Tag Archives: united states history

Wright Brothers

Here is a reading on the Wright Brothers along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. Over the years, several students I’ve served were highly interested in aeronautics and aviation, so I’ve tagged these documents as high-interest material.

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.

Book of Answers: Emily Dickinson’s Publications in Her Lifetime

“How many of Emily Dickinson’s poems were published during her lifetime? Seven. She wrote over 1,500.”

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

Cultural Literacy: Emily Dickinson

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Emily Dickinson. I’ve never seen her taught in the public schools in which I’ve served, which for a variety of reasons has always mystified me. 

For her poems, long out of copyright, are available at no charge to readers everywhere. And her work? It is commonly regarded as among the most original of all time. It may require some effort, but I do think it is possible to arouse interest in students in reading Emily Dickinson.

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.

Cultural Literacy: Ruth Benedict

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Ruth Benedict, a towering figure in the study of anthropology in the United States. This is a short worksheet, three questions only, that doesn’t do justice to this path-breaking scholar.

Like Zora Neale Hurston, Dr. Benedict studied with Franz Boas at Columbia University. In fact, if Ms. Hurston’s Wikipedia page is accurate (I understand educators’ trepidation where Wikipedia is concerned, but entries like this–generally non-controversial–are reliable) she worked with Dr. Benedict at Columbia. Dr. Benedict and Ms. Hurston also worked with Margaret Mead, and Dr. Benedict apparently engaged in an intense romantic affair with Dr. Mead. Serving as president of the American Anthropological Association, Dr. Benedict was the first woman to lead a learned society in the United States. Her book Patterns of Culture became a standard text in the study of anthropology, and as far as I can tell remains an enduring classic.

In other words, Ruth Benedict is clearly an appropriate subject, in the hands of an interested student, for what was called in one high school in which I served a “college paper.”

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.

Susanna Kaysen on Developmental Interruptions

“This time I read the title of the painting: Girl Interrupted at Her Music. Interrupted at her music: as my life had been, interrupted in the music of being seventeen, as her life had been, snatched and fixed on canvas: one moment, made to stand still and to stand for all the other moments, whatever they could be or might have been. What life can recover from that?”

Susanna Kaysen, Girl, Interrupted (1993)

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

Elizabeth Cady Stanton on Education and Personal Freedom

“The isolation of every human soul and the necessity of self-dependence must give each individual the right, to choose his own surroundings. The strongest reason for giving woman all the opportunities of higher education, for the full development of her faculties, her forces of mind and body; for giving her the most enlarged freedom of thought and action; a complete emancipation from all forms of bondage, of custom, dependence, superstition; from all the crippling influences of fear, is the solitude and personal responsibility of her own individual life.”

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Speech before Senate Judiciary Committee, 18 Jan. 1892

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

The Weekly Text, March 26, 2021, Women’s History Month 2021 Week IV: A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on Second-Feminism

This week’s Text, for the final Friday of Women’s History Month 2021, is a reading on second-wave feminism along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

While I understood the historical divide between feminisms, my understanding was mostly intuitive and instinctive. This short reading explains well the difference between first-wave feminism, to wit the Women’s Suffrage movement which culminated in the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and the second wave, which began in the 1960s. The second wave, incidentally, apparently continues to today, as reversals, or the threat of reversals, of the gains made necessitate the ongoing function of a feminist movement.

In any event, this reading summarizes this history concisely, as well as supplying students with a quick way to gain this vital piece of prior knowledge about United States history.

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.

Flora MacDonald

“Flora MacDonald: (1722-1790) Scottish Jacobite heroine who aided Prince Charles Edward Stuart in his escape after the Battle of Culloden. MacDonald resided in the U.S. (1774-79), where her husband Allan MacDonald, was a brigadier general in the British Army during the American Revolution.”

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

Jeanette Rankin

“Jeanette Rankin: (1880-1973) U.S. reformer, first woman member of the U.S. Congress (1917-1919, 1941-1943). Born in Missoula, Montana, she was social worker from 1909 and became active in women’s suffrage work. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1916, she introduced the first bill to give women the vote. A pacifist, she voted against declaring war on Germany (1917). She lost her bid for a U.S. Senate seat (1918) and returned to social work. In 1940 she won reelection to the House, where she became the only legislator to vote against declaration of war on Japan. Declining to seek reelection, she continued to lecture on social reform. In 1968, at 87, she led 5,000 women, the “Jeanette Rankin Brigade,” to protest the Vietnam War.”

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

Cultural Literacy: Madeleine Albright

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Madeleine Albright. This is a full-page document, with a paragraph-length reading and eight questions. As always, however, you may adapt this document, because it is in Microsoft Word, to your students’ needs.

Secretary Albright–the first woman in United States history, incidentally, to serve as Secretary of State–requires little introduction. In her retirement from government service, she has remained active as a scholar of and commentator on world affairs. Most recently, observing (as any sentient person has, I hope) the rise of far right-wing strongmen around the globe, she published a book on fascism, a notoriously slippery subject. The book was well received, so it probably merits a look at some point.

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.