The Mermaid Qualia Theory

Google “Mermaid sightings” and see how many YouTube and other sites pop up. Animal Planet produced a faux-documentary in 2013 about mermaids. It looks authentic, the voiceover serious and documentary-ish, but the CGI is just off enough to provide the right balance of fantasy-immersion and pragmatic reality. It’s quaint, but I couldn’t help shake the distress that these fake-umentaries could damage instruction and credibility. And that worry has come to light. I still want to believe in the IDEA of mermaids, (I love mermaids and mermaid lore); however, it is dangerous to make a documentary that many might believe is factual. Currently,…

Structure Series: Essays for the 21st Century

  The five-paragraph essay is likened to learning the foundations of structure and organization critical to being able to write other organized pieces. There may be merit to this, however learning how to write something no one reads anymore may only serve to rust and crumble authenticity. Might I offer some suggestions, or additions to the five-paragraph essay, especially for secondary students? Consider these sites/links as mentor texts as well as powerful places to publish essays. Use examples of the essays written here and challenge students to compare their essays to these. Some close reading/close writing ideas: Read for anecdotes:…

Pathos, logos, and ethos take a holiday.

In addition to short films, commercials can be another valuable asset. Many commercials live on multiple places on Bloom’s Taxonomy, and certainly any argumentative reading and writing unit worth its salt contains at least one or two commercials to support a conversation about pathos, ethos, and logos. I just found this site this morning. This first ad can bring up so many relatable conversation points. To quote John Spencer, “What’s so odd is that people have been creating art, writing letters, and talking about their food for years. Museums are filled with foodies and selfie shots. We just call them…