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Date: Oct 26, 2005
Level: Harder (Try the easier lesson.)
Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening
Audio: (1:56 - 227.2 KB - 16kbps)
 
1,000 IDEAS FOR ESL CLASSES: Breaking News English.com's e-Book

THE ARTICLE

Rosa Parks, the mother of America’s civil rights movement, has died aged 92. Her refusal to give up her seat to a white man on an Alabama bus sparked a revolution in the US civil rights movement. She was one of the first people to actively challenge America’s segregation laws, both in deed and in court. Ms Parks reportedly passed away in her sleep at her home in Detroit. The actual cause of death is as yet unknown. She had been suffering from progressive dementia in recent years and was rarely seen in public. The mayor of Detroit hailed her courage and strength and said she symbolized the civil rights movement, which gained increasing momentum in the late 1950s and 1960s. He said: “Just by a simple act of sitting down she stood up for so many people.”

Ms Parks was a 42-year-old seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama, when she caught a bus in December 1955. Shortly after, a white man boarded and had to stand. The law required black passengers to make room for white passengers. Ms Parks refused to comply with the bus driver’s demands for her to move, saying: “No. I'm tired of being treated like a second-class citizen.” She was convicted of breaking the law and fined $10. Her action sparked a now famous bus boycott that lasted 381 days. Simultaneous legal challenges led to a Supreme Court decision that forced Montgomery to desegregate its bus system and quashed other discriminatory laws throughout America’s South. In 1999, the US Senate described her as “a living icon for freedom in America.”

WARM-UPS

1. GREAT PERSON: Choose a great person in the world today. You are now that person. Walk around the class meeting the other “great people”. Introduce yourselves and chat about your lives, achievements and greatness. Which of you is greater?

2. FAMOUS AMERICANS: Below is a list of famous Americans. What do you know about them? Walk around the class and ask other students about them. After you have finished, sit down and share your findings. What interesting things did you find out?

  • Rosa Parks
  • Jesse Owens
  • Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Maya Angelou
  • Colin Powell
  • Michael Jackson
  • Malcolm X
  • Condoleezza Rice

3. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words are most interesting and which are most boring.

Mothers / civil rights / white men / buses / revolutions / courts / old age / icons / death / courage / strength / second-class citizens / boycotts / freedom

Have a chat about the topics you liked. For more conversation, change topics and partners frequently.

4. CIVIL RIGHTS: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with civil rights. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

5. DISCRIMINATION: Have you ever been discriminated against? In pairs / groups, talk about how you would feel about suffering from the following forms of discrimination. How do you think each type of discrimination affects people’s feelings and lives?

  • Racism
  • Religious discrimination
  • Sexism
  • Sexual orientation discrimination
  • Ageism
  • Size, weigh and looks discrimination
  • Disability discrimination
  • Pregnancy discrimination

6. PREJUDICE: Does prejudice exist in your country? Describe it to your partner(s). In pairs / groups, talk about the kinds of prejudice you know about or have heard about around the world. Here are some countries you might want to talk about: Great Britain, America, Japan, China, France, Australia, India, South Africa, Brazil, Sudan...


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

Rosa Parks was the grandmother of America’s civil rights movement.

T / F

b.

She was one of the first people to challenge segregation in the 1950s.

T / F

c.

She had recently made a string of public appearances.

T / F

d.

Her simple act of standing up helped many people to sit down.

T / F

e.

She asked a white man on a bus if she could sit on his seat.

T / F

f.

U.S. law required black passengers to give their seats to white people.

T / F

g.

She was arrested and imprisoned for 381 days.

T / F

h.

The US Senate described her as an icon for freedom in America.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

a.

refusal

symbol

b.

sparked

acclaimed

c.

deed

ignited

d.

hailed

impetus

e.

momentum

annulled

f.

boarded

obey

g.

comply

noncompliance

h.

simultaneous

got on

i.

quashed

coinciding

j.

icon

action

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

a.

sparked

like a second-class citizen

b.

actively challenge

and had to stand

c.

She had been suffering

its bus system

d.

gained increasing

America’s segregation laws

e.

she stood up

from progressive dementia

f.

a white man boarded

a revolution

g.

