 5 minutes to write down three new ideas  you’ve learned about the topic from the reading,  two things  that you did not understand in the reading, and one thing you  would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.

 

Extra Activities

Have each group research different institutions (in the U.S. and other countries)that have dream experimentation labs and write a report about the results. Each group will share their results with the class.

Have each member write about a dream they had and try to interpret the dream.

ANSWER KEY

Category: People, Psychology, Technology | Tags:

Embracing Indigenous knowledge to Help Save the Planet

“Nearly two decades ago, when the New Zealand highway authority was planning the Waikato Expressway, people from the Māori tribe Ngāti Naho objected. The highway would encroach on an area that, in Māori tradition, was governed by a water-dwelling creature, a taniwha.” R. Cernansky, The New York Times, July 10, 2021

Maori leaders and members of the Australian Defense Force. Lisa Maree Williams:Getty Images NYT

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Excerpt: Indigenous Knowledge, Innovative Solutions, By Rachel Cernansky, The New York Times, July 10, 2021

“The authorities took those concerns into account and rerouted the road to circumvent the area in question. As a result, a year later, when the area was hit by a major flood, the road was unharmed.

‘I’m still waiting for the headline, ‘Mythical Creature Saves the Taxpayer Millions,’  said Dan Hikuroa, a senior lecturer in Māori studies at the University of Auckland and member of the Ngāti Maniapoto tribe.  He has often wondered if, once the flood hit, the technical team later said, ‘Why didn’t you just say it’s a flood risk area?’

Violet Lawson, a land owner in Kakadu, Australia, studies her land for the right time to set fires that are not too hot but still clear the underlying debris and fuel to prevent larger wildfires. Matthew Abbott for The New York Times

Like many Indigenous peoples around the world, the Māori have developed their understanding of their environment through close observation of the landscape and its behaviors over the course of many generations.

Now the New Zealand Environmental Protection Agency regularly looks for ways to integrate traditional Māori knowledge, or mātauranga, into its decision-making…Western-trained researchers and governments are increasingly recognizing the wealth of knowledge that Indigenous communities have amassed to coexist with and protect their environments over hundreds or even thousands of years. Peer-reviewed scientific journals have published studies demonstrating that around the world, Indigenous-managed lands have far more biodiversity intact than other lands, even those set aside for conservation… This is ever more urgent, particularly as the climate crisis unfolds…Indigenous scholars warn, though, that while traditional knowledge can be used to benefit the world, it can also be mishandled or exploited.

Dominique David Chavez, a descendant of the Arawak Taíno in the Caribbean, and a research fellow at the Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona and the National Science Foundation, says that, as Western scientists, ‘we are trained to go into communities, get that knowledge and go back to our institutions and disseminate it in academic journals.’

That can be disruptive to traditional knowledge sharing, from one generation to another, she says, which should be the priority — ensuring that Indigenous knowledge systems are preserved in and supportive of the communities that developed them…Ideally, the shared use of Indigenous knowledge can help mend broken relationships between Indigenous and Western communities.”

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 60 minutes.


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: Examine the title of the post and of the actual article. Next examine  any photos. Write a paragraph describing what you think this article will discuss. A pre-reading organizer may be used.

Pre-reading chart by J. Swann

II. While Reading Activities:

Word Inference

Directions: Try to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. You usea dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. Indigenous people help their countries world-wide.
  2. Maori leaders and members of the Australian Defense Force worked together.
  3. The highway would encroach on a sacred area.
  4. The Māori have developed their understanding of their environment through close observation.
  5. The New Zealand Environmental Protection Agency regularly looks for ways to integrate traditional Māori knowledge.
  6. Indigenous communities and governments have learned to coexist.
  7. Indigenous scholars warn, traditional knowledge can be used to benefit the world, it can also be mishandled or exploited.
  8. Many believe that Indigenous knowledge systems should be preserved.
  9. Bridging Indigenous and Western science also means respecting the ecosystem.
  10. Some people still use industrial pesticides.

Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

 

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.

I

  1. The New Zealand highway is planned two decades ago.
  2. The Māori are ilke many Indigenous peoples around the world.
  3. The authorities rerouted the road.

II

  1. Mr. Hikuroa has been appointed the culture commissioner for UNESCO New Zealand.
  2. Western-trained researchers is recognizing that Indigenous communities have valuable knowledge.
  3. Indigenous knowledge can deepen Western scientists’ understanding of their own research.

III

  1. Traditional knowledge should be shared from one generation to another.
  2. The scientific method are designed to be indifferent to morals or values.
  3. Government regulations had already restricted the  harvest of sweetgrass.

 

Reading Comprehension

Identify The  Speakers

Directions: Read the following quotes from the speakers in the article. Then identify the speakers.

  1. “I’m still waiting for the headline, ‘Mythical Creature Saves the Taxpayer Millions.”
  2. “Why didn’t you just say it’s a flood risk area?”
  3. “As Western scientists, we are trained to go into communities, get that knowledge and go back to our institutions and disseminate it in academic journals.”
  4. “That can be disruptive to traditional knowledge sharing, from one generation to another, which should be the priority.”
  5. “In Indigenous sciences, it’s not possible to separate the knowledge from the ethics of the responsibility for that knowledge — whereas in Western science, we do that all the time.”
  6. “The scientific method is designed to be indifferent to morals or values. Indigenous knowledge puts them back in.”
  7. “That’s one of the reasons Native people were systematically removed from what are today’s national parks, because of this idea that people and nature can’t coexist in a good way.”

 

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 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.

  1. Do you have ways of helping our planet? For example, recycling helps address climate change.
  2. Why did the Māori tribe object to having the highway built?
  3. Why do you think the authorities in New Zealand listened to the Māori?
  4. From the article,Dan Hikuroa, a senior lecturer in Māori studies stated, “I’m still waiting for the headline, ‘Mythical Creature Saves the Taxpayer Millions.” Why do you think he said that? Was he joking?
  5. What is ‘regenerative agriculture’ ?
  6. Who  did Australian authorities consult last year while combating wildfires?
  7. List three new ideas  that you’ve learned about the topic from the reading,  two things that you did not understand in the reading, and one thing you  would like to know that the article did not mention.  Share your responses with your class.
  8. With your group members make a list of ways you can help with global warming.

ANSWER KEY

The Art of Being Happy Takes Work!

“Mr. Sherman, 70, is an Orthodox Jew, a professional clown and sometime playwright and director…’I picked Wall Street and Nassau for a reason,’ he said. I felt, that’s the center of power, they need the humanity the most. This one fellow stopped me and said: ‘I watch you. I have all the money I want in the world. But I’m not happy. I see you perform, and you’re happy. How do I become happy?’  It’s a living.” J. Leland, The New York Times, July 8, 2021

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Stanley Allan Sherman in his studio, which has also been his home since the 1970s. Credit- James Estrin:The New York Times

 

Excerpt: ‘How Do I Become Happy?’ Advice From a Professional Fool, By John Leland, The New York Times, July 8, 2021,

“In a city that has everything, he is one of the few makers of custom leather masks of the sort used in commedia dell’arte, a form of theater that uses stock characters denoted by their masks. He also makes them for the occasional pro wrestler or rapper.

Mr. Sherman during his time as a mime and juggler. Credit-Jim R Moore:Vaudevisuals

Everyone has a Sept. 11 story. The pages of Stanley Allan Sherman’s, a one-man show called ‘September,’ sat propped on a music stand in his apartment the other day, amid a room full of leather masks. Something about the text was vexing him… He started writing the Sept. 11 monologue several years ago, with interest from Theater for the New City in the East Village. Then the pandemic happened, leaving the show orphaned — a meditation on resilience during one calamity, sidelined by another. For Mr. Sherman, it was just one more occasion for improv.

