Tag Archives: readings/research

Book of Answers: Dante’s Inferno

“According to Dante’s Inferno (1321), who is at the bottom of hell? In the lowest circle of hell, the place for traitors, a three-faced Satan chews on three people: Brutus and Cassius, betrayers of Julius Caesar, and Judas Iscariot, betrayer of Jesus Christ.”

Excerpted from: Corey, Melinda, and George Ochoa. Literature: The New York Public Library Book of Answers. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.

Constructivism

“Constructivism: The creation of three-dimensional abstractions from materials used in modern technics, e.g., wire, iron, plastic, glass, wood. The first constructivist exhibition took place in Moscow in 1920. With its emphasis on rationality and modern technology, constructivist sculpture focused on space rather than mass. Begun as a Russian abstract style, it is sometimes called Tatlinism, after one of the earliest constructivists. Leader constructivists are Antoine Pevsner, Naum Gabo, and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy; Alexander Rodchenko and Vladimir Tatlin both applied constructivist principles to architecture and design.”

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

Wright Brothers

Here is a reading on the Wright Brothers along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. Over the years, several students I’ve served were highly interested in aeronautics and aviation, so I’ve tagged these documents as high-interest 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.

The Weekly Text, April 2, 2021: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “Picture Gallery”

Since they continue as some of the most downloaded items on Mark’s Text Terminal, here is another case from the pages of the Crime and Puzzlement books, this one a lesson plan on the “Picture Gallery” whodunit.

I start this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on Dylan Thomas’s immortal lines, some of the best-known in the history of poetry, “Do not go gentle into that good night…Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” I don’t teach younger children, but I’ll hazard a guess that this do-now exercise may well be inappropriate for them. Needless to say, your call. To conduct your investigation into the larceny at the picture gallery, you’ll need this PDF of the illustrations and questions that constitute the forensic material in this crime. Finally, to determine whether your detectives used evidence judiciously to allege a crime and arrest a suspect, here is the typescript of the answer key.

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: Ruth Benedict

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Ruth Benedict, a towering figure in the study of anthropology in the United States. This is a short worksheet, three questions only, that doesn’t do justice to this path-breaking scholar.

Like Zora Neale Hurston, Dr. Benedict studied with Franz Boas at Columbia University. In fact, if Ms. Hurston’s Wikipedia page is accurate (I understand educators’ trepidation where Wikipedia is concerned, but entries like this–generally non-controversial–are reliable) she worked with Dr. Benedict at Columbia. Dr. Benedict and Ms. Hurston also worked with Margaret Mead, and Dr. Benedict apparently engaged in an intense romantic affair with Dr. Mead. Serving as president of the American Anthropological Association, Dr. Benedict was the first woman to lead a learned society in the United States. Her book Patterns of Culture became a standard text in the study of anthropology, and as far as I can tell remains an enduring classic.

In other words, Ruth Benedict is clearly an appropriate subject, in the hands of an interested student, for what was called in one high school in which I served a “college paper.”

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: Girl Scouts of the United States of America

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Girl Scouts of the United States of America. This is a short worksheet, a half-pager, with three questions. In other words, there are two worksheet on every page. That said, you may alter or adapt this document for your use–it is in Microsoft Word and easily exportable to a word processing program of your preference.

I don’t know much about the Girl Scouts (though like many people, I expect, I am intimately familiar with their cookie varieties); I was a Boy Scout myself. In the little bit of research I’ve conducted about scouting for this post, I did notice that while The Girl Scouts have not been immune to sexual abuse scandals, although a review of the Scouting sex abuse cases discloses that this is primarily a problem in the Boy Scouts.

In general, I have only one question about this: what the hell is wrong with people?

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, March 26, 2021, Women’s History Month 2021 Week IV: A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on Second-Feminism

This week’s Text, for the final Friday of Women’s History Month 2021, is a reading on second-wave feminism along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

While I understood the historical divide between feminisms, my understanding was mostly intuitive and instinctive. This short reading explains well the difference between first-wave feminism, to wit the Women’s Suffrage movement which culminated in the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and the second wave, which began in the 1960s. The second wave, incidentally, apparently continues to today, as reversals, or the threat of reversals, of the gains made necessitate the ongoing function of a feminist movement.

In any event, this reading summarizes this history concisely, as well as supplying students with a quick way to gain this vital piece of prior knowledge about United States history.

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.

Flora MacDonald

“Flora MacDonald: (1722-1790) Scottish Jacobite heroine who aided Prince Charles Edward Stuart in his escape after the Battle of Culloden. MacDonald resided in the U.S. (1774-79), where her husband Allan MacDonald, was a brigadier general in the British Army during the American Revolution.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

Cultural Literacy: Madeleine Albright

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Madeleine Albright. This is a full-page document, with a paragraph-length reading and eight questions. As always, however, you may adapt this document, because it is in Microsoft Word, to your students’ needs.

Secretary Albright–the first woman in United States history, incidentally, to serve as Secretary of State–requires little introduction. In her retirement from government service, she has remained active as a scholar of and commentator on world affairs. Most recently, observing (as any sentient person has, I hope) the rise of far right-wing strongmen around the globe, she published a book on fascism, a notoriously slippery subject. The book was well received, so it probably merits a look at some point.

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: Louisa May Alcott

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Louisa May Alcott. This is a half-page worksheet with two questions; in other words, for every page you print, you’ll produce two worksheets.  

Which doesn’t really do justice to the interest the subject of the document, Louisa May Alcott, seems to generate. For example, Little Women has been produced for stage and screen repeatedly, once even as an anime series. Two of the film adaptations of the novel appeared just a little over a generation apart, with esteemed Australian director Gillian Armstrong’s 1994 adaptation and Greta Gerwig’s highly praised 2019 production appearing within 25 years of each other. 

One thing not well known about Ms. Alcott is the fact that along with such examples of 19th-century New England rectitude as Little Women and Little Men (also adapted as a film three times as well as a Canadian television series) she also wrote racy novels, proto-pulp fiction, really, under the name A.M. Barnard, a fact uncovered by the fascinating antiquarian booksellers Leona Rostenberg and Madeleine B. Stern

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