Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

January 14, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Classroom Instruction Resources Of The Week

Each week, I publish a post containing three or four particularly useful resources on classroom instruction, and you can see them all here.

You might also be interested in The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2015 – So Far and The Best Resources On Class Instruction – 2015.

Here are this week’s picks:

A Handy Compendium of 2015 TOK posts, downloadable is a series of posts by Eileen and Theo Dombrowski. Eileen is co-author of one of the most popular IB Theory of Knowledge textbooks.

Lesson Plan | Analyzing Maps to Better Understand Global Current Events and History is from The New York Times Learning Network. I’m adding it to The Best Websites For Learning & Teaching Geography.

10 Surefire Ideas to Remove Writing Roadblocks is by Regie Routman at Middleweb. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Writing Instruction.

The science of resilience: how to teach students to persevere is by Judy Willis and appeared in the Guardian.

Differentiating With Learning Menus is very good video from The Teaching Channel. It’s embedded below. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Differentiating Instruction.

January 11, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Video: Excellent Michael Sandel Interview On Ethics


I’ve previously posted a lot about the work of Harvard professor Michael Sandel.

Here’s an older video clip
of an interview he did on NBC. I use it in my IB Theory of Knowledge class when we’re studying Ethics.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

January 10, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Killing Baby Hitler & Student “What If?” Projects


I often write and share about student “What If?” history projects (see The Best Resources For Teaching “What If?” History Lessons).

Each year, I have my IB Theory of Knowledge students create these kinds of presentations and then, afterwards, I make arrangements with other teachers for them to come and help my English Language Learner U.S. and World History students to make their own versions.

My TOK students just completed theirs and next week they begin working with my ELL students. I’ll post examples later this month (you can see a bunch at my previously-mentioned “Best” list).

As usual, in addition to asking my students what they liked about the project and how it could be improved, I ask them to share what they learned about history through doing it. Here are a couple of responses from my TOK students:

We learned how different life would be. It also forced us to deeply think and analyze events in history and see how much it would impact us today. The world has many possibilities and we should consider all of them.

We learned the importance and background of certain events and what impact they had on us. And how, if it things happened differently, the future would have changed as well.

One new wrinkle to the project this year was that I briefly explained The New York Times asking the question last fall, Could You Kill A Baby Hitler?, and the subsequent widespread interest in the question. I asked students to write a quick but thoughtful response, share it with a partner, and then several spoke to the entire class. There were some very impressive comments. I was surprised to find that in both of my classes only a small handful would, indeed, kill Baby Hitler if they had the chance.

We’re studying Ethics next week, so I told students I would save their responses and ask them the same question after we completed that next unit. I often tell students that our “opinion” is what we develop on our own; our “judgment” is what we conclude after talking with others. I’ll have them write a lengthier piece at that time, using what we’ve learned in our Ethics unit to justify their position.

In addition to the usual materials I use in our Ethics unit, I’m going to ask students to look through these specific “Baby Hitler” articles from last fall:

The Ethics of Killing Baby Hitler is from The Atlantic.

The philosophical problem of killing baby Hitler, explained is from Vox.

Would You Kill Baby Hitler? is from The Big Think.

A journalistic service: Here is which Republican candidates would murder baby Hitler is from The Washington Post.

What a world without Baby Hitler might look like is from The Washington Post.

Why It’s Unethical To Go Back In Time And Kill Baby Hitler is from Forbes.

I’ll let you know it goes…

January 9, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources For Teaching & Learning About Plato’s Allegory Of The Cave


Many educators, including those of us who teach IB Theory of Knowledge courses, spend time on Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.

I’ve often shared on this blog how I teach about it, and included student-created videos of modern versions.

The School of Life today came out with a new video on the Allegory and, even though I don’t think it’s as good as other ones I’ve posted about, it did give me the idea that it’s time for a short related “Best” list.

I’ll begin with a link to my Theory of Knowledge class blog post, which has tons of materials, including those student-created videos I mentioned earlier…

Here are two posts where I describe my lessons:

Teaching Plato’s Allegory of The Cave

Two Useful TOK Class Resources: Jigsaw Instructions & Allegory Of The Cave Videos/Evaluation Forms

Finally, here’s the video that was published today that I think is not as good as other videos on my class blog (but it’s still decent):

Feel free to suggest additional resources….

January 7, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Useful TED-Ed Lesson On “The Danger of a Single Story”


Many readers are probably familiar with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED Talk, “The Danger Of A Single Story.” If not, I’ve embedded it below.

I’ve also previously written a post about it at “the danger of not having your own stories.”

I just discovered that TED-Ed has a fairly good lesson using her Talk. It’s definitely worth exploring…

And here’s her talk:

January 7, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Quote Of The Day: “beliefs are hypotheses to be tested…”

I’ve previously written about the great work of Professor Philip Tetlock, and you can find my past posts about him at The Best Resources On The Importance Of Knowing What You Don’t Know.

The Washington Post has just published an article about his recent work – check out The secrets the world’s top experts use to make really good predictions.

As far as I’m concerned, here’s the “money quote” from that piece, and it’s perfect for IB Theory of Knowledge classes:


I’ll certainly be adding this post to the “Best” list I mentioned earlier…