It’s OK to be Grumpy!

“Need permission to be a grump — or just a normal human being who isn’t smiling all the time? Read these books.” J.  Newman, The New York Times, July 26, 2022

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Image Credit- Nishant Choksi, The New York Times

 

Excerpt: The Power of Negative Thinking, By Judith Newman, The New York Times, July 26, 2022

“Recently a friend posted on Facebook that, after years of struggle against two different kinds of cancer, she was going into hospice care. She is smart, funny and unafraid. Her heartbreaking news generated the expected outpouring of love and support, including a number of messages repeating the popular current You got this.

She got what? I wondered. Is she supposed to feel reassured by that? Congratulations, you’re gonna rock death! You got thisis the popular rallying cry to any number of painful scenarios, from ‘My flight was delayed’ to ‘I’m getting a divorce’ to, well, this. Sometimes, we don’t got this. Which may be why several new books on happiness are also addressing the negative side of positivity — making the point that, while the pursuit of happiness is a worthy goal, relentless positivity doesn’t really lead us to that goal, and can actually end up damaging us.”

 

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

LESSON PLAN

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 Organizer By Scholastic

 

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. She had to struggle against two different kinds of cancer for years.
  2. She was now going into hospice care.
  3. There was a number of messages repeating the popular current You got this.
  4. Is she supposed to feel reassured by that?
  5. While the pursuit of happiness is a worthy goal, relentless positivity doesn’t really lead us to that goal,
  6. Tal Ben-Shahar is known as the happiness scholar.
  7. The sun is vital for life on earth, but if you stare directly at it, you can go blind.
  8. Positivity lingo lacks nuance, compassion and curiosity.
  9. In other words, if it’s bad to harsh someone’s mellow, it’s sometimes worse to mellow someone’s harsh.
  10. She also contradicts herself. At one point, in decrying victimhood.

 

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. Recently a friend posted on Facebook details of her struggle against two different kinds of cancer.
  2. She are smart, funny and unafraid.
  3. Positivity lingo lacks nuance, compassion and curiosity.

II

  1. Several new books on happiness are also addressing the negative side of positivity.
  2. Relentless positivity can actually end up damaging us.
  3. In other words, if it’s bad too harsh someone’s mellow, it’s sometimes worse to mellow someone’s harsh.

III

  1. Positivity can end up being a Band-Aid on a bullet wound.
  2. Sometimes all we want is for someone to acknowledge how awful a situation is and just sit with us.
  3. She also contradict herself.

 

Reading Comprehension: Identify The  Speakers

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

  1. “Positivity lingo lacks nuance, compassion and curiosity. It comes in the form of blanket statements that tell someone how to feel and that the feeling they’re currently having is wrong.”
  2. “He spent years filling that void with food, drugs and alcohol. That pursuit of happiness resulted first in obesity and then, deftly subbing one substance for another, years of drug addiction.”
  3. “Anything but gratitude is just a tantrum.”
  4. “Stress and suffering don’t come from reality, they come from the stories we make up about reality.”
  5. “In other words, if it’s bad to harsh someone’s mellow, it’s sometimes worse to mellow someone’s harsh.”
  6.  ” The sun is vital for life on earth.”
  7. When he stopped chasing the pretense of happiness and started spending time in A.A., he began to reclaim his life.”
  8. Positivity ends up being, “a Band-Aid on a bullet wound.”

 

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: Answer the following questions.

  1. Have you ever been in a grumpy mood and wanted to remain in that mood?  Why?
  2. Has anyone ever told you to “smile” and be happy? How did you feel toward that person?
  3. Do you think that being grumpy, sad or angry is healthy?
  4. Why or why not?
  5. Explain the expression, “In other words, if it’s bad to harsh someone’s mellow, it’s sometimes worse to mellow someone’s harsh.”
  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.
  7. With your group, write 3  questions that you  would like to ask any person mentioned in the article.  Share your questions with the other groups.

ANSWER KEY

Even A Goddess Has to Work These Days!

