Teaching Guides *

“IT IS THE SUPREME ART OF THE TEACHER to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” February 26, 1931, in his short speech and inscribed dedication at Pasadena City College. 

MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS are invited to bring Albert Einstein Returns into their classes to support history, and English content and skills. Included here are a variety of activities for four of the site’s sections: FAME, GENIUS, DEAR DR. EINSTEIN, and COMEDY.

FAME

Why was Einstein treated like royalty or a pop culture sensation in his day? Explore the links in this section to read about his reception by different groups. CLICK FOR FAME SECTION
Possible activities:
  • What patterns emerge about people’s response to Einstein? Give two examples. What is your theory about why both groups adored him?
  • Consider Elon Musk’s press coverage today, then compare and contrast his treatment by the press to that of Einstein. What similarities do you find? What makes both men so appealing to the general public? What differences do you find?
    • Both Elon Musk and Albert Einstein are white men. Do you feel that this has anything to do with their abundant press coverage? Why or why not?
    • Write a persuasive essay about another notable scientist (contemporary or historic) who is overlooked from the “royal treatment.” Make your case about why s/he deserves recognition. Propose sample headlines to capture the public’s attention about his/her achievements.

SCIENCE

Steve Rosen, who channels Einstein throughout this site, claims in this section that “your smart phone honors Albert Einstein, and … you should, too.” Read this section to find out what he means by this. CLICK FOR SCIENCE SECTION
Possible activities:
  • BEFORE reading the section, have students write about how the GPS in cell phones works. How does your phone “know” where you are? They shouldn’t do any research — just write their best explanation, as logically or fantastically as they want. When done, have students read the section and then add to their explanation. Einstein thought in pictures, so have them include an illustration that helps explain how GPS works.
    • If they are still left with questions, these resources can help:
  • In your own words, how does your phone “honor” Einstein? Include at least one quote from the section to support your ideas.

DEAR DR. EINSTEIN

Einstein is famous for both his scientific discoveries and his views on life. This section images Einstein as an advice columnist dispensing wisdom on a variety of topics, from career to relationships to physics. CLICK FOR DR. EINSTEIN SECTION
Possible activities:
  • Einstein Q&A Social: BEFORE students read the section, have them write at least three questions they would like to ask Albert Einstein. When done, have them explore the section and answer their questions as Einstein. In some cases they will find their question, in which case they should summarize Einstein’s views on the topic. In other cases, students will need to read related questions to determine Einstein’s probable response to their questions.
  • What are three things that you learned about Einstein from his advice? Describe each in your own words. Use at least one quote to support your ideas.
  • Einstein Q&A Science: Imagine you have been tasked with explaining one of Einstein’s discoveries for your peers. Create a short lesson or video that both explains and shows (through demonstration, illustration, etc.) the concept. Also include why Einstein’s discovery is important. Use the explanations here, as well as others on the Resources page.

COMEDY 

Throughout the site, and particularly in COMEDY/Songs, Steve Rosen has included several songs with lyrics that he has rewritten with Einstein in mind. CLICK FOR COMEDY SECTION

Possible activities:
  • Identify one idea or event that you learned from the site, and write your own lyrics about it to a song of your choice. For example, can you write lyrics that explain how your cell phone “honors” Einstein (Genius)? Can you write lyrics that give social advice from Einstein’s perspective (Dear Dr. Einstein)? Can you write lyrics that include a variety of Einstein’s famous quotes?
  • Select one of Rosen’s songs and create a music video to accompany it.
  • Einstein lived well before the days of TikTok. Create a TikTok video (no more than one minute) that is inspired by Einstein. Include a written explanation of your video: what does it teach, and how and why did you choose to express it in this way?

* In “The Ultimate Quotable Einstein”, 2011, Collected and Edited by Alice Calaprice, Princeton University Press, which contains about 1600 quotes, the editor writes:

“Some [quotes] sound genuine, some are apocryphal, and others are no doubt fakes, created by those who wanted to use Einstein’s name to lend credibility to a cause or an idea. Hundreds can be found on the Internet, on calendars, and in little books containing undocumented quotations.”

So here’s a challenge to a diligent reader of “Albert Einstein Returns”… After scrutinizing the website’s contents, including all genuine quotes and fake or attributed quotes, try conceiving statements about life, science, and world affairs that Albert Einstein would have said if he actually returned to share his wit and wisdom with us. Now that we need him more than ever.

Teaching Guides *

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” February 26, 1931, in his short speech and inscribed dedication at Pasadena City College. 