I'm tired of being treated

momentum in the late 1950s

h.

sparked a now famous bus

laws throughout America’s South

i.

forced Montgomery to desegregate

for so many people

j.

quashed other discriminatory

boycott that lasted 381 days


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

ODD WORD OUT: Strike through the incorrect choice in each group of three italicized words.

Civil rights icon Rosa Parks dies

Rosa Parks, the mother of America’s civil rights crusade / tendency / movement, has died aged 92. Her refusal / refuse / refusing to give up her seat to a white man on an Alabama bus sparked / ignited / matched a revolution in the US civil rights movement. She was one of the first people to actively challenge America’s segregation laws, both in indeed / action / deed and in court. Ms Parks reportedly passed away in her sleep at her home in Detroit. The actual cause of death is as unknown. She had been suffering from progressive dementia in recent years and was rarely seen in public. The mayor of Detroit hailed / exacerbated / exalted her courage / backbone / coarseness and strength and said she symbolized the civil rights movement, which gained increasing momentum / momentous / pace in the late 1950s and 1960s. He said: “Just by a sample / simple / mere act of sitting down she stood up for so many people.”

Ms Parks was a 42-year-old seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama, when she caught a bus in December 1955. Shortly after, a white man hopped on / climbed down / boarded and had to stand. The law required black passengers to make room / way / up for white passengers. Ms Parks refused to conform / confound / comply with the bus driver’s demands for her to move, saying: “No. I'm tired of being treated like a second-class citizen.” She was found guilty / convicted / accosted of breaking the law and fined $10. Her action sparked a now famous bus boycott / shut out / journey that lasted 381 days. Simultaneous legal challenges led to a Supreme Court decision that forced Montgomery to desegregate / integrate / disintegrate its bus system and quashed / quelled / annulled other discriminatory laws throughout America’s South. In 1999, the US Senate described her as “a living icon / symbol / statue for freedom in America.”

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Civil rights icon Rosa Parks dies

Rosa Parks, the mother of America’s civil rights ___________, has died aged 92. Her refusal to give up her seat to a white man on an Alabama bus ___________ a revolution in the US civil rights movement. She was one of the first people to actively challenge America’s ___________ laws, both ___ ______ and in court. Ms Parks reportedly passed away in her sleep at her home in Detroit. The actual cause of death is as yet unknown. She had been suffering from progressive __________ in recent years and was rarely seen in public. The mayor of Detroit hailed her courage and strength and said she symbolized the civil rights movement, which gained increasing __________ in the late 1950s and 1960s. He said: “Just by a simple act of sitting down she ________ ___ ____ so many people.”

Ms Parks was a 42-year-old seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama, when she caught a bus in December 1955. Shortly after, a white man __________ and had to stand. The law required black passengers to _____ ______ ____ white passengers. Ms Parks refused to _______ with the bus driver’s demands for her to move, saying: “No. I'm tired of being treated like a second-class citizen.” She was convicted of breaking the law and _______ $10. Her action sparked a now famous bus ________ that lasted 381 days. Simultaneous legal challenges led to a Supreme Court decision that forced Montgomery to desegregate its bus system and ________ other discriminatory laws throughout America’s South. In 1999, the US Senate described her as “a living icon for freedom in America.”

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘civil’ and ‘rights’.

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. ODD WORD OUT: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. STUDENT “CIVIL RIGHTS” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about Rosa Parks and civil rights.

  • Ask other classmates your questions and note down their answers.
  • Go back to your original partner / group and compare your findings.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

6. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall exactly how these were used in the text:

  • mother
  • sparked
  • deed
  • suffering
  • symbolized
  • simple
  • shortly
  • boarded
  • tired
  • famous
  • quashed
  • US Senate

DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

  1. Did the headline make you want to read the article?
  2. What do you know about Rosa Parks?
  3. What do you think about her action in 1955?
  4. Which people stood up for others in your country?
  5. What do you know of America’s civil rights movement in the 1960s?
  6. Does everyone have equal civil rights in your country?
  7. Does you country have a civil rights movement?
  8. What does Rosa Parks’ example teach us?
  9. Do you think America should designate a special Rosa Parks Day holiday?
  10. Have you ever stood up for your rights?

