Psychic Businesses Have Become More Popular Since Pandemic

“Things are chaotic, and our urge is to make sense of it. And for some, that includes tarot cards…The COVID-19 pandemic breathed new life into the industry of ‘alternative spirituality,’ where customers rely on readings and reiki-charged candles for guidance.” D. Kohli, The Boston Globe, April 1, 2022

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

People have flocked to New Age spiritual activities, like psychic readings, tarot cards, and crystals, during the pandemic. Credit: Jonathan Wiggs, Boston Globe

Excerpt: Crystals, cards, and chakra bowls: Psychic businesses boom during the pandemic, By Diti Kohli, The Boston Globe, April 1, 2022

“Businesses sprinkled around Boston are experiencing a spike in interest and revenue that has yet to taper out.

Crowds flock to Open Doors, an eclectic Braintree storefront stuffed with chakra bowls, lion statuettes, and images of Egyptian deities. ‘Open Doors has 18 readers, who saw 25 percent more business over the past 12 months than in prepandemic days, said owner Richard Lanza.’

The 18 readers at Open Doors saw 25 percent more business this year than prepandemic, said owner Richard Lanza. Credit- Jonathan Wiggs, Boston Globe Staff

Products that can be lumped into  ‘all things metaphysical’  are up 40 percent, too, as are books on Buddhism, Christianity, and the nature-based pagan religion of Wicca.

‘We’ve all gone through a period of uncertainty financially, health-wise, and career-wise,’ Lanza added. ‘People are reevaluating what their life is about, and they’re looking for answers and insight.’

Tarot and gems stones by gemselect.com

But Laura Domanico, a psychotherapist at the Whole Living Center in Cambridge, attributed the phenomenon to human nature. People instinctively search for a hand to hold in the dark, akin to the way many fall back on God and religion.

“In times of trouble, we look to things outside ourselves,” said Domanico, who incorporates astrology into her practice. ‘Things are chaotic, and our urge is to make sense of it.’ That need manifests in different ways for different customers.”

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. For decades, centuries even, skeptics have cast shade on ancient mysticism.
  2. Many psychics use crystal balls for readings.
  3. The COVID-19 pandemic breathed new life into the industry of “alternative spirituality,
  4. Businesses where customers rely on readings and reiki-charged candles for guidance.
  5. Places in Boston are experiencing a spike in interest and revenue that has yet to taper out.
  6. Crowds flock to Open Doors, an eclectic Braintree storefront.
  7. In the store, there are  chakra bowls, lion statuettes, and images of Egyptian deities.
  8. Some people believe in Christianity, and some believe the nature-based pagan religion of Wicca.
  9. without “normal” life to lean on, many turned to a different method of coping: the supernatural.
  10. Ms. Domanico  incorporates astrology into her practice.

Whimsical Vocabulary Organizer by Danielle Mays

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.

Than/Then there/their are readers: psychics/physics, mediums, and tarot card interpreters. In/Inn popular culture, theyre/they’re seen/see as a window into the future, though Heather Meehan, a medium and psychic at Open Doors, disputes/dispute that notion. “I can only provide a snapshot into you’re/your life,” Meehan said/say while seated at a red table, scattered with tarot cards.

 

Reading Comprehension: Identify The  Speakers

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

  1. “We’ve all gone through a period of uncertainty financially, health-wise, and career-wise…People are reevaluating what their life is about, and they’re looking for answers and insight.”
  2.  “People instinctively search for a hand to hold in the dark, akin to the way many fall back on God and religion.”
  3.  “whenever the virus surges, there is particular interest in the anxiety relief and luck manifestation crystal kits.”
  4.  “I can only provide a snapshot into your life.”
  5.  “Pandemic or no pandemic,…you can’t ignore your soul.”
  6.  “People were dying, dying, dying from COVID and for other reasons… So I was doing a lot of mediumship connecting to loved ones.”

