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Lesson Plan

Teacher: Carolyn Dunn


Level: ALP 3

Goal: To practice using superlative and comparative adjectives while


learning about the history of New York’s Lower East Side
neighborhood

Objectives (SWBAT):
Students Will Be Able To…
1. See the target grammar in context by skimming a short article about the Lower East Side
Tenements and Jacob Riis’ “How the Other Half Lives”, adapted by T from the History
Chanel website
2. Identify comparative and superlative adjectives in the History Chanel article
3. Correctly form the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives in writing by
completing a worksheet based on the History Chanel article
4. Correctly form the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives orally by completing
a flash-card style structured practice activity
5. Correctly form and use the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives orally and in
writing by completing a gallery walk/freer practice featuring photos from “How the Other
Half Lives”
6. Correctly form and use the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives by
completing a newspaper reporter role play (question writing and interviewing) based on a
short video from the New York Times

Theme: Crossing Delancey/Lower East Side New York

Aim/Skill/Microskill Activity/Procedure/Stage Interactio Time


n

Preview Announcements/Attendance/Admin T-Ss 5 min


maximum
T presents “Goals and Agendas” from website
Start: 11:10
End: 11:15

Activity 1: New York 1.1 Pre-Stage - Activate Schema S-S 5 min


Tenements T directs Ss attention to the bathtub in the Start: 11:15
Article/Presenting kitchen photo on class website; Ss pair discuss End: 11:20
the Target Language the questions:
in Context
This a famous photo showing a "bathtub
kitchen" in New York. Does having a bathtub in
a kitchen seem strange to you? Why do you
think some New York apartments have these?
What type of people might have lived there in
the past? Now?
Brief class share. S-Ss-T

1.2 During Stage 1 S 5 min


1. T pairs up students. Each pair has the same Start: 11:20
half of a reading about NY Tenements. End: 11:25
2. T elicits what “skimming” is and refers back
to AM NY practice. Ss have 5 minutes to skim
for main ideas
3. Each pair discusses the main ideas of the S-S 5 min max
article, based on the 5 minute skimming Start: 11:25
End: 11:30
During Stage 2
1. T jigsaws the students, so they are now paired S-S 5 min max
with students who read the opposite half of the Start: 11:30
article End: 11:35
2. New pairs share the main ideas of their half S-S
of the article

1.3 Post Stage


Brief class share/discussion about the article 5 min max
Start: 11:35
Error correction on overhead S-S End: 11:40

Tangible Outcome & Teacher / Peer Feedback


Errors overheard on overhead; T monitors and
assists, taking note of errors; peers work
together to understand article S-S

Activity # 2 – 2.1 Pre-Stage


Structured Written T elicits sample sentences using the T-S 10 min
Practice with the TL comparative/superlative from students. T Start: 11:40
displays some more samples on projector. End: 11:50

Students work in pairs to identify at least S-S


THREE comparative/superlative adjectives in
their section of the article, and underline them

T elicits ideas T-S

T passes out a version of the article with the


comparatives and superlatives highlighted

Using the article, T elicits the form and use of


the comparative and superlative adjectives

2.2 During Stage S 5 min


Students complete a worksheet (see attached). Start: 11:50
End: 11:55
2.3 Post Stage
Ss pair check the worksheet. T displays the S-S 5 min
answers on the projector. T answers any T-S Start: 11:55
questions and goes over errors. End: 12:00

Tangible Outcome & Teacher / Peer Feedback


Completed worksheets; peer to peer teaching; T
monitors and assists; T answers questions

Activity #3 – 3.1 Pre-Stage 10 min total


Structured Oral T models the procedure for flashcard mingle Start: 12:00
Practice with the TL activity End: 12:10

3.2 During Stage


Students complete a flashcard-style mingle
activity (see attached). The flashcards have
sentences that T wrote about the Jacob Riis
“How the Other Half Lives” photos using the
comparative and the superlative adjectives. The
TL is blanked out on one side and filled in on
the other so students can quiz each other. T
monitors and assists.

