Category Archives: Social Sciences

You’ll find domain-specific material designed to meet Common Core Standards in social studies, along with adapted and differentiated materials that deal with a broad array of conceptual knowledge in the social sciences. See the Taxonomies page for more about this category.

Zemi

“Zemi: A divinity worshipped by the Arawaks of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and Jamaica. Zemis are human or animal in form, and are found on a variety of objects of stone, wood, and shell. Ceremonial centers, ball-courts and caves are associated with the cult, which may have reached the island from Mesoamerica.”

Excerpted from: Bray, Warwick, and David Trump. The Penguin Dictionary of Archaeology. New York: Penguin, 1984.

Cultural Literacy: Mayas

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Mayas. This is a half-page worksheet with two compound sentences and four comprehension questions. Depending on the learners you serve, this document could function as a do-now exercise to begin a class or independent practice to send home.

Or, you can do what you want with it: the worksheet is formatted in Microsoft Word, so it is open source and therefore available (as is just about everything on this blog) to do with as you need or want.

If you find typos in this document, 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.

Andes

“Andes: Mountain system, western South America. One of the great natural features of the globe, the Andes extend north-south about 5,500 miles (8,850 kilometers). They run parallel to the Caribbean coast in Venezuela before turning southwest and entering Colombia. There they form three distinct massifs: the Cordilleras Oriental, Central, and Occidental. In Ecuador they form two parallel cordilleras, one facing the Pacific and the other descending toward the Amazon basin. These ranges continue southward into Peru; the highest Peruvian peak is Mt. Huascaran, at 22,205 feet (6,768 meters), in the Cordillera Blanca. In Bolivia, the Andes again form two distinct regions; between them lies the Altiplano. Along the Chile-Argentina border they form a complex chain that includes their highest peak, Mt. Aconcagua. In southern Chile part of the cordillera descends beneath the sea, forming innumerable islands. The Andes are studded with numerous volcanoes that form part of the Ring of Fire. They also are the source of many rivers, including the Orinoco, Amazon, and Pilcomayo.”

Excerpted/Adapted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Cultural Literacy: Incas

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Incas. This is a half-page worksheet with a three-sentence reading and three comprehension questions. Therefore, it is the most basic introduction to a complicated civilization–which I assume most schools at least take a couple days in a world history or global studies class to pore over.

If you find typos in this document, 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.

Book of Answers: Baruch Spinoza

“What was Spinoza’s nationality? Philosopher Baruch (or Benedict) Spinoza (1632-1677) was born in Amsterdam of Portuguese Jewish parents.”

Excerpted from: Corey, Melinda, and George Ochoa. Literature: The New York Public Library Book of Answers. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.

Cultural Literacy: Havana

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Havana. This is a half-page worksheet with a reading of two compound sentences and three comprehension questions. And let me say, I have to hand it to the editors of The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy for packing as much information about the capital of Cuba as they did into the two sentences that drive this document.

If you find typos in this document, 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.

Cultural Literacy: Pancho Villa

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Pancho Villa. This is a full-page worksheet with a four-sentence reading and six comprehension questions. Ergo, this document exceeds the usual uses of most Cultural Literacy materials found on Mark’s Text Terminal: it could work independent practice (i.e. homework) or even a classroom document depending on the learners one is serving.

If you find typos in this document, 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 Weekly Text, 17 September 2021, Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 Week IV: A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on the Gadsden Purchase

For the first Friday of Hispanic Heritage Month 2021, this week’s Text is a reading on the Gadsden Purchase with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. The Gadsden Purchase brought territory in the far southern reaches of the present-day Arizona and New Mexico into the United States, and was concluded in 1854, six years after the Mexican-American War, which was arguably an imperialist move by the United States to seize territory that rightfully belonged to Mexico.

To clear up any confusion (mostly my own, I guess), the Gadsden Purchase was concluded by Ambassador James Gadsden. He is not the namesake of the Gadsden Flag, which has become a symbol of far-right political movements in the United States, including the perpetrators of the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capital. Rather, the Gadsden Flag is named for its designer, Christopher Gadsden, who was, among other things, a delegate to the Continental Congress in colonial North America. Unsurprisingly, though, James Gadsden was the grandson of Christopher Gadsden.

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.

Andean Civilization

“Andean civilization: Complex of aboriginal cultures that evolved in the Andean region of western South America before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores in the 16th century. Unlike the peoples of the Mesoamerican civilization to the north, none of the Andean peoples developed a system of writing, though the Incas devised a sophisticated system of recording numbers. In its level of cultural development and technical expertise in the arts and crafts, however, this civilization constitutes a New World counterpart to those of ancient Egypt, China, and Mesopotamia.”

Excerpted/Adapted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Cultural Literacy: Lima, Peru

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Lima, Peru. This is a half-page worksheet with a two-sentence reading and three comprehension questions. In other words, the sparest of introductions to the capital of Peru and a world capital as well.

If you find typos in this document, 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.