Tag Archives: science literacy

Cultural Literacy:

Here, finally on this Friday morning, is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the concept of the clockwork universe. This is a half-page document with a two-sentence reading (the second of them a long compound) and three comprehension questions–with two of them on the same line. This is a spare but relatively thorough summary of the concept of the clockwork universe.

In any case, like almost everything on Mark’s Text Terminal, this is a Microsoft Word document, so you can tailor it to the needs of your students.

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.

Smithsonian Institution

Here is a reading on the Smithsonian Institution along with its attendant vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. I can’t think of much to say about this: it’s a reading from the Intellectual Devotional series (of which you’ll find a great many on this website) with a basic vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet (which, like the reading itself, is in Microsoft Word, so you may revise and adapt it for your particular pedagogical circumstances and priorities) I prepared to accompany it.

And that is about 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.

Inertia (n)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the noun inertia. It means, of course, “a property of matter by which it remains at rest or in uniform motion in the same straight line unless acted upon by some external force,” “an analogous property of other physical quantities (as electricity),” and  “indisposition to motion, exertion, or change.” This might be useful material for you physics teachers out there.

And, as long as I am here and at it, here is another context clues worksheet on the adjective inert. It means “lacking the power to move,” “very slow to move or act, sluggish,” and, for you science teachers, “deficient in active properties; especially: lacking a usual or anticipated chemical or biological action.”

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.

Static Electricity

Some years ago, I worked with a student who lived on one of those apartments where every time he touched something or someone, he received a mild electric shock. He didn’t much like this, and wanted to find a way to stop it. I don’t know if this reading on static electricity and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet, which I prepared for him, helped with reducing shocks, but he was quite interested in the subject.

Otherwise, I am not sure why this document exists or what possible utility it might have. If you use it, I sure would appreciated hearing how and why.

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.

Stephen Hawking

I don’t know how germane they are to the high school curriculum in general (I prepared these documents for two students several years ago, and haven’t used them since), but here are a reading on Stephen Hawking along with its attendant vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. Professor Hawking has always been in my mind something in the line of Nietzsche’s ubermensch, especially in that terms expectation of self-overcoming.

In any case though, a certain kind of student (e.g. the two for whom I developed this material) finds Stephen Hawking, appropriately enough, a fascinating figure. This material is for that student.

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.

Isaac Newton

Here is a reading on Isaac Newton with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. This is a solid introduction to Newton; I have used it as a prelude to framing the Enlightenment in global studies classes in New York City. Otherwise, editorially, I assume I need not belabor the importance of Isaac Newton in the history of the world, let alone the intellectual history of Western Europe.

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.

Unified Science or Unity-of-Science View

“Unified science or unity-of-science view: In the philosophy of logical positivism, the doctrine holding that all science share the same language, laws, and method. The unity of language has been taken to mean that either that all scientific statements could be restated as a set of protocol sentences describing sense-data or that all scientific terms could be defined using physics terms. The unity of law means that the laws of the various sciences must be deduced from some set of fundamental laws (e.g. those of physics). The unity of method means that the procedures for supporting statements in the various sciences are basically the same. The unity-of-science movement that arose in the Vienna Circle held to those three unities, and Rudolf Carnap’s ‘physicalism’ supported the notion that all the terms and statements of empirical science could be reduced to terms and statements in the language of physics.”

Excerpted/Adapted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Nuclear Fission

Moving along, here is a reading on nuclear fission with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. Science teachers take note (I guess): This is a good general introduction to a complicated topic.

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.

Placebo Effect

Here is a reading on placebo effect along with its attendant vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. I don’t know if this is something high school students need to know; it is something that pops up (e.g. in an episode of Family Guy that I watched late last night) in common discourse often enough that we should at least consider its relevance to everyday life.

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.

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck on the Evolution of the Giraffe

“It is interesting to observe the result of habit in the peculiar shape and size of the giraffe (Camelo-pardalis): this animal, the largest of mammals, is known to live in the interior of Africa in places where the soil is nearly always arid and barren, so that it is obliged to browse on the leaves of trees and make a constant effort to reach them. From this habit long maintained in all its race, it has resulted that the animal’s fore-legs have become longer than its hind legs, and that its neck is lengthened to such a degree that the giraffe, without standing on its hind legs, attains a height of six metres.”

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Philosophie Zoologique pt. 1 ch. 7 (1809)

Excerpted from: Schapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.