Literature Improves Empathy


Have you ever felt that reading a good book makes you better able to connect with your fellow human beings? If so, the results of a new scientific study back you up, but only if your reading material is literary fiction – pop fiction or non-fiction will not do.

Great Expectations from great literature … empathy occurs in the spaces between characters, such as Joe and Pip, pictured here in the 2012 film adaptation. Photograph: Moviestore/Rex Features

Empathy occurs in the spaces between characters, such as Joe and Pip in Great Expectations, pictured here in the 2012 film adaptation. Photograph: Moviestore/Rex Features

Psychologists David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano, at the New School for Social Research in New York, have proved that reading literary fiction enhances the ability to detect and understand other people’s emotions, a crucial skill in navigating complex social relationships.

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Freshmen Proofreading

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journalsIf a writing assignment is completed outside of class (e.g. journals), students are expected to proofread their writing for the assignment in order to eliminate mechanical errors prior to the due date.

When working on writing assignments outside of the classroom, students should always refer to the Proofreading Expectations guide in order to ensure that submitted work meets ninth-grade expectations.  This guide will provide a list of non-negotiable errors that will not be academically tolerated in high school students’ writing.  For each of the non-negotiable errors (which are listed in each grading period’s Proofreading Expectations) that are present in a submitted assignment, 10% of the total possible points for the assignment will be deducted – up to a maximum of 50%. Continue reading

Parts of Speech: Nouns!

Recognize a noun when you see one.  George! Jupiter! Ice cream! Courage! Books! Bottles! Godzilla! All of these words are nouns, words that identify the whos, wheres, and whats in language. Nouns name people, places, and things. Read the sentence that follows:

George and Godzilla walked to Antonio’s to order a large pepperoni pizza.

George is a person. Antonio’s is a place. Pizza is a thing. Godzilla likes to think he’s a person, is as big as a place, but qualifies as another thing.
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