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Lesson 10: New York Times

Lesson 10: New York Times

Students read a New York Times article and discuss the topic of students and technology in western countries, and debate the pros and cons of students using technology.

Level:  Advanced

Topic:  Students and technology

Time:  90 minutes



  1. Explain the situation of students and technology in the US.
  2. Exchange ideas about students and technology in the US.
  3. Compare ideas about students and technology in the US to that in China.
  4. Debate the pros and cons of students using technology. 


  1. Students summarize the article in their groups and report to the class.
  2. Students discuss the article, the title, and their homework questions and responses in their groups and report to the class.
  3. Students discuss the author’s opinion and ask questions during the Q&A.
  4. Students debate.  



Warm up (10 minutes)

  • Ask the students to get a partner and discuss the question while you check the homework.
    • “How much time do you spend using technology in a day? What kinds of technology do you regularly use?”
  • Discuss together as a class.
    • Note: Americans spend around 45% of their day using some type of technology, either online, on the phone, or watching TV. 


Wired for Distraction (15 minutes)

  • The New York Times is an American daily newspaper. It costs $2. It first started in 1851 in New York City. It has won the most prizes of any news organization. Many Americans think it has a liberal bias.
  • Ask the students to get into groups and choose a role. If there are only 4 people in a group, then the Facilitator can also keep track of time.
    • Facilitator: leads the group discussion
    • Note-taker: write things down as needed
    • Reporter: presents information to the class
    • English monitor: makes sure everyone is speaking English
    • Time keeper: keeps track of how much time is remaining for an activity
  • Ask the students to discuss the article in their groups. Guide the students by putting the following headings on the board. 
    • Summarize the article
    • Talk about the title
    • What is the author’s opinion?
    • Homework questions


Whole Class Discussion (10 minutes)

  • Ask each reporter to comment about one of the topics on the board. Use Article Notes as a guide.


Q&A (10 minutes)

  • Ask the students to look at their homework questions and/or responses to ask additional questions about the article.


Brainstorm Debate Topics (10 minutes)

  • Ask students to create topics for debate. 
    • For example: Is technology helping or hurting students? 
  • As a class, choose 2 topics to debate.
  • Ask students to brainstorm points for each side of the debate.


Mini-Debates (25 minutes)

  • Assign each group a letter: A, B, C, D
    • Debate 1: A and B will debate. C and D will debate (A+, B-, C-, D+).
    • Debate 2: A and C will debate. B and D will debate (A-, C+, B+, D-).
    • Allow 10 minutes for each debate.


Whole-class Discussion (10 minutes)

  • Ask students to comment about the topic and interesting points they heard.



  • Read the next set of articles and write 3 questions and/or responses for each article.

Printable Worksheets

Article Notes


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