Sunday, November 22, 2015

Paired Reading Passages | Close Reading | Socratic Seminars

Close Reading | Socratic Seminars | Paired Reading Passages 

Title: A Short History Of Cats & Facts about Cats: Do you know this and that about Cats? Word Count: 1173

CCSSR ELA Reading Writing: Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

It seems strange that there was ever a time when cats were not a fun part of our families. It's
been less that 10,000 years since cats swaggered into our lives. Hardly an eye blink in the grand sweep of human history on this planet. Why were cats so late to join our clans and tribes? The simple answer is they didn't need humans to survive. Cats were surviving just fine on their own. Then, people invented agriculture. Agriculture resulted in large scale storage of grains which attracted the usual and well know group of freeloaders, mice, and rats. Grain attracted rodents. Rodents attracted cats who consider them tasty meals. The result was that cats set up housekeeping close to human settlements. Eventually, cats being cats, moved right on in.

Who were these first cats? The first clue lies in where agriculture was first practiced. Agriculture first took root (no pun intended) in the Middle East in a great sweep from modern day Turkey to Egypt. Within this area ranges the African wild cat, Felis libyca. African wild cats are slightly larger that our modern house cats and are yellow in color with muted stripes. These cats have a docile, almost laid back nature. Interestingly, these cats still tend to live and hunt near human dwellings today. Locals still like to catch and rear young wild cats as pets. When mature, wild cats raised by humans tend to behave very much like our familiar housecats. A very good case can (and has) been advanced designating Felis libyca as the principal founding population for domestic cats. At least two other varieties of wild cat are speculated to have contributed to the genetic makeup of domestic cats. One is Felis silvestris, The European wildcat who appears to have contributed darker markings and a peppery spirit to the African wild cat base. Also, from Asia, comes the Pallas or Steppe cat (Felis manul) that appears to have contributed long-haired coats to the mix.

The early period of domestication of cats is vague with only patches of evidence. However, by 6,000 B.C. statues found in Anatolia (modern Turkey) show women playing with domestic cats. Cats had clearly become common and affectionate pets by that time. The earliest written records about cats appear by approximately 4,000 B.C. in Egypt where they were frequently kept to hunt mice and rats from stored grains. It was a good time to be a cat in ancient Egypt. Domestic cats were thought to be the embodiment of the goddess Bast (or Bastet). There was a necropolis at her principal temple at Bubastis that contained mummified cats.

Romans spread the domestic cat northward into central Europe and westward to Britain during the expansion of their empire. Cats were quickly adopted and admired as great hunters. And they continued to move north and east in Europe. The Vikings used cats as both rodent hunters and pets. The Viking goddess of love and war, Freyja, was associated with cats. Huge winged cats drew her chariot. It also became the custom to give new brides a kitten in her name.

The Middle Ages it was a very bad time to be a cat. Cats were said to be witches familiars, in league with the devil. Because of this superstition, cats were routinely killed during festivals. Sometimes they were even burned alive or thrown off tall buildings. The Europeans paid heavily for their cruelty to cats. The deaths of so many cats allowed the rodent population to rise out of control, bringing in the Black Death which killed so much of the European population. Eventually, the cats' cleanly ways and hunting prowess redeemed them in the eyes of the people of Europe. By the 1600s, people in France began putting little holes near the bottom of their doors to allow their cats to enter and leave as they please.

In Asia, cats continued to be familiar hunters and cherished pets. Cats were often subjects for drawing and painting in China. In Japan, cats in the form of Maneki Neko, usually portrayed as a sitting cat with one paw raised and bent, are considered good fortune. They are often found in businesses to draw in money.

The history of cats is a fascinating one, worthy of much more in-depth study. It fosters an appreciation for the personalities and talents of our pets.

Title: Facts about Cats: Do you know this and that?
Cats are fascinating members of the animal kingdom. Wherever they are, cats are very interesting creatures and they possess exquisite characteristics. How much do you know about cats? Well, we hope to add your knowledge of the domestic cat (Felis catus or Felis silvestris catus):
  • Did you know that cats can see 6 times better than human beings? Yes, according to studies, it is during nighttime when cats can really see more than we can.
  • Cats exist from the hot deserts of Africa to icy cold Greenland; you will find them in every corner of the world. They may have varied looks or characteristics by counting in the different factors.
  • Just like dogs, cats can swim, they dot not have Aquaphobia,  but water is avoided.
  • An eighteen-hour nap is achievable by cats in hot countries. These areas include desert-like areas and in some latitudes of the tropics.
  • There are many different breeds of cats and most of them have varied and different characteristics.
  • One amazing cat may have inspired the ancient Egyptians. The Sphynx. is a mythical creature with, as a minimum, the head of a human and the body of a lion. 
  • There are cats called Manx which originate from the Isle of Man and that they do not have tails. They just have this so-called stub. 
  • Who is the fastest land animal on the planet? The Cheetah is, of course, another member of the cat family. 
  • There are also fishing cats which really show great skills in catching fish. The fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) is a medium-sized wild cat of South and Southeast Asia.
These tidbits are just some of those cool yet factual things about cats. When your aim is to explore more about these animals, you could always use the power of the internet in order to familiarize yourself with the world around you.

When you wish to have your own cat, you could also consider those factors that may make or break your choice. There are actually different choices of cats for pets. In general, cats are very good pets for they are very affectionate.

According to research, owning cats as pets is most beneficial for ill or old patients. It has been found out that animals like cats could reduce their depression and other negative feelings brought by solitude and sickness.



Prepare your students with intensive DOK level 3 and 4 two-step reading comprehension questions, targeted word studyrigorous word analysis, skills-building daily reading comprehension practice that students need to pass demanding standards-based reading assessments. Each HOT/BOSS READING SKILLS workbook will include more than 40 fun intensive reading lessons.

