Tag Archives: readings

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.

How Students Learn History in the Classroom III

“A community-centered approach requires the development of norms for the classroom and school, as well as connections to the outside world, that support core learning values. Learning is influenced in fundamental ways by the context in which it takes place. Every community, including classrooms and schools, operates with a set of norms, a culture—explicit or implicit—that influences interactions among individuals. This culture, in turn, mediates learning. The principles of How People Learn have important implications for classroom culture. Consider the finding that new learning builds on existing conceptions, for example. If classroom norms encourage and reward students only for being “right,” we would expect students to hesitate when asked to reveal their unschooled thinking. And yet revealing preconceptions and changing ideas in the course of instruction is a critical component of effective learning and responsive teaching. A focus on student thinking requires classroom norms that encourage the expression of ideas (tentative and certain, partially and fully formed), as well as risk taking. It requires that mistakes be viewed not as revelations of inadequacy, but as helpful contributions in the search for understanding.”

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

Independent Practice: The Fall of Rome

This independent practice worksheet on the Fall of Rome does a nice job, in only a few sentences, of laying out the concept of imperial overreach.

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.

Gravity

Here are a short reading on gravity 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.

Psychiatrists and Psychologists

Health care has been something of a hot potato in the United States for a very long time; and certainly the debate around what looks to me like a basic human right has grown extremely contentious with the passage of the Affordable Care Act. I want the students I serve to know something about health care. And as many young people today require the services of mental health professionals, they should know what they’re looking for and buying.

So here is a short reading on the difference between psychiatrists and psychologists 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.