Common Core Standards: ELA
6. Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.
The final anchor standard for language has mastered the art of multi-tasking by doing three things at once: offering two different (though related) standards, and summarizing the other five standards in the list. Multi-tasking Standard Six expects students to be prepared for college or a career by being able to do the following:
1. Have a vocabulary large enough for them to understand most conversations that will take place in college or the workplace; and
2. When an unknown word does pop up, be able to find out what it means, especially if the lecture, reading, instructions, etc. make no sense without knowing what it means.
Students (and some teachers) might recall Beverly Cleary’s classic children’s book Ramona the Brave, in which Ramona, age six, reads the newspaper by making a “zzz” sound in her head to represent all the words she doesn’t know. Thus she learns that the Zzzzs are playing zzzzball at zzzz. A six-year-old might get through the newspaper this way, but it’s of little use to college students or employees, both of whom need to know or to be able to find out what the “zzz”s all mean if they are to succeed.
Sample Activities for Use in Class
1. Give each student or group of students a copy of the following passage, or one chosen for this assignment:
Except in cases affecting the personal status of the plaintiff, and in those wherein that mode of service may be considered to have been assented to in advance, the substituted service of process by publication allowed by the law of Oregon and by similar laws in other States where actions are brought against nonresidents is effectual only where, in connection with process against the person for commencing the action, property in the State is brought under the control of the court and subjected to its disposition by process adapted to that purpose, or where the judgment is sought as a means of reaching such property or affecting some interest therein; in other words, where the action is in the nature of a proceeding in rem.
(Pennoyer v. Neff , 95 US 714 (1878) - one of the most notoriously difficult cases to read.)
Have students read the passage through. When they come across a word they don’t know or don’t understand in context, have students draw a line through the word and make a separate list of these words.
Then, choose two or three students to read the passage aloud, replacing each crossed-out word with “zzzz.” When they’re finished, ask each student to explain, in his or her own words, what the paragraph was about. (Hint: “If you can’t serve lawsuit papers on someone because they’re not in the state, you can serve them by publishing a notice of the lawsuit in a newspaper, but only if the person owns real estate in the state.”)
Next, have students look up the crossed-out words in a regular dictionary, a legal dictionary, and/or the Internet, and write in what the words mean. When they’re done, have students read through the passage again and attempt to explain what it means. The second attempt should go much more smoothly.
2. Build a deck of flash cards that contain words from certain college or career specialties: medicine, law, science, philosophy, etc. Using specialized dictionaries in print or online may help. Pass the deck around the room and have students choose three to five flashcards. Have students study their words, then write down two to three places they might go if they don’t know the word but need to understand it. Resources might include a specialized dictionary, the Internet, or the person’s professor or boss. Have students share their words and their suggested sources, then critique one another’s choice of sources by explaining why one source is a particularly good or bad choice or by suggesting additional sources.
Quiz 1 QuestionsHere's an example of a quiz that could be used to test this standard.
Questions 1-10 are based on the following passage from Pierson v. Post, an 1805 court case from New York. (You may want to have students note that using an ‘s” instead of a ‘z” (such as “recognised” instead of “recognized”) was fairly common in the time period.)
This cause comes before us on a return to a certiorari directed to one of the justices of Queens county.
The question submitted by the counsel in this cause for our determination is, whether Lodowick Post, by the pursuit with his hounds in the manner alleged in his declaration, acquired such a right to, or property in, the fox, as will sustain an action against Pierson for killing and taking him away?
The cause was argued with much ability by the counsel on both sides, and presents for our decision a novel and nice question. It is admitted that a fox is an animal feræ naturæ, and that property in such animals is acquired by occupancy only. These admissions narrow the discussion to the simple question of what acts amount to occupancy, applied to acquiring right to wild animals?
If we have recourse to the ancient writers upon general principles of law, the judgment below is obviously erroneous. Justinian's Institutes, and Fleta, adopt the principle, that pursuit alone vests no property or right in the huntsman; and that even pursuit, accompanied with wounding, is equally ineffectual for that purpose, unless the animal be actually taken. The same principle is recognised by Bracton.
Puffendorf defines occupancy of beasts feræ naturæ, to be the actual corporal possession of them, and Bynkershoek is cited as coinciding in this definition. It is indeed with hesitation that Puffendorf affirms that a wild beast mortally wounded, or greatly maimed, cannot be fairly intercepted by another, whilst the pursuit of the person inflicting the wound continues. The foregoing authorities are decisive to show that mere pursuit gave Post no legal right to the fox, but that he became the property of Pierson, who intercepted and killed him.