This course involves 5 books dealing with history, geography, anthropology, ecology, biology, economics, and the environment.The book list includes Guns, Germs, and Steel, Into Thin Air, Nickel and Dimed, The Perfect Storm, and The Hot Zone. It is designed to be a self-paced course lasting between 10-12 weeks. Students should already have good reading comprehension skills. The course material deals with mature topics (death, disease, natural disasters, etc.) and is most appropriate for high school students. As students read, they are to note important information, comments, or questions in their notebook (include page numbers) or on sticky notes throughout. For each book read, students will be asked to complete a similar set of 5 tasks: identify and define key vocabulary, identify the author's main argument, write a summary, answer comprehensive short answer questions, and design their own higher-level questions. There is a course overview, rubric to be used with each book, and assignments for each book. There is also a copy of Bloom's Taxonomy. Each book assignment includes an enticing paragraph about the book, a list of key vocabulary, a list of short answer questions, and a Bloom's question-writing task.