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 believe in psychics? Why or why not?
  2. Have you ever visited a psychic?  Describe your experience.
  3. During the pandemic, what did stress drive many people to do?
  4. What are some reasons for the uptick in the interest in psychic information?
  5. After reading this article has your interest in psychics changed?
  6. 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

Category: Business, Culture | Tags:

Warning: COVID-19 Is Not Over Yet

“In a now-viral video, hundreds of students and teachers gathered to welcome two Ukrainian children, refugees of war, on their first day of school in Naples, Italy…But there was also this sign that their well-being will be paramount in their new school — every student, teacher, and staff member wore a face mask. So did the two children.” R. Graham, The Boston Globe, March 19, 2022

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Omicron BA.2 Variant Represents Rising Share of U.S. Covid-19 Cases -WSJ-MARCH 22, 2022

Excerpt: No, COVID Isn’t Over, By Renee Graham, The Boston Globe, March 19, 2022

“This was an unintentional but pointed reminder: The COVID-19 pandemic is not over…Businesses nationwide have dropped proof-of-vaccination requirements for customers. Those home COVID tests that were impossible to find in December (and were exorbitantly expensivewhen available) are plentiful again on drugstore shelves.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical adviser, hasn’t been a regular on TV in weeks. And with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s vicious invasion of Ukraine dominating headlines, cable news stations’ once-daily parade of medical professionals has been supplanted by retired generals and foreign policy experts…Americans moving on from COVID doesn’t mean COVID has moved on from us… Waning vaccine immunity remains a concern. Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for a second booster shot for those 65 and older…What other countries are enduring will find its way here. We’ve seen this pattern before, and the CDC is already reporting an uptick of COVID-19 in wastewater samples nationwide.

‘Everybody wants to return to normal, everybody wants to put the virus behind us in the rearview mirror, which is, I think, what we should aspire to,’ Fauci said recently. Even if the virus seems to be subsiding here, he warned, ‘we have gone in the right direction in four other variants’ only to have COVID come roaring back again with horrific results.’

COVID is still here, but what seems to be all but gone is the leadership on every level to do everything possible to eradicate it.”

RELATED ARTICLE:

The BA.2 subvariant of Omicron accounts for over half of new U.S. coronavirus cases, the C.D.C. estimates. By Adeel Hassan, The New York Times, March 30, 2022

“The highly contagious Omicron subvariant known as BA.2, which led to a surge of coronavirus cases in Europe, is now the dominant version of the virus in new U.S. cases, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday.”

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. Hundreds of students and teachers gathered to welcome two Ukrainian children, refugees of war.
  2. It was a stirring moment to watch this brother and sister, who had lost so much in their homeland, being embraced in a new country.
  3. But there was also this sign that their well-being will be paramount in their new school as every person present  wore a face mask. So did the two children.
  4. This was an unintentional but pointed reminder: The COVID-19 pandemic is not over.
  5. When Hawaii ends its indoor mask mandate on March 26, it will be the last state to do so.
  6. Those home COVID tests that were impossible to find in December (and were exorbitantly expensive  when available) are plentiful again.
  7. With the invasion of the Ukraine the daily  feedback by medical professionals has been supplanted by retired generals and foreign policy experts.
  8. At his recent State of the Union speech where most in attendance were unmasked, President Biden took a cautious victory lap. 
  9. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 66 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated.
  10. Vaccination rates have flatlined.

Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

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.

Yet what we keeping/keep hearing is/are that we’re/were getting back to normally/normal. And this is what ‘normal’ looks like — at less/least 1,000 people a day/days perishing from COVID; American vaccine/vaccinated interest that has/have fallen off a cliff; and persistent vaccine inequality/equality and lack of access around the world.

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.

Waning___ immunity remains a___. Pfizer and ___are seeking emergency___ from the ___Administration for a second___ shot for those ___and older. That recommendation will probably extend to ___people as well, because existing ___protection was not as___ when ___became the dominant___.

WORD LIST: Omicron, robust, vaccine, younger, 65, Food and Drug, authorization, booster, vaccine, concern, BioNTech,  variant

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. Were you or someone you know affected by COVID-19?
  2. Do you believe that COVID-19 and the variants are gone and we can now get back to a normal life?
  3. What does  a “normal” life means to you?
  4. In Naples, Italy how did everyone know that COVID-19 was still present?
  5. According to the article which state will be the last to  end its indoor mask mandate?
  6. What other signs are there that people feel that the COVID-19  pandemic is over?
  7. Who is Dr. Anthony Fauci? Why is he important to the U.S.?
  8. Who made the following statement and why? Thanks to the progress we’ve made in the past year, COVID-19 no longer need control our lives,.”
  9. Approximately how many people have died from the virus world wide? According to the article, how many Americans will have died by the end of April 2022?
  10. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approximately what percentage of Americans have been vaccinated?
  11. What is the name of the newest subvariant? Why is the variant considered more dangerous than the others?
  12. After reading this article, have any of your views about COVID-19 changed? Have your ideas about what is “normal” changed? Why or why not?
  13. 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

The Negative Effects of Permanent Daylight Savings Time!