3.3 Post Stage


T goes over any common errors/questions

Tangible Outcome & Teacher / Peer Feedback


Errors/questions on projector; T monitors and
assists; peer to peer quizzing and teaching; the
“switching” of the flashcards enables Ss to
“practice” once and then opens the opportunity
for peer teaching when they quiz the second
student

Activity #4 – Freer 4.1 Pre-Stage 20 mins


Practice with the TL -T directs Ss’ attention to the photos hung Start: 12:10
– “How the Other around the room End: 12:30
Half Lives” Gallery -T hands out discussion questions
walk -T models gallery walk procedure

4.2 During Stage


Students walk around the room discussing the
questions on the handout for each photo. Once
they are finished discussing, they write one
sentence about the photo using the comparative
or superlative on a piece of paper hung next to
the photo. The paper for the sentences has T’s
sentences (from the flashcards in Activity 3)
written at the top as a model. Ss rotate as time
permits, discussing as many photos as they can.

4.3 Post Stage


Ss walk around and read each other’s sentences,
taking note of any questions/errors. T monitors
and goes over a few questions with the class.

T goes over “overheard” errors

Tangible Outcome & Teacher / Peer Feedback


Questions written next to each photo; T
monitors and assists; T corrects errors during
and after the activity; peers correct and monitor
each other through pair work and “reviewing”
each other’s sentences

Activity 5 – Free 5.1 Pre-Stage Break 12:30-


Practice/Use Activity T shows students a brief video from the NY 12:50
– Newspaper Times. The newspaper interviewed the last
Interview Roleplay surviving ex-resident of the building that has Interview
become the Tenement Museum. Link to video: activity for the
remainder of
https://www.nytimes.com/video/arts/design/100 class
000003204726/tenement-memories.html

Brief class discussion of the video; T directs


students’ attention to the fact that immigrants
lived in the Lower East Side. The video is
about the immigrant experience in NY a long
time ago.

T elicits or points out that Ss are modern day


(short term) “immigrants”. The NY Times is
going to interview them about their experience.

T displays some sample interview questions:

“What is the most difficult part of living in


NY?”

“What is the most interesting thing you have


learned here?”

“Is the lifestyle here better or worse than the


lifestyle at home? Or some of both? How? Give
examples.”

T elicits a few more question ideas from Ss and


writes them on projector.

4.2 During Stage 1


Students write 5 more interview questions using
the comparative and superlative.
During Stage 2
Students take turns interviewing each other.
Switch partners as time permits.

4.3 Post Stage


Brief class share. If there is extra time, students
will make a group “summary report” on easel
paper and share the poster with the class.

T goes over “overheard” errors

Tangible Outcome & Teacher / Peer Feedback


Errors on projector; Easel paper posters (time
permitting); T monitors and assists; T corrects
errors during and after the activity; peers correct
and monitor each other through pair work

Materials:
-Class website with photos
-Jigsaw Tenement Reading
-Tenement Reading with TL highlighted
-Tenement Worksheet
-Flashcards
-Jacob Riis Photos
-Jacob Riis sentence papers with model sentences
-Jacob Riis discussion questions
-Link to NY Times video
-Easel Paper

Anticipated Problems and Suggested Solutions: The “authentic” (but modified) intro reading may
be too difficult for Ss; T jigsaws students and emphasizes they are reading for main ideas; the
reading may also take too much time, as this is not a reading lesson, but a grammar lesson –
again, T will place the emphasis on main ideas and time things carefully

Contingency Plans: The timing of this lesson is ambitious, and so it is unlikely that we will finish
early. If there is extra time, Ss can switch interview partners an extra time, or create summary
posters.
TENEMENTS ARTICLE - SECTION 1
In the 19th century, more and more people crowded into America’s cities.
Thousands of new immigrants wanted a better life than the one they had in their
countries. In New York City–where the population doubled every decade from 1800 to
1880–buildings that had once been single-family houses were divided into multiple living
spaces to make space for this growing population. The new apartments were much
smaller than the older living spaces. These narrow, low-rise apartment buildings are
called “tenements.” The worst tenements were in New York City’s Lower East Side
neighborhood. The tenements were usually cramped and poorly lit, and did not have
indoor toilets or windows. By 1900, 2.3 million people (a full two-thirds of New York
City’s population) were living in tenement housing.
In the first half of the 19th century, the richest residents of New York’s Lower
East Side neighborhood began to move north to more comfortable homes, leaving their
low-rise apartments. At the same time, more immigrants began to flow into the city, many
of them escaping famine in Ireland or revolution in Germany. Both of these groups of
people moved to the Lower East Side. They moved into row houses that had been
changed from single-family houses into multiple-apartment tenements, or into new
tenement housing built specifically for that purpose.
A tenement building had five to seven stories and was built on ground that was
usually 25 feet wide and 100 feet long. Many tenements began as single-family
dwellings, and many older structures were changed into tenements by adding floors on
top or by building more space in rear-yard areas. With less than a foot of space between
buildings, little air and light could get in. In many tenements, only the rooms on the street
got any light, and the inside rooms had no air (unless air shafts were built directly into the
room). Later, builders began building new tenements, often using the cheapest materials
and construction shortcuts. Even if they were new, tenements were the most
uncomfortable apartments in the city, and often very unsafe.
TENEMENTS ARTICLE - SECTION 2