When the 6-year-old goddess wept for four days, it was viewed as a terrible omen for Nepal, and her tears appeared to have foreshadowed a national tragedy.” E.  Schmall,  The New York Times, July 23, 2022

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Chanira Bajracharya, 27, was once a kumari, a young girl worshiped in Nepal as the embodiment of a Hindu goddess. Behind her are photos of her wearing her divine regalia. Credit: Uma Bista for The New York Times

 

Excerpt: Ex-Goddess Works to Reform 700-Year Tradition. Her M.B.A. Helps. Emily Schmall,  The New York Times, July 23, 2022

On the last day of her crying, June 1, 2001, the crown prince of Nepal killed nine members of the royal family, including his parents, King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya, before shooting himself.

More than 20 years later… that girl who had been worshiped as a goddess was now a woman concerned with more earthly matters: Chanira Bajracharya, a freshly minted M.B.A., was handling loan applications at the financial services firm where she works.

Her ability to land a corporate job has set her apart from most other former kumari, women who in their prepubescent youth were worshiped as the living embodiment of a Hindu goddess — but most of whom were denied education.

‘People used to think because she’s a goddess, she knows everything,” said Ms. Bajracharya, 27. “And who dares to teach a goddess?’

Since the 14th century, girls as young as 2 have been chosen from Buddhist families from the Newar community living in the Kathmandu Valley… The kumari, Ms. Bajracharya said, act as a syncretic symbol between Hinduism and Buddhism, the largest faiths in Nepal, a country of about 30 million…Most kumari before Ms. Bajracharya, including her aunt, Dhana Kumari Bajracharya, received no formal education…Ms. Bajracharya is working to change that, urging the current crop of young goddesses to study as she did, which she believes will not only help them, but also help shield an institution that critics argue deprives girls of their childhoods and human rights...Ms. Bajracharya, who remains a staunch champion of the tradition, had favorable feelings about her unusual childhood…’Those moments were the best moments of my life,’ she said…And she rejected any notion that the role had violated her rights.

‘People used to think that as a goddess, we have a very secluded life, we don’t get to speak with others, we don’t get time to play, we’re not allowed to smile,’ she said. ‘All those myths that have been so popular, sometimes I get so irritated.’ Still, no one considers it an easy role…Ms. Bajracharya’s reign as the living goddess of Patan, from 2001 to 2010, saw some of Nepal’s greatest political change, from the palace killings her tears were believed to have foretold, to the Maoist insurgency that intensified afterward. In 2008, Nepal abolished its 240-year-old monarchy and became a democratic republic.”

 

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 use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance. 

  1. The 6-year-old goddess wept for four days.
  2. This was viewed as a terrible omen for Nepal.
  3. More than 20 years later, the young woman sits in a nondescript office in Patan.
  4. Chanira Bajracharya, has  a freshly minted M.B.A.
  5. There are other former kumari, women who in their prepubescent youth were worshiped as the living embodiment of a Hindu goddess.
  6. She was speaking at the family home in Patan, where she had performed her divine duties for 10 years.
  7. The tradition centers on the story of a Hindu goddess, Taleju, who gave counsel to a king.
  8. A dozen children are bestowed the title of kumari at any one time.
  9. Ms. Bajracharya, remains a staunch champion of the tradition.
  10. People used to think that as a goddess, we have a very secluded life.

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.

Her days/day were often spend/spent receiving a long line of visitors, who would kneel/knee at her tiny feet, which were/was never supposed to/too touch the ground outside. The devotees would place offerings/offering of cash and fruit into brass bowls as, wordlessly, Chanira would stretch out a/an arm covered in/on red satin, smudging vermilion paste, a/an religious marker called a tika, on their foreheads as a blessing.

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.

The ___of one___ were ___with ___of her in full___, a small girl with brightly painted lips and eyes lined with kohl. In one___, she is looking down imperiously at the last___of Nepal, Gyanendra, the assassin’s brother.

WORD LIST: king, photograph, kumari regalia, covered, walls, room,  photographs,

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?

