Tag Archives: covid-19

Museums Are Seeking Covid-19 Memorabilia

“Wanted: Artifacts that show how Americans navigated the Covid-19 crisis. The trick is determining what’s historically valuable.” A. Popescu, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Excerpt:How Will We Remember the Pandemic? Museums Are Already DecidingBy Adam Popescu, The New York Times

“Six-year-old Franklin Wong captured the simple frustrationof being a student in this city’s Unified School District in mid-March, after his classes were canceled. He wrote in big blocky letters: ‘ did not go anywhere,’ and added an unhappy face in green and red crayon for his remote-learning assignment.

Six-year-old Franklin Wong’s journal entry… It is in the collection of the Autry Museum of the American West.Credit- Franklin Wong

This may be the first time a first grader’s homework is headed to a permanent museum collection instead of a parent’s refrigerator door, a novelty that underscores how far into uncharted waters curators are sailing.

The Autry Museum of the American West, which recently acquired Franklin’s diary, is among the growing contingent of museums, academic institutions and historical societies from here to Bozeman, Mont., and Washington, D.C., that have begun recording this moment of collective uncertainty in the country’s war against the coronavirus…Museums are not just seeking artists’ works but everyone’s memories — the more personal, the better — in an effort that recalls the repositories of first-person testimony, along with material evidence and historical records, gathered by cultural institutions after Sept. 11.

Jake Sheiner, out of work since mid-March, has painted scenes of his home quarantine. They were collected by the University of Southern California Libraries.Credit- J. Sheiner,

But some scholars and historians point to today’s challenges of depicting an event authentically and from many angles when there is still no end in sight to the pandemic. And, they ask, when everything is an artifact, what is truly historically important — and just whose Covid stories are being told in these archives, and whose are not?…Organizers had a decade after Sept. 11 to assemble multiple views of history that would be examined in repositories culminating in the National September 11 Memorial Museum at ground zero — and even longer to put together the many Holocaust Museums scattered across the globe…In the cases of Holocaust and September 11 museums, personal items represented the memories and traumas of everyday people. As institutions rush to bear witness to the pandemic, some historians ask, will they serve us all and account for the deep divides this virus has tapped?

Ruben Natal-San Miguel’s Toilet Paper Hoarder Manhattan NYC was submitted to the Museum of the City of New York‘s Credit- Ruben Natal-San Miguel

‘Museums are places where we convene to make sense of our shared human experience,’ said Martha S. Jones, a history professor at Johns Hopkins University. ‘Still, the burden, pain and grief of this pandemic are not being experienced in the same way across the nation’s many communities.’

Memories by Amber Ren, a virtual exhibition presented by the Eric Carle museum in Amherst, Mass.

Covid-19 has exposed a vein of bigotry toward Asian-Americans. It has been particularly virulent toward African-Americans, [Native-Americans on the reservations] and Latinos.”

 

Presidential Leader Joseph R. Biden and his advisers see 2020 largely playing out as a referendum on Trump. Credit- Kriston J.  Bethel for The New York Times

“We are a nation in pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us. We are a nation enraged, but we cannot allow our rage to consume us. Please stay safe. Please take care of each other.”~Democratic Presidential Leader Joe Biden~

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 2 hours.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos

Directions: Examine the titles of the post and the actual article.  Examine the photos, then create a list of  words and  ideas  that you think might be related to this article. 

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. People are collecting artifacts that show how Americans navigated the Covid-19 crisis.
  2. Six-year-old Franklin Wong’s journal entry was the first assignment he completed since his school closed.
  3. Franklin Wong captured the simple frustration of being a student in this city during the virus.
  4. This may be the first time a first grader’s homework is headed to a permanent museum collection.
  5. This is  a novelty that underscores how far into uncharted waters curators are sailing.
  6. Some people are donating their work to libraries.
  7. This is an effort to recall the repositories of first-person testimony.
  8. Some people are depicting important events from their lives.
  9. Many museums are seeking art from regular people and the requests have struck a chord.
  10. According to Bob McGinnis, the covid-19 experience focuses him on his mortality.

 

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.

