“Emerson College made headlines…when it announced it would be offering a four-year degree in comedy beginning this fall. But the Boston school hasn’t cornered the market on unusual degrees: Here are some interesting education paths you can explore at a few select universities around the globe. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that English or biology degree you’ve been considering.)” Cambridge Chronicle
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key
Excerpt: …most unique college majors By The Cambridge Chronicle Staff
“Puppetry has been offered at the University of Connecticut since 1964. Students can get their BFA and MA/MFA in puppet arts, learning how to design their own puppets and how to perform. Two other U.S. schools offer undergraduate degrees in the field now: Central Washington University and Evergreen State College. Where: The University of Connecticut (Storrs, Connecticut), Evergreen State College (Olympia, Washington) and Central Washington University (Ellensburg, Washington).
Since 1990, Carnegie Mellon University — founded by famous Scotsman Andrew Carnegie — has been the only American college to offer students the chance to major in bagpipes. The major isn’t the school’s biggest: The school has said that almost all of its students have had a one-to-one student-faculty ratio. Where: Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).
Theme Park Engineering
Obviously there is a lot of complex engineering involved in planning and designing theme-park rides, but we never realized some schools offer a specialized theme park engineering major. Students who select this major learn about all of the electrical, hydraulic and mechanical engineering elements that go into crafting cool theme park rides. Where: Cal State Long Beach (Long Beach, California).
Michigan State University pioneered packaging science with its packaging major (founded in 1952), and now there are more than a half-dozen U.S. schools where you can learn more about “thinking outside the box” when it comes to crafting packaging for a number of industries. Where: Michigan State University (East Lansing, Michigan).
Bowling Management and Technology
Want to operate your own bowling alley? Indiana’s Vincennes University is the school for you. The school’s unique two-year Bowling Industry Management and Technology program offers courses in accounting, alley maintenance, operations, pro shop management, computer concepts and first aid. Where: Vincennes University (Vincennes, Indiana).”
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
Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos
Directions: Have students examine the titles of the post and of the actual article. After they examine the photos, ask students to create a list of words and ideas that they think might be related to this article.
II. While Reading Tasks
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.
- How to become a preeminent Beatles scholar.
- This distinction goes to Ontario’s Hunter College.
- Students learn about the art of stand-up comedy.
- Students also learn improv.
- Learning how to design your own puppets can be fun.
- Fermentation sciences are also offered.
- Students will learn about brewing techniques.
- Business development and entrepreneurship are also taught.
- The school has a unique two-year Bowling program.
- Michigan State University pioneered packaging science.
Directions: Review the following statements from the reading. If a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.
- Michigan State University pioneered packaging science.
- There isn’t much engineering involved in planning and designing theme-park rides.
- Emerson College was the first school to offer a degree in comedy.
- Puppetry has been offered at the University of Hollywood.
- Many of these colleges are expensive.
- Fermentation sciences is the study of brewing beer and wine.
- Fermentation sciences was first offered by The Bowery University.
- There’s a program offered on the art of watching television.
- A number of French colleges offer a Canadian Studies program.
- Indiana’s Vincennes University offers Bowling Industry Management.
Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage
- Take a hop across the pond on Liverpool.
- This college wasn’t even the first school to offer a degree in comedy.
- That distinction goes to Ontario’s Hunter College
- In both program, students learn the art of stand-up comedy.
- Puppetry has been offered at the University of Connecticut.
- Americans can learn all about Canadian culture.
- This has been the only American college to offer a major in bagpipes.
- The school has a unique two-year Technology program.
- Student who select this major learn about crafting cool theme park rides.
III. Post Reading Tasks
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: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.
1. Which two programs would you like to study and why?
2. Create a list of other unique college majors.
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.