Tag Archives: science literacy

Autoimmune Disease

Good morning on a bright and sunny day in southwestern Vermont. This seems like a good time to post this reading on autoimmune disease and its accompanying 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.

Hippocrates

I think I’m going to need to take a day off from this screen. Since I have a facetime appointment an hour from now, I’ll clear a few posts off my desktop. After that, I’ll see you on Monday.

Here is a reading on Hippocrates and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. I assume I don’t need to explain why now might be a good time to read about the father of modern medicine and the historical embodiment of why politicians and half-wit journalists should not pronounce on medical issues like, oh let’s say chloroquine as a treatment for COVID19.

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.

Word Root Exercise: Thermo

Here is a worksheet on the Greek word root thermo. It means heat and temperature. Science teachers, you won’t be surprised to hear that this worksheet contains some important vocabulary words used in your domain.

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.

Term of Art: Marginalization

“Marginalization:  A process by which a group or individual is denied access to important positions and symbols of economic, religious, or political power within any society. A marginal group may actually constitute a numerical majority—as in the case of blacks in South Africa—and should perhaps be distinguished from a minority group, which may be small in numbers, but has access to political or economic power.

Marginalization became a major topic of sociological research in the 1960s, largely in response to the realization that while certain developing countries demonstrated rapid economic growth, members of these societies were receiving increasingly unequal shares of the rewards of success. The process by which this occurred became a major source of study, particularly for those influenced by dependency, Marxist, and world-systems theories, who argued that the phenomenon was related to the world capitalist order and not just confined to particular societies.

Anthropologists, in particular, have tended to study marginal groups. This stems in part from the idea that, by looking at what happens on the margins of a society, one can see how that society defines itself and is defined in terms of other societies, and what constitute its key cultural features.”

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

A Lesson Plan on Watson, Crick, and DNA

OK, folks, here is the last post for today, a lesson plan on Watson, Crick, and DNA. The work of this lesson is simply this short reading and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. I wrote this lesson last fall for the Personal Development class the school in which I served required its students to take. I wanted the material, and its presentation, to arouse the big essential question, “Is biology destiny?”

However, if you’re more interested in teaching this material as a science lesson, here is a slightly longer version of the reading and worksheet. If you want to amplify this lesson, especially for girls interested in science, the reading does mention Rosalind Franklin, whose story is a cautionary tale by any standard I recognize.

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.

Supernova

Here is a reading on the supernova as the death of stars along with its 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.

7 Ancient Visible Planets

“Sun * Moon * Venus * Mercury * Mars * Jupiter * Saturn

Our sky-watching, hunter-gathering ancestors had 7 marked out as a number of enormous importance for tens of thousands of years. For this is the number of the visible planets—‘the five wanderers,’ plus the sun and the moon.

This respect for the 7 became ever more ingrained as the first agricultural civilizations allowed for accurate fixed observations from the calendar-keeping priests, whose temples throughout the ancient Middle East were all equipped with star-watching terraces above their cult chambers. It is an intriguing element within the cult of the 7 that the planets are not all visible at once: Mercury and most especially Venus (whose horns are occasionally visible) are the morning and evening stars. Bright Jupiter, luminous Saturn, and the more elusive red Mars belong to the full night. So we have always known that we have been watched, influenced, and enclosed by these 7 who right from the dawn of our consciousness have intriguingly different characteristics and hours of dominance and passageways through the heavens.

Although most of mankind probably now accepts that the earth is a planet which circles around the sun, and the moon is a planet of the earth, the mystery of our 7 encircling heavens still haunts our imagination. But this once immutable number of 7 keeps changing. First we knocked the seven down to five (as the sun and moon were taken off the list), then, in relatively modern times, it grew to nine. Uranus was discovered in 1781, followed by Neptune in 1846, then Pluto in 1930 (though this was later demoted to a dwarf planet to bring us back down to eight planets). So, currently, we have eight planets and five dwarf planets (Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, and Eris), as well as five named moons orbiting around Pluto.”

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.