But some/sum  scholars and historians point to todays/today’s challenges of/off depicting an event authentically/authentic  and from/form many angels/angles when there is still no end in sight/cite to the pandemic. And, they ask, when/wen everything is a/an artifact, what is truly historically/history important — and just whose Covid story/stories are being/bean told/tell in these archives, and who’s/whose are not?

 

Identify The  Speakers

Directions:  Read the following quotes (and actions) from  people in the article and see if you  can identify them.

  1. “I did not go anywhere.”
  2. “Museums have a responsibility to meet history head on.”
  3. He has been walking the streets snapping photos of his native Queens, sharing images with the Museum of the City of New York.
  4. He has painted scenes of his home quarantine. They were collected by the University of Southern California Libraries.
  5. “It brings into sharp focus my mortality.”
  6. “A successful museum of this kind should provide context and enable future visitors to understand the tenor and temper of the times, including inequities, racial and otherwise.”

 

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. Have you been keeping a journal, photos, or other types of remembrances  during this pandemic? Explain why?
  2. In your opinion is this a good idea?  Why or why not?
  3. Why did The Autry Museum of the American West, want Franklin  Franklin Wong’s journal?
  4. After what other major event in the U.S. did  cultural institutions seek artifacts and repositories of first-person testimony, along with material evidence?
  5. Several scholars and historians are stating some challenges of depicting an event authentically. What are they?
  6. Why did Bob McGinnis leave a three-page essay to to the Covid collection at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas.
  7. After reading this article are you inspired to begin collecting memorabilia to give to museums? Why or why not?
  8. What new information have you learned from this article?

ANSWER KEY

Additional Exercise

Directions: Search the web and see if you can  find the various kinds of things people are giving to museums and other institutions. For example one man in the article left an essay he wrote to his family and  another left  photos he took in his community.

 

Category: Culture, Education, People | Tags:

Children With Disabilities Will Suffer More This Covid-19 Summer

“The kids who most need social interaction this summer won’t be getting it.” H. Levine, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Credit- Keith Negley, NYT

Excerpt: As the Country Opens Up, Children With Disabilities Are Getting Left Behind, By Hallie Levine, The New York Times

“My 12-year-old daughter, Jo Jo, blossoms over the summer. For her, it’s a time for camp, pool trips with friends, bonfires… Last summer, she began going to the salon for monthly manicures…These events are a rite of passage for any preteen, but they’re particularly important for Jo Jo.

She has Down syndrome, which means she has an extra 21st chromosome that has led to overall developmental delays. For her, these regular social interactions are crucial. But this summer will be dramatically different. Like all kids, she’s been stuck at home since mid-March. Over the last couple weeks, many of those kids have started venturing out, meeting up for bike rides and beach excursions or other outdoor activities. Their parents talk about sending them to day camp, and setting up unofficial ‘quarantine bubbles.’

But Jo Jo and her two neurotypical brothers — Teddy, 10, and Geoffrey, 9 — remain at home, probably for the rest of the summer. Jo Jo is at high-risk for Covid-19 complication… Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has labeled intellectual disability as a high risk condition for flu.

An intellectual disability itself isn’t a risk factor for Covid-19 but kids with developmental disabilities often have other underlying medical conditions that could be… In addition, many kids with intellectual disabilities depend on in-person physical, occupational and speech therapy year round to prevent regression. For example, Lisa Kinderman, a psychologist in Seymour, Ill., is grappling with whether it’s safe to resume physical therapy for her daughter, Lija. A 6-year-old with cerebral palsy, Lija cannot walk or talk and has been hospitalized twice in the last year for respiratory ailments…Unfortunately, there’s no way to gauge a child’s risk of Covid-19, especially as we’re still learning so much about this disease in kids, stressed Brian Skotko, M.D., director of the Down Syndrome Program at Massachusetts General Hospital.But there are a few things parents can do to get a ballpark sense of risk.

