2A 2B 3A 3B 4A 4B 5A 5B 6A 6B 7A 7B 8A/8B 9A 9B 10A 10B 11A 11B 12A 12B 13A 13B 14A 14B
ENGLISH 20 LAB REQUIREMENTS AND EXPECTATIONS
The English 20 lab is a very important part of your
final grade for English 20. This
semester, the lab will consist of two parts: online (at home or anywhere with
Internet access) and on the ground (in a lab with your classmates at SMC). This “flipped” approach will allow you to
prepare at home for your work in the lab (e.g. discussion, writing, etc). So, each week, you will have one online lab
and one lab on campus.
It is imperative
that you be prepared for the lab at SMC.
That means viewing the videos, reading the articles, and completing the
writing assignments posted online. It
also means bringing your packet materials to the SMC lab each week. If you do not have your materials, it is at
the Instructional Assistant’s discretion whether you should stay in the lab.
If you are asked
to leave (because you have not brought your materials, have consistently
neglected to bring online assignments, are off task, are creating a
distraction, etc.) you will be counted as absent.
Before you leave
each lab on campus, the work you have completed will be checked by the IA’s and
initialed by them, verifying your efforts in the lab. All of the lab activities should be kept in
your notebook, and your instructor will specify how these assignments will be
Of course, it
goes without saying that as representatives of your English 20 class,
you will be expected to follow the same rules in the SMC lab
regarding attendance and punctuality as in your classroom. You will also be expected to confer the same
attention and respect to the Instructional Assistants as you do in class with
ONLINE Flipping the Classroom
This assignment must be completed using the paper copy--the lab book itself.
STEP ONE: Preview
the study questions below.
Form an initial impression of the article.
STEP TWO: As you
read the following excerpt, highlight MAIN IDEAS in one color. Highlight important DETAILS in another color.
The article in Lab 2A is an excerpt from the following, available online:
Turning EducationUpside Down
By Tina Rosenberg
October 9, 2013
STEP THREE: STUDY
On a separate sheet of paper, answer the following questions
in complete sentences.
In your own words, what is a “flipped
Briefly describe Clintondale High School. What type of students do they serve?
Why did Clintondale flip their classrooms?
Rosenberg says flipping the classroom changes
what students do at home and in the classroom.
What academic results did Clintondale High
School achieve by flipping their classrooms?
Which students benefited the most from the new
What are the potential disadvantages of the
Do you think the flipped classroom concept would
work at SMC? Why or why not?
STEP FOUR: View
the online tutorial “How to Write a Summary” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGWO1ldEhtQ
STEP FIVE: Bring
your highlighted article and responses to the study questions to your next Lab
Reminder: All Lab work should be kept in your Lab
Folder for credit.
IN LAB LAB 2B:
SUMMARIZING A TEXT
INSTRUCTIONS TO STUDENTS
With your tablemates:
Share your responses to the Lab 2A study
What is Rosenberg’s purpose in writing the article? Is she trying to persuade, argue, explain,
describe, report, narrate, illustrate?
Choose a precise verb to describe her purpose.
Come to consensus: What is the central idea of
Complete the one-sentence summary (aka “the
power sentence”) below by adding an effective verb and the main idea of the
One-sentence summary (aka “the power sentence):
In the article “Turning Education Upside Down,” Tina Rosenberg
(central idea of the article)
(NOTE THE CORRECTION PUNCTUATION ABOVE.
There is one comma after the introductory phrase. There is no comma between the subject and the
Using the template on the next page, complete a
one-paragraph summary of “Turning Education Upside Down.”
Begin with a one-sentence summary that names the
title, author, and central idea.
Paraphrase 3-5 main ideas from the text.
not use direct quotes in a summary. Put
the author’s ideas into your own words.
to introduce ideas in the same order as the original text.
not include details unless they are essential.
Use transitions where needed to show how ideas
After the first mention of the author’s name,
use his/her last name only.
Do not include your own opinion in the summary.
When you finish your summary, discuss it with an
IA. Make any recommended revisions.
In the article “Turning Education
Upside Down,” Tina Rosenberg ________________________
of text) (author) (verb)
(central idea – who, what, why)
Rosenberg, a flipped classroom Is ______________________________________________
(briefly describe the
school - who)
chose to flip every
As a result of the
flipped approach, _______________________________________________________
Rosenberg reports that
there are some disadvantages, however.
For example, ____________________
ONLINE Are some people just not good at
“Mindset” and Dr. Carol
You will be doing some
writing during this activity so take out some paper and something with which to
Respond in writing to this
question: What is your belief about intelligence? Can young adults become more
intelligent than they already are, or is intelligence something that can’t be
changed by the time we mature? Please be sure to say why you have your particular
beliefs about intelligence.
Enjoy the following video
showing a psychology experiment about intelligence:
Look over the study guide questions
in STEP 4 and then watch the following video (which you might want to pause
every once and a while to write your answers to the questions):
Watch the video to the 12 minutes, 32 seconds mark
Using complete sentences, evidence from the video, and your
own words, respond to each of the following questions. Some of these questions
probably need a paragraph to be fully explained! Do not write your answers on
1. What does
Dr. Dweck mean when she says “fixed mindset”?