The tenements in New York were the worst apartments in America, particularly on
the Lower East Side. A cholera epidemic in 1849 killed 5,000 people, many of them the
poorest people in the tenements. During the “draft riots” that destroyed the city in 1863,
rioters were protesting against the new military draft and reacting to the difficult
conditions in which many of them were living. The Tenement House Act of 1867 defined
a tenement for the first time and set construction rules. Rules included at least one toilet
per 20 people.
The laws about tenements were not followed, however, and conditions were not
improved by 1889. In 1889, Danish author and photographer Jacob Riis was researching
the series of newspaper articles that would become the most famous book about the
Lower East Side, called “How the Other Half Lives.” Riis had experienced the difficulties
of immigrant life. He was a police reporter for newspapers, including The Evening Sun,
and he had gotten a unique view into the dirty, crime-filled world of the Lower East Side.
Riis wanted to show the horrible conditions in which many urban Americans were living,
so he photographed what he saw in the tenements and used these vivid photos in “How
the Other Half Lives,” published in 1890.
Riis’ book showed that living in the tenements was more terrible than many
people thought. His photos showed that 12 adults slept in a room 13 feet across, and that
the infant death rate in the tenements was as high as 1 in 10. Many Americans and
people around the world were shocked, and wanted to create better living conditions.
Two major studies of tenements were completed in the 1890s, and in 1901 city officials
passed the Tenement House Law, which made the construction of new tenements illegal
and made living conditions healthier than they were in the past. The new laws required
fire escapes and access to light. Under the new law the oldest tenement structures were
updated, and more than 200,000 new apartments were built over the next 15 years.
TENEMENTS ARTICLE - SECTION 1
In the 19th century, more and more people crowded into America’s cities.
Thousands of new immigrants wanted a better life than the one they had in their
countries. In New York City–where the population doubled every decade from 1800 to
1880–buildings that had once been single-family houses were divided into multiple living
spaces to make space for this growing population. The new apartments were much
smaller than the older living spaces. These narrow, low-rise apartment buildings are
called “tenements.” The worst tenements were in New York City’s Lower East Side
neighborhood. The tenements were usually cramped and poorly lit, and did not have
indoor toilets or windows. By 1900, 2.3 million people (a full two-thirds of New York
City’s population) were living in tenement housing.
In the first half of the 19th century, the richest residents of New York’s Lower
East Side neighborhood began to move north to more comfortable homes, leaving their
low-rise apartments. At the same time, more immigrants began to flow into the city, many
of them escaping famine in Ireland or revolution in Germany. Both of these groups of
people moved to the Lower East Side. They moved into row houses that had been
changed from single-family houses into multiple-apartment tenements, or into new
tenement housing built specifically for that purpose.
A tenement building had five to seven stories and was built on ground that was
usually 25 feet wide and 100 feet long. Many tenements began as single-family
dwellings, and many older structures were changed into tenements by adding floors on
top or by building more space in rear-yard areas. With less than a foot of space between
buildings, little air and light could get in. In many tenements, only the rooms on the street
got any light, and the inside rooms had no air (unless air shafts were built directly into the
room). Later, builders began building new tenements, often using the cheapest materials
and construction shortcuts. Even if they were new, tenements were the most
uncomfortable apartments in the city, and often very unsafe.
TENEMENTS ARTICLE - SECTION 2

