Over the weekend I learned a great deal about Whitney Houston. It felt a bit strange introducing my young children to this pop star posthumously. While I won’t pretend to call myself a Whitney fan, I couldn’t help but play some of her greatest hits after I heard the news. She was like our Beyoncé, I told my kids when they wanted to know why I was working on a weekend. They quickly understood.
Unlike some news organizations, the ESL-Library doesn’t have pre-written obituaries. In fact, many of the people in our Famous People section are very much alive and still doing amazing things! Like news channels, however, we do try to provide updates and materials in a timely manner. Being a digital publisher sometimes involves waking an artist up in the middle of the night for a Monday morning request, keeping our eyes glued to the news (33 Chilean Miners lesson), or revising a previously popular lesson into somewhat of an obituary (Steve Jobs lesson). It’s at times like these that we pride ourselves in being a digital library that can grow and change along with the world.
After spending the weekend working on the Whitney Houston lesson plan for the ESL-Library, I sat back with the family to watch the Grammys. It suddenly occurred to me how many gifted musicians are (and were) African American. Along with the King of Pop, America has now lost her Queen. If you’ve already taken a moment to browse our Black History Month collection, thank you. With heavy hearts, we’ve now added lessons on Michael and Whitney, two superstars that we know your students will want to talk about.
If you have suggestions for lessons on famous people, places or things, please let us know. Our to-do list is filled primarily with teacher requests.