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. After reading this article, would you like to be a goddess? Why or why not?
  2. In your opinion, is this a positive or negative practice?
  3. What is the name of the 6-year-old goddess?
  4. What tragedy did the young goddess foresee in June 2001?
  5. Where does Kathmandu work today?
  6. Why are most of the goddesses denied an education?
  7. Approximately when did this practice of choosing girls to be goddesses begin?
  8. What happens to the children after they lose their divinity?
  9. What are the criticisms of this practice?
  10.  How is Ms. Bajracharya  working to change the future of young goddesses?
  11.  Does Ms. Bajracharya believe that her rights were violated as a child goddess?
  12. What did Nepal’s Supreme Court state about the Kumari tradition?
  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.
  14. List 3  questions that you would like to ask any person mentioned in the article. Groups share questions as a class.

ANSWER KEY

Why We See Faces in Everything

“Your brain is super attuned to see faces everywhere,” says Susan Wardle, a scientist who studies how and why people see illusory faces in objects, a phenomenon known as “face pareidolia.” M. Wollan, The New York Times  March 29, 2022

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Photograph by George Etheredge, The New York Times

Excerpt: How to See Faces Everywhere By Malia Wollan, The New York Times  March 29, 2022

“Humans are hypersocial animals. We’re constantly looking for one another out in the world — to find love, avoid danger, connect — so much so that we often see a face where there isn’t one. ‘You only need this minimal information to see a face because it’s more adaptive to make a mistake and see a funny face in a cloud than to miss a real human face,’ says Wardle, who works at the Laboratory of Brain and Cognition at the National Institute of Mental Health… In one study, Wardle asked subjects to look at 256 photographs of illusory faces. ‘Bizarrely, a lot of our examples came from bell peppers cut in half,’ Wardle says… Unlike human faces though, illusory faces, even the scariest-looking ones, don’t pose any real or potential threat.”

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. 

 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 use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance. 

  1. Our brains are super attuned to see faces everywhere.
  2. Susan Wardle is a scientist who studies how and why people see illusory faces in objects.
  3. As humans we want to find love, avoid danger and connect.
  4. You only need this minimal information to see a face.
  5. It’s more adaptive to make a mistake and see a funny face in a cloud than to miss a real human face.
  6. Wardle has colleagues who begin spotting faces in sandwiches.
  7. Growing up, she [Wardle] and her sister gave them their own moniker: “beezups.”
  8. Some saw faces in storm-drain covers.
  9. Wardle says “just stare out, not looking at anything in particular, and allow yourself to see patterns.”
  10. Bizarrely, a lot of our examples came from bell peppers cut in half.”

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.

I

  1. Wardle worry her human subjects would laugh.
  2. M.R.I.s require absolute stillness.
  3. In one study, Wardle asked subjects to look at 256 photographs of illusory faces

II

  1. If you’re not seeing them, try to give yourself the time and space to look.
  2. Just stared out, not looking at anything in particular.
  3. Humans are hypersocial animals.

 

III

  1. You only need this minimal information to sea a face.
  2. We’re constantly looking for one another out in the world.
  3. To see more illusory faces, spend time thinking about them.

 

Reading ComprehensionFill-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.

Brain-imaging ___show that___faces ___up a part of the ___called the “fusiform face area” that is central to all ___recognition. Unlike___ faces though, illusory___, even the ___ones, don’t ___any real or potential threat.

WORD LIST: scariest-looking, faces, human, facial, brain, scans, illusory, light, pose,

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. Have you ever seen faces in clouds?  If not clouds, have you seen faces in any inanimate objects? 
  2. Seeing faces in objects is known as what phenomenon?
  3. According to Ms. Wardle, what does it mean to be hypersocial?
  4. How do we see more illusory faces?
  5. What directions does Wardle give on how to see faces in objects?
  6. After reading this article, do you think that you’ll begin seeing faces in objects? Why ot why not?
  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.

IV Extra Activity

The following photos are from the New York Times article: 

Faces, Faces Everywhere, by Benedict Carey. All photographs are by George Etheredge May 5, 2020

Directions: In groups view all 7 pictures and answer the following questions:

Which pictures are easiest to see a face?

Which pictures are more difficult to see a face?

Why do you think that some pictures are easier than others? 

Go outside and take pictures of your own and share them with the class. 