He suggested using your child’s past experience with infections as a guide for how they might experience Covid-19. If a child like Jo Jo has come down with flu or pneumonia in the past but recovered without urgent medical care or hospitalization, then ‘you should feel more comfortable gradually re-entering the community, he said. For each step, talk it over with your pediatrician…Social distancing can be equally tricky. ‘Wearing masks, staying at least six feet apart from others, being able to tolerate a Covid-19 test — these may all eventually be required for kids to resume school or other activities,’ Skotko said. These are challenging for any child, let alone one with intellectual disabilities. One way to teach these concepts is through social stories, individualized short stories that pair simple language with pictures often used for children with social-communication disorders such as autism.

Skotko also recommended teaching social distancing through color coded circles for older kids.  For example, red for strangers, orange for people you would normally wave to, green and yellow for casual and close friends, and blue for people it’s OK to hug, like parents or siblings.

“I have almost a blind faith in crisis in the American people getting it right”  ~Democratic Presidential Leader Joe Biden~

Latest Presidential General Election Polls 2020:

“Joe Biden’s lead against Trump in the 2020 election is growing wider, polls show — With the 2020 election now less than five months away, polls show former Vice President Joe Biden pulling further ahead of [Trump].”  Kevin Breuniger, CNBC June ,2020

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 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.

NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

Stimulating background knowledge: Brainstorming

Directions: Ask students  what they already know about people with disabilities.  Next, have students generate ideas or words that may be connected to the topic of the article.  Students can use a brainstorming chart for assistance.

Colorful Brainstorming chart from Live It Magazine

 

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. Monthly manicures  are a rite of passage for any preteen.
  2. The author’s daughter has Down syndrome.
  3. Some children are born wth extra chromosomes.
  4. Kids have started venturing out, meeting up for bike rides and beach excursions or other outdoor activities.
  5. Studies suggest that death rates from pneumonia were up to 5.8 times higher in 2017 among those with intellectual disabilities.
  6. Some kids like JoJo take medicine that suppresses their immune system.
  7. The immune system is vital to every person alive.
  8. It’s very tough for the author  to gauge if any activities — even outdoor ones — are safe for Jo Jo or her brothers.
  9. Many physicians will meet with medically fragile kids first thing in the morning.
  10. Parents of  intellectually challenged children must grapple with  explaining the COVID-19 to them and why it prevents them from doing fun activities.

 

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. Students are to identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I

  1. C D C has labeled intellectual disability as a high risk condition for flu.
  2. A typical virus hits her hard.
  3. This winter she test positive for the flu.

 

II

  1. Gone to the salon for monthly manicures is fun.
  2. For her, these regular social interactions are crucial.
  3. But this summer will be dramatically different.

III

  1. We have to brought the world to her.
  2. Unfortunately, there’s no way to gauge a child’s risk of Covid-19,
  3. There are a few things parents can do to get a ballpark sense of risk.

 

Reading Comprehension

Identify The  Speakers

Directions:  Have students read the following quotes from speakers in the article to  see if they can identify the speakers.

  1. Weighing when, and how, to re-enter the community without putting your child at risk is so much harder.”
  2. “What’s just a mild cold for a typical kid lands Lija in the I.C.U.”
  3. Unfortunately, there’s no way to gauge a child’s risk of Covid-19, especially as we’re still learning so much about this disease in kids.”
  4. That doesn’t mean you should neglect routine medical care, especially with underlying medical diseases that need to be monitored. In addition, “the usual childhood diseases are still around.”
  5. Masks can be particularly challenging, because many kids with intellectual disabilities have sensory processing issues that make it hard for them to tolerate a mask on their face.”
  6. “You don’t want to make this all about the child with the more complex medical needs, because you don’t want to ramp up anxiety, or even resentment.”

 

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. Dr. Brian Skotio names some things parents can do to tell if there are risks for infection for certain activities. What are they?
  2. What is one activity  that JoJo’s mom won’t let her do  right now? Why?
  3. Name one thing that doctors cannot check virtually with a patient.
  4. In what ways can the concept of social distancing be taught to children with intellectual disabilities?
  5. According to Leah Booth, why is wearing a mask a special problem for many kids with intellectual disabilities?

1-Minute Free Writing Exercise

Directions: Allow students 1 minute to write down one new idea they’ve learned from the reading. Ask them to write down one thing they did not understand in the reading.  Review the responses as a class. Note: For the lower levels allow more time for this writing activity.

ANSWER KEY