Education consultant Virginia Mattingly says:

Albert Einstein Returns is a website created by physicist and author Steve Rosen. With a range of material, from primary and secondary resources to Rosen’s own Einstein avatar, the site is both entertaining and informative.

Middle and high school teachers are invited to bring Albert Einstein Returns into their classes to support history, and English content and skills. Included here are a variety of activities for four of the site’s sections: FAME, GENIUS, DEAR DR. EINSTEIN, and COMEDY.

FAME

Why was Einstein treated like royalty or a pop culture sensation in his day? Explore the links in this section to read about his reception by different groups. CLICK FOR FAME SECTION
Possible activities:
  • What patterns emerge about people’s response to Einstein? Give two examples. What is your theory about why both groups adored him?
  • Consider Elon Musk’s press coverage today, then compare and contrast his treatment by the press to that of Einstein. What similarities do you find? What makes both men so appealing to the general public? What differences do you find?
    • Both Elon Musk and Albert Einstein are white men. Do you feel that this has anything to do with their abundant press coverage? Why or why not?
    • Write a persuasive essay about another notable scientist (contemporary or historic) who is overlooked from the “royal treatment.” Make your case about why s/he deserves recognition. Propose sample headlines to capture the public’s attention about his/her achievements.

GENIUS

Steve Rosen, who channels Einstein throughout this site, claims in this section that “your smart phone honors Albert Einstein, and … you should, too.” Read this section to find out what he means by this. CLICK FOR GENIUS SECTION
Possible activities:
  • BEFORE reading the section, have students write about how the GPS in cell phones works. How does your phone “know” where you are? They shouldn’t do any research — just write their best explanation, as logically or fantastically as they want. When done, have students read the section and then add to their explanation. Einstein thought in pictures, so have them include an illustration that helps explain how GPS works.
    • If they are still left with questions, these resources can help:
  • In your own words, how does your phone “honor” Einstein? Include at least one quote from the section to support your ideas.

DEAR DR. EINSTEIN

Einstein is famous for both his scientific discoveries and his views on life. This section images Einstein as an advice columnist dispensing wisdom on a variety of topics, from career to relationships to physics. CLICK FOR DR. EINSTEIN SECTION
Possible activities:
  • Einstein Q&A Social: BEFORE students read the section, have them write at least three questions they would like to ask Albert Einstein. When done, have them explore the section and answer their questions as Einstein. In some cases they will find their question, in which case they should summarize Einstein’s views on the topic. In other cases, students will need to read related questions to determine Einstein’s probable response to their questions.
  • What are three things that you learned about Einstein from his advice? Describe each in your own words. Use at least one quote to support your ideas.
  • Einstein Q&A Science: Imagine you have been tasked with explaining one of Einstein’s discoveries for your peers. Create a short lesson or video that both explains and shows (through demonstration, illustration, etc.) the concept. Also include why Einstein’s discovery is important. Use the explanations here, as well as others on the Resources page.

COMEDY 

Throughout the site, and particularly in COMEDY/Songs, Steve Rosen has included several songs with lyrics that he has rewritten with Einstein in mind. CLICK FOR COMEDY SECTION

Possible activities:
  • Identify one idea or event that you learned from the site, and write your own lyrics about it to a song of your choice. For example, can you write lyrics that explain how your cell phone “honors” Einstein (Genius)? Can you write lyrics that give social advice from Einstein’s perspective (Dear Dr. Einstein)? Can you write lyrics that include a variety of Einstein’s famous quotes?
  • Select one of Rosen’s songs and create a music video to accompany it.
  • Einstein lived well before the days of TikTok. Create a TikTok video (no more than one minute) that is inspired by Einstein. Include a written explanation of your video: what does it teach, and how and why did you choose to express it in this way?

* In “The Ultimate Quotable Einstein”, 2011, Collected and Edited by Alice Calaprice, Princeton University Press, which contains about 1600 quotes, the editor writes:

“Some [quotes] sound genuine, some are apocryphal, and others are no doubt fakes, created by those who wanted to use Einstein’s name to lend credibility to a cause or an idea. Hundreds can be found on the Internet, on calendars, and in little books containing undocumented quotations.”

So here’s a challenge to a diligent reader of “Albert Einstein Returns”… After scrutinizing the website’s contents, including all genuine quotes and fake or attributed quotes, try conceiving statements about life, science, and world affairs that Albert Einstein would have said if he actually returned to share his wit and wisdom with us. Now that we need him more than ever.