Standard #: ELA.12.V.1.3


This document was generated on CPALMS - www.cpalms.org



Apply knowledge of context clues, figurative language, word relationships, reference materials, and/or background knowledge to determine the connotative and denotative meaning of words and phrases, appropriate to grade level.


Clarifications


Clarification 1: Review of words learned in this way is critical to building background knowledge and related vocabulary.

Clarification 2: See Context Clues and Word Relationships.

Clarification 3: See ELA.12.R.3.1 and Secondary Figurative Language.



General Information

Subject Area: English Language Arts (B.E.S.T.)
Grade: 12
Strand: Vocabulary
Standard: Finding Meaning
Date Adopted or Revised: 08/20
Status: State Board Approved

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1002381: Developmental Language Arts Through ESOL (Reading) (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
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Related Access Points

Access Point Number Access Point Title
ELA.12.V.1.AP.3 Use context clues, figurative language, word relationships, reference materials and/or background knowledge to identify the connotative and denotative meaning of a word and/or phrase, appropriate to grade-level content at the student’s ability level.


Related Resources

Original Student Tutorials

Name Description
Word Prodigy: Using Context Clues

Learn to use context clues to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words in this interactive tutorial. You'll learn how to identify and apply three important types of context clues: synonyms, antonyms, and inferences. This tutorial features passages about some of the world's most incredible child prodigies.

Vocabulary Unleashed

Learn 15 new academic vocabulary words in this interactive tutorial! You'll practice the words' synonyms, antonyms, parts of speech, and context clues in order to add them to your vocabulary.

Reading into Words with Multiple Meanings

Explore Robert Frost's poem "Mending Wall" and examine words, phrases, and lines with multiple meanings. In this interactive tutorial, you'll analyze how these multiple meanings can affect a reader’s interpretation of the poem.

Analyzing Word Choice in Emerson's "Self-Reliance": Part 2

Explore excerpts from Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay "Self-Reliance" in this two-part series. This tutorial is Part Two. In this tutorial, you will continue to examine excerpts from Emerson's essay that focus on the topic of traveling. You'll examine word meanings and determine the connotations of specific words. You will also analyze the impact of specific word choices on the meaning of this portion of the essay.

Make sure to complete Part One first. Click HERE to launch Part One.

Analyzing Word Choice in Emerson's "Self-Reliance": Part 1

Explore excerpts from Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay "Self-Reliance" in this two-part interactive tutorial series. You will examine word meanings, examine subtle differences between words with similar meanings, and think about the emotions or associations that are connected to specific words. Finally, you will analyze the impact of specific word choices on the meaning of these excerpts.

Make sure to complete both parts! Click HERE to launch Part Two.

Analyzing Figurative Meaning in Emerson's "Self-Reliance": Part 2

Explore excerpts from Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay "Self-Reliance" in this interactive two-part tutorial. This tutorial is Part Two. In this two-part series, you will learn to enhance your experience of Emerson's essay by analyzing his use of the word "genius." You will analyze Emerson's figurative meaning of "genius" and how he develops and refines the meaning of this word over the course of the essay.

Make sure to complete Part One before beginning Part Two. Click HERE to view Part One.

Analyzing Figurative Meaning in Emerson's "Self-Reliance": Part 1

Explore excerpts from Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay "Self-Reliance" in this interactive two-part tutorial. In Part One, you’ll learn to enhance your experience of a text by analyzing its use of a word’s figurative meaning. Specifically, you'll examine Emerson's figurative meaning of the key term "genius." In Part Two, you’ll learn how to track the development of a word’s figurative meaning over the course of a text. 

Make sure to complete both parts of the tutorial! Click HERE to launch Part Two.

Playing with Words: Changing Word Forms

Learn how to transform words into other words, including nouns into verbs, verbs into adjectives, adjectives into adverbs, and much more with this interactive tutorial.

Vocabulary Mastery

Acquire 15 new vocabulary words, identify their parts of speech, synonyms, and antonyms, and use them in context with this interactive tutorial.

Vocabulary in Action

Acquire new vocabulary through this interactive tutorial. You'll learn the definitions for 15 new words, as well as their parts of speech, their synonyms and antonyms, and you'll practice using them in context.

Vocabulary Power

Acquire 15 new vocabulary words, identify their parts of speech, synonyms, and antonyms, and use them in context with this interactive tutorial.

Into the Wild: Close Encounters with Unfamiliar Words

Learn several strategies for determining the meaning of unfamiliar words as you read about the late Dian Fossey's research on mountain gorillas. This interactive tutorial will also help you identify common prefixes and how they affect the meaning of words.

Color and Connotation in Ray Bradbury's "The Veldt"

Study excerpts from a suspenseful science fiction short story in this interactive tutorial. In this tutorial, you'll study excerpts from "The Veldt" by Ray Bradbury. You'll study his use of color imagery, learn about the connotations of particular colors, and analyze the impact of color imagery on the meaning of the text.

Text Resources

Name Description
A Green Sea Slug Steals Power from Algae

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Researchers are gaining more insight into how Elysia chlorotica can survive for months without food in a well-lit laboratory. It is well known that the slug can store plastids from the algae it consumes. However, scientists questioned how the organelles remained active for several months in the slug's gut even after a drug was given to shut down photosynthesis. Using fluorescent DNA markers, scientists were able to find a gene that allows the slug to keep the chloroplasts working. It is the first known case of gene transfer from one multicellular organism to another.

