Weekend Tech: Krulwich Wonders Day Two

Hopefully I peaked your interest yesterday by discussing the merits of the blog Krulwich Wonders.  Today I’m going to provide a list of posts that could easily translate into classroom lessons.

Language, Writers, Writing

“Wanna Live Forever? Become a Noun”

A can’t miss post.  Song, video and dialogue about the history of the English language as it pertains to how people become nouns.  This might be the best/most amusing of all the posts.  It also links to a Time Photo Essay of people whose last names have become nouns.  Great for class discussion, argument prompts about how our culture comes to these conclusions.  Perhaps if you’re feeling really creative, look at the song lyrics. 

“Words Hurt the World, Poet Says”

A post that discusses the craft of writing.  The video Krulwich includes is stunning.  So good in fact that I’m fairly certain any teacher that teaches writing could use it as an intro or reminder about why writing requires thought to motivate an audience. 

“Kurt Vonnegut Turns Cinderella into an Equation”

A discussion about how artists, especially writers have a tendency to see stories in similar patterns.  The Vonnegut video is priceless.  Kurt Vonnegut Turns Cinderella into an Equation

“Holy Mackril! Or is it Macrell?”

Any post that starts with a reference to the OED is okay in my book.   A discussion about the form of language over the course of history.  Witty, easily accessible for students and full of great photos this post is enjoyable and about language.  Could there be anything better?  Don’t forget to checkout the mackerel cans in the middle of the post for a great visual argument about language.  

Technology, 1984

“Waiting for Dave (As Told by His Lamp)”

One of the best posts for identifying author argument.  Krulwich poses a question about the future of technology and the individual’s role and posts a video from the tech company Ericsson.  Afterwards he provides his argument ABOUT their argument.  Think argument analysis for the post.  Think critical thinking, note taking and evaluating for the video.  Think paragraph and essay prompts about the topic itself.  This is a great moral/ethical dilemma writing assignment. 

Popular Culture/Argument Analysis

“Extreme Tidying Up”

You have to read the post to truly understand.  Krulwich profiles Ursus Wehrli a Swiss artist/comedian.  The photos and the video are humorous to say the least, but they are also stunning works of art.  The post is perfect for image analysis/journaling and constructing an argument about what drives anyone to “tidy” in such a way. 

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

“Living Very, Very Narrowly”

In Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close the main character spends the majority of his time “inventing” creations he believes the world needs.  This post speaks directly to that idea.  The thinnest house in Poland and/or the world is under construction.  The architectural drawings are incredible.  Krulwich argues that the human mind is capable of great imagination/creation.  Perfect as an intro, argument analysis, etc. 

Current Events, Research, Education Reform  

“Lord save me from the Krebs Cycle”

This piece is humorous and meaningful.  Krulwich discusses education and education reform by evaluating how/where students lose interest.  For him the difficulty of understanding the Krebs Cycle in 9th grade biology offers up an entrance into a discussion about how education needs to be engaging.  Great argument that also includes a “science” music video entitled “Oxidate It or Love It.”  I could see this being used for classroom discussion, argument analysis and/or the start of a student research paper. 

Keep in mind these posts are from the last several months.  So, there are two directions for further exploration: archived posts and pieces he hasn’t, yet, posted.  Who knows what’s next?  That’s what brings me back.  Happy searching, reading and teaching.

3 comments

  1. Stacey says:

    Oh my – I love Krulwich on Radio Lab…I have never seen his blog before but the two links I clicked on were amazing. I love the Living Very, Very Narrowly. I never would have connected a narrow house to the concept in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close! Great connection!

  2. [...] Fluff and Other Encounters.”  The program is co-hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, whose blog we’ve highlighted previously as a resource.  Part of what makes the program so enjoyable is the repartee between Abumrad and Krulwich. [...]

  3. [...] highlighted Krulwich Wonders before.  It’s a great blog of just about everything you could ever want including, but not [...]

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