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One suggestion I have is the story of the tomato. This is reputed to be a
Just before the turn of the century (late 1800's) the masses here in the
United States believed tomatoes were poisonous. No one grew them or ate
I'm not sure of the man's name or his profession, but he publicly claimed
that tomatoes were not only non-toxic, but were delicious and healthful.
He of course was scoffed and ridiculed.
So in order to prove his point he promoted an event where he would eat a
raw tomato on the steps of the Monument on the Circle in downtown
The word spread quickly about this man and his claim. As promised, he
stood in the center of Indianapolis' busy downtown and ate his tomato
before a huge throng. The crowds were horrified when he ate the tomato,
but found that tomatoes were no more harmful than any other fruit.
That might be an interesting story to use in the class you described.
Subject: OT: Short fiction needed for HS science class
From: Kat Nagel <katnagel -at- eznet -dot- net>
Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2001 10:44:22 +0800
My husband is teaching a class this year called "How D'Ya Know?", a
look at all the ways people use to determine truth...
They read short stories, novels, poetry, newspaper and magazine
articles and see films that treat the subject matter. They discuss
the literature and do lots of writing...
Andy's starting the class with a discussion of superstition, and
needs a short (8-10 pg) fiction reading assignment for the kids.
He'd like something where someone is converted from superstition
(false unsupported belief) to truth (belief supported by observation
and deduction) by some other belief system like science or an
established religion. Alternatively, he could use a story where a
scientific theory is initially treated as a superstition...
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