Some Genes Remain "Alive" for Days After the Body Dies

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Researchers from the University of Washington, led by microbiologist Peter Nobel, found that hundreds of genes reawaken and function in mice and fish for up to four days. Nobel also discovered that these genes are responsible for responding to stress and regulating the immune system. There were also others that are important for a developing embryo being used and these shouldn’t be needed after birth. In addition, the genes may also be linked to increased cancer in organ transplants and scientists are hoping to use the information in forensic science to better estimate a time of death.

Languages Are Still a Major Barrier to Global Science

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes a Google Scholar survey, focusing on environmental issues, as the basis for presenting an argument that language is a barrier to global communication in the scientific community. The recognized barriers are two-fold: the limitation of knowledge transfer and the inability of local policy makers to make decisions based on existing knowledge. The article provides possible solutions to the problem, including the "multilingualization" of texts through changes in journal requirements.

Scientists Discover Stinging Truths About Jellyfish Blooms in the Bering Sea

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how jellyfish populations in the Bering Sea have been impacted by different limiting factors like temperature and food availability. Scientists suspect that increasing water temperatures affect the development of polyps in multiple ways. In addition, the study is a multi-disciplinary effort between experts in marine ecology, statistics, and the mathematical geosciences. It is thought such models may be applied to other marine and land-based ecological studies and the spread of infectious diseases.

Ebola, Dengue Fever, Lyme Disease: The Growing Economic Cost of Infectious Diseases

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the rise of pandemic disease outbreaks across the globe and how these outbreaks can affect world economies. The article further describes how economic models were used to assess different strategies on their effectiveness. The strategy of identifying the underlying cause of the emerging disease was considered to be most cost-effective and beneficial long-term.

What is the Carbon Cycle?

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes the carbon cycle and its dynamic nature. Carbon dioxide is recycled by plants and other autotrophs, considered "sinks." Animals and heterotrophs give off carbon dioxide as a by-product of the process of cellular respiration. In addition, human activity, accelerated by industrial activity, produces more carbon dioxide than autotrophs can handle, leading to global warming.

Rabies Could Spread to Peru's Coast by 2020

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses how the rabies virus is likely to spread to the coast of Peru by the year 2020. It further discusses the technology used to determine that the male vampire bat is most likely the carrier of the rabies virus to different areas in Peru.

The Microbiome: When Good Bugs Go Bad

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes current research being conducted on microbiota and the immune system. The text describes how bacteria, or the lack of bacteria, play a role in the immune system and keep autoimmune diseases at bay. There is currently a spike in autoimmune diseases like Crohn's disease and psoriasis that occur primarily in developed countries. This research emphasizes how important our symbiotic relationship is with bacteria.

Antifreeze Proteins in Antarctic Fish Prevent Both Freezing and Melting

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The National Science Foundation article discusses research conducted in the Antarctic concerning the notothenioid fish, which contains "antifreeze" proteins. These proteins are essential because they prevent the fish from freezing in the cold waters of the Southern Ocean, but it was discovered that these same proteins prevent ice crystals from melting when temperatures warm.

NIH Launches Early-stage Yellow Fever Vaccine Trial

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses how yellow fever is becoming a health threat once again in parts of Africa and why it is necessary for a new vaccine for yellow fever to be developed. The article further discusses the process and experimental trials by which the vaccine is being tested for its effectiveness as well as its safety.

Bioremediation: Nature's Way to a Cleaner Environment

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. It is designed to introduce the ideas and the research history of bioremediation studies performed by the USGS scientists. This text begins with an environmental spill and moves into the progress gained in cost effective and safe cleanup of toxic substances from the environment using research completed by the USGS.

Too Much of a Good Thing: Human Activities Overload Ecosystems with Nitrogen

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Human activities, mainly the use of fertilizer, are overloading ecosystems with nitrogen. Nitrogen is a dynamic cycle that is mediated by bacteria. Humans have been contributing to the nitrogen cycle through synthetic nitrogen fixation. This has resulted in eutrophication of aquatic systems and greenhouse gas emissions. Methods to increase the efficiency of nitrogen fertilizer use are discussed.

First-Ever Octopus Genome Sequenced

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the information gained through the sequencing of the octopus' genome. This information will help scientists learn more about the function and development of the nervous system and can be applied to brain research.

One Carbon Metabolism on the Space Station

This resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how a genetic variation in enzymes associated with the one carbon metabolic pathway can cause vision problems in astronauts. The research may lead scientists to predict which astronauts will develop vision problems, as well as develop new treatments for existing medical problems on Earth.

Researchers Make a Key Discovery in How Malaria Evades the Immune System

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the research conducted by scientists to determine how the malaria parasite evades the human immune system and enters into red blood cells. It was determined the parasite is able to use the complement system to its own advantage rather than being negatively affected by it.

Ecologists Identify Potential New Sources of Ebola and Other Filoviruses

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the research conducted by scientists who used machine learning methods to identify bats that were likely to be reservoirs for filoviruses. Scientists mapped out the geographical ranges of these bats and hope to be able to use this information to prevent future outbreaks.

