Tag Archives: questioning/inquiry

Salman Rushdie

In memory of Samuel Paty, and in honor of teachers everywhere struggling to promote and conduct free and open inquiry, and as a cautionary tale about religious orthodoxy and extremism across the globe, I offer without further comment this reading on Salman Rushdie and its attendant vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

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: Passive Resistance

This Cultural Literacy worksheet on passive resistance as a means of protest ought to have great currency at the moment, especially when elected officials imply they will not participate in a peaceful transfer of governmental authority. The reading in this short exercise mentions Gandhi, but I don’t think teachers should let the opportunity pass to invoke the name of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., another practitioner of passive resistance who acknowledged his debt to Gandhi.

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: 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.

Cultural Literacy: Nihilism

If you can use it (I didn’t fully understand the concept until I was well into my undergraduate education), here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on nihilism as a concept in philosophy, which is this word’s function at bottom–to dress up an abstract concept like a belief in nothing. You might want to help your students make the connection with the Latin word root nihil, which means, simply, nothing.

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.

Cultural Literacy: Meritocracy

It’s a concept that has received some long overdue scrutiny of late (you need only search “recent attacks on meritocracy” to find 933,000 results, at least on Google), so now is the perfect moment to post this Cultural Literacy worksheet on meritocracy. I think anyone who has spent any amount of time in a workplace knows that merit is basically inert when one seeks to advance one’s own career. It’s the sycophants and politicians that advance in our society, not those who seek to prove their worth through the merits of their efforts. Indeed, a whole genre of comedy arose around this, starting, at least on my radar screen, with the American version of the situation comedy The Office.

Parenthetically, this document’s reading is more text than one usually finds in the short Cultural Literacy exercises on this website. Moreover, the reading mentions the Scholastic Aptitude Test, about which I will soon be posting a lesson plan. As you will see when you download and unpack it, this worksheet on meritocracy allows plenty of room to expand it–which, because it is a Microsoft Word, you can do easily.

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.

Drag Racing

Last but not least today, here is a reading on drag racing and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. I wrote this when I was working with a group of students in a rural high school who were interested in all manner of fast cars. It was high-interest material for those students, which leads me to suspect it will be of high-interest elsewhere as well. If that turns out to be the case in your classroom, could you leave a comment?

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.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

By posting this reading on Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet that it is appropriate for high-schoolers (it might be, for the right ones), or of particularly high interest (again, it might be, for the right one) or demand. I actually wrote this for one student who was very interested in philosophy, but not otherwise interested in school.

Anyway, any reading on Liebniz can complement a calculus class, particularly if you want students to know something about the history of the field. More broadly, if you are conducting inquiry into the Enlightenment, or teaching Voltaire’s Candide, this material will provide some context for that novella.

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, October 16, 2020: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “Blot It Out”

It’s Friday again. I don’t know about you, but I am experiencing time in some very strange ways during this pandemic. Anyway, Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 has come and gone.

So, this week’s text is a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “Blot It Out.” I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the phrase Art for Art’s Sake (incidentally, when you watch movies, new or old, produced at the Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) studio, you’ll see the Latin phrase “Ars Gratia Artis” above the roaring lion’s head as the film begins to roll, well, you can now explain that phrase to students and children). You’ll need this scan of the illustration and questions in order to conduct your investigation. Finally, here is the typescript of the answer key so that you can make allegations and bring your suspect 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.

Cultural Literacy: The Federalist Papers

Last but not least today, here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on The Federalist Papers. This is only the merest introduction to these foundational documents to our republic, but sometimes that’s what a teacher needs. If so, help yourself.

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.

Charles Manson

Charles Manson’s death in late 2017 prompted a flurry of questions from the students I was serving at the time. As I do whenever students demonstrate an interest in something, I worked up some new materials, to wit, this reading on Charles Manson and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

And while I’m neither proud of or happy with the fact, these documents quickly became high-interest materials in my classroom. Ergo, they appear here. Did I mention I’m not exactly happy about students’ interest in this monster?

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.