ELA Middle School Medium ELL
"A Wrinkle in Time," a famous novel by Madeleine L’Engle, is the story of teenager Meg Murry. Meg is transported on an adventure through time and space with her younger brother and friend as they try to rescue her father. When it was originally published in 1963, no publisher knew how to promote it. What is it about “A Wrinkle in Time,” and why is it so controversial 50 years after its publication?
ELA Middle School High ELL
One of the most enduring novels written for young adults is "Anne of Green Gables," by Lucy Maud Montgomery, published in 1908. It was one of the first YA novels to feature a strong, unconventional female lead—Anne, the unwanted, unloved, but unbowed orphan who grabs hold of a chance for a new life and refuses to let go, no matter how difficult things get. Before Anne, most heroines were beautiful and angelic. "Anne of Green Gables" is over 100 years old, but its heroine measures up to any female lead contemporary YA novels have to offer.
ELA Middle School High
The United States declared war on Afghanistan in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. But Afghanistan had already been a troubled and war torn country for many, many years. In 1996, the Taliban seized control of the country, imposing strict rule over all of its citizens. This story focuses on how the strict rules of society in Afghanistan continue to affect its people--especially children and girls. Listen to this interview with the author of “The Kids of Kabul” and learn more about the challenges faced by Afghan children and women, especially in the area of education.
Current Event February 21, 2017
Packing a child's lunch in Japan can take more than an hour, since moms create bento lunches that take lunch ingredients and transform them into cute characters. Ham and rice can be made into Pokemon, cute animals, or famous people. It's called character bento, or kyaraben, and there's a lot of pressure to produce these food creations. In Japan, women are highly educated, but about 70 percent quit working after having children. Thus a lot of talent and creative energy is sometimes going into creating competitively cute lunches. Listen to hear more about the lunch making culture in Japan.
ELA Middle School Medium Quiz ELL
Maya Angelou was an author, poet and icon. She grew up during segregation and used her work to empower and give voice to the African American community. Her memoir "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" changed the literary world and opened doors for African American authors and women.
Current Event November 18, 2016
The United Nations is set to appoint Wonder Woman as its honorary ambassador for a new social media campaign focused on the empowerment of women and girls. Many people agree that Wonder Woman is an appropriate choice, and think that she sends a strong message that girls can do anything. However, some feminist groups oppose the decision. Listen to hear what each side thinks about Wonder Woman becoming an ambassador for women’s issues and then debate: Is Wonder Woman a good Ambassador for Women’s Empowerment?
Current Event June 18, 2014
Studies show that people react differently to male and female named storms. There is more preparation and fear of storms with male names, such as Victor, versus a storm named Christina. As a result, there are serious implications of this unconscious gender bias. Listen to this public radio story to learn more.
Current Event March 24, 2015
In 1995, the United Nations held the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China to focus on issues of gender equity. Twenty years later, the UN has released a report about the status of women in the world today. From areas of progress to inequities that remain, listen to learn more about the findings in the report.
Current Event May 7, 2015
William Shakespeare is one of the most well-known playwrights in history. His stories of love, tragedy, comedy and history written in the late 1500s have transcended the centuries thanks to their timeless themes and complex characters. Author Tina Packer has tracked the development of Shakespeare’s female characters through his writing career and suggests that from “Romeo and Juliet” on, Shakespeare wrote unusually complex women for his time and should be considered a proto-feminist. Listen to learn more about the development of these female characters over his career.
ELA High School Medium
The play "Hedda Gabler" by Henrik Ibsen was written in 1891. It features a female protagonist who feels trapped and bored by her loveless marriage and the rules of Victorian society, and relieves her frustration through manipulating others. A play called "Heddatron," is a comedic reinterpretation of "Hedda Gabler." The producers of "Heddatron" updated the play for a 21st century audience by incorporating robots into the cast. As new forms of technology are showing up in unexpected places, the integration of robots in this play challenges our thinking about the role of technology in our culture and our society. Listen to this story to learn why the producers decided to bring robots into a century-old play, and what challenges they faced in bringing their reinterpretation to the stage.
Current Event March 5, 2014
During Women’s History Month, it’s good to remind students that although the Constitution granted the right to vote, American women were not given that right until the 1920s during the suffrage movement. The nineteenth amendment, which would allow women to vote, was sent to the states for ratification in 1919. The ratification vote came down to one man and his mother’s advice. Listen to the story to hear more about how U.S. women fought for an important civil right.
ELA High School Low Quiz ELL
American poet Emily Dickinson was known as an eccentric recluse throughout her life. Dickinson maintained many of her friendships through letter writing, while she wrote poetry privately. Her unusual poetry style wasn’t truly discovered until after her death in 1886, when her sister Lavinia found nearly 1,800 of her sister’s poems. Though Lavinia had promised to destroy her sister’s papers, she instead had the poems published, which led to Emily’s fame as a great American poet. Listen to learn how her poetry continues to be an inspiration today.
Current Event October 22, 2013
Sixteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban in the Swat Valley of Pakistan because she campaigned for education for girls. After recovering from her injury in England, she has now released a book, met with President Obama, and been considered for the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala's father compares her fight for equal education to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s own battle for equal rights. Listen to her interview to start a discussion about advocacy, rights, and education.
Current Event April 25, 2016
The $5, $10, and $20 bill are all due for an update, and there has been a big push to honor a woman on the face of U.S. currency. Escaped slave Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the face of the $20 bill. Jackson will be moved to the back of the bill. The change came after the US Treasury Secretary invited the public to submit their own ideas of which female from US history should be featured. Tubman not only escaped slavery but created the Underground Railroad through connections and networks, bringing people together to reach a goal. Listen to learn more about the changes in store for U.S. currency.
Current Event February 23, 2016
As we head into Women’s History month in March, one woman stands out as an early pioneer for women’s rights, Susan B. Anthony. Her birthday is remembered this month, but she is known for a November day in 1872, when she and other women registered to vote. When Anthony attempted to vote, she was arrested and convicted of the crime of illegal voting. She was also an anti-slavery activist and joined forces with abolitionist Frederick Douglass in Rochester, New York. Although it wasn’t legal for women to vote until 1920, Susan B. Anthony led the campaign to for women’s suffrage. Listen to hear more about her legacy as an advocate for women’s rights in the United States.
Current Event May 29, 2014