Contamination in North Dakota Linked to Fracking Spills

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how accidental wastewater spills from fracking have caused soil and water contamination in North Dakota. Researchers from Duke University have been able to prove the contamination comes directly from the North Dakota wells. The text also explains how almost 10,000 wells have been drilled in North Dakota over the past decade, and how the state began producing more than 1 million barrels of oil a day in 2014. Much of the increased production has come through hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.

Why People Oppose GMOs Even Though Science Says They Are Safe

The informational text resource explains why the conventional wisdom of much of the public tends to be against GMOs: genetically modified organisms. Author Stefaan Blancke discusses why people feel hostile toward GMOs: because of emotions, intuitions, and essentialism. The author explains that science has found nothing unsafe about GMOs, but he does conclude that each GMO should be researched and admits that some GM applications could have unwanted effects.

Mercury-Laden Fog Swirls over Coastal California, Scientists Find

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the research conducted on the amounts of methyl mercury found in fog samples. Two different studies were conducted, and both indicate that fog is a major contributor and source of the presence of methyl mercury in an inland environment.

Research Spotlights a Previously Unknown Microbial 'Drama' Playing in the Southern Ocean

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the relationship between phytoplankton and different bacteria in the Southern Ocean. The text goes on to describe the results and how they changed previous ideas and assumptions about the needs of phytoplankton.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Mechanisms May Vary by Joint

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. New research indicates that rheumatoid arthritis mechanisms may vary by joint. These findings may point to developing specific therapies for individual patients that target precise locations.

Bacterial DNA May Integrate into Human Genome More Readily in Tumor Tissue

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes how scientists have recently found that lateral gene transfer occurs more rapidly into cancer or tumor cells than in normal, healthy cells. Scientists are going to further their research to see if there is a link between lateral gene transfer from the microbes that live on or around us and cancer. They believe this will also lead to a more personalized type of medicine.

Rewriting Genetic Information to Prevent Disease

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. CRISPR is an ancient immune response mechanism found in many bacteria that can locate and destroy the genome of an invader, such as a virus. Now researchers want to harness this natural system to control gene editing and regulation, and potentially correct harmful genetic mutations in humans. The ethical considerations of this technology are also discussed.

New Role Identified for Scars at the Site of Injured Spinal Cord

Recent research funded by the National Institutes of Health points to scar tissue being beneficial to nerve regrowth in spinal injury. Previously it was believed scar tissue prevented nerve regrowth, but this new research shows that astrocyte scars may actually be required for repair and regrowth following spinal cord injury.

Finding the Origins of Life in a Drying Puddle

This text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article describes how researchers at Georgia Tech have discovered that polypeptides, which are the main component of proteins, can be formed by mixing amino and hydroxyl acids, and then simply putting them through wet and dry cycles. This would be a more plausible way for early prebiotic molecules to form. Previously, the only way to produce polypeptides involved boiling temperatures, which are not conducive to life.

Metals: In Sickness and in Health

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article describes how certain elements (copper and zinc are highlighted) can affect human health in both positive and negative ways. Current research on these elements and possible treatments for the negative health effects associated with them is also discussed.

Text Resource: USGS Science for an El Niño Winter

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. El Niño is known to cause weather disturbances, however, its impact on winter storms causes a slew of additional complications when coupled with rising ocean levels instigated by global warming. The USGS reviews the effects, efforts to study the phenomena, and hints at ways to plan strategically for them in this timely article.

NSF Awards Rapid Response Grants to Study Current El Niño, One of the Strongest on Record

This informational text resource is is designed to support reading in the content area. The text briefly defines and describes El Niño, including outlining its impacts on fragile ecosystems and weather patterns. The author also reviews the type of grants NSF is awarding scientists to study El Niño and justifies the need for such funding.

Drag-and-Drop DNA: Novel Technique Aiding Development of New Cancer Drugs

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. It informs readers of how cutting edge nanotechnology is being combined with supercomputing and drug production. The new process it describes uses unique algorithms to search for DNA sequences that will self-assemble molecules tailored to locate, attach, and kill cancer cells. The passage also is a good example of how public agencies can support private-sector entities through various grants.

Hurricanes: The Greatest Storms on Earth

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article is provides background information on the different names for tropical cyclones, how hurricanes develop and weaken, and where in the world they are found. It also describes the technology used to study hurricanes and how hurricanes are categorized in terms of intensity.

Astronomers Developed Technology While Studying Gliese 581

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The author describes research on identifying "habitable" planets and explains how failed attempts might actually open the doors to more thorough research. Scientists faced the challenge of collecting specific data in order to determine if readings pointed to the existence of a planet. When research revealed that their original hypotheses were incorrect, the scientists were able to take the new information and apply it to further investigations.

Gravitational Waves Detected 100 Years After Einstein's Prediction

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes the first observation of gravitational waves by scientists, confirming Albert Einstein's 100-year-old prediction. The article describes the phenomena of gravitational waves, the technology used to detect them, and the impact of this discovery on future scientific endeavors. The importance of this discovery as the culmination of 100 years of research is emphasized.

Alaska: Marine Debris in the Wilderness

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text is a transcript of an interview with Peter Murphy, the Alaska Regional Coordinator of the NOAA Marine Debris Program. The interview highlights some of the challenges of removing marine debris in Alaska, specific projects, and goals for future work.

