Tuesday, October 28, 2014

THE GRISLY ALL AMERICAN APPEAL OF SERIAL KILLERS


“In trying to make sense of the darkest extremes of human behavior, the public turns murderers into myths and monsters”
By: Julie Beckoct
Level of Difficulty: ***
BEFORE YOU READ
·         Do you enjoy crime dramas? Which ones do you watch?
·         What do you think makes crime dramas so popular worldwide?
QUESTIONS
1.       The story of the killer clown proves that………………………………………………………………………………
2.       The reason of the far less prevalent cases of murders by serial killers are remembered even years later is the fact that …………………………………………………………………………………………………….
3.       Dr. Scott Bon says people are endlessly fascinated by serial killers because they…………………….
4.       Do Marvel and Dave Corbone agree or disagree about the reason for the fascination with serial killers?
5.       What misguided opinion did the FBI disprove?
6.       The reasons why white male serial killers like Bundy, the Zodiac killer, the Green River killer and the like become famous are the facts that…………………………………………………………………….
7.       There is an element of racial bias in serial murder investigations because…………………………..
8.       The widely held erroneous belief about who exactly serial killers are is the fact that they are…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
9.       The link between the McDonald Triad and future violent behavior is non-existent / tenuous / valid / questionable.
10.   People prefer to think that serial killers are ………………………..rather than……………………………….
11.   Most serial killers are wrongly considered to be American because……………………………………….
12.   People’s growing insensitivity to violent crime has sparked the interest in…………………………….(Be specific and tweak the text)
13.   Why does the public lump real serial killers and fictional ones together?
14.   The reason for the emergence of the monster narrative is the fact that……………………………..
15.   When dealing with serial killers, the emphasis is on ………………….rather than………………………… This has lead to the line of fiction best described as ………………………………………………………………
16.   The idea that all people who enjoy graphic crime drama are just as bad as the villains is wrong because according to research, …………………………………………………………………………………..
17.   David Schmit believes people enjoy shows like Dexter because: mark true or false
·         The killers are more self centered
·         They want to go around murdering people
·         The killers  disregard social rules
·         The killers do whatever they want
·         They like the story line
18.   Now that you have studied the text carefully, decide where you would place the following subtitles:
·         A Popular Misconception Is Born
·         The Demise of the Serial Killer Cult
·         The Birth of the Monster Narrative
·         Why the Interest?
WRITING TASK
Use the text to write an essay explaining the reasons for the birth and growing popularity of the monster narrative.
THE GRISLY ALL AMERICAN APPEAL OF SERIAL KILLERS KEY AND TEACHER’S NOTES
This topical text analyzes a widely popular genre on television and on screen and as such should appeal to students many of whom watch crime dramas. It should be interesting to see how objective they can be when looking at the issue.
1.       When it comes to serial killers, the myth is what matters
2.       Tales of domestic violence zoom in and out of news so frequently
3.       Are drawn to understanding the dark side and the dark side is part of the human condition
4.       They agree; both feel it is about the puzzle
5.       Serial killers are all men, all white, all evil geniuses or mentally ill
6.       Female serial killers tend to kill by less gory methods ; most serial killers tend to kill within their own race and white victims, especially white female victims, usually get wider media attention; serial killers who target minority victims are less likely to be caught.
7.       White neighborhoods are given priority over poor, black or Latino neighborhoods.
8.       Ordinary, white, male, middle class
9.       Questionable
10.   Deviant monsters; seemingly ordinary people
11.   The rates of violence in general and serial killer violence specifically are so much higher in the  US.
12.   Serial killers with extreme methods
13.   Because true crime shows often use fictional techniques to dramatize what they are showing and fictional shows draw upon real stories to give themselves authenticity.
14.   The media tends to paint serial killers as storybook villains.
15.   Conquering evil( or eliminating evil) ; understanding it
16.   Thrill watchers have high levels of adventure seeking but also high levels of empathy
17.   The second one is false, the rest are true
18.   A Popular Misconception Is Born: In the public imagination, serial killers tend to fit a certain stereotype
The Demise of the Serial Killer Cult: It’s been years since…
The Birth of the Monster Narrative: The serial killers who become famous are extreme…
Why the Interest? The public fascination with serial killers…


