It isn’t a secret that I find the internet to be a wonderfully useful place. All jokes about cat videos aside, there are many places that allow people’s creativity to shine. One of those places is xkcd. Written by a former NASA roboticist, Randall Munroe, it is filled with wit, sarcasm, pathos and science. It is written in an accessible way, but also without dumbing down the content. I like to use his comic as an entry point for both writing and math lessons. Here is an example:
This is the Up Goer five, it is a description of the space shuttle written using the most common thousand words in the English language. I let the students take a look, and tell me what they learned. Then I ask if the descriptions make sense. Lastly I’ll ask them how many words they think they know.
Students are amazed at their own vocabulary!