2. What does
Dr. Dweck mean when she says “growth mindset”?
what happened to the medical students with a fixed mindset when they
experienced a setback or made a mistake.
how praise influences mindset, according to Dr. Dweck. Be sure to explain the
two types of praise and what they do.
5. Choose one
of the following options:
someone you know who seems to have a fixed mindset—and be sure to explain how
you know he or she has that mindset.
someone you know who seems to have a growth mindset—and be sure to explain how
you know he or she has that mindset.
Please bring your written
responses to these questions (and the Step 1 question) with you to lab next
time. Responses will be checked and signed by Instructional Assistants.
IN LAB "Brainology" and Descriptive Outlining
Chunking is an activity where you
break up a reading in order to understand what you’ve read. Typically you would
break the reading into separate chunks such as the introduction, examples,
explanation, and conclusion. You would then briefly summarize the important
content or details of each section. In this activity, a section of Dweck’s
article, “Mindsets and Achievement,” has been broken into different chunks for
STEP 1: Read the chunks of the text and pull out the most
important details and ideas. With your group or partner, write a one- or
two-sentence paraphrase of the main idea and/or details in the box below the
Motivation to Learn, by Carol S.
believe that intelligence is fixed, that each person has a certain amount and
that's that. We call this a fixed mindset, and, as you will see,
students with this mindset worry about how much of this fixed intelligence they
possess. A fixed mindset makes challenges threatening for students (because
they believe that their fixed ability may not be up to the task) and it makes
mistakes and failures demoralizing (because they believe that such setbacks reflect
badly on their level of fixed intelligence).
believe that intelligence is something that can be cultivated through effort
and education. They
don't necessarily believe that everyone has the same
abilities or that anyone can be as smart as Einstein, but they do believe that
everyone can improve their abilities. And they understand that even Einstein
wasn't Einstein until he put in years of focused hard work. In short, students
with this growth mindset believe that intelligence is a potential that
can be realized through learning. As a result, confronting challenges,
profiting from mistakes, and persevering in the face of setbacks become ways of
(1) To understand the different worlds these mindsets create, we followed
several hundred students across a difficult school transition — the transition
to seventh grade. This is when the academic work often gets much harder, the
grading gets stricter, and the school environment gets less personalized with
students moving from class to class. As the students entered seventh grade, we
measured their mindsets (along with a number of other things) and then we
monitored their grades over the next two years.
(2) The first thing we found was that students with different mindsets
cared about different things in school. Those with a growth mindset were much
more interested in learning than in just looking smart in school. This was not
the case for students with a fixed mindset. In fact, in many of our studies
with students from preschool age to college age, we find that students with a
fixed mindset care so much about how smart they will appear that they often
reject learning opportunities — even ones that are critical to their success
(Cimpian, et al., 2007; Hong, et al., 1999; Nussbaum and Dweck,
2008; Mangels, et al., 2006).
(3) Next, we found that students with the two mindsets had radically
different beliefs about effort. Those with a growth mindset had a very
straightforward (and correct) idea of effort — the idea that the harder you
work, the more your ability will grow and that even geniuses have had to work
hard for their accomplishments. In contrast, the students with the fixed
mindset believed that if you worked hard it meant that you didn't have ability,
and that things would just come naturally to you if you did. This means that
every time something is hard for them and requires effort, it's both a threat
and a bind. If they work hard at it that means that they aren't good at it, but
if they don't work hard they won't do well. Clearly, since just about every
worthwhile pursuit involves effort over a long period of time, this is a
potentially crippling belief, not only in school but also in life.
(4) Students with different mindsets also had very different reactions to
setbacks. Those with growth mindsets reported that, after a setback in school,
they would simply study more or study differently the next time. But those with
fixed mindsets were more likely to say that they would feel dumb, study less
the next time, and seriously consider cheating. If you feel dumb —
permanently dumb — in an academic area, there is no good way to bounce back and
be successful in the future. In a growth mindset, however, you can make a plan
of positive action that can remedy a deficiency. (Hong. et al., 1999;
Nussbaum and Dweck, 2008; Heyman, et al., 1992)
(5) Finally, when we looked at
the math grades they went on to earn, we found that the students with a growth
mindset had pulled ahead. Although both groups had started seventh grade with
equivalent achievement test scores, a growth mindset quickly propelled students
ahead of their fixed-mindset peers, and this gap only increased over the two
years of the study.
(6) In short, the belief that
intelligence is fixed dampened students' motivation to learn, made them afraid
of effort, and made them want to quit after a setback. This is why so many
bright students stop working when school becomes hard. Many bright students
find grade school easy and coast to success early on. But later on, when they
are challenged, they struggle. They don't want to make mistakes and feel dumb —
and, most of all, they don't want to work hard and feel dumb. So they simply
It is the belief that
intelligence can be developed that opens students to a love of learning, a
belief in the power of effort and constructive, determined reactions to
STEP 2: Make sure your group finishes chunking Dweck’s writing, and be sure to ask
for an Instructional Assistant’s signature before you go.