 

ANSWER KEY

Brookline Student Starts an ESL Global Community

“Anna Lin started teaching English in the fifth grade. Now she has a student-run nonprofit dedicated to the practice.” By J. Osterheldt, Globe Columnist,Updated June 7, 2022,

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Brookline High School students Luchenzhi “Sunny” Wang, Anna Lin, and Bezawit O’Neill are part of Language Virtual, a tutoring program started by Anna to teach students how to learn and speak English. Jonathan Wiggs/globe Staff

Excerpt: How one Brookline student turned teaching English into a young, global community By Jennee Osterheldt,Globe Columnist,Updated June 7, 2022,

“As a fifth-grader Anna Lin became a teacher.

Her family would travel from Brookline to Thailand to see relatives in the summer and she was asked to help students learn English.

‘I stepped in a classroom of 30 students, all wearing their green and khaki uniforms, and I was younger than them,’ she recalls. ‘I felt like there was a wall between me and them and I thought we couldn’t connect.’

She started by using something she loved — math — to teach the language. PEMDAS: parentheses, exponents, multiplication, and division from left to right, and addition and subtraction from left to right…Summer after summer, she returned and taught. Until the pandemic gripped the world in 2020. She was a freshman at Brookline High School and she wasn’t thinking about what COVID meant for summer fun. She was thinking about teaching in Thailand. ‘I promised I would come back,’ she says. ‘I was sitting at my dinner table with my mom and thinking we don’t have to go to the country to connect with them. We can do it virtually.’ Lin began to reach out to friends at school and friends around the world who moved away, too. They could be teachers to their peers wanting to learn English.

She created a website, Language Virtual, and put out a sign-up sheet. That first year, there would be three students and three teachers.

Now, Anna Lin is finishing her junior year in high school. And she has 100 teachers her age, largely sophomores and juniors, teaching the English language. It also counts as community service hours that some students need to graduate. A lot of them are in Brookline but there are also teachers nearby in Concord, Belmont, and Revere, and as far away as Turkey…Language Virtual does not adhere to a specific teaching style. They have lesson plans around storybooks like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” There are exercises around family, food, and animals. And there is room for teachers to cater curriculums to students.”

Free, Online, Quality English Lessons Please Visit Language Virtual 

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. 

 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 use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance. 

  1. All 30 students were wearing their green and khaki uniforms.
  2. Math is universal  Lin says.
  3. The beginning was very nerve-racking.
  4. After that month I began to look at them as friends.
  5. She was a freshman at Brookline High School.
  6. She was thinking about teaching in Thailand.
  7. Now, Anna Lin is finishing her junior year in high school. 
  8. They have students in America who have immigrated to the United States from many countries.
  9. Sometimes students come by word of mouth, other times they are referred by ESL teachers.
  10. She and her four siblings were adopted from Ethiopia. 

 

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.

Language Virtualdoes/donot/knotadhere too/to a specific teaching/teach style. They has/have lesson plans around storybooks like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Their/There are exercises/exercise around family, food, and animals. And their/there is room for teachers to/two cater curriculums too/to students.

Reading ComprehensionFill-ins

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.

Lin began to ___out to ___at school and ___around the ___who moved away, too. They could be ___to their ___wanting to ___English.

She created a___, Language Virtual, and put out a sign-up sheet. That first year, there would be three ___and three teachers.

WORD LIST:website,learn, peers,teachers, world, reach, friends, students, friends,

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

3,2,1, Questions

Directions: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.

Ask/Answer Questions

 Directions:  Place students in groups and have each group list 3  questions they would like to pursue in relation to  the article. Have groups exchange questions. Each group tries to answer the questions listed. All responses are shared as a class.

Group Activity

Directions: With your group members think of ways you might start a global ESL learning community in your school. Write a letter to Anna Lin (in care of Language Virtual) asking for information.