Jaguar Corridor Lights Up Eastern Colombia

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how predation of domestic cattle by jaguars in Colombia was becoming increasingly common due in part to deforestation. A conservation program was implemented to create a corridor for jaguars to pass through, keeping the jaguars separated from the farms and livestock and allowing them a natural pathway to cross through the Andes Mountains to eastern Colombia.

Chemistry in the Sunlight

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article explains that sunlight is an important aspect of ozone formation. The ozone layer forms in the stratosphere, which is located above the layer of the atmosphere that we breathe (the troposphere). There is ozone formation also occurring in the troposphere, which is very toxic to living organisms, naturally but mostly due to by-products from the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities. The text describes the different chemical processes of ozone formation in these two layers of the atmosphere.

Low-Oxygen "Dead Zones" in North Pacific Linked to Past Ocean Warming

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes the results of a recent study that has found a link between past ocean warming and the onset of "dead zones" in the Pacific Ocean off Oregon and Washington.

Clues to Future of Undersea Exploration May Reside Inside a Jellyfish-like Creature

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article relates the findings of a study by four scientists about siphonophores, a relatively little-studied organism related to jellyfish and corals. Their study focuses on this organism's ability to move through the water column in a coordinated fashion and how this knowledge may help humans propel themselves efficiently underwater.

Good News and Bad News for Coral Reefs

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. Through discussion of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the central Pacific, this text offers perspective on how political factors can greatly influence ecology. The article explains some of the benefits of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) like the Marine National Monument, which often include pristine coral reefs and exceptional biodiversity, using the example of MPAs in the Philippines. It also briefly describes global threats to MPAs.

Climate Can Grind Down Mountains Faster Than They Can Rebuild

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article describes the relationship between plate tectonics and erosion in the formation of Earth's surfaces and discusses how scientists are measuring the impact of both of these processes. The article presents findings from a recent study that shows, through data from sediment cores, that erosion is occurring faster than mountain building by plate tectonics.

Starving the Beast: New NSF-Funded Research Finds Way to Withhold Cancer Cells' Favorite Food

This informational text resource supports reading in the content area. This text describes the findings of a scientific study to determine how cancer cell growth can be halted by reducing the amount of copper that is transported to the cell. The text also describes how the scientists used the scientific method to develop their experiment.

Purple Haze: Ancient Pigment Reveals Secrets about Unusual State of Matter

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text explains how extreme cooling of an ancient pigment comprised of metallic compounds, as well as exposure to strong magnetic fields, converts the matter into a state called a Bose-Einstein condensate. In this state, the behavior of electrons within the pigment's atoms shifts and they form a single magnetic three dimensional structure. When the condensate is cooled even further in this case, the magnetic structure loses a dimension.

Spider Venom Could Yield Eco-Friendly Insecticides

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. A biochemist is studying spider venom to see if it can be used to control agricultural pests. The venom is harmless to vertebrates but kills insects that may kill crops. If successful, the spider venom could be used to replace chemical pesticides that are harmful to humans, wildlife, and the environment. In addition, insects that destroy crops are becoming resistant to these chemical insecticides but would not be resistant to bioinsecticides.

The Mythology of Natural Selection

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes how natural selection occurs when mutations occur in an individual's DNA sequence. Two different populations can have two different genetic mutations yet end up with a similar phenotype.

It's Hot...Super Hot: Finding Answers Around the Sun

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how researchers are using the Hinode satellite from Japan to uncover new explanations for the long-puzzled-after solution behind the searing temperature of the corona of the Sun.

Flying Lab to Investigate Southern Ocean's Appetite for Carbon

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how scientists led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) are set to launch a series of flights over the Southern Ocean in order to collect data on how the air and seas surrounding Antarctica exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. It is hoped that this data will help us with future predictions about climate change, and maybe even lead to new insights on how the ocean works.

Long-held Theory on Human Gestation Refuted

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This is a fine synopsis of a previously reported (and highly technical) study that shows the thought process behind challenging an existing theory. The subject is human evolution and the biology of childbirth. It encompasses basic anthropology concepts such as walking upright, as well as the biology of energy needs in pregnancy. Long-held views (that narrow birth canals are required for bipedalism) are debunked by careful analysis of how women with varying hip widths actually walk—and the authors found no difference.

Sample Size Calculation

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes the important process used when setting up trials for statistical investigation. The article explains each parameter that is needed to calculate the sample size, then provides examples and illustrates the process. This article will enhance an upper level math course's study of statistics after significance levels and basic inferential statistics concepts have been taught.

Genetic Solution to Cancer, Diabetes?

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes a rare form of dwarfism called Laron's Syndrome, which is associated with an unusually low incidence of cancer and diabetes. This combination of characteristics allows scientists to speculate on the relationship between all three conditions. It appears that a mutation that causes dwarfism protects against the common diseases of cancer and diabetes.

Coral Reefs Show Remarkable Ability to Recover from Near Death

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. When corals are stressed, they release their algal partners and turn white, a phenomenon called coral bleaching. This occurs when they are under stress from warming waters or other environmental factors. Researchers monitored reefs in the Seychelles during and after coral bleaching events, and found that several factors, including depth of growth, branching shape, nutrient levels, and amount of fish grazing accurately predicted whether reefs were likely to recover from these events. Human impacts such as sediment or nutrient run-off also affect the corals' resiliency.

Maths Goes to the Movies

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text shows how math is used to create the life-like computer generated images seen in movies such as Jurassic Park and Lord of the Rings.