Cash, Marshmallows, or Mindset?
Freewrite for five minutes about what you think are the best
ways to motivate someone at work and at school (if you think a different
motivation is needed for each one, say why).
Before you watch the video, read the following definitions
and survey the questions listed in number 4 (you will be answering these
questions after you watch the video).
Call into question (v)—to challenge the accuracy or truth of a statement, theory, or belief
Incentivize (v)—give someone a motivation or incentive
to do something
(n)—an ability or expertise at moving one’s
body in a certain way; for example, a person who can paint a house more neatly
and quickly than another person would be said to have greater mechanical skill.
(n)—an ability or expertise at thinking or
using one’s brain
Replicate (v)—to repeat or reproduce; for example, one scientist might replicate another scientist’s experiment
to make sure that the results were correct
Anomalous (adj)—different from what was expected or normal; for example, a rubber ball
not bouncing back when thrown at the ground would be very anomalous.
Preview the study questions below and then watch the
following animated video about motivation according to Daniel Pink: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwjvHDpDmrM
Go to the transcript of the video and read it before you
answer the study questions below. (The transcript does have a few errors in it;
be patient!) See the transcript here: http://www.thersa.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/558919/RSA-Lecture-Dan-Pink-transcript.pdf?_ga=1.78880532.1235301195.1390344326
Using complete sentences, evidence from the text, and your
own words, respond to each of the following questions. Note that the most
thorough response to each question will be about a paragraph in length, using
quotations and your own careful explanation of those quotes. Bring your written
or typed responses to lab. Do not write your answers on this page.
1. Write a
one-paragraph summary of Pink’s video, and be sure to include his main idea.
2. In your
own words, summarize the results of the experiment performed with MIT students
and people from Mudarai, India.
3. Is Daniel
Pink arguing that money is not important? Explain what he says about the role
of money when it comes to work that is cognitive and creative.
4. In your
own words, carefully explain each of the three important concepts from Pink’s
A. Mastery B. Autonomy C. Purpose
IN LAB With your mind on your what?
For five minutes, freewrite about your life goals. What are
they, and where do you see yourself five years after college?
Once students are done freewriting, Instructional Assistants
quickly review popcorn reading and Talking to the Text.
Get ready to read the excerpt “The Good Life” from Daniel
Pink’s book Drive. Start by reviewing
the following key terms from the article:
Extrinsic (adj)—coming from outside, not
originating from within
Intrinsic (adj)—coming from inside, essential
Aspiration (n)—a hope or ambition of achieving
Attain (v)—to achieve or reach what one has
worked for or seeks
Conundrum (n)—a confusing and difficult problem
Within your small groups, read “The Good Life” popcorn style
so that each group member reads a paragraph before the next person starts. On
top of that, use Talking to the Text throughout your reading.
Once your group has finished reading (and re-reading) the
text, discuss your responses to the following questions and be prepared to
share your responses with the class.
A. What is a
“profit goal” and what is a “purpose goal”? Explain each one and give an
example of each.
what happened to the “profit” goal students a few years after college.
C. Write a
one-sentence summary of Daniel Pink’s “The Good Life.”
D. Now, read
the free write you did at the beginning of lab. Apply what you have learned
from Drive to your own goals. Would you consider them “purpose” or “profit”
goals? Do you have just one kind, or both? Share with your group, and be as specific
as you can be.
E. Be ready
to share with the class your group’s responses to question A, B, and C.
marshmallow tells your fortune—or not.
Watch the “marshmallow
experiment” video and think about what it has to do with the issues raised by
the last few readings about motivation. Here is the video link*:
one-paragraph summary of de Posada’s video talk. (Remember what to include in
your first sentence!)
Your one-paragraph summary
is due at the beginning of class.
*For a typed transcript of
the video, use the “Show Transcript” menu to scroll down to English. You might
use the transcript to write a strong summary.
LAB 5B: INSTRUCTIONS TO STUDENTS
Read the following discussion of a recent research
study. As you read, highlight the main
Another Look at the
Many people have heard of the
famous marshmallow experiment. It is a
classic study designed by Walter Mischel in the 1970s. Researchers gave young children a marshmallow
and told them that if they did not eat the marshmallow for 15 minutes, they
could have two marshmallows. Most
children ate the marshmallow right away.
Some children had enough impulse-control to wait for the bigger
reward. Later, Mischel followed-up with
the children when they were teenagers. He
found that the pre-schoolers who had refrained from eating the first
marshmallow grew up to be adolescents with better grades, more friends, and
fewer behavioral problems than the impulsive tykes who ate the marshmallow.
Some people interpreted the results of Mischel’s experiment as proof that
self-discipline is an innate trait. Either you’re born with it, they reasoned,
or you aren’t.
