Tokyo: Crowded, Expensive, and Delicious
ReadOasis Step 2 You are on your way to work. It's rush hour, and the train is packed. People are pressed against you on all sides. The train speeds along, but you can't move. Finally, you stop; the doors open, and you push your way out. It's Shinjuku Station,... Read more
Ben Franklin’s Curious Kite
ReadOasis Step 4 (Part 1) “Quick! It’s stormy outside! Maybe there will be thunder and lightning! Get the kite, and let’s go fly it in the storm!” Photo by GPTMC Imagine hearing these words from your father. You might think going out to play in a storm is fun,... Read more
Culture of Innovation (Step 2)
ReadOasis Step 2 (Part 1) It was a warm summer evening. The sun had already set, and the city lights were shining. In a busy part of Tokyo, people were leaving work. Some were going home. Others were going out to enjoy the evening. It was an ordinary night.... Read more
The Hawks and Their Friends
More Jataka Tales by Ellen C. Babbitt ReadOasis Step 4 (Part 1) Creative Commons Photo by Hello I'm Chuck A family of Hawks lived on an island in a lake not far from the great forest. On the northern shore of this lake lived a Lion, King of Beasts.... Read more
Beauty, Goodness, and Truth
ReadOasis Step 2 The buildings are rich in color and history. The trees are tall and stately. And the wind blows with the quiet whispers of the great people who have walked these paths. Eight American presidents have studied here. Some fifty Nobel Prize winners have been associated with... Read more
Is Crying Good for You?
ReadOasis Step 2 Why do people cry? Maybe tears are good for us. Maybe they calm our minds and cleanse our bodies. Yet researchers have shown that crying can make people feel worse. Psychologists from the US and the Netherlands recently studied crying. They checked detailed descriptions of crying... Read more
The King and his Hawk
ReadOasis Step 3 (Part 1) Creative Commons Photo by Fran001@Yahoo Genghis Khan was a great king and warrior of the Mongol Empire. He led his army into China and Persia, and he conquered many lands. In every country, men told about his daring deeds. They said that since Alexander... Read more
The Adventure with Lions
ReadOasis Step 4 (Part 1) Don Quixote (dän kēˈhōtē) is a famous Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes. It tells of the humorous adventures of Don Quixote and his helper, Sancho Panza. The following is the story of Don Quixote's adventure with lions. “Don Quixote“ by Gustave Doré The... Read more
A Giant of Business (Step 3)
ReadOasis Step 3 Black liquid exploded out of the ground and towards the sky. It was oil—black gold—and it had the power to light up homes. It had the power to run the engine of the American economy. It had the power to make a man very rich. John... Read more
A Story of Robin Hood
ReadOasis Step 3 (Part 1) In the rough and hard days of King Richard and King John, there were many great woods in the land of England. The most famous of these was Sherwood Forest. It is the place where the king often went to hunt deer and other... Read more
Are You Sleeping?
ReadOasis Step 2 The bells are ringing, but John is sleeping. It’s time to wake up! This is the basic setting for the song “Are You Sleeping.” In the English speaking world, many people know this song, and they can also sing the first lines in French. Frère Jacques,... Read more
Tit for Tat (Step 2)
ReadOasis Step 2 A Wild Horse and a Wild Dog were friends. One day the Dog said to the Horse: “I know that there is a fine field of corn on the other side of the river. If you will take me across, I’ll show you the place. This... Read more
Verbal, Visual, & Vocal Communication
ReadOasis Step 2 What is good communication? Psychologist Albert Mehrabian researches three elements of communication: words, tone of voice, and body language. More interestingly, Mehrabian studied how people communicate feelings and attitudes. If your body language and tone of voice disagree with your words, listeners tend to believe your body... Read more
The Pig and the Sheep
Adapted from Aesop ReadOasis Step 4 One day a Shepherd saw a fat Pig walking about in a field. The Shepherd left his sheep for a moment and quietly walked towards the Pig. But the Pig saw the Shepherd coming, and it screamed, “Oink, oink, oink” and ran away.... Read more
The Trial of Galileo (Step 2)
ReadOasis Step 2 (Part 1) It was the middle of winter. Galileo was old, weak, and sick. But he had to make the 200 mile (320 kilometer) trip to Rome in the cold. Why all this trouble? The Head of the Roman Church said so. Galileo must go on... Read more
Sincerely, Socrates
By Cana Short ReadOasis Step 3 Now, you might be wondering, “How can this be a letter from Socrates, if Socrates never wrote anything?” It is true that I do not write much, at least not for others. But I am having my student Plato write this letter for... Read more
The Wind
By Robert Louis Stevenson ReadOasis Step 2 I saw you toss the kites on high And blow the birds about the sky; And all around I heard you pass, Like ladies' skirts across the grass-- O wind, a-blowing all day long, O wind, that sings so loud a song!... Read more
Driving Motivation (Step 2)
ReadOasis Step 2 (Part 1) Doctor Harry Harlow made a difficult puzzle. At least he thought it was difficult. On a block of wood, he placed a metal catch called a hinge. A hinge is a piece of metal joined to a door. It allows the door to open... Read more
Expressing Thanks
Dr. Randall Short ReadOasis Step 2 What do you mean when you say “thank you”? What are you thinking and feeling when you thank someone for something? Think about times you said “thank you” recently, and consider your non-verbal language – your eyes, your smile, your voice, the way... Read more
Improve Your Word Power
ReadOasis Step 1 So you want to improve your word power. But what words should you learn first? You can waste time learning uncommon words first. But it's smart to learn the most common words at the beginning. The top 2,000 words of English make up 80% of all... Read more