Alternative Parenting & Feral Children (Advanced ESL Lesson Plan)

Download the Advanced Parenting lesson plan here: Parenting-Feral-Children-Advanced-16012012.doc Donate towards our web hosting bill!

Parenting ESL Lesson Plan: Advanced

Parenting ESL Lesson Plan: Warm-up (Pair Work)

1) Were you ever left alone or lost for a long time as a child? Or have you ever lost a child?
2) What qualities make a good parent?
3) What does “alternative parenting” mean? What are some alternative parenting ideas?
4) If you had to be raised by animals in the wild, what animals would be the best parents?

Alternative Parenting and Feral Children (January 16th, 2012)

In April, police were called to a domestic dispute at a house in Prague where they discovered two severely underdeveloped toddlers. The children, both boys aged three and 18 months, suffered from physical and mental deprivation due to the “alternative” childrearing methods of their parents.
 
The children had never left their home and thus were unknown to the authorities and the family’s relatives. They were malnourished and reportedly lacked the regular “bite reflex”, having not been fed solid foods. They were unable to walk normally and only able to say the word “hello.” Their parents, subscribers to an “alternative lifestyle” which includes forgoing all electronic devices, did not register the children in order to avoid compulsory vaccinations.
 
The parents were taken to court for neglecting their children. The father was given an eight-year prison sentence. The mother received a three-year suspended sentence and has been ordered to undergo psychiatric treatment. The children are now in protective care.

A feral child is a child that has been isolated from human contact from a very young age. Some feral children are confined by their parents, others abandoned. Many legends exist of children found in the wild, some allegedly having been raised by animals (although many scientists give these stories little credence). One famous case tells of Victor of Aveyron, a child who emerged naked from a forest in France in 1800 at the age of twelve. Doctors, who believed he had been abandoned at four years old, had negligible success teaching Victor to speak or process verbal commands. A doctor described his capacity to hear as “nothing but a simple means of self-preservation which warned of the approach of a dangerous animal or the fall of wild fruit." The study of Victor and other feral children has helped scientists better understand human nature, the acquisition of knowledge and language development. (308 words)  

[Sources: http://www.ceskapozice.cz/en/news/society/father-czech-%E2%80%98wolf-children%E2%80%99-gets-8-years-prison, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feral_child, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_of_Aveyron]

Parenting ESL Lesson Plan: Comprehension Questions

1)    What were the boys in Prague able to do?
2)    True or False: one of the children in Prague bit a policeman.
3)    Why weren’t the children registered at a hospital?
4)    What punishment did the father receive?
5)    Could Victor hear?
6)    How did Victor’s case benefit science?
Answers
1 – They could say hello and walk in an unusual way
2 – False
3 – They weren't registered because the parents didn't want the children to be vaccinated.
4 – He has been sent to jail for 8 years.
5 – Yes, he could hear things, like fruit falling from a tree. But he couldn't process verbal commands.
6 – It enabled scientists to learn more about how humans acquire language and knowledge.

Parenting ESL Lesson Plan: Post-Comprehension Questions

1)    Was the father’s punishment too strict?
2)    Could you believe in a tale of a child being raised by wolves, bears, or monkeys?

Parenting ESL Lesson Plan: Vocabulary Matching

Match the words with their meaning as used in the news lesson.
toddler
deprivation
rear (sb) (verb)
malnourished
forgo (verb)
neglect (verb)
feral
confine (verb)
credence
negligible
acquisition
Answers
  • toddler – a child who has recently learned to walk
  • deprivation – the fact of not having sth that you need
  • rear – bring sb up; raise
  • malnourished – unhealthy because of a lack of quality food
  • forgo – do without, give up
  • neglect – fail to give enough care/attention to sth
  • feral – living wild
  • confine – keep a person/animal in a small limited place
  • credence – belief in sth as true; credibility; plausibility
  • negligible – of very little importance or size; insignificant
  • acquisition – the act of getting sth, especially knowledge or a skill.

Parenting ESL Lesson Plan: Connect the below idea(s) to make a sentence.

government / uprising
neglect / toddler / malnourished
mother / rear
deprivation / food
forgo / television
feral / isolated
confine / prisoner
credence / UFO
negligible / effect
acquisition / language

Choose the Correct Word: physical, psychiatric, psychic, psychological
 
____________ – related to the study and treatment of mental illness
____________ – connected with a person’s body rather than the mind
____________ – connected with strange (supernatural) powers of the mind
____________ – related to the study of the mind and human behavior
 

Parenting ESL Lesson Plan: Debate

Background: Many countries now have ‘baby boxes’ where parents can anonymously drop off unwanted children. Imagine that your city is now considering creating such boxes.
 

(note: each student reads his/her role only)

Student A:
You are pro-baby box. Think of reasons to support your argument. When ready, ask your partner what he/she thinks of the baby box idea.
Student B:
 
You are anti-baby box. Think of reasons to support your argument (e.g. children cannot learn who their parents were, parents should use counseling instead, etc). Your partner will start the conversation when you are ready.

Parenting ESL Lesson Plan: Role Play

Student A:
You don’t want your boy to go to school because it’s dangerous. You will teach him yourself at home. Also, you don’t want him to play video games or watch TV. Think of reasons to support your choices. Soon, your telephone will ring.
Student B:
You are a parent-in-law of Student A. Telephone him/her and ask about your grandson. Ask: 1) if she has decided if he will go to a public or private school, and 2) if he wants to come over and watch Harry Potter with you this weekend.

Parenting ESL Lesson Plan: Alternative Education Ideas

Which do you agree with? Discuss with a partner.

       sleeping in the same bed as your child
       no TV or video games
       cloth diapers
       refusing vaccinations
       never letting your child “cry it out.”
       extended breastfeeding
       homeschooling
       organic food
       natural childbirth
       (other ideas?)

Parenting ESL Lesson Plan: Discussion Questions

1) Language development: what’s the best way to raise a bilingual child?
2) Schooling: Is it better for children to attend public or private schools in your country?

 
 

Lesson plan copyright Matthew Barton of Englishcurrent.com

Was this helpful? Donate to our web hosting bill to show your support!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.