“In any normal election year, we’d compare the two presidential candidates side by side on the issues. But this is not a normal election year. A comparison like that would be an empty exercise in a race where one candidate — our choice, Hillary Clinton — has a record of service and a raft of pragmatic ideas, and the other, Donald Trump, discloses nothing concrete about himself or his plans while promising the moon and offering the stars on layaway.” The New York Times Editorial Board
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key
Excerpt: Our endorsement is rooted in respect for her intellect, experience and courage..The Editorial Board
“But this endorsement would also be an empty exercise if it merely affirmed the choice of Clinton supporters. We’re aiming instead to persuade those of you who are hesitating to vote for Mrs. Clinton — because you are reluctant to vote for a Democrat, or for another Clinton, or for a candidate who might appear, on the surface, not to offer change from an establishment that seems indifferent and a political system that seems broken…The best case is, instead, about the challenges this country faces, and Mrs. Clinton’s capacity to rise to them.
The 2016 campaign has brought to the surface the despair and rage of poor and middle-class Americans who say their government has done little to ease the burdens that recession, technological change, foreign competition and war have heaped on their families.First-Lady-Michelle-Obama-rallies-for-Hillary-Clinton
Over 40 years in public life, Hillary Clinton has studied these forces and weighed responses to these problems. Our endorsement is rooted in respect for her intellect, experience, toughness and courage over a career of almost continuous public service, often as the first or only woman in the arena.
One of her boldest acts as first lady was her 1995 speech in Beijing declaring that women’s rights are human rights.Mrs. Clinton and her team have produced detailed proposals on crime, policing and race relations, debt-free college and small-business incentives, climate change and affordable broadband.
Her most lasting achievements as a senator include a federal fund for long-term health monitoring of 9/11 first responders, an expansion of military benefits to cover reservists and the National Guard, and a law requiring drug companies to improve the safety of their medications for children.
Mrs. Clinton has shown herself to be a realist who believes America cannot simply withdraw behind oceans and walls, but must engage confidently in the world to protect its interests and be true to its values, which include helping others escape poverty and oppression.
Through war and recession, Americans born since 9/11 have had to grow up fast, and they deserve a grown-up president. A lifetime’s commitment to solving problems in the real world qualifies Hillary Clinton for this job, and the country should put her to work.”
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 learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.
I. Pre-Reading Activities
Directions: Have students use the KWL chart to list the information they already know about U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Later in the Post- Reading segment of the lesson, students can fill in what they’ve learned about the topic.
II. While Reading Activities
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.
- The New York Times endorsed Hillary Clinton.
- They want to persuade people to vote.
- Some are reluctant to vote for a Democrat.
- Mrs. Clinton has the capacity to rise to challenges of this country.
- Through war and recession, Americans born since 9/11 have had to grow up fast.
- The next president will take office with bigoted leaders.
- Mrs. Clinton’s work has been defined more by incremental successes.
- Mrs. Clinton has had occasional missteps.
- Republican leaders warned their caucus not to help her.
- She had made lasting achievements as a senator.
Directions: Place students in groups and after they have read the entire article, have them complete the following paragraphs 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.
As secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton was ___with repairing American ___after eight years of the Bush administration’s unilateralism. She ___a share of the ___for the Obama administration’s foreign-policy ___ notably in Libya. But her ___are substantial. She led efforts to strengthen___against Iran, which eventually pushed it to the table for talks over its ___program, and in 2012, she helped ___a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
WORD LIST: negotiate, achievements, charged, responsibility, failings, bears, credibility, sanctions, nuclear.
Grammar Focus: Using Adjectives to describe pictures
Directions: Have students choose a picture from the article and write a descriptive paragraph using adjectives.
III. Post Reading Activities
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?
Directions: Have students fill in the last column of the KWL chart if they used one in the pre-reading segment of this lesson.
Directions: Place students in groups and have them discuss the following statements taken from the article. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following topics.
- “In the Middle East and across Asia, in Russia and Eastern Europe, even in Britain and the United States, war, terrorism and the pressures of globalization are eroding democratic values, fraying alliances and challenging the ideals of tolerance and charity.”
- “Mrs. Clinton and her team have produced detailed proposals on crime, policing and race relations, debt-free college and small-business incentives, climate change and affordable broadband.”
- With your group create a list of the reasons why Hillary Clinton will make a good President.
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.