Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

January 13, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Videos For Learning Why It’s Important To Study Geography


It’s getting close to semester finals and in my ELL Geography class, I usually have this read this short piece, 9 Reasons to Study Geography, from Brainscape.  Then, they watch the first video in this collection and, lastly, answer this writing prompt:

According to the writers and/or the video, what are reasons why it is important to study geography (you only have to pick four of them)? Do you agree with what they are saying? To support your opinion you may use examples from your own experiences (including what has taken place in our class this year), your observations of others, and any of your reading.

This year, though, I took some time to search for other related videos that they might watch, also. I wasn’t too impressed with what I found, but I think they’re serviceable…

Here’s what I found:

January 12, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

What?! Teacher Tells African-American Student He Will Be Lynched If He Doesn’t Do His Work


White teacher told black student he might be ‘lynched’ if he didn’t get back to work from NBC News and Mason Middle School teacher won’t be suspended or fired for ‘lynching’ comment from tells a crazy story.

Here, in the teacher’s own words, is what she said:

“I said to him, (redacted) get to work,” Thole wrote. “Your classmates are tired of you costing them points. When you come in tomorrow without your homework completed, you (sic) classmates are going to be angry and then become a mob who will want to lynch you.”

This is the day after a teacher at a private Christian school in Wisconsin gave out an assignment asking students to least three “good” reasons for slavery. See School Homework Asks Kids To Give 3 ‘Good’ Reasons For Slavery.

Combine these incidents with President Trump’s comments today (What Message Does It Send To Our Students When President Of U.S. Calls African Countries & Haiti “Sh_tholes”?) and, if we didn’t have enough reasons this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to reflect on the role of racism in our country and what we need to do about it, we sure have more now….


January 11, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

What Message Does It Send To Our Students When President Of U.S. Calls African Countries & Haiti “Sh_tholes”?


What President Trump said today would be unbelievable, astonishing, and awful at any time.

But one day before the eighth anniversary of the terrible Haitian earthquake and a few days before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day?

What message is he sending to our students?  To our white students? To our Haitian and African immigrant students?  To all our students of color?

I wrote a similar post a few weeks ago titled Which Christmas Message Should We Be Sending?

Nations in the Caribbean and Africa are the next two units we’ll be studying in my ELL Geography class. I can’t not somehow talk about his comments, but I’m still processing the best ways to handle it. I’m all ears for suggestions.

Here are a few tweets about today’s events:

January 8, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

Have Students Celebrate Frederick Douglass’ 200th Birthday By Transcribing Records From The Freedman’s Bureau


Frederick Douglass’ 200th birthday is on February 14th, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture (see The Best Resources On The Smithsonian’s African-American Museum) is helping organize a nationwide day of transcribing records from the Freedman’s Bureau.

Here’s a short announcement:

The Museum has collaborated with the Smithsonian Transcription Center to transcribe nearly 2 million image files from the Freedmen’s Bureau records. The Transcription Center is a platform where digital volunteers can transcribe and review transcriptions of Smithsonian collections. The Freedmen’s Bureau Transcription Project is the largest crowdsourcing initiative ever sponsored by the Smithsonian.  

The Freedmen’s Bureau Transcription Project will allow anyone with internet access to research his or her family’s history online. The Museum began this project in an effort to help African Americans discover their ancestors and help historians better understand the years following the Civil War.

I’ve previously shared about the Transcription Center and other similar efforts (see The Best Sites Where Students Can Transcribe Historical Texts).  Doing this kind of project on the same day hundreds and thousands of others will be doing it, too, could make it a good time for a lesson activity.

January 8, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

Trump Administration Continues Its Attacks On Immigrants

As you have probably heard by now, the Trump Administration has told 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants they have to leave the country.

It’s the latest in a series of attacks on immigrants, which you can read more about in resources in this post and in previous posts (Shameful Statistic Of The Day: U.S. Expected To Only Accept 20,000 Refugees In 2018).

And all these actions will only increase the stress felt by many of our students and their families.



This next article describes in stark terms what many of these immigrants will be facing upon their return:

It reminds me of this famous New York headline – just make some substitutions:

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