“The U.S. tried permanent daylight saving time in the 1970s — then quickly rejected it.” S. Davis, NPR March 19, 2022

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Permanent Daylight Savings Time would have Negative effects on everyone.

 

Excerpt: — By Susan Davis, NPR March 19, 2022

The Senate gave itself a pat on the back earlier this week when senators voted without objection to make daylight saving time permanent… However, America tried this before — and the country hated it. In the early 1970s, America was facing an energy crisis so the government tried an experiment. Congress passed a law to make daylight saving time permanent year round, but just for two years...It didn’t work, said David Prerau, one of the nation’s foremost experts on the issue. ‘It became very unpopular very quickly,’ he told NPR.

DST is unhealthy

Americans do not like changing their clocks, but they disliked even more going to work and school in the dark for months…It also didn’t reduce energy consumption as intended. In 1974, Congress repealed the law — before the two-year experiment was even up. Nearly 50 years later, Congress is back at it… Dr. Beth Malow, a neurologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, also testified…She thinks permanent Standard Time is a better choice.

“Zombies? No, IT’S THE FIRST MORNING OF DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME.” Scholastic Scope

‘It’s called Standard Time because ST lines up with our natural, biological rhythms,” she said. Permanent standard time with sunnier mornings and darker evenings would be healthier, especially for front-line workers and school students with early waking hours.”

Related Articles:

5 Deadly Reasons Why Daylight Saving Time Is Bad for You, By Richard E. Cytowic M.D., Psychology Today, March 6. 2020 “The shift disrupts circadian rhythm and raises the risk of stroke and depression.”

Why Daylight Saving Time is unhealthy. A Neurologist explains-By Beth Daley, The Conversation

The Dark Side of Daylight Saving Time, By  Maham Javaid, The Boston Globe, March 19, 2022

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

KWL Chart

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 daylight saving time. Next, have students list the information they would like to learnLater in the Post- Reading segment of the lesson, students can fill in what they’ve learned about the topic.

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 U.S. tried permanent Daylight Saving Time (DST) in the 1970s and failed.
  2. In 1974, Congress repealed the law — before the two-year experiment was even up.
  3. Although the Senate voted for permanent DST, many Americans are against it.
  4. The Senate gave itself a pat on the back earlier this week.
  5. The senators voted without objection to make daylight saving time permanent.
  6. Rubio,said  his legislation to end the need to annually change the clocks in March and November was a good one.
  7. The thinking was more sunlight in the evening would reduce the nation’s energy consumption.
  8. In the 1970s the idea of Permanent DST became very unpopular very quickly.
  9. The U.S. tried permanent DST in the 1970s — then quickly rejected it.
  10. Some people are hoping for a compromise between the Senate and the House.

Grammar Focus: Identifying Prepositions

Directions: The following sentences are from the news article.  For each sentence choose the correct preposition from the choices listed. Note that not all prepositions listed are in the article.  Some Examples of Prepositions:  at,  as, across, around,  by, during,  for, from, in, into,  of, on,  over,  off, to, through,  up,  with, since,

Additional Prepositions:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_prepositions

However, America tried this before — and the country hated it. In the early 1970s, America was facing an energy crisis so the government tried an experiment. Congress passed a law to make daylight saving time permanent year round, but just for two years. The thinking was more sunlight in the evening would reduce the nation’s energy consumption. The House has no immediate plans to take up the Senate-passed bill, but there is bipartisan support for it. The Biden administration hasn’t taken a position on it yet.