UNDERSTANDING STALIN


“Russian archives reveal that he was no madman, but a very smart and implacably rational ideologue”
By: Anne Applebaumoct
Level of difficulty: **
BEFORE YOU READ
·         How would you describe Stalin? A mad sociopath or ruthless, cold, calculating and single-minded?
·         Does he share certain qualities with other dictators?
·         Why do you think people follow such people so blindly?
QUESTIONS
1.       The fact that Iosif Vissarionovich Djugashvili became the Stalin we know is incredible / to be expected.
2.       Many experts have tried to explain the transformation in the characters of people like Hitler and Stalin through…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
3.       Why could Leon Trotsky have put about such damming views concerning Stalin?
4.       What misconception concerning Stalin the person did the archives prove to be wrong?
5.       Ingenuity and hard work helped Stalin create the Soviet Union but they weren’t the only factors. What else helped him with his mission?
6.       What advantage did Stalin the person possess that his two companions didn’t?
7.       Refer back to question three; what judgment concerning Stalin was proved to be wrong by Kotkin?
8.       How did the Bolshevik coup d’├ętat benefit Stalin and his friends?
9.       The framework for all Stalin’s actions is stated to be ………………………which seemed to offer security.
10.   One of the reasons for Stalin’s terrible reputation was the fact that…………………………………
11.   According to Kotkin, Stalin wasn’t a psychopath or a sociopath; rather, he was………………………
12.   The “deep sense of certainty” provided by ideology was very comfortable because ……………………..could be explained away.
13.   Read the account of Stalin’s mission in Tsaritsyn. Which adjectives best describe Stalin’s behavior in this instance:
·         Single-minded and ruthless
·         Sadistic and ambitious
14.   What method first used in Tsaritsyn became Stalin’s regular fallback plan throughout his career?
15.   What does “it” refer to in the phrase “it resulted in Stalin’s complete political triumph”
16.   The warning offered in the conclusion is that:
·         Violent ideologies still exist
·         Violent ideologies still have their followers
·         Both of the above
·         None of the above (please explain)
17.   Look back at the text and try and place the subtitles listed below in their appropriate places.
·         Ideology Carried Too Far
·         The Truth
·         Psychological and Political Explanations
·         The Role of Ideology
·         Freud Was Wrong
·         And So Was Trotsky
WRITING TASK
Now that you have studied the text in detail, write a summary. Remember a good summary needs to be brief and to the point; longer isn’t always better. This summary task is challenging in another respect too: it requires massive reorganization of the information so think carefully and send in your summary if you believe it is good enough to post. Have fun.
UNDERSTANDING STALIN KEY AND TEACHER’S NOTES
This text may look like a tired old topic about an infamous dictator we have read so much about but it is not. Through Stalin, the writer seeks to imagine the single minded attachment to an ideology, how this ideology takes hold and that it is an ever present danger. Question 17 and the writing task require special attention.
1.       Incredible
2.       Their subject’s upbringing / childhood
3.       To inspire the Trotskyites to remain faithful to the revolution
4.       That he was a lumpen bureaucrat
5.       With the help of a circle of equally dedicated men as well as thousands of fanatical secret policemen
6.       A mother who despite her background, was ambitious and energetic …
7.       That he was an unlettered man who…
8.       It brought them personal security, force and power they had never before known.
9.       Ideology
10.   All his policies required mass violence to implement
11.   A man shaped by rigid adherence to a puritanical doctrine
12.   Whatever went wrong
13.   The first
14.   Extralegal revolutionary methods
15.   The displacement, the imprisonment and eventually the orchestrated starvation of millions of people
16.   Both of the above
17.   Ideology Carried Too Far: “The ideology offered Stalin…”
The Truth: “Since the opening…”
Psychological and Political Explanations: “Under Freud’s influence…”
The Role of Ideology: “Year by year…”
Freud Was Wrong: “In an exceptionally ambitious biography, …”

And So Was Trotsky: “More important Kotkin notes…”

