Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

November 26, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Resources For Learning About The World’s Different Cultures


Here are new additions to The Best Sites For Learning About The World’s Different Cultures:

18 incredible traditional costumes from around the world is from The Telegraph. Some of the accompanying text is pretty condescending, but that in itself can also be good lesson material.

Tooth Traditions Around the World is an on-going project from Langwitches.

My ELL Geography class has just completed their annual presentation on their home cultures. Here are a couple of useful videos for introducing such an activity:

November 25, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

NY Times Editors Need To Read Hannah Arendt (or “The Best Commentaries On The NY Times Article ‘Normalizing’ A Nazi”)

A week after this post originally appeared, I thought it was important enough to convert it into a “Best” list and added more links at the bottom to important commentaries on the article

The New York Times today published a profile of a Nazi living in the United States today that portrayed him as typical guy who just happened to have white supremacist views.

The article was originally headlined “In America’s Heartland, The Nazi Sympathizer Next Door” and then was changed in the online version to “A Voice of Hate In America’s Heartland” (see tweet below). I’m assuming an editor made that change in a welcome, but feeble, attempt to communicate in the headline what the article should have, but did not, communicate.

The article clearly demonstrates what Hannah Arendt called “the banality of evil” (see Quote Of The Day: Hannah Arendt & The Origin Of Evil and Video: “Hannah Arendt” — The Movie (& The Importance Of Reflection).

What it does not do, and which makes it shocking that it made it into the Times, is that it does not name it as evil. It’s a simple profile that makes it seem normal, does not include any discussion of its dangers, shares no critical voices, does not talk about how it should be confronted.

For an alternative model of how to do a profile of a Nazi, see The Atlantic’s article, The Making of an American Nazi.

I’m thinking about how I can use both articles, or portions of each, in my IB Theory of Knowledge class. All ideas are welcome.

(Boy, The Atlantic is fast! Three hours after The Times story was published, they came out with a parody)

This Twitter “thread,” which you can see by clicking on the tweet itself, is a great commentary on the article:

November 25, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Advice From Ta-Nehisi Coates To Teachers

I’ve previously shared many videos and resources from journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates.

He was recently interviewed on a podcast, and there’ a lengthy transcript.

Here’s an edited portion where he gives advice to teachers:

Alison Cuddy: [Here’s a question from ] from North Shore Country Day School’s middle school teachers. So it’s back to teachers. “How can we help our students remain optimistic under this administration…”

Mr. Coates: Oh, my God. Oh, my God! Are you serious?

Ms. Cuddy: “When we ourselves are struggling?” So…

Mr. Coates: If I were in your class, and I put myself back there, I don’t think, even at that age, I was looking for hope from my teachers. I think I was looking for enlightenment from my teachers. I think I was looking for exposure. I think I wanted to see other things about the world. I think I wanted to be exposed to different worldviews.

I think I — if I were a kid right now, I guess I would want to understand, why did they kill Eric Garner? Why is that OK?

And the answer doesn’t have to — I don’t need you to make me feel good about that, but I need to know what happened. I just — I need — and people deeply underestimate the freedom that comes from at least understanding. It’s one thing to be terminally ill, right? That’s bad enough. But to not understand what’s happening to your body?

And that’s kind of the position I found myself in as a young, black — I didn’t understand why, when I walked out on the street, and say there was a girl I liked that lived across North Avenue — why do I have to bring seven other dudes with me to go see this girl, and when I cut on TV and see The Wonder Years, Kevin Arnold can just take his bike and go see Winnie Cooper? Why?

What — I understand why, in terms of the dudes, but what specifically is the process that — so I probably would want to be pointed — not even would want the answers: Give me the tools. Arm me. Allow me to be able to understand why. That probably would be more important to me. That’s not hope. That’s not hope, but I think that’s the sort of perspective I would’ve come from, at that age.

November 25, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

iCivics Adds Bilingual Social Studies Game


As I’ve mentioned before, I haven’t always been the biggest fan of iCivics, the popular learning games site begun by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

I’ve thought that many (but not all) of their games have been overly-complicated, and they really put their foot in it with a horribly-done one on immigration (see Sandra Day O’Connor’s Site To Change Immigration Game Because Of Your Comments).

Last year, however, they began to make some very positive changes (see iCivics Steps Up Its Game Big Time With Free Virtual Classrooms & Primary Source Interactive).

They’ve followed those moves with another good one that is highlighted in today’s Washington Post: Spanish-language video game aims to teach students about civil rights.

Yes, they’ve produced a Spanish and an English version of the same game, Do I Have A Right?

I hope this is the first of many multilingual versions of their resources.

I’m adding this info to The Best Resources For “Bill Of Rights Day”

Thanks to Giselle Lundy-Ponce for the tip.

November 25, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

New Resources On Race & Racism


I’m adding these new resources (unless otherwise indicated) to either A Collection Of Useful Posts, Articles & Videos On Race & Racism – Help Me Find More or A Collection Of Advice On Talking To Students About Race, Police & Racism:

Colin Kaepernick and the Legacy of the Negro National Anthem is from The NY Times. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Teaching & Learning About The National Anthem Protests.

The Life and Words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a well-done interactive. I’m adding it to The Best Websites For Learning About Martin Luther King, Jr.

How Segregation Impedes Graduation: New Research to Know is from Ed Week.

Teachers’ Lower Expectations for Black Students May Become ‘Self-Fulfilling Prophecies,’ Study Finds is from Ed Week.

4 ways to measure diversity among public school teachers is from Brookings.

I’m adding this tweet to A Collection Of Advice On Talking To Students About Race, Police & Racism:

November 22, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

President Kennedy Was Assassinated On This Day In 1963 – Here Are Related Resources

President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on this day in 1963.

You might be interested in The Best Online Resources About President John F. Kennedy.

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