Category Archives: Essays/Readings

This category describes readings of any kind for either teachers or students.

The Internet

Here is a reading on the birth and growth of the Internet with a comprehension worksheet to accompany it. For the right student, I suspect, this will be some relatively high interest material.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The School of Athens

“One of four frescoes by Raphael (1483-1520) painted c. 1509 in the Stanza della Segnatura, a room in the papal apartments in the Vatican. The work was commissioned by Pope Julius II, who also commissioned Donato Bramante to design the new St. Peter’s and Michelangelo to design his tomb and (against his will) to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling. The frescoes in the Stanza della Segnatura are intended to demonstrate how neoplatonist philosophy justifies the power of the Roman Catholic Church. The School of Athens depicts Plato and Aristotle and a host of other philosophers, both ancient and modern, in a calm and balanced composition. The classical architectural setting–reminiscent of the new St. Peter’s–was painted from designs by Bramante, who himself acted as the model for the mathematician Euclid in the painting. Raphael’s portrait of his patron, Pope Julius, is in the National Gallery, London.

‘It took a soul as beautiful as his, in a body as beautiful as his, to experience and rediscover the true character of ancients in modern times.'”

Johann J. Winckelmann: on Raphael, in Thoughts on the Imitiation of Greek Art in Painting and Sculpture (1755)

Excerpted from: Crofton, Ian, ed. Brewer’s Curious Titles. London: Cassell, 2002.

Ibn Rushd

Today is June 11. John Quincy Adams was born on this day in 1767. Today is, for some reason, Bowdler’s Day, named for Thomas Bowdler, the English physician who set out to remove what he considered profanity in Shakespeare’s works; we English speakers derive our transitive verb bowdlerize from his name. On this day in 1979, the United States’ spacecraft Skylab fell to earth. Today is the United Nations’ World Population Day.

Here is a reading on Ibn Rushd, also known as Averroes: he was a Muslim philosopher who commented extensively on Aristotle. He is prominently featured in Raphael’s famous painting The School of Athens. This reading comprehension worksheet accompanies the reading.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Beginnings of the Civil War

If you teach United States History, than you might find useful this reading on the beginnings of the Civil War as well as the reading comprehension worksheet that accompanies it.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review

Babe Ruth

As July 17, the date of the 2018 MLB All-Star Game, approaches, I thought now is as good a time as any to post this reading on Babe Ruth and the comprehension worksheet that accompanies it.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.