Jennifer Miller

Park Slope Collegiate

Advanced ESL Himalayan Lesson Plan


I am a high school teacher of English as a Second Language at Park Slope Collegiate, a small public school with grades 6-12 in Brooklyn, New York. Our curriculum focuses on the four modalities of language learning: listening, speaking, reading and writing. The bulk of my students are Spanish speakers, and through the years I have been successful in finding a great deal of Latino fiction, poetry, art, and nonfiction and incorporating these resources into my teaching.

A sizable portion of my student population comes from the Indian subcontinent. For a long time I have hoped to infuse my teaching with activities and literature from this area, but have found it challenging to encounter these resources. This institute has been invaluable in terms of providing me with a host of instructional strategies, films, novels, short stories, poetry, artwork and articles about the Himalayan Region. I am very thankful to the NEH, Holy Cross, and Todd Lewis and Leonard Van der Kujip.

I have designed this website for Advanced ESL high school students. It begins with a lesson on an exploration of the Kumari in Nepal and connecting extension activities about beauty in other contexts. This leads to a lesson on the goddess Durga, which culminates with students writing their own skits based on one story told about her.  I close with a lesson from Homeless Bird, which is a Young Adult novel that is very accessible to higher level English Language Learners.



This site was created by Jennifer Miller at the NEH Summer Institute "Literatures, Religions, and Arts of the Himalayan Region," held at the College of the Holy Cross, Summer 2011.