Reading Comprehension: Identify The  Speakers

image cosmopolitan.com

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

  1. “It didn’t work… It became very unpopular very quickly.”
  2. “Today the Senate has finally delivered on something Americans all over the country want: to never have to change their clocks again.”
  3. “It’s called standard time because ST lines up with our natural, biological rhythms. Permanent standard time with sunnier mornings and darker evenings would be healthier, especially for front-line workers and school students with early waking hours.”
  4. “I don’t have a specific position from the administration at this point in time.”

 

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 like the idea of making Daylight Savings Time permanent? Why or why not?
  2. In your opinion, should we keep Standard Time or continue turning the clocks back and forth during the year? Explain your reasons.
  3. According to some senators what is the good news about making daylight savings time permanent?
  4. When was the last time Americans attempted to make daylight saving time  (DST) permanent?
  5. What was the thinking behind this idea at the time?
  6. What were some of the problems with making DST permanent?
  7. According to Americans who experienced DST permanently what was the worst part for them?
  8. Was energy consumption reduced during this time?
  9. When did Congress repeal the law?
  10. What important information did Dr. Beth Malow provide about our health need for  permanent Standard Time?
  11. According to Prerau, what is the best solution?
  12. What opinion does President Joe Biden have about the change?
  13. Make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of permanent DST.
  14. 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

Returning to Work: Some are Happy Others Not So Much

“In Boston, as across the nation, a ‘back-to-work March’ has begun. With the omicron variant now on the wane, companies from American Express to Meta and Citigroup – are officially calling on employees to return to the office this month, while also trying to stay flexible enough so as not to lose those who prefer to work from home.”  T. Smith, NPR, March 8, 2022

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Pragadish Kalaivanan, a marketing analyst, got up extra early to dress for work before his first days back at the office in Boston. He’s among those happy to still be able to work two days from home, as the company’s new hybrid policy allows. Tovia Smith/NPR

EXCERPT: Returning to the office, a moment of joy for some. Others, would rather stay home, Tovia Smith, NPR, March 8, 2022

“Steve Tordone has been waiting for this moment for two years. Sure, he’s got a great set up for working at home, and it was nice to be around the family and the dogs. But he prefers working at his office in a downtown Boston high-rise where he works as a financial advisor. ‘I’m an outdoor cat and I just want I want to see people,’ he says, ‘I can’t wait for it to get crowded.’ Many firms are starting with ‘soft openings,’ but already, offices, streets and garages are filling back up.

‘It makes you so happy,’ says Samrawit Embaye, an attendant at one garage that put out its ‘Full’ sign. ‘If you see people coming, you feel like you are living real life.’

Duolingo threw a “homecoming” ice-cream party at its Pittsburgh headquarters to welcome workers back to the office beginning March 1st, one of many efforts to sweeten the deal for workers coming back to work on site. Ingeborg Spadafore

‘Definitely, it’s been an ordeal,’ moans Pragadish Kalaivanan, a marketing analyst, who’s somewhat less sanguine about the trade-offs…Waking up at the crack of dawn to go back to the office is almost impossible and not fun…He also laments giving up the fresh, healthy meals he was cooking for himself at home, having to get on increasingly crowded subway cars where he worries about catching COVID-19, and he’s mourning the loss of the flexibility he had at home to do his creative best, whenever inspiration strikes…Bosses are allowing flexibility because ‘there’s a danger in being too hardline,’  says Luis von Ahn, co-founder and CEO of Duolingo, a language-learning platform… More than 80% of the staff came back on March 1, he says. But just to be sure, he’s doubling down on office culture hoping to make it even more enticing.

Andy Waugh , a managing director at a large insurance broker in Boston, heads out to catch his train home after a day in the office. He’s encouraging more workers to return, saying it’s important for training, employee advancement, and company culture. Tovia Smith/NPR

For example, ‘homecoming week’ included an ice-cream social and happy hour…Firms around the nation are all too aware that requiring workers to come in every day, may actually end up pushing them out the door…Some workers want less human interaction, while some want boundaries between work and life. Attorney Brian Palmucci, can relate. On his way to a court hearing in Boston, he says he’s more than happy to just keep meeting with people on Zoom, instead of in person. Especially, he says, as long as COVID-19 is still a concern.

‘I have two young kids, and I think the long-term health ramifications of COVID are unknown. And so it’s a risk I’m not willing to take.’

