Tag Archives: questioning and inquiry

The Weekly Text, September 13, 2019

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this blog, the lessons I prepared to attend the Crime and Puzzlement books are quite frequently downloaded. Because I am exhausted from trying to get the school year started, and therefore bereft of imagination and initiative, I offer, as this week’s Text, a complete lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “Dropout.”

I use this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the expression “Sword of Damocles” to open the lesson after a class change. You’ll need this PDF of the illustration and questions that drive this lesson to teach it. Finally, here is the answer key typescript; it’s in word if you need to differentiate it for your students.

And that makes ten posts for this week, so I’m done here for the moment. I hope your school year is off to a good start.

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, August 30, 2019

For my erstwhile colleagues at the High School of Economics & Finance in Lower Manhattan, I offer as this week’s Text this reading on the joint-stock company and its role in colonizing North America, along with its vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

Needless to say, Mark’s Text Terminal sends best wishes to the hardworking teachers at “Eco,” as it is called, and to teachers everywhere about to begin another school year.

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.

Crime and Puzzlement: Back to the Classroom

Ok, to finish up this Sunday morning, and apropos of the beginning of the 2019-2020 (I’m now in Bennington, Vermont, about which more later, where we start tomorrow), here is a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “Back to the Classroom.” I begin this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the idiom “If the Shoe Fits, Wear It.” To proceed in solving this case, you and your students will need the illustration and questions that drive the lesson. Finally, here is the answer key that interprets the evidence in the illustration for students and teachers.

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.

Historical Terms: Action Francaise

action francaise: Right-wing political movement founded in France by the journalist and poet Charles Maurras (1868-1952), which was royalist, nationalistic, and anti-Semitic and which criticized the Third French Republic for decadence. Although a freethinker, Maurras approved of Roman Catholicism, believing that its traditions were a counterforce to democratic republicanism. In 1908 he and Leon Daudet (1867-1942), a pamphleteer and essayist, began joint editorship of the movement’s newspaper, Action Francaise. The Vatican became estranged from the movement after 1926 and it drew increasingly close to fascism. Between 1940 and 1944, it gave strong support to the Vichy government and was accordingly suppressed after France was liberated; Maurras was sentenced to life imprisonment for collaboration with the Germans.”

Excerpted from: Cook, Chris. Dictionary of Historical Terms. New York: Gramercy, 1998.

Crime and Puzzlement: Music Hath Charms

The statistics in the back end of this website report that there is interest among the blog’s users in the various Crime and Puzzlement lessons I have published here. My own experience using these has been quite successful, as the students with whom I have used them have actually asked to do more of them. Not to put too fine a point on this, but I don’t in general serve students who make it a habit to ask for additional work.

So, here is a lesson plan on “Music Hath Charms,” yet another Crime and Puzzlement case. I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the American idiom “Life of Riley.” Here’s the evidentiary illustration and text that is the centerpiece of the lesson. Finally, you’ll need this typescript of the answer key and explanations of evidence to assist students in solving the case.

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.

An Attempt at a Differentiated Thematic Essay Assessment

The principle reason I started Mark’s Text Terminal in 2015, in its second iteration, was to open a conversation with other educators on how best to serve the struggling learners in our schools. By that time, I’d developed enough material for these kids (and some of it for one or two kids) that I wanted to offer it as an example of how I approached the needs of the kids I served. That remains the mission of this blog.

Now, as I start to dig deeper into some folders I haven’t opened in several years, I find some interesting stuff. Several years ago, I started looking at the various standardized, high-stakes tests New York State required the students I served to take. One commonplace in these tests was the thematic essay. Indeed, local tests, written by teachers in schools, often deployed this method of assessment as well.

Because the New York State Global Studies Regents Examinations are reputedly difficult, I decided to work up this structured thematic essay learning support. As I recall, I used it as an instrument for direct instruction, asking students a variety of questions secondary to those on the worksheet itself. Judging from the document, I aimed to get kids thinking and talking about the themes in the worksheet themselves, but also to think more broadly about the idea of a theme and a thematic essay.

Then I put the document away and neither thought about nor used it again. So I would be particularly interested in your comments on this as a way of helping students understand the compositional requirements of a thematic essay as well as the underlying concepts of “theme” and “thematic.”

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.

Crime and Puzzlement: Footsteps in the Dark

Moving right along this morning, here is another lesson plan on a Crime and Puzzlement caseFootsteps in the Dark. I begin this lesson, to get students settled after a class change, with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the idiom money burning a hole in one’s pocket. Students and teacher will need the PDF of the illustration and questions of this case to investigate and solve it. Finally, here is the typescript of the answer key for this case.

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.