Cultural Literacy: Weimar Republic

While its importance is undisputed, and indeed as a moment in cultural, social and political history it it rife with concepts students ought to understand, I nonetheless remain sceptical, based on my experience, that this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Weimar Republic will be useful to many social studies teachers. A

As always, if it is useful to you, I’d be very interested in hearing about that.

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.

Daniel Willingham on Reading and Mental Overload

“Just how much unknown stuff can a text have in it before a reader will just declare mental overload! and call it quits? This quantity surely varies depending on the reader’s attitude toward reading and motivation to understand that particular text. Still, studies have measured readers’ tolerance of unfamiliar vocabulary, and have estimated that readers need to know about 98% of the words for comfortable comprehension. That may sound high, but bear in mind that the paragraph you’re now reading has about 75 unique words. So 98% familiarity means that this and every paragraph like it would have one or two words that are unfamiliar to you.”

Excerpted from: Willingham, Daniel T. The Reading Mind: A Cognitive Approach to Understanding How the Mind Reads. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2017.

Hypothesis (n)

OK, it’s Friday morning already, and this school district has already called for early dismissal today on account of yet another day of snowfall. With few exceptions, I haven’t seen this much snow fall in such a short period of time since…well, since 1996, the last time I lived in Vermont.

I’ll start off the morning by offering this context clues worksheet on the noun hypothesis. And I’ll also begin the day with the assumption that the importance of this word in students’ lexicons starting in, say, fifth grade (at least that’s when I earned it), goes without saying.

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: Jason and the Argonauts

“What classical writer told the story of Jason and the Argonauts? The most complete treatment is the Argonautica by third-century poet Apollonius of Rhodes.”

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

Homer

I have to assume that people somewhere in the nation–even with its rapidly declining and increasingly unsophisticated literacy–are still teaching The Iliad and The OdysseyThat means someone, somewhere, unless I very much miss my guess, might need this short reading on Homer as well as its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

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.

3 Parts of an Atom

“Proton (positive) * Neutron (neutral) * Electron (negative)

The proton is stuck like a plumb pudding together with its neutron partners, wround which whiz the much smaller electron particles, within a space known as the electron cloud. This whole mysterious building block of life is held together by the power of electromagnetism to form atoms, which are listed in all their wonderful variety in that evocative list known as the Periodic Table of Elements.

Democritus, who brilliantly analyzed that the entire universe was ‘all in flux’ back in the fifth century BC, was the first to speculate about an atom–though our focus on the essential building block of life has somewhat shifted back a bit, since we have learned that quarks like beneath the surface of both protons and neutrons.”

Excerpted from: Rogerson, Barnaby. Rogerson’s Book of Numbers: The Culture of Numbers–from 1,001 Nights to the Seven Wonders of the World. New York: Picador, 2013.

Crime and Puzzlement: The Man in 1458

Ok, folks, her is another complete lesson plan on a Crime and Puzzlement case, this one “The Man in 1458.” I start this lesson, after the rigamarole of a class change, with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on Braille, the written language for sight impaired people. You’ll need this PDF of the illustration and questions for your students so they can analyze the evidence of this case of fraud. Finally, here is the typescript of the answer key with the solution to the case.

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.