But as case numbers have declined, Sameul Gebru is among those who believe what’s more unhealthy is “being under house arrest,” as he called it, where there are no “boundaries between work and life.”

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.

Pre-Reading Activity

 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. Steve Tordone has got a great set up for working at home.
  2. He prefers working at his office in a downtown Boston high-rise.
  3. With the omicron variant now on the wane, companies  are officially calling on employees to return to the office this month.
  4. Some companies are trying to stay flexible enough so as not to lose those who prefer to work from home.
  5. Many workers prefer to be at work and not  being cooped up.
  6. Being back in the office is ‘a blessing’ for some who missed their colleagues.
  7. Pragadish Kalaivanan, a marketing analyst, feels that it’s been an ordeal.
  8. He’s somewhat less sanguine about the trade-offs at work.
  9. He also laments giving up the fresh, healthy meals he was cooking for himself at home.
  10. some employees feel that  being back in the office can often be a distraction from their other interests.

 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. Being back in the office is great for some who missed their colleagues.
  2. To McLallen, the upsides far outweigh even her hour-long commute.
  3. Waking up at the crack of dawn too go back to the office is almost impossible.

II

  1. Wednesdays are mandatory  on this firm.
  2. It’s especially critical for young workers to be at the office.
  3. Some companies are making in-person work optional.

III

  1. Some employees worry about riding  on crowded subway cars.
  2. Happy hour and a movie night were some of the manyperks Duolingo offered employees.
  3. Bosses is allowing flexibility because there’s a danger in being too hardline.

 

Reading Comprehension: Identify The  Speakers

image- cosmopolitan.com

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

  1. “I’m an outdoor cat and I just want I want to see people, I can’t wait for it to get crowded.”
  2. “It makes you so happy…If you see people coming, you feel like you are living real life.”
  3. “I love being around people, and not being cooped up in my bedroom.”
  4. Waking up at the crack of dawn to go back to the office is almost impossible and not fun.”
  5. “Top talent wants some amount of flexibility.”
  6.   “How we operate, what our ethos is, how to do their jobs, how to treat clients – they’ve got to learn all that, and they won’t see it from their kitchen.”

 

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. If you have a job, have you returned to your office? If yes, what kind of work schedule do you have? Do you have to come in every day or do you work some days in the office and some days from home? 
  2. Has your boss added any perks for the employees?  If so what are they?
  3. Which do you prefer, working from home or going to the office? Why?
  4. Why does Steve Tordone want to work from his office and not from home?
  5. Explain how some companies are approaching their employees about returning to work.
  6. Maureen McLallen was happy to be back at work. What were some of her reasons?
  7. Why was Pragadish Kalaivanan so unhappy about returning to work?
  8. Why are bosses afraid of  requiring employees come to work every day?
  9. To entice their employees back to work what are some of the perks Duolingo is offering?
  10. Why was attorney Brian Palmucci concerned about returning to his job?
  11. 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

 

Climate Change: We’re Running Out of Ways to Adapt

“Delay means death’: We’re running out of ways to adapt to the climate crisis new report shows. Here are the key takeaways.” R. Ramirez, CNN

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Dead almond trees lie in an open field after they were removed by a farmer because of a lack of water to irrigate them, in Huron, California, in July 2021. The authors say drought has put a hard limit on adaptation for almond growing. CNN

Excerpt: Delay Means Death By Rachel Ramirez, CNN February 28, 2022

“Climate change is on course to transform life on Earth as we know it, and unless global warming is dramatically slowed, billions of people and other species will reach points where they can no longer adapt to the new normal, according to a major report published Monday.

The UN-backed report, based on years of research from hundreds of scientists, found that the impacts from human-caused climate change were larger than previously thought. The report’s authors say these impacts are happening much faster and are more disruptive and widespread than scientists expected 20 years ago.

Bleaching of the coral reefs around French Polynesia in 2019 CNN

The authors point to enormous inequities in the climate crisis, finding that those who contribute the least to the problem are the worst affected, and warn of irreversible impacts if the world exceeds 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres called the report ‘an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership,’ and he warned that ‘delay means death.’

A flood defense wall being constructed on the east side of Manhattan in New York City on December 11, 2021.

