What the Dog Saw Part One: Obsessives, Pioneers, and Other Varieties of Minor Genius by Malcolm Gladwell Informational Reading Assignments.
What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures is the fourth book released by author Malcolm Gladwell, on October 20, 2009. The book is a compilation of the journalist's articles published in The New Yorker.
Part One: Obsessives, Pioneers, and Other Varieties of Minor Genius is a series of 6 articles that each addresses a different question or issue.
Why are there tons of varieties of mustard but only one type of ketchup? It turns out that different people like different levels of sweetness and bitterness, so we see twelve varieties of marinara sauce on the supermarket shelf and another dozen flavors of soft drinks on the market.
What does hair dye have to do with feminism? He talks about what makes a good salesman. It’s not just the ability to ask for the money. There needs to be an engaging, interesting presentation that draws the audience in.
What about the stock market? What makes it so predictable, and what makes it unpredictable? What are the best strategies if you take into account the fact that most people panic once they see other people rapidly selling their shares of stock? In one story a successful money manager and a Wall Street trader meet and discuss their theories of the predictability of the market. Why does Cesar Millan have so much success calming dogs that terrorize their owners? Learn about some of his secrets, and learn why dogs are so interested in humans.
Did you know that women didn’t always menstruate every 28 days? Gladwell shares the story of John Rock, the inventor of the birth control pill. He developed a product that was approved by his church and was deemed “natural” for women. Little did he know that it would end up negatively impacting their health as it potentially increased their risk of cervical cancer!
Gladwell discusses the difference between mystery and puzzle, and between the two types of serial killers. He keeps readers on their toes with unlikely comparisons and his unique points of view. Another story takes a look at the homelessness problem, and we discover how one homeless man cost his city over one million dollars.
How could a tanker truck be mistaken for a missile? And why can’t doctors agree about what they see on a mammogram? “The Picture Problem” chapter looks at the limitations of technology, as well as the limitations of people who interpret the images produced by such technology. Is higher definition always the best way to go?
Gladwell answers all these questions and more!
The New Yorker articles covered in this part of the book are:
The Ketchup Conundrum
John Rock’s Error
What The Dog Saw
Before the reading or the assessments, there are a pre-reading sheets that ask students for prior knowledge, opinions, and prediction on the subject, along with vocabulary acquisition (words that need to be introduced to better understand the information) and priming the reader in order to get them to think about the subjects.
The post reading assessments included vocabulary acquisition, critical thinking questions, and recall or comprehension questions on one sheet for each article. These questions come in the forms of a mixture of matching, short answer, and multiple-choice. The student will also need to use the internet to complete some simple research to answer. By completing this sheet the student will demonstrate an understanding of the material on multiple levels.
The other assessments are creative art sheets. Each creative art sheet asks the student to use the details from the articles and their own knowledge, experiences, and imagination to synthesize a totally new work, this is a picture that is a visual representation that recreates of details, person or maybe the student's use or view of an aspect of the article. Along with this picture the student will explain their work with a short explanation.
While these articles are part of Gladwell’s book “What the Dog Saw” they were all previously publish and are available free for download on the author's website and from the New Yorker, as this is the case I am including the article.
The materials provided
6 Informational article
6 Post reading informational article worksheet
6 Pre-reading informational article worksheet
6 Creative Art Sheet