Sample Cover of a Monthly Read and Respons workbook that I would like to develop.

Intensive Reading Lessons!
  • Reading Comprehension questions: One‐Part Hot Text, Multiple Choice, Open Response, Multi‐Select, Evidence‐Based Selected Response, Two‐Part Hot Text,  Editing Task Questions, Technology Enhanced Constructed Response (TECR), Grid Select, Prose Constructed Response (PCR), and ELA-Applied Skills: ConstructedResponse, and Extended-Response. 
  • Weekly/Biweekly Word Study Games 
  • Weekly/Biweekly Socratic Seminars 
  • Weekly/Biweekly Latin and Greek Roots and Affixes HOT Sheets
  • Weekly/Biweekly Reading Game Cards: Tier 2 and 3 Academic Reading Vocabulary 
  • Daily Reading Fluency Passages: Socratic Seminare STEM questions included
  • Weekly/Biweekly Cornel Notes Word Analysis Journal Pages 
  • Weekly Fiction Literary Elements Hide and Seek Game 
  • Bimonthly Nonfiction Text Features Scavenger Hunt
  • Daily Tier 2 and 3 ELA Reading Glossaries Word Match Game
  • Weekly/Biweekly FUN, Silly, Foolish and Ingaging Reading Passages 
  • Daily Read and Response Reading Logs
  • Bimonthly Standards-Based Reading Comprehension Assessments 

Draft Non-Fiction Close Reading Test Passages: NEEDS EDITING! PLEASE HELP!
  1. 13-year-old Dutch girl, Laura Dekker sails Around the World
  2. Are Dogs Really Man’s Best Friend?
  3. Can you Win Arguments with Your Parents with Facts?
  4. Captain James Cook Mini Biography
  5. Claude Monet French Impressionist Painter
  6. College Knowledge: What do you need to know to succeed in college?
  7. Deforestation: Facts, Causes & Effects
  8. Eating Insects Is Common Around the World
  9. Extraordinary Astronomical Observatories of the World
  10. Getting Organized with Checklist
  11. How can we save the Honey Bee?
  12. How do Vaccines work?
  13. How to Start Your Own Business
  14. Is Clutter and Mess Really Best for Creativity?
  15. Living on the International Space Station
  16. Man’s Future Missions to Mars
  17. Mary Shelley an English novelist: Frankenstein
  18. Mary Stevenson Cassatt an American Painter
  19. Mini Benjamin Franklin Biography
  20. Mini Biography Astronaut Sally Ride
  21. Motivation Using Fear or Reason
  22. Norse explorer Leif Erikson Explores America 500 years before Columbus
  23. Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize
  25. Renewable Resources, Wind Solar and Hydroelectric: FACTS & STATISTICS
  26. Sherlock Holmes: Man or mystery?
  27. The Baja 500 off-road race
  28. The Future of High Speed Trains
  29. The history of ice cream
  30. The History of the Taj Mahal
  31. The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
  32. The Story of the Titans
  33. The Truth about Pirates
  34. What is your carbon footprint?
  35. The History of the Taj Mahal
  36. What will happen if a giant comet hits the Earth?
  37. Who was Socrates?
  38. Why aren’t there more female engineers?
  39. Why We Crave Junk Food: Sugar and Fat?
  40. Will California Survive the Great Drought?
  41. A History of the Hanseatic League
  42. A Short History of the Battle Axe
  43. A Short History of the Cross Bow
  44. A Short History of the Dagger
  45. Child Labour and your Electronics
  46. Child Slavery and your Chocolate Bar
  47. Crocodile & Alligator Differences
  48. Top 10-15 scientists who changed the world: Marie Curie
  49. Myth vs. Fact Ancient Aliens Created the Nazca Lines
  50. Myth vs. Fact the Abominable Snowman
  51. Myth vs. Fact the Roswell Aliens
  52. Myth vs. Fact the Voodoo Zombies
  53. Neil Alden Armstrong the first person to walk on the Moon
  54. The Sonoran Desert Flora and Fauna
  55. Timeline of female labor and education in the early history of the US
  56. What is Project Based Learning?


    Top 10 Future Professions: 
    Data Scientist/Engineer (Machine Learning)
    Mechanical Engineer
    Physical Therapist.
    Civil Engineer.
    Information Security Analyst (Internet)
    Computer App Developer.
    Website Designer
    Metallurgical and Materials Engineering
    Database Administrator

    Science Articles: 
    Coastal Estuarine Food Chain/Web
    Tidepool Flora and Fauna
    Kelp Forest Ecosystems
    Coral Reef Systems: Great Barrier Reef
    Renewable Energy Resources Wind Turbine
    Renewable Energy Resources Solar Power
    Arizona Sky Islands Ecosystems
    Australia’s Uluru | Northern Territory
    Natural Phenomena: Earthquakes
    Natural Phenomena: Tsunamis
    Critically Endangered Species: Vaquita
    Critically Endangered Species: White Rhino
    Wilderness Medicine: Outdoor First Aide Essentials
    Medicinal plants
    Physical Phenomena: Electricity
    Physical Phenomena: Magnetism
    Natural Phenomena: Precipitation and The Hydrologic cycle
    Natural Phenomena: Weather and Lightning
    Earth-friendly Diet
    The Sugar Diet: Sugar Addiction

    Inspirational People:
    Anne Frank
    Joan of Arc
    Albert Einstein
    Stephen Hawking
    Nikola Tesla
    Thomas Edison
    World at War: Winston Churchill
    World at War: Franklin Delano Roosevelt
    Benjamin Franklin
    Thomas Jefferson

      Fiction Close Reading Passages

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