Cloning Is Used to Create Embryonic Stem Cells

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article explains how cloning technology has achieved the long-desired goal of creating embryonic stem cells. It explores the science and morality of this complex issue.  

Strange but True: The Largest Organism on Earth is a Fungus

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article details the discovery of the world's largest living organism, a humongous fungus in eastern Oregon. The text discusses the fungus itself, other sprawling fungi, and possible explanations for why such large sizes might be the norm for fungi. Also, the article describes the research methods scientists employed in order to determine that the fungus was in fact one single living organism.

The Indian River Lagoon: An Estuary of National Significance

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. What is the Indian River Lagoon?  Why is the lagoon an estuary of “national significance?” What are some of the environmental challenges the lagoon faces? These questions represent interesting and relevant content explored in this informative text about one of Florida’s most important estuaries. The text also has the potential to be used as an anchor text to segue into further areas of inquiry such as the role of water management districts, restoration initiatives, and the death of wildlife on the Indian River Lagoon.

The Logic of Drug Testing

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article explores the reliability of drug tests for athletes, using mathematics. The author attempts to address this issue by relating drug tests to conditional probability. Throughout the text, various numbers that affect the calculation of a reliable probability are discussed. Numbers such as test sensitivity, test specificity, and weight of evidence are related to Bayes' theorem, which is ultimately used to calculate the conditional probability.

Captured: The Moment Photosynthesis Changed the World

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Geologists have made an important discovery about the origins of photosynthesis. According to evidence in South African rocks, before organisms were using water as the electron source for photosynthesis, they were using manganese - these rocks formed in anoxic conditions, but contain oxidized manganese. This evolution of photosynthetic organisms, which released atmospheric oxygen, laid the groundwork for more complex life forms, such as animals, to come into existence.

Is Large-Scale Production of Biofuel Possible?

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Is large-scale production of biofuel possible? The author attempts to answer this key question. As the world seeks to decrease its dependence on petroleum fuel by genetically engineering certain crops, there is the potential to commercially produce biofuels. Plant sources for bioenergy, the harnessing of plant bioenergy, and the sustainability of the industry are all issues considered in this text. The article discusses both environmental and economic consequences.

Where Do Chemical Elements Come From?

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. What is that extremely bright light in the sky? It's a supernova: the result of a massive star collapsing in on itself. This explosion is more than just a pretty sight; it is the main source of the elements that make up our planets and all the other objects in the night sky.

Ammonium Dichromate

This article explains the uses and properties of ammonium dichromate, an "explosive" compound once common in children's chemistry sets, and the reasons why society has gradually moved away from using this compound.

Introduced Species: The Threat to Biodiversity & What Can Be Done

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Invasive species are a global threat to biodiversity for many reasons. This article outlines the scope of the problem, explaining how invasive species are impacting native flora and fauna and offering potential solutions to prevent their spread.

Exoplanets Found Orbiting Former Extragalactic Star

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes scientists' discovery of the oldest habitable exoplanet that has been discovered. This planet formed outside our Milky Way and is about 11.5 billion years old. The planet looks like it could support water, has a rocky terrain, and is about five times bigger than Earth. Its proximity to its red dwarf star has led scientists to believe it could have supported life at one time.

Regenerating Plastic Grows Back After Damage

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes researchers' development of a material similar to plastic that regenerates or grows back after damage. Researchers have discovered that the material is similar to biologic regenerative functions in living organisms and works by bonding to the damaged area and filling the holes and cracks to repair itself.

Patterns and Structures

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Patterns are an integral part of any system. One of the main functions of mathematics is to find patterns and create functions that generalize these patterns. There are many situations where patterns emerge and can be described by mathematics. For example, Fibonacci sequences can describe natural phenomena, quantic equations can describe repeated cases of symmetry, and there are even patterns in the occurrence of prime numbers.

Feathers Yield Mysteries of Pigment Chemistry to Spectroscopic Analysis

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The pigments in the feathers of bird specimens have been traditionally hard to analyze because it required destroying the feathers. Now, scientists have come up with a new, non-destructive way to explore the complex chemistry of bird feather pigments, using lasers and Raman spectroscopy.

Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which summarizes the many environmental, climatic, social, and economic effects of global warming that are already occurring and will continue to take place. The report also predicts the environmental and socio-economic effects of climate change that will occur in the upcoming decades, especially those that will affect poorer countries.

What is Alchemy?

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Alchemy is a pseudoscience dating back thousands of years. Though it contained scientific components, alchemy also involved untestable elements such as magic and mysticism, and it was based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what scientists now know to be true about chemistry and physics. This article describes alchemy and explores its history and its failure to explain natural phenomena.

Phrenology-History of a Science and Pseudoscience

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses phrenology, which is a pseudoscience that claims to be able to use bumps on human skulls to make inferences about personality traits. The article details why phrenology is not a true science, and reviews the history of phrenology, the role of phrenology in the debate about the organization of the brain, how phrenology came under scientific criticism, and modern iterations of the technique.

Ethical Issues in Genetic Engineering and Transgenics

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This thought-provoking article explores ethical issues and legal implications associated with genetic engineering and transgenics. It discusses the science behind genetic engineering, current research developments, and potential societal issues surrounding bioengineering of humans and other organisms.

