Tag Archives: numeracy

The Order of Things: Decibel Scale

This lesson plan on the decibel scale and its accompanying reading and comprehension worksheet are another of the 50 lessons I have prepared using text from Barbara Ann Kipfer’s The Order of Things. If you have students interested in audio engineering or music production, this is something for them.

Otherwise, this is a simple literacy lesson that calls upon students to work with numbers and words in one document. I’ve been working on both the unit plan for these lessons and a user’s manual for their documents. I struggle to articulate why I developed these lessons and how I would use them. For now, think of the documents above as a rehearsal for word problems in math–one of the things that so often bedevil emergent and struggling readers.

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.

5 Components of the Soul in Ancient Egypt

“Ren * Ka * Ib * Ba * Sheut

The simplest concept is Ren, which is literally your name: it lives for as long as you are remembered, or can be read about on inscriptions, or included in prayers for the ancestors and their achievements. Ka is also easy enough to translate into modern idiom, for it is that vital essence that makes the difference between the living and the dead, between life and dead meat, between a warm body and cold clay.

Ib is literally the heart, formed from a single drop of clotted blood extracted from your mother’s heart at the hour of your conception or birth. By heart, the Egyptians meant not just the organ for pumping blood around your body, but the seat of your soul, the good directing force in your life, searching after truth, peace, and harmony.

Ba is that which makes each of us unique and different, that which makes us strive and achieve, the motivator but also the hungry elemental force that needs food and sex. In some form, your ba is destined to survive after death, often depicted or imagined as a human-headed bird, which with good fortune will go forth by day to enjoy the light, but might also end up existing only in the dark, like the bat or the ruin-haunting owl. Sheut is your shadow, and by extension the other you, as well as being used to describe a statue, a model, or a painting of a human.”

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.

Reciprocate (vi/vt)

Here, on a beautiful fall morning, is a a context clues worksheet on the verb reciprocate; it’s used both intransitively and transitively. Leaving aside its use as a noun in the reciprocals of fractions, which was something I saw students struggle with in the few instances I taught math. Maybe knowing this verb, and using it in context, might help with understanding reciprocals in fractions.

If not, at least kids will know a very commonly used verb in English.

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 Order of Things: Pilot Checklist Steps

If you have any students with an interest in aviation, here is an Order of Things lesson on the checklist of steps pilots use to assure their aircraft is ready to fly. You’ll need the worksheet with list as reading and comprehension questions to do the work of this lesson.

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.

Fourth Dimension

“Fourth Dimension: A non-Euclidean geometrical concept that first became popular in France around 1910 and that may have influenced the Cubists. Picasso and Braque as well as Marcel Duchamp painted objects from multiple perspectives, suggesting a synthesis of views taken at various points in time. Contemporary artists such as Tony Robbin are once again dealing with issues of the fourth dimension by using computers and concepts based in physics and mathematics.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

David Letterman on Statistics

“USA Today has come out with a new survey; apparently, three out of every four people make up 75 percent of the population.”

David Letterman

Excerpted from: Winokur, Jon, ed. The Big Curmudgeon. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal, 2007.

The Order of Things: Longest Rivers

Here is another lesson from The Order of Things, this one on the longest rivers in the world. You’ll also need the list and comprehension questions that are the work of this lesson.

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.

20 Fingers and Toes

“Twenty is perhaps the oldest, most natural large number for mankind to relate to, for it is the number we achieve by counting up all our fingers and toes. Echoes of this unit (called Vigesimal) can still be found in both the French and English language. The French still express eighty as ‘quatre-vingts’ (four twenties), while English keeps a special word (‘score’) for this number, as in the expression ‘four score and ten.’ And until decimalization was introduced in 1971 the English monetary unit was still so ordered, with twenty shillings to the pound.”

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.

The Order of Things: The Civil War Secession of States

Here’s another lesson plan from The Order of Things, this one on the secession of states preceding the American Civil War. This worksheet with a list and comprehension questions related to it constitute the work for this lesson.

As I’ve previously mentioned, I was just beginning to develop these materials (in fact, as I write this, a pile of worksheets awaiting development sits before me on my desk) when the school I was working in closed for the year. In fact, I’ve already posted several lessons derived from Barbara Ann Kipfer’s book, including those on the readmission of seceded states after the Civil War. Needless to say, those logically ought to follow this one, not precede it.

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 Order of Things: Hesiod’s Ages of History

Here is a lesson plan on Hesiod’s Ages of History along with its reading and comprehension questions. As I’ve mentioned previously when posting these materials, this lesson (and at least 30 others like it) are something I started working on just before the COVID19 pandemic scaled up and closed schools, and I lost my job as a public school teacher.

To reiterate (and you can read more about these on the “About Posts & Texts” page linked to just above the banner photograph on the homepage of this site), these documents aim to give students an opportunity to work with, and develop their own understanding of, moving between two sets of symbols, words and numbers, in one lesson. The worksheet can be contracted or expanded as is appropriate for the attention spans of the students with whom you’re working. These are, as you will infer, literacy development exercises.

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.