Tag Archives: high-interest materials

The Weekly Text, 7 January 2022: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “Trick or Treat”

Happy New Year!

The first Weekly Text of 2022 on Mark’s Text Terminal is this lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “Trick or Treat.” I open this lesson with this half-page (with a two-sentence reading and three comprehension questions) Cultural Literacy worksheet on the concept of a “lunatic fringe” in politics, timely material in 2022 wherever you happen to be in the world, I submit.

To conduct your investigation of the heinous crime committed and documented in the pages of this lesson, you’ll need this PDF of the evidentiary illustration and questions that form the center of this case. Finally, here is the typescript of the answer key that will aid you in making an arrest and closing this case.

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: Steve Jobs

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Steve Jobs. This is a half-page worksheet with a two-sentence reading and three comprehension questions. It is the barest of introductions to the late tech entrepreneur. In fact, I would hazard a guess that students already know more about Mr. Jobs than this worksheet reports.

Nonetheless, I have tagged this document as high interest material? Why? Well, with two feature films about him, the first in 2013, and the second in 2015, written by the estimable Aaron Sorkin and based on the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, it is clear that in addition to his skills as a tech entrepreneur, Mr. Jobs has become a pop culture icon. I expect he will continue to be of interest for years to come.

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.

14 Reading Comprehension Worksheets on Kobe Bryant

OK, I just finished writing these 14 reading comprehension worksheets on Kobe Bryant. These follow very closely the Wikipedia article on Mr. Bryant. In fact, each worksheet is named for the sub-heading in the reading about which it asks questions. If you want to make your own worksheets, here is the worksheet template.

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

12 Reading Comprehension Worksheets on the Rapper Eminem

In response to a student request, I produced these twelve reading comprehension worksheets on the rapper Eminem. These are pretty basic, and follow the sequence of about two-thirds of the Wikipedia page on Eminem. These documents, like most things you’ll find on this site, are formatted in Microsoft Word; in other words, you can download them and alter them to you or your students’ needs.

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, 2 December 2021: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “Westward Ho-Hum!”

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on the the Crime and Puzzlement case “Westward Ho-Hum!” I open this lesson with this half-page Cultural Literacy worksheet (with a two-sentence reading and three comprehension questions) on the Gallicism esprit de corps. To fortify this document with a bit of context, Merriam-Webster defines this noun as denoting “the common spirit existing in the members of a group and inspiring enthusiasm, devotion, and strong regard for the honor of the group.”

To investigate this case, your students will need this PDF of the illustration and questions that serve as both evidence and procedure of inquiry into this heinous crime. Finally, to solve your case and apprehend a suspect, here is the typescript of the answer key.

And that’s it for this week. I hope you and yours enjoyed a relaxed and (if this is your bent), suitably gluttonous Thanksgiving.

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, 5 November 2021: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “False Alarm”

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “False Alarm.” I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Gallicism enfant terrible.

To conduct your investigation of this misdemeanor, you’ll need this PDF of the illustration and questions that serve as evidence and interrogative in the case. And here is the typescript of the answer key. And that’s it for another week.

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.

Blog Post 5,000: A Tentative Beginning to a Unit on Writing Reviews

In six years plus of this blog, I have finally reached the 5,000-post mark. Post Number 5,000 is a set of documents that I began toward developing a unit on writing reviews some years ago while working in an ill-fated middle school in the North Bronx.

For now, however, here are the basic, undeveloped documents for this unit. Here is a a tentative unit plan, which is still mostly in template form. Likewise this lesson-plan template and this worksheet template. Here is a a glossary of critical terms  for writing film reviews. This is a start on the first worksheet of the unit.

Finally, here is a list of aesthetic criteria for evaluating cultural products. Let me mention in passing that this is for teacher use; the one time I taught kids to write reviews, I made sure that they made, with proper guidance, their own lists of aesthetic criteria for the media or event they were criticizing.

You may want to check back here later, as I am in the process of developing this long-neglected unit.

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.

Anarchism

Here is a reading on anarchism along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

This is a relatively short reading, but nonetheless a good general introduction to anarchist philosophy. It also effectively introduces some key figures in the history of anarchism, and allows that this was a political movement that often used violence as a means to achieve its ends. Because many of the teenagers I have served over the years have been what I guess I would call “natural anarchists,” certain students in my classes have taken a relatively high interest in this 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 Weekly Text, 3 September 2021: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “Cookie Jar”

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “Cookie Jar.” I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the French noun phrase coup de grace. This is a half-page worksheet with a three-sentence reading and three comprehension questions. Let me caution you that its not the cheeriest of material: remember that the original meaning of coup de grace is “a death blow or death shot administered to end the suffering of one mortally wounded.” If you want a better do-now for this lesson, there are thousands of them on this blog–just go to the word cloud on the home page and click on “context clues” or “cultural literacy.”

To conduct your investigation into the heinous crime committed in this lesson, you’ll need this PDF scan of the illustration and questions that serve, respectively, and the evidence and investigative points for solving the case. Finally, here is the typescript of the answer key to help you bring the offender to justice.

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.

Elvis Presley

Here is a reading on Elvis Presley along with its attendant vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. This has tended to be high-interest material for some students, so I have tagged it as such.

For other students, Elvis may be of no interest whatsoever. I’d just like to mention that he presents an interesting case study on cultural appropriation. Did you know “Hound Dog” (which has been recorded, according to the song’s Wikipedia page, “more than 250 times”) was originally a hit for Big Mama Thornton (which was answered, humorously, by Rufus Thomas in his song “Bear Cat“) and was a number one hit for her on the R&B charts? Of that the first song (and his first hit single) he ever recorded, at Sun Studio’s Memphis Recording Service, was “That’s All Right,” composed by Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup

In other words, this is a good reading to open a discussion about how white artists, especially in the 1950s, helped themselves to the work of black artists and got rich doing it. This is so well documented at this point that if you search “white artists not paying royalties to black artists” you will find a trove of information about this practice. Even gigantic media company BMG admits Black artists were cheated out of fair contracts and royalty payments. I salute Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy for calling for reparations to Black recording artists.

There is a lot to chew on here. The essential question here is something like “What is cultural appropriation and what is outright theft? What is the difference?”

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.