“An illustrated guide to how schools will try to control the coronavirus when students return to their classrooms, this fall or in the future.” By D. Goldstein, The New York Times
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key
“A typical American school day requires proximity: High school lab partners leaning over a vial. Kindergarten students sharing finger paints. Middle schoolers passing snacks around a cafeteria table.
This year, nothing about school will be typical. Many of the nation’s largest districts plan to start the academic year online, and it is unclear when students and teachers will be back in classrooms.
Others plan hybrid models, while some are determined to go five days a week.
When school buildings do reopen, whether this fall or next year, buses, hallways, cafeterias and classrooms will need to look very different as long as the coronavirus remains a threat.
Even teaching, which has evolved in recent decades to emphasize fewer lectures and more collaborative lessons, must change…There is still considerable uncertainty and debate over how easily children of different ages contract and spread the virus, and whether some of the recommended safety guidelines would help or are even necessary.”
On Thursday night, [8/20] he was introduced by a video that referenced the loss of his first wife and daughter early in his Senate career and, years later, of his son Beau to brain cancer. “I know how mean and cruel and unfair life can be sometimes…your loved one may have left this earth, but they’ll never leave your heart. They’ll always be with you. You’ll always hear them.”
“As president, the first step I will take will be to get control of the virus that’s ruined so many lives… Because I understand something this president doesn’t. We will never get our economy back on track, we will never get our kids safely back to school, we will never have our lives back until we deal with this virus.”
“As God’s children, each of us has a purpose in our lives… And we have a great purpose as a nation: to open the doors of opportunity to all Americans; to save our democracy; to be a light to the world once again; to finally live up to and make real the words written in the sacred documents that founded this nation that all men and women are created equal. Endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. Among them, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
“I will have a great vice president at my side, Senator Kamala Harris,” Biden reminded his listeners. “She is a powerful voice for this nation. Her story is the American story. She knows about all the obstacles thrown in the way of so many in our country: women, Black women, Black Americans, South Asian Americans, immigrants, the left out and left behind. But she’s overcome every obstacle she’s ever faced. No one’s been tougher on the big banks or the gun lobby. No one’s been tougher in calling out this current administration for its extremism, its failure to follow the law, and its failure to simply tell the truth.”
~Democratic Presidential Leader Joe Biden~
~Democratic Vice-Presidential Leader Kamala Harris~
NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.
Level: Intermediate – Advanced
Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.
Time: Approximately 2 hours.
Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.
Objective: Students will read and discuss the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.
Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos
Directions: Examine the titles of the post and the actual article. Examine any photos, then create a list of words and ideas that you and your group members think might be related to this article.
While Reading Activities
Directions: Try to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. You use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.
- This is an illustrated guide to how schools will try to control the coronavirus.
- A typical American school day requires proximity.
- Some schools plan to use hybrid models, while some are determined to go five days a week.
- The coronavirus remains a threat to everyone.
- Unfortunately, education leaders are relying on a host of conflicting federal, state and public health guidelines.
- As a result, schools are adopting a wide range of approaches for the pandemic era.
- All schools have one factor to solve which is eliminating proximity.
- Getting children to school will be one of the most difficult logistical challenges.
- Some state guidelines sketch alternative scenarios.
- Schools will check each student for symptoms before they enter the classroom.
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.
- Kindergarten students likes to share finger paints.
- Middle schoolers pass snacks around a cafeteria table.
- High schoolers share cellphones.
- Some schools are determined to go five days a week.
- Other schools will use a hybrid model.
- This year, nothing about school will be typical.
- For about half of American students, the school day typically begins with a bus trip.
- Families should not cluster at the bus stop.
- Some schools will hire monitors to check students’ symptoms before they board the bus.
Reading Comprehension Fill-ins
Directions: Read the entire article, then complete the following sentences taken from the article. You can use the words and terms from the list provided, or provide your own terms.
Young ___may be the hardest to ___apart, given their ___energy, need for hands-on play and___nature. And most___acknowledge that it is not realistic to expect them to wear ___all day.
Many ___will try to keep students in___ by limiting class ___to about 12 students and by ___interaction between classrooms. That way, they can ___shutting down entirely if a single pod has a ___case.
WORD LIST: avoid, sizes, pods, masks, guidelines, affectionate, schools, frenetic, children, reducing, positive, keep,
III. Post Reading Activities
Directions: 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.
- To help stop the spread of the virus what is the one factor that all schools must agree upon?
- Where is the first place students come into contact with each other?
- According to the article how many students should ride the school buses during Covid-19?
- What will be the very first thing children will have to have done before entering the school?
- What happens to students who fail the symptom check?
- What do schools plan to do with large spaces like gyms and cafeterias?
- The article states “Schools are not planning to follow a traditional bell schedule.” How do schools now plan to schedule lunch and bathroom breaks during the day?
Directions: In 5 minutes 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.