Reading guides (or sometimes called guided readings) are designed to get students to open a textbook. They are an excellent means to improve student reading comprehension skills, fluency, and word recognition. They force the students to actively interact with the text in a quantifiable manner. And once the students are done with the reading guides, they have a ready-made study guide to look over for the quiz! To keep the kids honest when putting down answers, I typically cut and paste some of the answers to a weekly quiz.
Reading guides also make good sub-lesson plans. They are self-directed activities which the majority of students should be able to independently finish.
The reading guides I offer were designed for use with the Paul Hewitt Conceptual Physics book with the white roller coaster on the cover (2009). The ISBN number is 9780133647495. If you do not have this edition of the book, many of the questions and page numbers will not align correctly. The reading guides are typically 45 to 50 questions in length, with a good mix of higher- and lower-level questions in the mix. There are also some questions where graphs must be drawn, or sketches need to be made.
The reading guides are numbered about 25 questions per sheet of paper (roughly 50 questions total), so that if students are working in pairs, they can split the work evenly between them with no arguments of who will be doing more work. This is also an exercise in teamwork and peer communication skills!
The Mythbuster team investigates the claim that with just a few household parts, anyone can make a device that floats above the ground (a hovercraft). Adam and Jamie explore the myth that by jumping up at the last second, you can survive a catastrophic elevator fall. Science concepts include relative motion, pull of gravity, falling bodies, free fall, air pressure, center of gravity, acceleration due to gravity, friction, and drag. The following DVD sets are identical. They both contain the episode.
The Mythbuster team examines the story that a heated jawbreaker could turn into an explosive bomb. They also examine whether a PVC pipe can hold enough electrical charge to kill a person. Finally, they test the myth that a common playing card could be used as a deadly weapon. Scientific concepts discussed include differential heating, energy absorption, pressure differentials, bite force, static charge build up, static discharge, friction, conductivity, insulation, grounding, Van de Graaff generators, electric fields, negative charges, electrons, humidity, flight aerodynamics, and rotational spin. The episode is available on either of the following DVD sets. They are identical.
The Mythbusters first test to find out if a bullet fired or a bullet dropped hits the ground first, then examine the myth that a sufficient punch can knock a person out of their socks. This classic experiment is typically described in all physics textbooks, when the independent nature of the X and Y axis is discussed. Topics of importance include independent axis, gravitational pull, velocity, drop height, engineering practices, valid vs. invalid results, uncontrolled variables, inertia and mass relationships, potential energy and kinetic energy, controlled variables, friction, and pressure waves.
The Mythbusters test a cornucopia of myths. First, they examine if a bullet can light a match. Next, they see if ear wax can be used to construct a candle. They also explore the myth that if a person has a hand in water, they will wet themselves. Adam and Jamie explore the Leidenfrost effect. Finally, they set out to examine a Star Trek classic, when Captain Kirk uses a homemade cannon to kill a Gorn. Science topic addressed include chemical reactions, friction, activation energy, combustible hydrocarbons, brain waves, sleep apnea, gunpowder, Newton’s Third Law of Motion, projectile motion, Leidenfrost effect, chemical energy, and kinetic energy.
Adam and Jamie explore the myth that a renegade airplane propeller shredded the fuselage of another aircraft on a runway. The rest of the team experiments with various ways to start a fire without matches. This myth explores survival tactics for making fire including rubbing two sticks together, using a parabolic lens to focus the sun’s rays, using a bullet to start a fire, igniting steel wool with a battery, and using ice as a solar lens. Scientific concepts include photo analysis, scale testing, mathematical analysis of scale, friction, ignition point, surface area and oxygen availability, concave lens, convex lens, surface irregularities, focal points, electrical energy, and thermal energy.