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. What do you think about what you read?
  3. What kinds of prejudice exist in your country?
  4. Do you totally believe that everyone is the same regardless of the color of their skin?
  5. Have you ever felt like you were treated like a second-class citizen?
  6. What experiences do you have of experiencing or witnessing racism?
  7. What are the good and bad things that different races have done throughout history, or are doing now?
  8. What question would you like to have asked Rosa Parks?
  9. What do you think her reply would have been?
  10. Did you like this discussion?

AFTER DISCUSSION: Join another partner / group and tell them what you talked about.

  1. What question would you like to ask about this topic?
  2. What was the most interesting thing you heard?
  3. Was there a question you didn’t like?
  4. Was there something you totally disagreed with?
  5. What did you like talking about?
  6. Do you want to know how anyone else answered the questions?
  7. Which was the most difficult question?

SPEAKING

DISCRIMINATION: You are part of the department to educate the people in your country about discrimination and to help eradicate it in all forms. Write the manifestations of each type of discrimination in the middle column and solutions to eradicate each case in the right hand column.

 

MANIFESTATION

SOLUTIONS

Racism

 

 

Sexism

 

 

Ageism

 

 

Disability discrimination

 

 

Religious discrimination

 

 

Sexual orientation discrimination

 

 

Change partners and discuss what you talked about earlier. Compare your ideas.

Decide together on the points that you think would be most effective in reducing discrimination in your society.

Give a presentation on your points to the rest of the class. Vote on the best one.

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information on Rosa Parks. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. INEQUALITY: Make a poster describing the inequality in your country. Describe the measures that need to be taken to eliminate inequality. Show your posters to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all write similar things?

4. ANOTHER RACE: Write an essay describing the accomplishments of a race that is different from your own. Show what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all write about similar things?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. F

d. F

e. F

f. T

g. F

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

refusal

noncompliance

b.

sparked

ignited

c.

deed

action

d.

hailed

acclaimed

e.

momentum

impetus

f.

boarded

got on

g.

comply

obey

h.

simultaneous

coinciding

i.

quashed

annulled

j.

icon

symbol

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

sparked

a revolution

b.

actively challenge

America’s segregation laws

c.

She had been suffering

from progressive dementia

d.

gained increasing

momentum in the late 1950s

e.

she stood up

for so many people

f.

a white man boarded

and had to stand

g.

I'm tired of being treated

like a second-class citizen

h.

sparked a now famous bus

boycott that lasted 381 days

i.

forced Montgomery to desegregate

its bus system

j.

quashed other discriminatory

laws throughout America’s South

ODD WORD OUT:

Civil rights icon Rosa Parks dies

Rosa Parks, the mother of America’s civil rights crusade / tendency / movement, has died aged 92. Her refusal / refuse / refusing to give up her seat to a white man on an Alabama bus sparked / ignited / matched a revolution in the US civil rights movement. She was one of the first people to actively challenge America’s segregation laws, both in indeed / action / deed and in court. Ms Parks reportedly passed away in her sleep at her home in Detroit. The actual cause of death is as yet unknown. She had been suffering from progressive dementia in recent years and was rarely seen in public. The mayor of Detroit hailed / exacerbated / exalted her courage / backbone / coarseness and strength and said she symbolized the civil rights movement, which gained increasing momentum / momentous / pace in the late 1950s and 1960s. He said: “Just by a sample / simple / mere act of sitting down she stood up for so many people.”

Ms Parks was a 42-year-old seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama, when she caught a bus in December 1955. Shortly after, a white man hopped on / climbed down / boarded and had to stand. The law required black passengers to make room / way / up for white passengers. Ms Parks refused to conform / confound / comply with the bus driver’s demands for her to move, saying: “No. I'm tired of being treated like a second-class citizen.” She was found guilty / convicted / accosted of breaking the law and fined $10. Her action sparked a now famous bus boycott / shut out / journey that lasted 381 days. Simultaneous legal challenges led to a Supreme Court decision that forced Montgomery to desegregate / integrate / disintegrate its bus system and quashed / quelled / annulled other discriminatory laws throughout America’s South. In 1999, the US Senate described her as “a living icon / symbol / statue for freedom in America.”

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