Monthly Archives: October 2017

The Devil’s Dictionary: Astrology (n)

“Astrology, n. The science of making the dupe see stars. Astrology is by some held in high respect as the precursor of astronomy. Similarly, the night howling tomcat has a just claim to reverential consideration as precursor to the hunting bootjack.”

Excerpted from: Bierce, Ambrose. David E. Schultz and S.J. Joshi, eds. The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary. Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 2000.

Cultural Literacy: Verb

On this rainy Monday morning in New York City, I offer this Cultural Literacy worksheet on verbs.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Rotten Reviews: Madame de Stael on Voltaire’s Candide

“It seems to have been written by a creature of nature wholly different from our own, indifferent to our lot, rejoicing in our sufferings, and laughing like a demon or an ape at the misery of the human race with which he has nothing in common.”

Mme de Stael, DeL’Allemagne

Excerpted from: Barnard, Andre, and Bill Henderson, eds. Pushcart’s Complete Rotten Reviews and Rejections. Wainscott, NY: Pushcart Press, 1998.

The Weekly Text, October 27, 2017: A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on Vlad the Impaler

[Addendum: If you need or want a more recent and comprehensive version–replete with lesson plan and context clues worksheet on the transitive verb impale, click on this hyperlink.]

Although he has gone by many names, Prince Vlad III of Wallachia and his legend have come down to us in a number of forms, including rural folk tales, he is best known from Irish author Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula. Since Halloween is right around the corner, here is an Intellectual Devotional reading on Vlad the Impaler along with a reading comprehension worksheet to accompany it.

To complement this exercise, finally, you might want to use this short Cultural Literacy exercise on the Grim Reaper.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Block (n) and Bloc (n)

Here are five homophone worksheets on the nouns block and bloc that you might find useful. Both are important words for high school students to understand and be able to use.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

President John F. Kennedy’s Memorandum to “Tax Reformers”

“If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”

John F. Kennedy in his Inaugural Address

Excerpted from: Howe, Randy, ed. The Quotable Teacher. Guilford, CT: The Lyons Press, 2003.

Neil Postman on “Fake News”

“It is my intention in this book to show that a great…shift has taken place in America, with the result that the content of much of our public discourse has become dangerous nonsense. With this in view, my task in the chapters ahead is straightforward. I must, first, demonstrate how, under the governance of the printing press, discourse in America was different from what it is now—generally coherent, serious, and rational; and then how, under the governance of television, it has become shriveled and absurd. But to avoid the possibility that my analysis will be interpreted as standard-brand academic whimpering, a kind of elitist complaint against ‘junk’ on television, I must first explain that…I appreciate junk as much as the next fellow, and I know full well that the printing press has generated enough of it to fill the Grand Canyon to overflowing. Television is not old enough to match printing’s output of junk.”

Excerpted from: from Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (New York: Penguin, 1986).

Traitor (n)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the noun traitor that I wrote last week for the sophomore global studies class I’m co-teaching this year. It’s a word that has application in our current political circumstances.

Just sayin’.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Kingsley Amis on the Point of Writing

“If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.”

Kingsley Amis

Excerpted from: Winokur, Jon, ed. The Portable Curmudgeon. New York: Plume, 1992.

The Weekly Text, October 20, 2017: A Reading and Comprehension on Swedish Botanist Carl Linnaeus, Father of the Linnaean System of Taxonomy

For this week’s Text, Mark’s Text Terminal engages in a rare act of promotion, namely, exposing readers of this blog to the beautiful “My Dream for Animals” website. A colleague of mine in this school is involved in this. The photos are gorgeous, and the avowed mission of the site noble.

To accompany the site, here is a reading on Swedish botanist and taxonomist Carl Linnaeus together with this reading comprehension worksheet to complement it.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.