Better Catalysts for the Petrochemical Industry

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Zeolites are catalysts necessary for the production of gasoline from crude oil. One problem with zeolites is that their pores can be clogged by reaction products. To solve this, scientists have recently created zeolites that are have greater pore connectivity, which turns out to be a better, and also cheaper, method of producing catalysts for the petrochemical industry.

Cell Cycle and Cell Division

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The phases of the cell cycle are described, along with scientists' methods of studying the process. The proteins and cyclins involved in cell division are explained as well. The text ends by exploring future opportunities for discovery in this field.

Tough Decisions on the Front Line of Nature Conservation

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article expresses its author's opinion about culling animals in zoos, which is reducing a population by selective slaughter. The argument supports the idea of culling as a way to control inbreeding and to control the breeding of animals that will not help the species stay adaptable and immune to diseases.

Iron in Earth's Core Weakens Before Melting

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Researchers have created models that can be used to understand previously unexplained properties of the Earth's core. Previously, we have not been able to explain the behavior of seismic waves traveling through the core. However, a new model suggests that the iron in the core greatly weakens before melting, which slows the waves down.

 

Report: Polluted Farm Runoff Linked to Toxic Green Algae Slime in U.S. Waters

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes the causes and potential effects of toxin cyanobacteria blooms that have occurred in bodies of water in the United States. The blooms are affecting water quality, killing wildlife, and threatening human health (including causing death and illness) across the United States.

In the Fog about Smog

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Smog began appearing in Los Angeles in the 1940s and became a problem for decades. Scientists were able to figure out the cause of smog only after intensive study of organic compounds in the air. After discovering that nitrogen oxides from car exhaust were a primary ingredient in smog, it took years of policy changes and industrial innovation to reduce air pollution and resolve the smog issue in LA and worldwide.

Chemistry Unearths the Secrets of the Terracotta Army

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. In 1974 a group of Chinese farmers digging a well came across a great discovery: the Terracotta Army from the tomb of the first emperor of China. Since the discovery, archaeologists have been researching many aspects of the artifacts. Recently, with the use of chemistry, they have been able to determine many details of the weapons of the Terracotta Army, including their chemical composition and production techniques.

Body's Immune System Kills Mutant Cells Daily

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article explores how scientists discovered that the immune system naturally suppresses cancer while they were researching how B cells change during the growth of lymphoma. The text explains how T cells work as an "immune surveillance" and can be a way of preventing blood cancers. Through experimentation, scientists discovered how vitally important those cells are to possibly suppressing other forms of cancer in the future.

Seeing Double: New Study Explains Evolution of Duplicate Genes

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. A new study explains that about half of our genes are copies, made by error during DNA replication, that have escaped elimination by natural selection through the addition of methyl groups. Usually these copies would be susceptible to developing mutations, but it is newly understood that they are evolving new functions instead.

Hurricane Sandy was New York's "Self-Inflicted Calamity"

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Hurricane Sandy was one of the biggest storms to hit New York City in recent history. Intense wind and rain caused major damage all over the city and surrounding areas. The storm exposed how over development of reclaimed land and lack of political action to protect the city has led to major flooding—and probably will again unless action is taken.

Sound, Light, and Water Waves and How Scientists Worked Out the Mathematics

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This text describes in a historical context how the wave equation quantifies scientific experimentation performed over a hundred years ago to explain how light behaves from the perspective of math and physics. The wave equation has also proved useful in understanding quantum mechanics.

Raman Method Analyzes Live Cells Quickly and Accurately

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology has developed a non-invasive process for analyzing living cells. This technique uses Raman spectroscopy and will be able to to identify cancer cells based upon their unique Raman spectra. Alternative applications include separating bone marrow from other tissues for transplantation.

With Data and Resolve, Tacoma Fights Pollution

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Rain and runoff carry pollutants from human activity to the sea in places like Tacoma, Washington. The city has devised a scientific process for identifying sources and pathways of pollution and is making headway in reducing pollutant buildup and damage. By utilizing forensic methods to find the source of pollution and fining polluters, Tacoma is winning the war.

Extinct Relative Helps to Reclassify the World's Remaining Two Species of Monk Seal

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists used DNA and morphological analysis to classify the extinct Caribbean monk seal. In doing so, they grouped it with the critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal into a new genus, Neomonachus. The also critically endangered Mediterranean monk seal remains in its own genus, Monachus.

April Becomes First Month with Carbon Dioxide Levels Above 400 PPM

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses a troublesome milestone in climate science: the CO2 levels in Earth's atmosphere stayed above 400 ppm for the entire month of April 2014. The article discusses the significance of this measurement and how CO2 levels impact the atmosphere.

How Basic Research Fuels Medical Advances

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Research out of Scripps Research Institute's Florida campus illustrates how studying simple processes, such as DNA replication, can lead to highly beneficial medical advances: in this case, a possible cure for adult-onset muscular dystrophy. The article also shows how basic research has led to some familiar medical applications.

Arctic Fox and Other Polar Predators May Have Originated in the Himalayas

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses the possibility that the modern Arctic fox and other "hypercarnivorous" polar predators may have their origins in the Tibetan Plateau. The study uses fossil evidence, comparative anatomy, and biogeography to trace the evolutionary origins of the Arctic fox to the Himalayas.

