“Human calculators” are those rare individuals whose minds have a strange and remarkable ability with numbers. Oddly, many of them have been unable to master other fields of learning; some of them could not read or write. Yet, unlike the average person, some have matched or beaten the speed and accuracy of modern calculating machines! This article presents the stories of three famous math prodigies of the last three centuries: Jedidiah Buxton, Johann Dase, and Charles Cansler. Each of these men was a true human calculator and capable of solving incredible mental math challenges. Biographical details for each are given as well as examples of the types of problems they worked with.
This Common Core-aligned informational reading and assessment can be used in Grades 4-8 depending on your students' ability levels and in a number of ways by teachers (teacher-directed study in class, close reading, independent practice, homework, test prep, etc). This is a high interest article that works equally well with either reluctant readers or in the regular classroom! Please download the Preview to see part of the text and ALL the questions included in the printable.
This passage and assessment is ideal as part of a close reading program in your classroom based around mastery of the Common Core! What does that mean to you as a classroom teacher? It means that this is not the typical “one reading I'm done” comprehension work often given before the Common Core Standards were created. To complete the assessment for the passage, students will need "to undertake the close, attentive reading and re-reading that is at the heart of understanding and enjoying complex and worthy works.”
This product is part of a larger collection on Mysteries and Wonders. The bundle can be purchased at a 50% discount to the price of the individual resources that are included by clicking and purchasing the resource below.
Mysteries and Wonders Informational Passage and Assessment Collection
The printable includes:
1) An entertaining, high-interest informational article of 1000 words called “The Human Calculators” Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 6.1
2) A set of 31 questions, from simpler to more complex, written to align with these Common Core Informational Text Standards:
RI.4.1. Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
RI.5.3. Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.
RI.6.5. Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas
3) Answers to every question.
While you are here, take a look at my popular Common Core-Aligned Informational Text bundles, created to help busy teachers implement the ELA standards! All the best texts and assessments organized into easy-to-use collections.
Common Core-Aligned Informational Text Assessments: Grades 4-5
Common Core-Aligned Informational Text Assessments: Grades 5-6
This item is a PAID digital download from my TpT store. As such, it is for use in one classroom only. This item is also bound by copyright laws and redistributing, editing, selling, or posting this item (or any part thereof) on the Internet are all strictly prohibited without first gaining permission from the author. Violations are subject to the penalties of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Any claims of correlation or alignment to the Common Core State Standards are solely those of Mark Aaron and have not been evaluated or endorsed by the NGA. Mark Aaron is the sole creator of this product and does not claim endorsement or association with the creators of the CCSS.