In 2013, researchers at the University
of Rochester redesigned Mischel’s experiment with a twist: before the children
got a chance to eat the marshmallow, they were asked to decorate a paper
cup. Researchers told children that if
they waited a few minutes, they could have new crayons and stickers to
use. Half the children who waited
received the promised art supplies. This
group was called the “reliable environment” group. The remaining children were put in the
“unreliable environment” group. They
were also promised new art supplies.
Although the children waited, they never receive the promised
reward. Instead, these children were
told that the researchers had run out of new supplies.
After the decorating project was
finished, the researchers moved on to the marshmallow experiment. Guess what?
The kids from the unreliable environment – the ones who saw the
researchers break their promise – didn’t wait for the bigger reward. They ate the first marshmallow right away. Some of the children from the reliable
environment ate the marshmallow, too; however, they waited a lot longer before
they gave in.
This new research suggests that
self-control is not just a question of nature.
It is also a question of nurture.
Children in unreliable environments may decide that delaying gratification
is not a rational choice. If they can’t trust the adults in their life to keep
promises, choosing immediate gratification over long-term rewards may seem like
the smarter strategy.
Comparison of Wait Times During the Marshmallow Experiment
Data from “Rational snacking: Young children’s decision-making on the
marshmallow task is moderated by beliefs about environmental reliability” by
Celeste Kidd, Holly Palmeri, and Richard N. Aslin:
LAB 5B SKILL-BUILDER:
Combine the sentence pairs below to create a single,
grammatically-correct sentence. When
using conjunctions, be sure to identify the relationship between the ideas
(e.g., contrast, cause and effect, etc.)
1. Group details together to join these ideas. Remove unnecessary words.
a) Many people have heard of
the famous marshmallow experiment.
b) It is a classic study
designed by Walter Mischel in the 1970s.
2. Create a compound subject to combine ideas.
a) In the 1970s, Walter
Mischel found that self-control in childhood correlated with success later in
b) Researcher Monica
Rodriguez replicated Mischel’s results two decades later.
c) Joachim de Posada
conducted a similar study in Brazil and came to the same conclusion.
3. Use a coordinating conjunction to join ideas. Remove unnecessary words.
a) Most children in Mischel’s
experiment ate the marshmallows right away.
b) Some children in Mischel’s
study had enough self-control to wait for the bigger reward.
4. Use a subordinating or adverbial conjunction to
join ideas. Remove unnecessary words.
a) Some people believe that
the self-control is an innate trait.
b) Researchers at University
of Rochester believe self-control can be affected by environment.
5. Finish the
thought (complex sentence): If we want to help children develop a sense
6. Combine an idea from the de Posada video with a
SIMILAR idea from the Rochester study.
7. Combine an idea from the Rochester study with a
CONTRASTING idea from “Don’t Eat the Marshmallow!”
8. REFLECT: Which
study is more compelling to you? Why?
Sentence combining is the process of taking ideas from two
or more sentences, removing or replacing any repetitive words, and joining the
ideas into one grammatically-correct sentence.
Sentence combining is a good way to tighten your writing, emphasize the
relationship between ideas, and create sentence variety.
Tips for Combining Sentences
1) Identify the
relationship between the ideas (e.g., contrast, similarity, cause and effect,
A. If two or more ideas are equally important, consider
using a compound subject, compound verb, or compound sentence.
Walter Mischel, Monica
Rodriguez, and Joachim de Posada tested toddlers’ self-discipline by
offering a reward to children who were able to resist eating a marshmallow for
15 minutes. (compound subject)
Most children did not wait the full 15
minutes, but some resourceful tykes were able to distract themselves from
the temptation. (compound sentence)
The children who resisted temptation sniffed
and licked the marshmallow but didn’t eat it.
B. Ideas of
equal importance can also be combined with adverbial conjunctions or
Students in the reliable environment
waited at least 10 minutes before eating the marshmallow; however,
students in the unreliable environment ate it almost immediately.
C. If one idea is dependent on another, consider using a
After the adults
broke their promise, students in the unreliable environment lacked
showed more self-control when adults kept their word.
2) Look for ways to
insert information at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of a main idea.
University of Rochester researcher Celeste Kidd
revised the marshmallow experiment to explore the effect of environment on
self-discipline, which has been defined as the ability to delay
Posada, a psychologist and best-selling author, believes self-discipline
can be taught.
3) Add information
with verb phrases and prepositional phrases.
Believing that the adults would keep their promise, the children
from the reliable environment were willing to wait more than 12 minutes, on
average, for the second marshmallow.
With the memory of being cheated fresh in their minds,
children in the unreliable environment chose not want to hold out for a reward
that might never arrive.
6A Online Students getting paid?
Print and read the New York Times article “Next Question:
Can Students Be Paid to Excel?” Find it here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/05/nyregion/05incentive.html?pagewanted=all
Notes of “Next Question: Can Students Be Paid to Excel?” (Notes due at the
beginning of lab.) For a quick review of Cornell notes, see this short video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEjL3TDKoto
Write a one-paragraph
summary of “Next Question: Can Students Be Paid to Excel?”