No Limits For Usain

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text uses the story of Usain Bolt and his quest to reduce his world record in the 100 meter race to raise the question of whether there is a limit to his—or any human's—athleticism. The article uses number series, limits, and convergent and divergent series to prove that, hypothetically at least, a world record will go on reducing beyond any limit. A logistic curve is shown to model the data.

NASA Widens 2014 Hurricane Research Mission

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article focuses on the technology used by NASA for its most recent research being conducted on hurricanes. It describes the technology used as well as the data that is collected. It is an excellent article for explaining how scientists "know what they know" about weather.

The Quest for a Clean Drink

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. In America, clean water flows with the turn of a knob, but many countries do not have this luxury. This article looks at three different ways scientists have created treatment systems for drinking water in poor countries like India and Bangladesh.

Deploying the Body's Army

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists have been making breakthroughs in immunotherapy: the use of infectious pathogens as a method for treating cancer. The infections heighten the response of the immune system and eradicate the cancer in the process.

Sexual Reproduction - How it Works

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article gives an overview of the human reproductive system, including the organs that are present in both sexes and the role that each gender plays in reproduction. It is organized in a manner that supports readers' comprehension of the subject and captures their attention.

"Nanodaisies" Deliver Drug Cocktail to Cancer Cells

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This short but sophisticated article explains how a team of researchers developed daisy-shaped nanostructures to battle cancer cells and the potential impact this biotechnology may have on medical issues.

The Oldest Fish in the World Lived 500 Million Years Ago

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes the discovery of an ancient fish that provides scientists with a "missing link" in the fossil record, helping them understand when and how organisms transitioned from boneless, jawless organisms into the fish that dominate the oceans today. The text details the adaptations these ancient fish had and draws connections to adaptations found in later species.

Fetal Development, Human

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. There are many stages of the development of living things. This article focuses on the development of a human being starting at fertilization. The author gives vivid descriptions of each step of the process, breaking these steps into two larger groups: early development and the fetal period.

NASA's Quest for Green Rocket Fuel Passes Big Test

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This text introduces AF-M315E, a "green" or environmentally friendly jet fuel, to potentially be used by NASA instead of hydrazine, which is known to be both toxic to humans and volatile for control of satellites and spacecraft.

Yellowstone National Park is a Volcano

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article tells the geologic history of Yellowstone, the volcano. It describes the basic "hot spot" premise and the features resulting from a hot spot in the middle of a continental plate. The article is reassuring about the future of Yellowstone—as it points out, there is no imminent danger, just fascinating geology!

Salamander's Hefty Role in the Ecosystem

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This is a fascinating article about the large role one tiny organism plays in its ecosystem. The author explores the predatory habits of the salamander, how this amphibian can affect the carbon cycle, and the changes that have been taking place in the salamander populations over time.

Antimatter

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes the history of the study of antimatter in language that is easier to understand than most technical texts.

New Magma Layer Found Deep in Earth's Mantle?

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. The National Geographic article discusses models and theories that shed new light on the structure of Earth's layers, including new evidence to suggest a molten later of rock trapped deep in the Earth's mantle.

Starless Cloud Cores Reveal Why Some Stars are Bigger than Others

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. The article explains that astronomers are trying to find out why stars outside our galaxy are so much larger based on what we know about star formation and chemical make-up.

Is Time Travel Real? Physicists Say It Happens All The Time

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. This article is about the physics of time travel, including basic explanations of Einstein's relativity theories. The text investigates the plausibility of both "forward" and "backward" time travel using current scientific knowledge.

400,000-Year-Old Human DNA Adds New Tangle to our Origin Story

This informational text describes how modern DNA extraction methods have shed light on two extinct human cousin species. Scientists are finding new ways to study fossil mitochondrial DNA which have led to rethinking how groups of early humans should be divided evolutionarily.

Cells' Fiery Suicide in HIV Provides New Treatment Hope

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article explains how HIV-infected cells go through a self-destructive response called "pyroptosis," and how a drug might be able to prevent the infected cells' death.

Scientists Now Uncertain About Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article reports on scientists' findings that refute an aspect of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. The article describes the principle and what the new results mean for its future.

Live Cells Printed Using 'Rubber Stamp' Method

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses how new 3D printing methods can be used to print new living cells rapidly.

Stars

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article traces the evolution of the star by mass. It discusses white dwarfs, novas, supernovas, neutron stars, and black holes.

Berkeley Scientists Discover Inexpensive Metal Catalyst for Generating Hydrogen from Water

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article demonstrates the importance of hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuels and announces the discovery of a new catalyst useful in splitting water molecules to obtain hydrogen gas. Current methods of obtaining hydrogen from natural gas, for example, release carbon and consume large amounts of energy. This new catalyst opens the possibility of making hydrogen production much less expensive and carbon neutral as compared to current technologies.

Oslo-Experiment May Explain Massive Star Explosions

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Some new findings about atomic nuclei may help astrophysicists create more realistic simulations of supernovae thus allowing us to see how heavier elements are formed in stars.

Scientists Discover Important Mechanism in Plant Cells Which Regulates Direction Plant Cells Grow

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes a discovery scientists have made regarding a mechanism that regulates the direction in which plants grow.

What is the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch?

The article explains the ocean garbage patches: what causes them, what consequences to marine life result from their presence, and what we can do about them. This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area.