Wrestling masks made by Mr. Sherman. Credit- maskarts.com

Like many artists of his generation, he arrived in New York without a plan, and found a sweet spot in a post-’60s art world that was just taking shape. It was roughly 1973, after he’d spent a year on a kibbutz in Israel and a couple more in Paris, and his intention was  to stay a couple of nights on his brother’s couch, in a fifth-floor walk-up on the edge of the Manhattan neighborhood now known as Chelsea…Instead of leaving town as planned, Mr. Sherman grabbed a set of antique toilet plungers and headed downtown to Wall Street, to pass the hat as a sidewalk juggler and mime.

Mr. Sherman’s mask for The Joffrey Ballet School Production of The Nutcracker Ballet in 2012. Credit- masks.com

It was a great way to learn about human psychology, he said. It also made him the apartment’s sole breadwinner… Mr. Sherman graduated from the sidewalk gig to performing in the small, adventurous theaters that were beginning to open downtown. ‘If you stay too long in the street you get mean,” he said. ‘I was getting mean.’

For Mr. Sherman, it has been an odd sort of career. His best-known performing role was as a guest on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” where he appeared more than 40 times in the 1990s, usually in bits calling for a Hasidic Jew, with or without juggling.”

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 60 minutes.


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 of 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

Word Inference

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.

  1. Stanley Allan Sherman is  one of the niche artisans of New York theater.
  2. Sherman is also one of the few makers of custom leather masks of the sort used in commedia dell’arte.
  3. When the pandemic happened his  show closed.
  4. Sherman showed resilience during  the calamity.
  5. For Mr. Sherman, it was just one more occasion for improv.
  6. In 1973 he spent a year on a kibbutz in Israel.
  7. He  had studied mime and the use of masks in the fabled Parisian school of Jacques Lecoq.
  8. Mr. Sherman’s brother was trying to peddle a documentary.
  9. He was the apartment’s sole breadwinner.
  10. Mr. Sherman graduated from the sidewalk gig to performing in the theaters.

 

Word Map by Against the Odds

 

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.

I

  1. Mr. Sherman graduated from the sidewalk to theaters.
  2. If you stay too long in the street you get mean.
  3. The only person I knew what made masks was in Italy.

II

  1. Mr. Sherman had found an niche in the community.
  2. He called puppeteers he knew for advice.
  3. Mr. Sherman also created masks for dancers.

III

  1. But his best-known mask appeared on the professional wrestler Mick Foley.   
  2. It can take Mr. Sherman a few day or as long as a year to make a mask.
  3. He is now hoping to revive ‘September,’  his one-man show.

 

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.

There was an ___couple with a___ pot of ___soup that fed ___for hours. All these ___things happened. Then seeing the line of ___trucks on the West Side Highway was just___. People in their 20s have no___of this. They hear about___, but they don’t know how the___ in the city was so amazing. It was a___ time.”

WORDLIST : magical, memory, disturbing, refrigerator, beautiful, people, Sept. 11, energy, old, giant, chicken, 

Graphic Organizers: Finding The Main Idea

Directions: Have students use this graphic organizer from Enchanted Learning  to assist them with  discussing  or writing about  the main points from the article.

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.

  1. During the pandemic, many people have become sad. We read about how some try to cheer themselves and others up. Name some ways that you cheer yourself or your friends up.
  2. Why do you think that Mr. Sherman was getting ‘mean’ in the New York City streets?
  3. Which wrestler wore Mr. Sherman’s best known mask?
  4. Mr. Sherman states, The reason late night comedy talk shows are so popular and so many people get their news from them, is because they’re speaking truth,” he said.
  5. “If it’s a lie, it’s not funny. Lies aren’t funny. Truth is funny.”
  6. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Provide reasons for your answers.
  7. If you could ask Mr. Sherman two questions, what would they be?
  8. Discuss three new ideas  that you’ve learned about the topic from the reading,  two things that you did not understand in the reading, and one thing you would like to know that the article did not mention.

ANSWER KEY

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