Tag Archives: questioning/inquiry

Cultural Literacy: Fascism

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on fascism. This is a full-page worksheet with a seven-sentence reading (a couple of which could easily be broken up) and nine comprehension questions.

Fascism, as you may know, is a notoriously slippery concept, but is nonetheless thrown around casually–I myself once (fortunately, before I was of voting age) ludicrously characterized President Jimmy Carter as a fascist. I studied authoritarian political movements as an undergraduate and can report that even experts on fascism–e.g. Walter Laqueur and George Mosse–were careful with the term and were circumspect about using the word casually. Indeed, Professor Mosse in particular, with whose work I am quite familiar, grappled for much of his career with his agnosticism about fascism and fascist movements.

All of this is a long way of saying that while this worksheet is far from perfect, it is a decent general introduction to some of the cultural, economic, and political aspects of fascism. As much as the seven sentences of text in this document expose, they are notable for the questions they leave unanswered and therefore arouse. In fact, this may be a good document for starting students’ questioning of the conceptual elements of fascism (trust me, they are wide-ranging, disparate, and frequently just plain crazy).

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, 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.

Archimedes

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

Is there anything more I need to say about this polymath from Syracuse? He gave us the lever, and shouted “Eureka” (Greek for “I have found it”) when he solved the problem of the Golden Crown.

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.

Cultural Literacy: Fractal

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the fractal as a concept of mathematics, which turns out to be something different than I thought it was. I’d confused the basic concept of fractals with a Mandelbrot set, which is a type of fractal–but not the only one, apparently.

In any case, this is a full-page worksheet with a four-sentence reading and five comprehension questions.

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.

Cross of Gold Speech

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on William Jennings Bryan’s “Cross of Gold speech,” delivered to the audience at the 1896 national convention of the Democratic Party. Bryan is often used as a metaphor for the 19th-century American Populist movement–known as the People’s Party–and indeed the party nominated Bryan as its candidate in the 1896 presidential election.

The speech itself is both a representative ideological screed of populism, but also one of the classic pieces of American rhetoric. Bryan was a gasbag, so this speech is a stem-winder. As an illustration of certain tendencies in American political discourse, this speech is nonpareil.

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.

Truth

Here is a reading on truth along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. This is an Intellectual Devotional reading on truth as a problem in philosophy; like most of the readings I’ve developed into avenues of inquiry, this is a good general introduction to the problem of truth. But make no mistake: truth is a complex and often tendentious topic in philosophical discussions. Student interested in the topic will soon need something more substantial than this set of documents.

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.

Cultural Literacy: Thriller

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the thriller as a literary genre. This is a half-page worksheet with a reading of two sentences and two comprehensions questions. In other words, a basic, but solid, introduction to this literary genre.

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, 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.

Cultural Literacy: Radioactive Waste

OK, last but not least this morning, and because I started watching the HBO series Chernobyl, here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on radioactive waste. This is a full-page document with a five-sentence reading (two of them longish compounds) and six comprehension questions. Like the aforementioned television show, this worksheet is both compelling and cheerless.

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.