Tag Archives: building conceptual knowledge

Bessie Smith

It’s finally starting to feel like spring in New England, for which I am grateful. In celebration of spring, and of Women’s History Month 2019, here is a reading on Bessie Smith, the justly named “Empress of the Blues,”  with an 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.

The Weekly Text, March 15, 2019

Another Friday has rolled around, and on this one, for some reason in my school district, we are not required to report to work.

Continuing with posts in observation of Women’s History Month 2019, here is a reading on soccer legend Mia Hamm with its attendant vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. This is high interest material, especially for girls and young women involved in sports, particularly, obviously, soccer.

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.

Betty Boop

For a variety of reasons, I felt trepidation about posting this reading on flapper icon Betty Boop and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

But for a variety of other reasons, in the final analysis, I decided to offer it after all. For starters, even almost 100 years after her appearance in the cultural iconography of the United States, Betty Boop persists. Also, as I began thinking about this reading, as well as watching the initial reactions of students working on it, I saw that the story of Betty Boop offers a way of analyzing a number of critical social and cultural phenomena in the United States, not the least of which is sexism and the objectification of women.

An essential question for this might be something along the lines of “What is sexism?” Which then opens the door to the more particularly critical question, “How does Betty Boop represent social and cultural sexism?” There are lots of other questions this material raises. For example, this reading offers a specific and compelling example of the concept of the risque in culture, which seems to me worth teaching, even in an age where what was once risque is now blase. If you have somewhat more advanced students, I’ll guess they’ll be the ones to ask those kinds of questions–and more, I hope.

And what more could a teacher want, after all?

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.

Cultural Literacy: Matriarchy and Patriarchy

Here are a pair of Cultural Literacy worksheets on matriarchy and patriarchy.

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, March 8, 2019

I don’t want to let Women’s History Month 2019 pass without posting something related to Alice Walker. To that end, here is a reading Ms. Walker’s novel The Color Purple and a vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet to accompany it. These, I was pleased to see, were of no small interest to the young women in the classes I currently teach.

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

Cultural Literacy: Athena

It’s Thursday, and as another week proceeds to its end, here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the goddess Athena.

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.

Queen Victoria

Continuing with Women’s History Month 2019, here are a reading on Queen Victoria and a vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet to accompany it. Given her outsized influence in British history, as well as the adjectival form of her name–Victorian–serving as a metaphor for a kind of stuffy, repressed age, whenever and wherever it occurs–she seems to me someone with whom students should have at least a passing familiarity.

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.