Tag Archives: readings

The Weekly Text, April 19, 2019

OK, as we reach the end of spring break (boo hoo!) here is a short reading on John Steinbeck and the vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet that accompanies 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.

Crime and Puzzlement: The Van Bliven Necklace

If the statistics module in the back room of this blog is accurate, there is a lot of interest, and therefore demand, for materials related to the Crime and Puzzlement series.

So, here is a complete lesson plan on The Van Bliven NecklaceI use short exercises to get students settled after a class change; for this lesson I chose this Cultural Literacy worksheet on persona non grata. Students and teacher will need this this scan of the picture from the book (the evidence) and the questions that drive the “investigation.” Finally, here is the answer key to solve 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.

Term of Art: Aberrant Behavior

“Irregular behavior that deviates from what is considered normal. In sociology, the use of the term implies that the behavior in question is performed in secret and mainly for reasons of self-interest, as for example in the case of certain unusual sexual practices. This may be contrasted with ‘non-conforming behavior,’ which usually refers to public violations of social norms, often carried out specifically to promote social change. Thus the political or religious dissenter proclaims his or her deviance to as wide an audience as possible. The implications of this distinction for theories of deviance are discussed fully by Robert K. Merton in his essay ‘Social Problems and Sociological Theory’ (R.K. Merton and R. Nisbet, Contemporary Social Problems, 1971).

Excerpted from: Matthews, Gordon, ed. Oxford Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Independent Practice: The Black Death

As far as I’m concerned, spring break begins as soon as a publish a few more blog posts this afternoon. You’ll hear not a peep from me next week–I hope you will be, as I will, enjoying the spring weather.

Here is a short independent practice worksheet on the black death. I’ve formatted it to fit on one page of paper, but depending on your students, you may want to spread it our over two pages. Like almost everything on Mark’s Text Terminal, this is a Microsoft Word document, so you can manipulate it to suit your students’ needs.

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.

9 Nights of Odin’s Sacrifice

Odin, the chief Norse god, made a sacrifice to himself, plucking out one eye and hanging for nine days and nine nights from the world tree Yggdrasil, pierced through his side by his magical spear. Gunghir [sic]. This allowed his soul to wander and gain insight into the nine realms of existence as well as to learn two sets of nine magical songs and rune spells. This shamanic sacrifice is told in the Norse Havanal epic: ‘Downwards I peered; I took up the runes, screaming I took them, then I fell back from there.'”

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.

Magic Realism

Here are a reading on magic realism and its attendant vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet if they are of any interest to your students or you.

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.

How Students Learn History in the Classroom IV

Some students think alternative historical accounts are created when people deliberately distort the truth, usually because they are ‘biased.’ The everyday idea of bias as something like taking sides allows students to attempt to solve the problem by looking for accounts written by someone neutral. This approach makes sense for everyday clashes between two people with clear interests in some practical outcome (Who started the fight?), but it does not work for history, where alternative accounts may have nothing to do with taking sides over a practical issue. The ideal of neutrality is sometimes broadened into writing from a ‘perspective-free’ stance.

Such ideas will cause difficulties for students until they can see that stories are not so much copies of the past as ways of looking at it. The key notion here is that stories order and make sense of the past; they do not reproduce it. There can be no ‘complete’ story of the past, only accounts within the parameters authors unavoidably set when the decide which questions to ask…. All this means that accounts demand selection, and therefore a position from which selection is made. A point of view is not merely legitimate but necessary; perspective-free accounts are not possible. Research suggests that some students already understand this point by the end of eighth grade. They know we can assess the relative merits of alternative accounts by asking the right questions. What are the accounts claiming to tell us? What questions are they asking? Are they dealing with the same themes? Are they covering the same time span? How do they relate to other accounts we accept and other thing we know?”

Excerpted from: Donovan, M. Suzanne, and John D. Bransford, eds. How Students Learn History in the Classroom. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2005.