He also said that “current events” showed the world was too reliant of fossil fuels, calling them ‘a dead end,’ in an apparent reference to the Ukraine conflict and energy crisis…Warming beyond 1.5 degrees could have irreversible consequences…And some changes may be permanent, even if the planet cools back down…With every extreme event, ecosystems are being pushed more toward so-called tipping points beyond which irreversible changes can happen, according to the report…And although the natural world has adapted to changing climates over millions of years, the pace of human-caused global warming is pushing many of the planet’s most critical systems — like rainforests, coral reefs and the Arctic — to the brink. More extreme weather doesn’t just affect humans, it is causing mass die-offs in plants and animals.

A man works in the Swiss Alps at the Rhone Glacier in October 2021, which is partially covered with insulating foam to prevent it from melting due to global warming. CNN

‘What we really wanted to show is that ecosystems and all sectors of human society and human well-being fundamentally depends on water,’ Tabea Lissner, a scientist at Climate Analytics and an author on the report, told CNN… Decision makers also need to be intentional in helping the most disadvantaged communities and countries, so no one gets left behind in the process.”

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. Unless global warming is slowed, billions of people and other species will die.
  2. Scientists, found that the impacts of climate change were larger than previously thought.
  3. Scientists  say these impacts are happening much faster and are more disruptive and widespread than 20 years ago.
  4. The facts are undeniable.
  5. This abdication of leadership is criminal.
  6. The world’s biggest polluters are guilty of arson of our only home.
  7. Warming beyond 1.5 degrees could have irreversible consequences.
  8. Scientists have warned for decades warming needs to  stay below 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.
  9. Greenhouse gas emissions will push warming to 1.5ºC.
  10. With every extreme event, ecosystems are being pushed more toward tipping points.

 

 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. At warming of 2 degrees, as many as 18% of all land species will be at high risk of extinction.
  2. Coral reefs in much locations are already beyond tipping points.
  3. We’re running out of ways to adapt.

II

  1. Adaptation are finding ways to live with the change.
  2. A lot of the world’s resources goes toward reducing greenhouse emissions.
  3. The report focuses on the interconnectedness between the Earth’s ecosystems and humans.

III

  1. Humans fundamentally depend on water.
  2. The people who is least responsible are the most affected.
  3. As the climate crisis advances, more people will be forced to relocate.

Reading Comprehension: Identify The  Speakers

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

  1. This person called the report “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership,” and he warned that “delay means death.”
  2. “At warming of 2 degrees, for example, as many as 18% of all land species will be at high risk of extinction, according to the report. At 4 degrees, 50% of species are threatened.”
  3. We have seen that the vast majority of climate finance goes towards mitigation rather than adaptation…So although adaptation is taking place, there is not enough funding, and it is not a high priority, which are then leading to these limits.”
  4. “What we really wanted to show is that ecosystems and all sectors of human society and human well-being fundamentally depends on water.”
  5. “We live in an unequal world…The losses are inequitably distributed among communities, especially those communities that have historically been disadvantaged from decision-making, and now we’re seeing some of that inequality manifest as well in the choices we make to adapt.”
  6. “as climate change worsens, more indigenous people will lose the land, water and biodiversity they depend on.
  7. “When the Earth doesn’t become farmable, the dependence in the livelihood that communities have on farming and on production of food, not only will the incomes be lost, but that food security will be lost.”

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. The following article is about the climate change crisis we are currently experiencing.Have you noticed any changes in the weather in your area in the past two years? For example, does it seem warmer or colder than usual? Does it snow more or less? Are the days getting warmer? Has there been any change in the plant or animal life in your area?
  2. What will happen to the earth if warming goes above 1.5 degrees Celsius?
  3. According to scientists, even if the planet cooled down can the damage be undone?
  4. Explain the ‘lowest emission scenario’.
  5. Provide examples of what will happen if ecosystems are pushed more toward so-called tipping points.
  6. What are researchers saying about coral reefs?
  7. According to the article not only does extreme weather affect humans, what other damage does it cause?
  8. Which people are the most affected by drastic climate change?
  9. Where in the U.S. is water shortage at dangerous levels?
  10. As the climate crisis advances, what happens to the people who depend on farming for survival?
  11. 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