Monday, October 27, 2014

THE INTROVERTED FACE


By: James Hamblinoct
Level of difficulty: **
BEFORE YOU READ
·         How do we form first impressions of people?
·          How reliable are these first impressions?
·         What are the long term effects of these first impressions?
QUESTIONS
1.       What widely held belief seems questionable according to the writer?
2.       The purpose of the text is to try and discover whether ……………………………………………………………..
3.       What is the function of the following sentence: “But it’s predictably not all that simple”?
·         To provide transition
·         To indicate the writer’s opinion
·         To indicate the main argument
·         To introduce doubt
·         All of the above
·         None of the above
4.       Olivola seems to be suggesting that we carry our first impressions too far / far enough / not far enough.
5.       The widespread face-ism observed in society has serious and far reaching consequences as ………
6.       Olivola states “Fortunately for researchers, most Americans don’t know who most congressional candidates are”. Why does he say this? Use your own words.
7.       In the case of CEO’S, the effects of social bias could be dealt with by……………………………………………
8.       In the case of elections, there seems to be a positive correlation between ………………………………
9.       What does that message in the sentence “We need a lot of strong evidence before putting that message out there” refer to?
10.   Olivola describes the belief that “mankind is capable of judging personality based on the face alone as ……………………………………….He goes on to say that it is not only the fact that such judgments are wrong that is dangerous; people are also ……………………..
WRITING TASK
Use the text to write about the effects of face-ism and how to deal with it.
THE INTROVERTED FACE KEY AND TEACHER’S NOTES
This interesting text focuses on a popular bias we may not have all thought deeply about and draws attention to its consequences. The activity should lead to a good writing activity and plenty of discussion.
  1. That people can accurately guess a variety of personality traits and behavioral tendencies from portraits alone.
  2. The findings elucidate canny human intuition or absurd misguided bias
  3. All of the above
  4. Too far
  5. They have serious implications for how people are treated and their outcomes in life
  6. Possible answer: Their prejudices don’t affect their voting if they don’t know what the candidates look like
  7. Controlling for how the company was doing before they come on board versus after.
  8. Facial competence and lack of political knowledge
  9. The ability to draw accurate inferences from faces
  10. A judgmental illusion; inconsistent



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

HOW TO WRITE ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAYS


The purpose when writing arguments is to defend your own views and refute the counter arguments. One way to do this is to take each counter argument and refute it individually. The rebuttal thus provided should ideally be accompanied by examples too. Below you will find the link to a wonderful video and short data commentary on the issue of government involvement in healthcare. Listen carefully and study the data and data commentary to come to grips with how the process works.
“What If America Had Canada's Healthcare System?
It would not be a socialist paradise.”

TELL THE STORY OF POCAHONTAS


We all know the Walt Disney film about Pocahontas but who was the real Indian princess and what was her true life story? Do your research and write an essay or a paragraph based on the notes you make.
Reading and writing skills: review a well structured lesson on Pocahontas:
·         “Who was Pocahontas?” https://learnzillion.com/lessonsets/888-who-was-pocahontas  You will need to create a free account to access this sight but it is a good idea to take the time to do it. When you have done so, view and listen carefully to all the video lectures on the topic; there are five in this case
Reading material to annotate:
·         “The real Pocahontas” http://pocahontas.morenus.org/  This website will lend itself to a comparison as well.
Videos to make notes on:
“Pocahontas”  http://www.biography.com/people/pocahontas-9443116

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

LINKS FROM “LEARNZILLION” WHICH WILL HELP WITH WRITING


About this site: the site contains video lessons on various aspects of writing.
Below you will find sets of video lessons created by experts on issues ranging from punctuation and subject verb agreement to coherence. View them at your leisure
·          “A collection of Write Along lessons created by Lauren Jarrell” https://learnzillion.com/lessonsets/821
·         A collection of Write Along lessons created by Michael Signal.
·         A collection of Write Along lessons created by Juaneuka Agyeman. https://learnzillion.com/lessonsets/876
·         A collection of Write Along lessons created by Kristi Steele.
·         A collection of Write Along lessons created by Katherine Learnard.
·         A collection of Write Along lessons created by Stephanie Clarke.
·         A collection of Write Along lessons created by Kathleen Bowski.



Monday, October 20, 2014

TELL THE STORY OF ‘EARTH’


Study the links below to find out more about our wonderful and amazing home, planet Earth, and write the story.
Familiarize yourself with the issue:
Reading material to annotate:
·         “The history of Earth” http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/history_of_the_earth
Documentary to watch and make notes on:

·         “The history of Earth” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQm6N60bneo