ANSWER KEY

 

How The Deaf Culture Name Signs

“How does a person get a name sign — the series of unique gestures used to identify someone in American Sign Language? To understand the process of name signing, a Times team turned to people who knew it best.” S. Bahr, The New York Times, August 30, 2021

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Monique Holt, left, Marsellette Davis, top right, and Frank Dattolo explain their name signs in the Times interactive article. “Once we in the Deaf community get to know who you are, then we can honor you with respect by giving you a sign name,” Ms. Davis said in the article. Credit…The New York Times

Excerpt:How a Question on Sign Language Led to a Deeper Look at Deaf Culture,By Sarah Bahr, The New York Times, Aug. 30, 2021

“For a team of Times journalists, the process of answering that question underscored the importance of two storytelling basics — rely on experts and think of the audience — and resulted in an interactive article in July that provided a broader understanding of deaf culture.

‘One of our priorities was to show our readers the diversity of experiences and backgrounds that exist in the deaf world,’ Ilaria Parogni, a senior editor who wrote the article, said. ‘Delving into name signs allowed us to tap into that.’

The challenge began when The Times set out to learn how Vice President Kamala Harris received her name sign (also known as a sign name).

Name signs are an important component of ‘capital D Deaf’ culture, a term used by some deaf people to indicate that they embrace deafness as a cultural identity.

A group of five women had collaborated on a name sign for Vice President Harris…Scott Reinhard, a graphics editor, originally pitched the idea to the Culture desk and suggested talking to the women about how they arrived at the name sign.

Ms. Parogni and Alicia DeSantis, a deputy editor for visuals and multimedia, organized a two-hour video call with the five women in February…Ms. Parogni said that it quickly became clear to everyone that there was a much bigger story to be told beyond Ms. Harris — about the history of name signs and their significance to deaf people…Amanda Morris, a hard-of-hearing woman raised by two deaf parents who is fluent in ASL, offered additional support when she joined The Times in June as a disability reporting fellow…The team also took her recommendation to make a key detail in the story more prominent: Name signs cannot be assigned by a hearing person. And Ms. Morris reinforced a direction team members had decided on earlier to make the article accessible to visually impaired readers by including video transcripts — invisible descriptions of videos on a page that are read aloud to blind or visually impaired users on a screen reader”.

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 use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance. 

  1. A name sign — the series of unique gestures used to identify someone in American Sign Language.
  2. The process of answering that question underscored the importance of two storytelling basics.
  3. One of our priorities was to show our readers the diversity of experiences and backgrounds in the deaf world.
  4. A group of five women had collaborated on a name sign for Vice President Harris.
  5.  Scott Reinhard, a graphics editor, originally pitched the idea to the Culture desk.
  6. Ms. Parogni pitched American Sign Language  teachers throughout the project.
  7. People need more than just subtitles.
  8. Ms. Morris helped make a few of the subtitles more accurate.
  9. The team also took her recommendation to make a key detail in the story more prominent.
  10. Ms. Morris reinforced a direction team members group.

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

The signs consist of gestures that reflect a individual’s personality.

Scott Reinhard is a graphics editor.

The Times worked with several interpreters throughout the project.

II

It was clear that video, graphics and design would have to be integrated.

There was an much bigger story to be told.

More than a dozen journalists worked on the project.

III

There were questions the team had to work through.

Ms. Morris helped make a few of the subtitles more accurate.

Name signs cannot be assigned by an hearing person.

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.

One of our ___was to show our___the ___of experiences and ___that exist in the___world, Ilaria Parogni, a senior ___who wrote the article, said. Delving into___ signs allowed us to ___into that.

Name signs are an___ component of capital D Deaf  culture, a ___used by some deaf people to ___that they embrace ___as a cultural identity. 

WORD LIST: deafness indicate, term, important, tap, name, editor, deaf, backgrounds, diversity, readers, priorities, 

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. What does ALS stand for?
  2. What is a name sign?
  3. According to the article, what did the Times reporters want to explain to the readers?
  4. What term do some deaf people use  to indicate that they embrace deafness as a cultural identity?
  5. What can gestures from the name signs reflect?
  6. Aside from using the hand and fingers, what other context clues are important when signing?
  7. Can name signs be assigned by a hearing person? Why or why not?
  8. What did Ms. Ms. Parogni do in order to prepare for this project?
  9. Who is Deborah Leiderman?
  10. 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. 

ANSWER KEY