Monthly Archives: June 2018

Bureau (n) and Bureaucracy (n)

On this first day of the summer break here in New York, here are two context clues worksheet on the nouns bureau and bureaucracy. Do I need to argue that these are words and concepts high school students should know?

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.

Animal Farm

“A satire in fable form by George Orwell (1903-1950) published in 1945 and depicting a totalitarian regime like that of the Soviet Union under Stalin. The story describes how the animals, accompanied by the slogan ‘Four legs good, two legs bad,’ overthrow their human oppressors. However, the pigs, by cunning treachery and ruthlessness, come to dominate the more honest, gullible, and hard-working animals. Their ultimate slogan is: ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.’ The leader of the pigs is Napoleon, representing Stalin, and at the end the pigs are in cahoots with the humans, even beginning to totter around on two legs. An animated film of the novel appeared in 1955.”

Excerpted from: Crofton, Ian, ed. Brewer’s Curious Titles. London: Cassell, 2002.

Cultural Literacy: Clone

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on clones and cloning. This is the kind of stuff that tends to fascinate kids; it’s a neat little literacy exercise, even if you don’t teach science.

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.

A Philosophical Take on Concepts

A concept is that which is understood by a term, particularly a predicate. To possess a concept is to be able to deploy a term expressing it in making judgements: the ability connects with such things as recognizing when the term applied, and being able to tell the consequences of its application. The term “idea” was formerly used in the same way, but is avoided because of its associations with subjective and mental imagery, which may be irrelevant to the possession of a concept. In the semantics of Frege, a concept is the reference of a predicate, and cannot be referred to by as subjective term.”

Excerpted from: Blackburn, Simon. The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Corrupt (adj) and Corruption (n)

Here are a pair of context clues worksheets on the noun corrupt and the adjective corruption. As I looked at these this morning, I realized that one could, with a minimum of work, turn the noun worksheet into a verb worksheet.

Something else to think about, I guess.

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.

Rotten Reviews: For Whom the Bell Tolls

“At a conservative estimate, one million dollars will be spent by American readers for this book. They will get for their money 34 pages of permanent value. These 34 pages tell of a massacre happening in a little Spanish town in the early days of the Civil War…Mr. Hemingway: please publish the massacre scene separately, and then forget For Whom the Bell Tolls; please leave stories of the Spanish Civil War to Malraux…”

Commonweal

“This book offers not pleasure but mounting pain; as literature it lacks the reserve that steadies genius and that lack not only dims its brilliance but makes it dangerous in its influence.”

Catholic World

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

John Wooden

Because the weekly mandated “professional development” sessions at my school are at bottom an intellectually vacant bureaucratic ritual, I’ve spend a fair amount of time over the years seeking inspiration to teach in my own, self-directed professional development. Any time I hear John Wooden’s mentioned I pay attention.

A legendary basketball coach, Mr. Wooden was every inch a teacher, and produced real results. He ought to be of interest to our students, it seems to me. To that end, here is a reading on John Wooden with a comprehension worksheet to accompany 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.

Adobe (n)

“Sun-dried mud (usually clay) and straw bricks used for building construction. Used since pre-Roman times in Sumerian and Babylonian Architecture. adobe has been employed throughout the non-European world, including the U.S. Southwest, and in some European buildings.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Cultural Literacy: Cyberspace

Here, on a Sunday morning, is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the concept of cyberspace. Does anyone use that word anymore?

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.

Anecdote

A brief, presumably interesting report of an experience or incident, especially a humorous account reflecting human foibles; confidential tale or piece of gossip, or an unknown biographical or historical particular; digressive episode. Adj. anecdotal; n anecdotist, anecdotalist.

‘He joked with Baitsell about the formalities, laughed at the red ribbons attached to the will, told a couple of anecdotes about old Newport and Harry Lehr’s will, and finally signed his name in a great, flourishing hand.’” Louis Auchincloss, Powers of Attorney

 Excerpted from: Grambs, David. The Random House Dictionary for Writers and Readers. New York: Random House, 1990.