Category Archives: The Weekly Text

The Weekly Text from Mark’s Text Terminal is where one finds manipulable (because they are in Microsoft Word format) curricular materials for use withs struggling learners.

The Weekly Text, February 15, 2018

Tomorrow is the Lunar New Year, which is a holiday for a large group of people here in New York City. We have the day off, so I’m posting this week’s Text a day early so I can get it up on Twitter and the AFT’s Share My Lesson site.

If the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision isn’t something that all Americans should revere, then I don’t know what is. I’ll be the first to stipulate that it was belated. But the fact that a a working man named Oliver Brown could bring an action against the discriminatory district in which his children attended school, take it all the way to the highest court in the land, and effectively force this nation to live up to the high ideals asserted in its founding documents should inspire anyone who hears it.

So, here is an Intellectual Devotional reading on Brown v. Board of Education with a reading comprehension worksheet to use with it. This Everyday Edit on Desegregation at Central High (and you can get lots more of these from the generous proprietors of the Education World website) nicely complements this 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.

“By Any Means Necessary” in Context

“That’s our motto. We want freedom by any means necessary. We want justice by any means necessary. We want equality by any means necessary.”

Malcolm X, Speech at rally of Organization of Afro-American Unity, New York, N.Y., 28 June 1964

Excerpted from: Schapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

He Knew Rivers, Both Literally and Metaphorically

“I’ve known rivers as ancient as the world and

older than the flow of human blood in human veins.”

Langston Hughes, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” l. 1 (1921)

Excerpted from: Schapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

Cultural Literacy: Gospel Music

OK, for the third post of this Tuesday morning, you might find this Cultural Literacy worksheet on Gospel Music useful somewhere in your practice. Because even in this short passage, its authors found room to mention Gospel’s influence on Rock and Roll, a couple of nice complements to this short exercise are this Wikipedia article on the great Sister Rosetta Tharpe as well as this this article from Rolling Stone arguing for her inclusion  in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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, February 9, 2018

Have you seen director Raoul Peck’s documentary about James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro yet? If not, I cannot recommend this film highly enough. I have always been a film buff, so I have greatly appreciated the arrival, in the last ten or fifteen years, of a bumper crop of engaged, talented documentarians. Indeed, most evenings I watch a documentary of some sort, so I like to think I know something about the form. If “I Am Not Your Negro” doesn’t represent formal perfection, then I don’t know what does.

Also, obviously, it showcases one of the most important public intellectuals and writers of my lifetime. I’ll simply say that The Fire Next Time was one of those books that radically altered the way I perceive the world, and I am grateful to it for that.

This week’s Text is a reading on James Baldwin with a comprehension sheet to accompany it. You might also find useful (and you can get lots more of these from the generous people at Education World) this Everyday Edit on the U.S.-Africa Capital Connection.

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 Weekly Text, February 2, 2018

As I’ve said before, perhaps ad nauseum on this blog, every month is Black History Month in my classroom. I’ve always had mixed feelings about a single month set aside for Black History, mainly because it has always struck me as a form of segregation; I say we integrate Black History into every lesson we teach, particular when we teach the history of the United States. That said, I am decidedly circumspect in second guessing a scholar of Carter G. Woodson’s stature; Dr. Woodson launched “Negro History Month” in February of 1926. This is the month in which we now justly and appropriately celebrate the many and diverse achievements of Americans of African descent.

The first Weekly Text for Black History Month is a relatively high interest reading on Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls with an accompanying reading comprehension worksheet. Rappers come and go, and I’m old enough to remember a time when rap wasn’t part of the cultural landscape of this country. Tupac and Biggie, I think, are icons of the genre, and martyrs to it as well, I suppose. While my students look at me blankly when I ask them if they’ve heard of Kool Moe Dee, (I really liked How Ya Like Me Now and was pleased to hear it shuffle up at the gym recently) they’ve all heard of Biggie and Tupac. You might find useful this Everyday Edit on African-American History Month (courtesy, as always, of the good people at Education World, a world-class hub for instructional 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.

Addendum, February 6, 2018: While waiting for the train in the Bowling Green station late yesterday afternoon, I noticed a poster advertising the USA Network’s upcoming series on the investigations into the murders of Tupac and Biggie. This Text, as it turns out, is timely.

The Weekly Text, January 26, 2018

It’s the end of a week of New York State Regents Testing, so inanity has been the theme. I’m glad, once more, that it has come to an end. I guess the less said about this horrorshow (and subsidy to crummy educational publishing companies) the better.

This week’s Text is five short exercises on the homophones allude and elude. These are a couple of words students ought to know. Allude is an intransitive verb, often used with a prepositional phrase beginning with to–e.g. “Gabriel regularly alludes to James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake when the subject of modernist literature comes up.” Elude, on the other hand, is transitive and requires a simple direct object: “The students cutting class eluded the dean.”

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.