6B In Lab Evidence—what
do you see?
Present Cornell Notes and responses to questions for quick
check and signature by Instructional Assistants.
Participate in whole-class discussion of responses to
questions 1–4 from lab 3A.
Now, you are going to create an evidence journal. The
question is, what evidence for and against the cash reward program does one
find in “Next Question: Can Students Be Paid to Excel?” To answer this
question, start by dividing a blank piece of paper into two columns. At the top
of the left column, write “For cash rewards”; at the top of the right column,
write “Against cash rewards.”
Now, as a group, search the text for evidence and record
what you find. In the left column of your paper, jot down any piece of evidence
that you think supports the cash program; in the right-hand column, record any
bit of evidence that you think goes against the cash reward program. For each
piece of evidence, write down the first few words of the quotation, the page
number in parentheses, and a very
brief paraphrase or summary of the quote; just be sure your notes will actually
help you to find the quote again . . . because you might need it in a future
Here is an example of your two-column evidence journal, with
just two sample pieces of evidence (you should have many in your two columns
once you are done):
“For cash rewards”
“Against cash rewards”
“First three words of quote . . . “ (page #)
Paraphrase/summary of quote
“This motivates us. . . . (3). Student in cash program
says students are more motivated because of cash.
(These columns would
go down the entire page, and you should fill them with as many pieces of
evidence as you can find. Follow the format for each one!)
“First three words of quote . . . “ (page #)
Paraphrase/summary of quote
“No teachers were willing. . . .” (4). Teachers admit that
the cash rewards will not cause them to work harder.
If time allows, work on the same two-column evidence journal
but for Daniel Pink’s “The Good Life.” In other words, look in “The Good Life”
for any evidence that would either support or go against the kind of cash
reward program described in “Next Question: Can Students Be Paid to Excel?”
(Note: if you are finding evidence on one side of the debate only, discuss with
your group why you think that is.)
Be sure to ask an Instructional Assistant to sign your
two-column evidence notes before you leave lab.
an essay in response to the following prompt:
Some evidence in “Next Question:
Can Students Be Paid to Excel?” suggests that paying students for their
performance at school can actually help them become better, more motivated
students. On the other hand, many critics of the program—and other people we
have read this semester—would argue that reward-based motivators, like money,
are not always the best way to encourage learning and growth in a person.
Using evidence from Jennifer
Medina’s article and at least two other source texts to support your
position, write an essay responding to the following question: Should
Los Angeles middle schools offer students cash rewards to improve their
academic motivation and performance? Why or why not?
Show that you
have carefully read the texts from this unit, and that you have fully digested
and considered the different viewpoints and evidence. You must use evidence
from three of the readings, including Medina’s article. You should also feel
free to include outside research, or material from previous readings.
Show you are
really thinking about the topic—these are complex questions, so don’t settle
for easy answers. And don’t feel that you have to take an either-or position.
Write so that
someone NOT in our class could understand it. That means you'll need to spend
some time summarizing key ideas, defining key terms that might be unfamiliar,
choosing short quotes from the original reading to help your reader get a sense
of what the author was talking about.
Write at least
3 complete pages, typed, 12 point font, double-spaced
Question: Can Students Be Paid to Excel?” by Jennifer Medina (article)
Good Life” by Daniel Pink (article)
the surprising truth about what motivates us” by Daniel Pink (video)
eat the marshmallow!” by Joachim de Posada (video)
by Carol Dweck (article)
new psychology of success” by Carol Dweck (video)
7B Revising your essay by outlining it in reverse.
Step 1: Read this entire set of instructions, all the
way to the end.
What is a reverse outline?
If a regular outline is something you write before you draft out your
paper, a reverse outline is something you do after you write a draft.
Why should I reverse outline?
The reverse outline can be an extremely useful tool for helping you see the big
picture of your paper, and can be especially useful for papers in need of major
reordering of paragraphs or papers filled with paragraphs that have too many
ideas in them and therefore don't hold together.
How do I make a reverse outline?
Go through the paper and number each paragraph. Then on a separate sheet of
paper, write #1 and the main point (or points) of that first paragraph. Then,
on the next line write #2 and the main point(s) of the second paragraph. Go
through the entire paper this way. When you have gone through the entire paper,
you will have an outline giving you an overview of your entire paper.
- Now look carefully at your overview, asking yourself
the following questions:
- Are the paragraphs properly focused, or are there
multiple main ideas competing for control of a single paragraph?
- Now that you've identified the main point of each
paragraph, does the topic sentence reflect that point?
- Are some of those ideas in a paragraph extraneous and
should they therefore be deleted from the paper? Or do they simply need to
be moved to a different part of the paper? (Many times you may find that a
random idea tacked onto the end of, say, paragraph five really belongs in
paragraph eleven where you fully develop that idea.) When you look at the
outline as a whole, does the organization of the paper reflect what you
promised in your introduction / thesis? If the answer is no, consider whether
you need to revise the thesis or revise the organization of the paper.