Snapshots Differentiate Molecules from Their Mirror Image

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes how scientists were able to reveal the spatial structure of left-handed and right-handed chiral molecules in gaseous solutions by using a combination of mass spectrometry and the Coulomb explosion.

Faster than the Speed of Light

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses how neutrinos seem to be arriving at their destination slightly faster than mathematically calculated and describes how the discovery of new scientific evidence must undergo scrutiny from many angles before being accepted.

Volcano Power Plan Gets US Go-Ahead

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes a group of researchers/investors who are attempting to convert the energy in volcanically heated water to electricity using a new method of forming more fissures to hold the heated water.

Human DNA Is Not A Document, It's An App

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses the relevance of the new findings regarding DNA coding and uses seven technological metaphors (i.e. Apps and Zappos) to compare DNA coding to contemporary physics.

Salty Surprise: Ordinary Table Salt Turns into 'Forbidden' Forms

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists use normal table salt and expose it to extreme conditions to create new compounds that defy the classical rules of chemistry. These new compounds may help to produce better products with new applications and understand planetary cores.

The New Alchemy

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. This article from the American Chemical Society reviews the basics of radioactivity and transmutation as well as the history of discovering elements.

What is Cancer? What Causes Cancer?

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. This article both identifies cancer and some of its causes; specifically, the fact that uncontrolled cell growth may result in a cancerous tumor.

Oceans May Absorb More Carbon Dioxide

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article is about plankton and how they use nutrients like carbon dioxide based on where the plankton are living.

Student Resources

Original Student Tutorials

Name Description
Word Prodigy: Using Context Clues:

Learn to use context clues to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words in this interactive tutorial. You'll learn how to identify and apply three important types of context clues: synonyms, antonyms, and inferences. This tutorial features passages about some of the world's most incredible child prodigies.

Vocabulary Unleashed:

Learn 15 new academic vocabulary words in this interactive tutorial! You'll practice the words' synonyms, antonyms, parts of speech, and context clues in order to add them to your vocabulary.

Reading into Words with Multiple Meanings:

Explore Robert Frost's poem "Mending Wall" and examine words, phrases, and lines with multiple meanings. In this interactive tutorial, you'll analyze how these multiple meanings can affect a reader’s interpretation of the poem.

Analyzing Word Choice in Emerson's "Self-Reliance": Part 2:

Explore excerpts from Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay "Self-Reliance" in this two-part series. This tutorial is Part Two. In this tutorial, you will continue to examine excerpts from Emerson's essay that focus on the topic of traveling. You'll examine word meanings and determine the connotations of specific words. You will also analyze the impact of specific word choices on the meaning of this portion of the essay.

Make sure to complete Part One first. Click HERE to launch Part One.

Analyzing Word Choice in Emerson's "Self-Reliance": Part 1:

Explore excerpts from Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay "Self-Reliance" in this two-part interactive tutorial series. You will examine word meanings, examine subtle differences between words with similar meanings, and think about the emotions or associations that are connected to specific words. Finally, you will analyze the impact of specific word choices on the meaning of these excerpts.

Make sure to complete both parts! Click HERE to launch Part Two.

Analyzing Figurative Meaning in Emerson's "Self-Reliance": Part 2:

Explore excerpts from Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay "Self-Reliance" in this interactive two-part tutorial. This tutorial is Part Two. In this two-part series, you will learn to enhance your experience of Emerson's essay by analyzing his use of the word "genius." You will analyze Emerson's figurative meaning of "genius" and how he develops and refines the meaning of this word over the course of the essay.

Make sure to complete Part One before beginning Part Two. Click HERE to view Part One.

Analyzing Figurative Meaning in Emerson's "Self-Reliance": Part 1:

Explore excerpts from Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay "Self-Reliance" in this interactive two-part tutorial. In Part One, you’ll learn to enhance your experience of a text by analyzing its use of a word’s figurative meaning. Specifically, you'll examine Emerson's figurative meaning of the key term "genius." In Part Two, you’ll learn how to track the development of a word’s figurative meaning over the course of a text. 

Make sure to complete both parts of the tutorial! Click HERE to launch Part Two.

Playing with Words: Changing Word Forms:

Learn how to transform words into other words, including nouns into verbs, verbs into adjectives, adjectives into adverbs, and much more with this interactive tutorial.

Vocabulary Mastery:

Acquire 15 new vocabulary words, identify their parts of speech, synonyms, and antonyms, and use them in context with this interactive tutorial.

Vocabulary in Action:

Acquire new vocabulary through this interactive tutorial. You'll learn the definitions for 15 new words, as well as their parts of speech, their synonyms and antonyms, and you'll practice using them in context.

Vocabulary Power:

Acquire 15 new vocabulary words, identify their parts of speech, synonyms, and antonyms, and use them in context with this interactive tutorial.

Into the Wild: Close Encounters with Unfamiliar Words:

Learn several strategies for determining the meaning of unfamiliar words as you read about the late Dian Fossey's research on mountain gorillas. This interactive tutorial will also help you identify common prefixes and how they affect the meaning of words.

Color and Connotation in Ray Bradbury's "The Veldt":

Study excerpts from a suspenseful science fiction short story in this interactive tutorial. In this tutorial, you'll study excerpts from "The Veldt" by Ray Bradbury. You'll study his use of color imagery, learn about the connotations of particular colors, and analyze the impact of color imagery on the meaning of the text.



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