The tenements in New York were the worst apartments in America, particularly on
the Lower East Side. A cholera epidemic in 1849 killed 5,000 people, many of them the
poorest people in the tenements. During the “draft riots” that destroyed the city in 1863,
rioters were protesting against the new military draft and reacting to the difficult
conditions in which many of them were living. The Tenement House Act of 1867 defined
a tenement for the first time and set construction rules. Rules included at least one toilet
per 20 people.
The laws about tenements were not followed, however, and conditions were not
improved by 1889. In 1889, Danish author and photographer Jacob Riis was researching
the series of newspaper articles that would become the most famous book about the
Lower East Side, called “How the Other Half Lives.” Riis had experienced the difficulties
of immigrant life. He was a police reporter for newspapers, including The Evening Sun,
and he had gotten a unique view into the dirty, crime-filled world of the Lower East Side.
Riis wanted to show the horrible conditions in which many urban Americans were living,
so he photographed what he saw in the tenements and used these vivid photos in “How
the Other Half Lives,” published in 1890.
Riis’ book showed that living in the tenements was more terrible than many
people thought. His photos showed that 12 adults slept in a room 13 feet across, and that
the infant death rate in the tenements was as high as 1 in 10. Many Americans and
people around the world were shocked, and wanted to create better living conditions.
Two major studies of tenements were completed in the 1890s, and in 1901 city officials
passed the Tenement House Law, which made the construction of new tenements illegal
and made living conditions healthier than they were in the past. The new laws required
fire escapes and access to light. Under the new law the oldest tenement structures were
updated, and more than 200,000 new apartments were built over the next 15 years.
1. Thousands of new immigrants wanted a better life than the one they had in their countries.
Thousands of new immigrants wanted a ______________ life than the one they had in their
countries. (comfortable)

2. The new apartments were much smaller than the older living spaces.
The new apartments were much ___________________ than the older living spaces. (dark)

3. The worst tenements were in New York City’s Lower East Side neighborhood.
The _____________tenements were in New York City’s Lower East Side neighborhood. (small)

4. Later, builders began building new tenements, often using the cheapest materials and
construction shortcuts.
Later, builders began building new tenements, often using the _________________ materials and
construction shortcuts. (bad)

5. Even if they were new, tenements were the most uncomfortable apartments in the city, and
often very unsafe.
Even if they were new, tenements were the __________________apartments in the city, and often
very unsafe. (dirty)

6. The tenements in New York were the worst apartments in America.


The tenements in New York were the ________________ apartments in America. (inexpensive)

7. In 1889, Danish author and photographer Jacob Riis was researching the series of newspaper
articles that would become the most famous book about the Lower East Side, called “How the
Other Half Lives.”
In 1889, Danish author and photographer Jacob Riis was researching the series of newspaper
articles that would become the _______________book about the Lower East Side, called “How
the Other Half Lives.” (interesting)

8. Riis’ book showed that living in the tenements was more terrible than many people thought.
Riis’ book showed that living in the tenements was _____________than many people thought.
(bad)
The boy in the middle is the youngest of the three brothers.

The sewing machine is faster than the needle and thread.

The middle house is the oldest house on the block.

The wooden floor is less comfortable than the bed.

The man in the middle is the most tired man in the group.

The kettle on the stove is bigger than the pot.

This alley is the dirtiest alley in the city.

This is the most dangerous tenement on the Lower East Side.

The woman on the right is happier than the woman on the left.

The sheets on the laundry line are cleaner than the sheets on the bed.
The boy in the middle is the ________________of the three brothers.
(young)

The sewing machine is ________________than the needle and thread.


(fast)

The middle house is ________________ house on the block. (old)

The wooden floor is ________________than the bed. (comfortable)

The man in the middle is the ________________man in the group. (tired)

The kettle on the stove is ________________than the pot. (big)

This alley is the __________________ alley in the city. (dirty)

This is the ____________________tenement on the Lower East Side.


(dangerous)

The woman on the right is ________________than the woman on the left.


(happy)

The sheets on the laundry line are _________________ than the sheets on
the bed. (clean)
Discuss for each photo:

1. What is the most interesting part of the photo? Why?

2. What is the saddest part of the photo? Why?

3. What is the most hopeful part of the photo? Why?

4. How does the photo make you feel? Do you like it? Why or why
not?

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