Tag Archives: high-interest materials

The Weekly Text, 1 July 2022: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “The Great Diamond Heist”

The Weekly Text from Mark’s Text Terminal for the first of July 2022 is a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “The Great Diamond Heist.” I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on allusion (a half-page document with a three-sentence reading and three comprehension questions–just the basics). To conduct your investigation into this act of larceny, you will need the PDF of the illustration and questions that serve as the evidence in this case. Finally, for your students to bring the culprit or culprits to the bar of justice, here is the typescript of the answer key.

And that’s it for another week. I hope you are enjoying a relaxing summer.

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, 24 June 2022: Summer of Soul Lesson 4

Here is the fourth and final lesson plan of the Summer of Soul unit I wrote earlier this year. This lesson opens with this short reading with three comprehension questions on the concept of “a seat at the table,” i.e. joining in decision-making processes, particularly where those decisions concern oneself. The mainstay of this lesson is this reflection and assessment guide for discussion and note-taking at the end of this unit.

Because this is it. You now have access to all four lessons in this unit. If you expand this, or otherwise change it, I would be very interested in hearing what you did. I wrote this unit quickly to capitalize on student interest (Summer of Soul won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature at the 94th Academy Awards in 2022). Even as I presented the unit, I recognized that there is a lot of room to expand and improve 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, 17 June 2022: Summer of Soul Lesson 3

If you’ve been following along for the past couple of Fridays, then here is the third lesson plan of the Summer of Soul unit I wrote last spring to take advantage of high interest in that superb documentary and the events it records and assesses. To carry out this lesson, the third of four, I begin with this short reading with three comprehension questions on the Baby Boomer generation as a do-now exercise. The primary work of this lesson involves this truncated reading on Woodstock and its accompanying discussion guide and note-taking worksheet.

If you would prefer longer-form materials on Woodstock, you’ll find those here. Otherwise, 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.

The Weekly Text, 10 June 2022: Summer of Soul Lesson 2

The second Friday of June 2022 brings from Mark’s Text Terminal the second lesson plan of the Summer of Soul unit I wrote this spring to capitalize on the interest in this superlative documentary–especially when it won a much-deserved Oscar for Best Documentary Feature and accrued similar honors at just about every film festival held in North America in 2021. This lesson accompanies a viewing of the film: I composed these ten questions to guide viewing of the film in order to meet the unit’s learning objectives, which is an investigation into why the 50 hours of footage shot at the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival never took a “seat at the table” when film production budgets were handed out.

That’s it. No do-now; students just jump right in to a viewing of the film. The third lesson will appear next Friday.

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 June 2022: Summer of Soul Lesson 1

During the month of June Mark’s Text Terminal will offer a four-lesson unit on Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s 2021, Oscar-winning documentary, Summer of Soul. As you probably know, this film compellingly documents, using the long-lost footage the late Hal Tulchin shot, of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival held in Mount Morris Park, now known as Marcus Garvey Park.

Without further ado, and in keeping with the general practice at Mark’s Text Terminal of keeping the documents up front (ahead of my bloviation, that is) in posts, here is the first lesson plan of the Summer of Soul unit. I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Black Arts Movement, which I think is particularly salient to both this lesson and this unit. Here is a worksheet to guide research into the principals–spread across 50 years–involved in the production of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival and the long overdue documentary on it, Summer of Soul. Finally, here is the poster or handbill (or both) from the event itself.

Now, if you would like to develop this unit further (there is plenty of room for that, it seems to me, particularly if your students are interested), here is the unit plan. To write additional lessons, should you want it, here is the lesson plan template. If you write further lessons for this unit, and want to create materials using the format in these documents, here is the worksheet template.

Finally, here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the A.M.E. Church (i.e. the African Methodist Episcopal Church) that I stacked in the planning materials folder for future use. One direction this unit might go further with, or serve as a jumping-off point for another unit, say, on the Black Church, using Henry Louis Gates’ recent series on the subject to explore the connection between the Black Church and the Civil Rights Movement. There was a a gospel day at the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival–including, movingly, Mahalia Jackson and Mavis Staples sharing a microphone–and the film performs a badly needed service in making the connection not only between the Black Church and the Civil Rights Movement explicit, but also the connection between the Black Church and soul music. I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I listen to some old O’Jays records, it sounds like the men in the group left their church choir rehearsal and went straight to Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff’s recording studio. “Love Train,” in fact, is arguably a gospel song.

OK: more (perhaps considerably more) said than necessary. If this material interests you, stay tuned for the next three Fridays at Mark’s Text Terminal to collect the next three lessons.

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, 29 April 2022: A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on Sound Waves

This week’s Text is a reading on sound waves along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. Over the years, I’ve crossed paths with several students interested in careers as recording engineers or producers. I know that music is played on instruments that have evolved over centuries by persons with enviable talent; that, however, is the extent of my knowledge of music production. I hoped these documents would help students gain some understanding about the actual physics of sound. These materials have been of sufficiently high interest in my classroom that I have tagged them as such.

So this might be thin gruel where the subject is concerned. As with many of the documents I prepared over the years to engage alienated students, these were prepared in haste. So they are very likely, uh, less than perfect. Fortunately, they are both formatted in Microsoft Word, so exporting them to a word processor of your preference and tailoring them to your students’ needs will be relatively effortless.

May is Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. I’ve already prepared a batch of posts for the month, so if you need material on topics related to American of Asian and Pacific Island descent, or Asia and the Pacific Islands themselves, trundle on by the site.

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, 1 April 2022: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “Spelling Bee”

On this April Fool’s Day, this week’s Text is a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “Spelling Bee.”

I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the rhetorical question (it’s a reading of one compound sentence that nonetheless yields three comprehension questions). You’ll need this PDF of the illustration of the crime scene with its attendant investigatory questions. Finally, you’ll want this typescript of the answer key to arrest the offender and bring him or her to the bar of 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.

The Weekly Text, 18 February 2022, Black History Month 2022 Week III: A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on Magic Johnson

The Weekly Text for 18 February 2022, observing week III of Black History Month 2022, is a reading on Magic Johnson along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. This material has been of sufficiently high interest to students I have served over the years that I have tagged it as such.

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.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem originally Ferdinand Lew(is) Alcindor: (b.1947) basketball player. Born in New York City, he reached a height of seven feet, one-and-three-eighths inches (two meters seventeen centimeters). During his college career at UCLA, the team lost only two games, and he led it to three national championships (1966-68). He then joined the Milwaukee Bucks; in 1975 he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. The dominant center of his time, in 1984 he surpassed Wilt Chamberlain’s career scoring total of 31,419 points. He also holds the record for the most field goals (15,837), ranks second for the most blocked shots (3,189) and games played (1,560), and ranks third for rebounds (17,440). He was voted Most Valuable Player a record six times.

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

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.