Tag Archives: learning and cognition

Word Root Exercise: Morph/o

It has been very hot here in the Five Boroughs this summer. I’ve just returned from the Upstate city of Gloversville, New York, in which I conceived an interest from reading the novels of Richard Russo. It’s almost 200 miles north of my home in The Bronx, but only one degree cooler yesterday.

Here is a worksheet on the Greek root morph/o, which means form.

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.

Eric Hoffer on Fanaticism

“No so the fanatic. Chaos is his element. When the old order begins to crack, he wades in with all his might and recklessness to blow the whole hated present to high heaven. He glories in the sight of a world coming to a sudden end. To hell with reforms! All that already exists is rubbish. He justifies his will to anarchy with the plausible assertion that there can be no new beginning so long as the old clutters the landscape. He shoves aside the frightened men of words, if they are still around, though he continues to extol their doctrines and mouth their slogans. He alone knows the innermost craving of the masses in action; the craving for communion, for the mustering of the host, for the dissolution of cursed individuality in the majesty and grandeur of a mighty whole. Posterity is king; and woe to those, inside and outside the movement, who hug and hang on to the present.”

Excerpted from: Hoffer, Eric. The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1951.

Word Root Exercise: Dic and Dict (Latin)

I’m sitting around revising word root worksheet, mainly adding cognate lists to them, so it seems as good a time as any to post this worksheet on the Latin roots dic and dict. They mean “speech, to speak,” and “to proclaim (declare officially).”

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.

Conceptualism

The theory of universals that sees them as shadows of our grasp of concepts. Conceptualism lies midway between out-and-out nominalism, holding that nothing is common to objects except our applying the same words to them, and any realism which sees universals as existing independently of us and our abilities.”

Excerpted from: Blackburn, Simon. The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Conceptual Scheme

The general system of concepts which shape or organize our thoughts and perceptions. The outstanding elements of our everyday conceptual scheme include spatial and temporal relations between events and enduring objects, causal relations, other persons, meaning-bearing utterances of others, and so on. To see the world as containing such things is to share this much of our conceptual scheme. A controversial argument of Davidson’s urges that we would be unable to interpret speech from a different conceptual scheme as even meaningful; we can therefore be certain a priori that there is no difference of conceptual scheme between any thinker and ourselves. Davidson daringly goes on to argue that since translation proceeds according to a principle of charity, and since it must be possible for an omniscient translator to make sense of us, we can be assured that most of the beliefs formed with the commonsense conceptual framework are true.”

Excerpted from: Blackburn, Simon. The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Word Root Exercise: Neo-

Today is July 17, 2018. One hundred years ago on this date, the Russian royal family was executed in Yekaterinburg, east of the Ural Mountains, thus ending the three-hundred-year Romanov Dynasty. An enduring myth–and the stuff of much popular culture–arising from this event was the purported survival of Grand Duchess Anastasia. However appealing that idea is, it has no basis in fact. Today is National Wrong Way Corrigan Day, celebrating the wrong turn, so to speak, of Douglas Groce Corrigan’s cross-country flight to Los Angeles in 1938. Twenty-eight hours after leaving Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field to fly west, he landed in Dublin, Ireland. In the annals of incompetence, on this day in 1981, a walkway at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City collapsed, killing 114 people. In 1986, the two geniuses who signed off on the walkway’s design were found culpable in this disaster and relieved of their licenses to practice.

Here is a worksheet on the Greek word root neo-, which means “new” and “recent.”

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, July 13, 2018

It’s Friday the 13th! On this day in 1787, by an act of the Congress of the Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance became law. Also on this day in 1930, soccer’s first World Cup matches were played. In 1985 on this day, the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_AidLive Aid concerts for Ethiopian Famine relief were held in London and Philadelphia. It’s the birthday of Jean-Luc Picard; British actor Sir Patrick Stewart is, amazingly, 78 years old today.

This week’s Text is a lesson plan, one of many, that I worked up to use with Lawrence Treat’s series of kid’s books, Crime and Puzzlement. I came across these materials in two books last year, to wit George Hillocks Jr.’s  otherwise unremarkable Teaching Argument Writing Grades 6-12: Supporting Claims with Relevant Evidence and Clear Reasoning (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2017), but also in two separate papers contained in Keith J. Holyoak and Robert G. Morrison’s (eds.) The Cambridge Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005). All three of these texts extolled the Crime and Puzzlement books as exemplary instructional material for teaching students to assess, analyze, and synthesize evidence in support of an argument and contention.

I ordered the first volume, broke it up and scanned texts for several of the “cases,” and tried them out in my classroom. My freshman English students jumped right into these, and clearly enjoyed them. So I knew I had to build a unit to rationalize the use of this material in my classroom.

Now, about four months later, that unit is nearing completion, and I have 72 lessons in the unit. This week’s Text offers you the first lesson plan in the Crime and Puzzlement Unit Plan. To teach this lesson, you’ll need this worksheet on the case entitled Boudoir. To “solve” the “case,” you’ll need the answer key. Depending on how you begin your class period and its duration, you may want to start the lesson with a do-now exercise, which for this lesson is this Cultural Literacy worksheet on Marie Antoinette’s probably apocryphal statement “Let them eat cake.”

Unfortunately, the Crime and Puzzlement books (there are three in total) appear to remain in copyright, so I don’t think I can ethically or legally post many of these lesson plans. If you choose to contrive your own material based on these books, I can post the unit plan (it’s not quite ready as of this writing) for you; it will contain the standards met, a lengthy, discursive justification for using these methods and materials, and other supporting documentation.

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.