Create a reverse outline of your essay.
Once you have it, look carefully at your thesis
statement and body paragraph main ideas. Does each one make a claim? Do they
add up to a well-organized essay? Make a plan to improve your essay based on
what you learn from your reverse outline.
Author: Rebecca Schoenike
From: University of
Wisconsin—Madison’s Writing Across the Curriculum website.
Science Versus Pseudoscience Online Assignment 1
ACTIVITY 1: FILL OUT THE
FOLLOWING SURVEY PRIOR TO VIEWING VIDEO
PARANORMAL BELIEFS SURVEY
PLACE A CHECK NEXT TO EACH YOU BELIEVE TO BE TRUE OR PROBABLY
3. ALIENS LANDING ON EARTH____
4. DINOSAURS AND HUMANS LIVING ON EARTH TOGETHER_____
5. PYRAMID ENERGY_____
6. EXTRASENSORY PERCEPTION ( E.G. MIND READING,
WITH ONE’S MIND, SEEING THE FUTURE, ETC.)_____
7. COMMUNICATION WITH THE DEAD_____
9. PSYCHIC DETECTIVES_____
10.THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE_____
ACTIVITY 2: PRIOR TO VIEWING VIDEO, READ THE FOLLOWING
Science- A set of methods designed to describe and interpret,
through observation and experimentation, the natural world. Science creates a testable body of
systematized knowledge open to rejection or confirmation.
Pseudoscience- False science claiming to be science. Its claims (of truth) are unverified and
falsified by the scientific community.
Examples of pseudoscience: astrology, mind reading, talking to the dead,
alien abduction, etc.
Skeptical Inquiry- A set
of methods testing claims using the scientific method. The assumption of skepticism is that a claim
should not be believed until it is confirmed using logic and
evidence. It is a vital part of science.
Dowsing- A method of locating a hidden substance, most commonly
underground water, using a bent stick or rod.
After numerous tests, it has been deemed a pseudoscience by the
Cognitive Biases- Brain functions that prejudice objective
observation. Examples include the
tendency to see human faces or bodies where none exist and our mind inclined to
seek patterns where none may exist.
Auditory Illusions- Sounds that the brain wrongly perceives to be
words. Examples include songs that when
played backward appear to be transmitting a message.
ACTIVITY 3: View video of Michael Shermer TED Lecture: Why People
Believe Weird Things: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8T_jwq9ph8k
WRITING ASSIGNMENT AFTER VIEWING VIDEO
Make a list (at least four) of bogus (false) claims and bad ideas
Shermer uses as examples of weird things people believe. (You may need to view the thirteen minute
video a second time and stop it at certain points to jot down the
For each example, explain the false claim and why you
think people believe(d) it.
8B In Lab
Science Versus Pseudoscience In Lab Assignment 1
ACTIVITY 1: REVIEW AND DISCUSSION OF ONLINE WRITING ASSIGNMENT
Briefly review the Shermer video and the survey in the large
group, and discuss the written responses for the day 1 online lab either in a
large group or at tables in small groups. (20-25 minutes)
Day 1 online lab work should be checked by IA’s before
ACTIVITY 2: WRITING ASSIGNMENT (25-30 minutes)
Michael Shermer argues that whenever we are confronted with
something extraordinary, we should ask, “What is the most likely
explanation?” Scientists state that
extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence to be believed.
For example, psychics would need to prove in a controlled
scientific setting that they have the ability to read minds. Many people
believe in ESP, but science has not verified it. A series of experiments would need to be
conducted by objective observers to verify the claim of mind reading, perhaps
placing the psychic in one room attempting to “read” the cards selected by
someone in another room. (So far, no “mind reader” has ever successfully passed
Discuss two extraordinary claims (see previous lab written
assignment and today’s discussion) mentioned by Shermer that should require
extraordinary evidence to be believed. What is extraordinary (i.e. hard to
believe,going against science) about each of them? Explain what kinds of evidence you think
would satisfy science in these specific cases to prove them to be true. (One
Day 1 online and day 2 lab activities should be checked and
initialed by the IA’s before leaving lab.
9A At home/online
Science Versus Pseudoscience Online Assignment 2
ACTIVITY 1: PRIOR TO VIEWING THE VIDEOS, READ THE DEFINITIONS
Psychic- A person who claims to have the ability to perceive
hidden information through extrasensory perception (ESP).
Tarot Cards- Special cards used by a “reader” in the belief that
the cards can be read to gain insight and predict people’s lives.
Palm Reading- The belief someone’s life and future can be “read”
by studying the lines on one’s palm.
Therapeutic Touch- A practice of some health professionals where
it is claimed that negative energy of a patient can be identified and removed
by placing hands four or five inches from the body. The therapeutic touch specialist then
“channels the healing energy of the universe” into the patient.
Placebo- A fake medicine, usually a pill, given to a patient who
is told the pill is a real.
