Tag Archives: readings

Book of Answers: Dalton Trumbo

When was Dalton Trumbo summoned before the House Committee on Un-American activities? In 1947. The screenwriter and author of Johnny Got His Gun (1939) was imprisoned and blacklisted for his refusal to answer questions about his Communist affiliations.

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

Vietnam Protest Movement

Here is a reading on the Vietnam protest movement in the 1960s along with its vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. This material might provide valuable context for students seeking to understand the actions and (I hope) changes consequent to them in our nation right now.

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.

Crocodile

“Crocodile: A symbol of deity among the ancient Egyptians. According to Plutarch, it is the only aquatic animal that has its eyes covered with a thin transparent membrane, by reason of which it sees and is not seen, as God sees all, Himself not being seen. To this, he adds: ‘The Egyptians worship God symbolically in the crocodile, that being the only animal without a tongue, like the Divine Logos, which standeth not in the need of speech’ (De Iside et Osiride). Achilles Tatius says, ‘The number of its teeth equals the number of days in a year.’ Another tradition is that, during the seven days held sacred to Apis, the crocodile will harm no one.

Crocodile tears’ are hypothetical tears. The tale is that crocodiles moan and sigh like a person in deep distress to lure travelers to the spot and even shed tears over their prey while in the act of devouring it. Shakespeare refers to this in the second part of Henry VI.”

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

The Second of Two Lesson Plans on Ancient Egypt

OK, here is the second of two lessons on ancient Egypt. I open this lesson with this worksheet on the noun diaspora; this is a very heavily used words in historical discourse, and I cannot tell you how many times students have asked me to define if for them over the years. If this lesson goes into a second day (I wrote this and the five lessons that precede it below to be taught over a two-day period, FYI), here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the grim reaper. It might not be the best choice for this lesson, but there are plenty of others elsewhere on this website–simply click on the “Cultural Literacy” tag in the word cloud. Finally, here is the worksheet at the center of this lesson with its reading and comprehension questions.

And that is it. In the the six documents posts below (with the interstitial quotes between them), you’ll find most of the rest of the lessons in this far-from-perfect unit.

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 First of Two Lesson Plans on Ancient Egypt

Here’s the first of two lesson plans on ancient Egypt. I opened this lesson with this context clues worksheet on the noun empire. In the event that this lesson goes into a second day (and, as below, I’m fairly certain I wrote all of the preceding five lessons with this in mind, so if you teach this lesson over two days, you’ll need this second do-now exercise), here is a worksheet on the ancient Greek city-state of Sparta. Finally, here is the worksheet at the center of this lesson with its reading and comprehension questions.

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.

A Lesson Plan on Egyptian and Mesopotamian Technology

Continuing on with the distribution of the second unit of my freshman global studies cycle for struggling kids, here is a lesson plan on Egyptian and Mesopotamian technology. I opened this lesson with this context clues worksheet on the noun commerce. As the lesson seques into a second day (as below, I am certain I wrote all these lessons to extend over two days), here, to complement the first do-now, is a context clues worksheet on the noun labor. Finally, here is the worksheet with its reading and comprehension questions.

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.

A Lesson Plan on Technological Advancement in the Ages of Metals

Moving right along (see the documents posts below) with a specialized set of lesson plans on prehistory and ancient history, here is a lesson plan on the ages of metals. I opened this lesson with this context clues worksheet on the noun caravan. As the lesson goes into its second day (I’m fairly certain I intended to do that, again, as below, when I wrote it), here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Seven Wonders of the World. Finally, here is the worksheet with its reading and comprehension questions.

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.

6 Confucian Classics

Book of Changes * Book of Documents * Book of Poetry * Record of the Rites * Spring and Autumn Annals * Records of Music (missing)

As the son of an officer in the service of his ducal state, Confucius’s life was informed by the middle-class respect for textual learning. Even in his youth (he was born in 551 BC), he yearned for a golden past of decency, harmony and respect, and dressed in eccentric outmoded fashion.

He worked tirelessly to collect the records of the past—indeed, all of these six classics existed in some form before his edition. Four works would later be added to the five Confucian classics that survived (the Records of Music was lost) to create a larger canon of Nine Confucian Classics.

Confucius’s conservative philosophy championed the family unit as the basis for society, reinforced by respect for elders by their children, just as the elders venerated their ancestors and gave the same loving obedience to the Emperor that they expected from their own wives, and which his followers gave to the man they called ‘The Great Sage’ and ‘The First Teacher.’ His golden rule was ‘Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.’

It is pleasing to note that, though the families of all the imperial dynasties of China have faded away, the Kongs (the descendants of Confucius) maintain the oldest, largest, and most continuous genealogy in the world, currently mapping out eight-three male generations since the death of the ‘model teacher for ten thousand ages’ in 479 BC.

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.

A Lesson Plan on the Earliest Civilizations: Asia

As below, here is a lesson plan on the earliest civilizations in Asia. Like the rest of the global studies lessons I will post here roughly seriatim (with the usual intervening quotes), this is one version of several lessons I wrote over the years with an eye toward best preparing the students I served to take the New York State Regents Examination in Global Studies and Geography. I forget now which year these lessons represent, but it was certainly a year in which the test was reportedly up for change.

I opened this lesson with this context clues worksheet on the verb banish. If the lesson goes into a second day–and as I unpack and take a second look at these lessons, I seem to recall deliberately writing them to extend over two days so that I could assess how ably students retained knowledge from the previous day–then here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Mesopotamia which you might consider using as an independent practice (i.e. homework) assignment. Finally, here is the in-class worksheet with a reading and comprehension questions.

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.

A Lesson Plan on Early Civilizations: Africa to the Middle East

Last Friday, I posted this lesson plan on the earliest civilizations as the Weekly Text and immediately regretted it. Indeed, I chose not to crosspost on the usual platforms because of what I see as, well, not my best work. Over the decade I taught in one high school in New York City, I developed a number of sets of lessons for Global Studies classes, which are a two-year cycle of study that culminate in what was a high-states state test. Each year, as we received news that that the New York State Global Studies Regents Global History and Geography Examination would change (e.g. its named changed a few years ago with the addition of “and Geography,” and along with the test’s content), I worked to rewrite my units to prepare students for the anticipated changes. This is called, of course, “teaching to the test.” If you’ve done it, you know it can be a maddening exercise–especially if you want to keep up with the changes on these tests.

In any case, as I recall this lesson, and the next several I will post, I was trying to move students quickly through the basics of studying global history and geography, and introduce and reinforce basic concepts in historical study and analysis. Furthermore, I believe my class that year was mainly English language learners, so this lesson, and the four that follow it above, were written with them in mind. Incidentally, I wrote the text for this lesson in an attempt to cover a lot of ground in relatively plain, easily comprehensible prose. The worksheet ends with a request for a citation. You might want to put your own name at the bottom of the reading, along with a title, and a made-up press so that students can get some practice writing out citations in MLA style.

So, I open this lesson with this context clues worksheet on the adjective consecutive, which is of course a good word to know when one is studying the sweep of time, and it can be used nicely in front of the plural noun centuries. In the event the lesson goes into a second day (which is likely, since the worksheet is fairly long), here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Nile River. Finally, here is the worksheet with a a reading and comprehension questions that is at the center of the lesson.

If you use this lesson, and thought it a productive experience for your students, please be aware that the next four documents posts above this one are lessons that follow this one in a unit.

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.