Placebo Effect- A fake pill is given, but then the unsuspecting
patient, expecting the real pill, still feels the effects of what a real pill
would have done.
ACTIVITY 2: View video of James Randi: Testing Psychics for the
One Million Dollar Prize: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bmmypdesF4
ACTIVITY 3: Answer the following questions from the James Randi
1. Explain the $1,000,000 test.
2. What excuses did each contestant give for why
they didn’t win the prize?
ACTIVITY 4: View video of John Stossel: Testing Therapeutic Touch
ACTIVITY 5: Answer the
following questions from the John Stossel video
1. Explain Emily Rose’s test of therapeutic
touch. What were the results?
do you think the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association,
decided to publish 4th grader Emily Rose’s results of her therapeutic touch
do you think the placebo effect experiment was added after the first segment on
this ABC program? How is the concept of
placebos related to therapeutic touch?
9B In Lab
ACTIVITY 1: REVIEW AND DISCUSSION OF ONLINE WRITING ASSIGNMENT
Briefly review the Randi and Stossel videos in the large group,
and discuss the written responses for the 9A lab in a large group or at tables
in small groups (15 min.)
READ AND DISCUSS THE HANDOUT “CHARACTERISTICS OF THINKING LIKE A
SCIENTIST” (IAs share more detailed
Next, discuss the list of claims and weird beliefs on that handout.
In pairs, students choose one
weird belief to research for Lab 10A (online).
Watch “Bill Nye Destroys Noah’s Ark” (4 1/2 min. on Youtube)
**Pay special attention to Bill Nye’s scientific reasoning
calling into question the existence of Noah’s Ark.** The purpose of watching Nye's video is to help you see how he uses science to question and critize using scientific reasoning.
Now that you and your partner have
chosen one specific weird belief from the list, your job is to use the provided websites to do some research on that particular belief.
The information you gather through your
research should include what science says about the belief and how popular this
belief is with the public. The purpose of your research is to prepare you for what you are going to create in lesson 10B--take a look.
Hint: you will be making a kind of
commercial about the belief—what it is and what science has to say about it.
10B In Lab
Student pairs will collaborate on their research and write a 30
second (approximately one page) public service announcement (PSA) about why the
public should question the weird belief they researched. They should use the “Characteristics of
Thinking Like a Scientist” to help prove their points. Each student should have a copy of the PSA script that s/he writes with his or her partner.
If time allows, students should rehearse the script orally.
Instructor has option of asking students to rehearse script for
presentation in the next class, or the IA’s can collect scripts and deliver to
instructor. Also, students may opt to
make a video of their PSA and present to class.
OF THINKING LIKE A SCIENTIST
1. Look for natural explanations.
2. Keep an open mind, but be skeptical of any
unsubstantiated (unsupported) claim.
3. Make sure a claim or belief can be tested.
4. Evaluate the quality of the evidence for a
belief. Is it anecdotal? (Not always
reliable) Were there proper
controls? Were the misses counted
along with the hits?
the claim or belief be falsified? (Can it be proven false?)
the claim or belief be duplicated?
things being equal, the simplest explanation for the phenomenon is usually the
the claim or belief that doesn’t conflict with well-established knowledge.
belief or claim should be in proportion to the amount of evidence for or
against that belief.
TIP SHEET on how to evaluate a conspiracy theory
(from Butte College)
WEIRD BELIEFS UNSUBSTANTIATED BY SCIENCE
(BUT BELIEVED BY MANY PEOPLE)
CHOOSE 1 Belief (but look at each website for the
Global Warming Deniers
Pyramid power: myth busters prove pyramid power wrong
PYRAMID POWER UNLEASHED
Aliens and pyramids:
Loch Ness Monster
“Alien interview” video with text – a telepath
interviews an alien at Area 51.
A new twist to the Area 51 conspiracy theory
(text with video). Those weren’t aliens that crashed into Roswell, they
were Russian children. Stalin staged the whole thing!
Area 51 truth revealed (text). The
government is hiding something, just not alien corpses.
TIP SHEET on how to evaluate a conspiracy theory
(from Butte College)
Code-switching and Comedy
Freewrite or list for five minutes the pros and cons of
View the clip of Key and Peele talking to their studio
audience about how and why they “adjust their blackness.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO-EwelnvxU
View the Key and Peele
sketch, “White-sounding Black Guys.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zDHSLDY0Q8&list=RDkO-EwelnvxU
Freewrite for ten-minute in response to this question:
What did you think of this sketch? How do race and code-switching lend
themselves to comedy, if at all? Be specific.
Now let’s take a closer look at why you believe these
things you wrote in your freewrite. To do this, we will learn about the fact-idea
list, sometimes called a metacognitive log or an evidence-interpretation log,
and then practice using it.
Review the Powerpoint presentation that briefly describes
the Fact/Idea list.
Watch someone create a fact/idea list. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09Q8Z_MZ_4w
Re-watch “White-sounding Black Guys” and make a fact/idea
list for it. Bring this list to lab.
Write down any questions or comments you have about the
fact/idea list and the Key and Peele clips and bring to lab as well.
Bring your fact/idea list, freewrites, and questions and
comments to lab.
11B In Lab
Students get in self-selected pairs and discuss the
fact/ideas lists and questions and comments about the lists and Key and Peele
IAs field questions that cannot not be answered in pairs.
As a large group, watch Key and Peele’s, “Substitute
IAs facilitate classroom fact/idea list for “Substitute
Teacher” on the board. Each student should copy what is on the board.
Students individually revise/add on to their own
fact/idea list from “White-sounding Black Guys.”
For 5-7 minutes, freewrite on this topic: How did the
fact/idea list help you go deeper into thinking about Key and Peele?
Small group discussion (if time is available). Everyone
in the group should take notes.
Summarize the article and write 2-3 questions or comments
you’d like to discuss in lab. Type everything and bring to lab.
Let’s get acquainted with a reading strategy called, “Talking to the
Text.” To find out what this is, go to this site below and read just the
first page of it: (Please print this page and write down any questions you
have about it.)
Also, take a look at just the first page of this: (Please print
this page and write down any questions you have about it.)
Keep in mind that steps 5 and 6 are the most important for higher
Now watch different types of teacher demonstrate how Talking to the Text
Write any questions or comments you have about the Talking
to the Text (TttT) clips and bring those and questions from Steps 3 and 4 to
12B In Lab
Take out your questions about TttT. Discuss these with a
partner and see if he or she can help you with them.
Watch the IAs demonstrate how to TttT with “Edge-less,
Ask questions about
TttT, if you have you. (You’re going to be doing it on your own soon, so please
get clarity from the IAs.)
TttT on your own
with the rest of “Edge-less, Post-racial Lie.” Ask questions of IAs if
you come across any obstacles during this process.
concluding thoughts about the article and 1-2 questions you’d like to discuss
either on the backside of the article or another sheet of paper.
Go to this site and print the article, “The Daily Show’s
‘Racist or Not Racist’ Segment was Offensively Funny.” http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115596/daily-show-racist-or-not-racist-key-peele-their-best
TttT on this article.
Summarize the article and write 2-3 questions or comments
you’d like to discuss in lab.
Take out your summary and discussion questions/comments
for “Are Key and Peele Biracial
Geniuses or Are They Just Really Funny?” and “Edge-less, Post-racial Lie.” Look
at these readings as well as “The Daily Show’s ‘Racist or Not Racist’ Segment
was Offensively Funny.” Compare the comments and
notation on the readings. Which of the three do you recall best? Why do you
think this is? What impact does TttT have on your reading process? Be specific.
Do 10-12 minute freewrite to respond to these questions.
Look at the discussion questions/comments you have for
all three articles. Add any that you think blend concepts from more than one
article. For example, do you see contradictions? Commonalities? Of these, which
questions would you most like to discuss in lab? Select 2-3 from your list and
write them on a separate piece of paper. Make sure that they are legible. Bring
these to lab.
13B In Lab
Give your selected questions/comments to IAs.
While the IAs review these questions and put them on the
board, get yourself into a group of 3-4 people. Sit with these people.
Look at the questions/comments the IAs have put on the
board. In your small group, quietly choose one question and begin discussing
it. Pick specific evidence from one or more of the readings and/or details from
the online sketches to help develop your ideas.
Participate in large group discussion facilitated by the
Begin group project:
As a group, choose a question on the board that has not been discussed.
group, discuss the question thoroughly.
and prepare to perform a sketch
that includes code-switching. Please make sure that your sketch is related to
the question your group discussed and has some social commentary and/or theme.
the group should exchange contact information.
leaving lab today, decide on a meeting time for all of you to work on this next
week or later in the week.
applicable, delegate certain tasks today. For example, if you know the setting
of your sketch is on a farm, the person playing the role of the farmer can be
tasked to find a straw hat or other farmer-like things.
You may incorporate singing, dancing, rapping, playing an instrument, etc.
lab, be prepared to explain to the class why you wrote this sketch and how it
relates to your response to the question your group chose. You will be asked to
tell this to the class as well as perform your sketch and turn in a typed copy
of it. Bring costumes, props, etc. Each person in the group must have some
lines in the sketch, and the sketch must be 5-7 minutes.
Meet with your group to finish writing and typing your
sketch. Discuss who will bring what props, costumes, etc.
Practice your sketch together. While you do not need to
memorize it, the sketch will be more effective the better you know your lines.
Make any other plans necessary for your lab performance,
discussion, and typed work.
14B In Lab
Groups will have 3-5 minutes to prepare their sketch and
Each group will go to the front of the room and do the
Introduce each person
Tell the class the question the group chose and
their response to it. Additionally, the group will explain how the sketch was
inspired by this.
Perform the sketch.
Turn in the hard copy.
Large group discussion about sketches and their relevance
to issues raised by Key and Peele.