Monthly Archives: March 2019

Harper Lee on Power and the Law

“But there in one way in this country in which all men are created equal–there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution, gentleman, is a court”

Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird ch. 20 (1960)

Excerpted from: Shapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

The Weekly Text, March 22, 2019, Women’s History Month 2013 Week IV: A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on Eleanor of Aquitaine

Yesterday I posted a short exercise on Queen Elizabeth I. As long as we’re dealing with British sovereigns, this week’s Text offers this reading on Eleanor of Aquitaine and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

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.

Cassandra

“In Greek mythology, the daughter of King Priam of Troy. Apollo promised her the gift of prophecy if she would grand his desires; she accepted the gift but rebuffed the god, who took his revenge by ordaining that all her prophecies would never be believed. She predicted the fall of Troy and the death of Agamemnon, but her warnings went unheeded. Given as part of the war spoils to Agamemnon, she was murdered with him.”

Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Cultural Literacy: Queen Elizabeth I

Here’s a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Queen Elizabeth I if you have any use for it–or any use at all for the British royal family, for that matter.

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.

Zoe Akins on the Greeks

“The Greeks Had a Word for It.”

Zoe Akins, U.S. Playwright, 1868-1951

Title of Play

Excerpted from: Shapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

We Should All Be Feminists

In my current posting in Springfield, Massachusetts, I have encountered the most simpatico colleague with whom I’ve worked as a teacher. Unfortunately, she is about to depart the school. I bid her a fond farewell; I also thank her for bringing into our classroom Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s slim but compelling volume We Should All Be Feminists. I was aware of Ms. Adichie over the years, and at one point, on National Public Radio, I listened to a feature on what I could have sworn the reporter called the “Children of Achebe”–referring, of course, the Chinua Achebe–but I cannot for the life of me find anything on this on the Internet.

This is not to say that NPR didn’t cover Mr. Achebe, a towering figure in global literature in general and African literature in particular, because the media outlet definitely did, including an interview with that great interrogator, Terry Gross. The BBC reported on something close to what I thought I heard on NPR, to wit a report on Achebe’s heirs–which names among that group Ms. Adichie, Ben Okri, and Chris Abani. Just so readers don’t think I missed anything (even though this is still a far-from-complete list of Nigeria’s distinguished writers), Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka makes this list–and he is eatured, incidentally in conversation with Henry Louis Gates, in the current edition of The New York Review of Books.

In any case, I’d of course seen the We Should All Be Feminists over the years since its publication, but was too busy with other things to engage with it. But now that I’ve had time to read it a couple of times, readers of this blog won’t be surprised that I’ve begun developing a self-selected and self-paced reading unit to accompany the book. Incidentally, part of the impetus for this (it has turned out to be a bigger project than I’d initially envisioned) project is the fact that this text began its life as a TED Talk, which makes it accessible to struggling readers and English language learners; the other, major part of my motivation for this is the interest the girls in our class took in it. This is a book kids like and to which they relate.

So, the fruits of my labor thus far are five vocabulary-building worksheets and five comprehension worksheets. These are, you will perceive, in their initial stage. Owing to time constraints, as well as to focus on this endeavor and put my best work into it, I am working on this in stages. By this time (i.e. March, which is of course Women’s History Month) next year, I plan to have this material ready to post as a Weekly Text.

For now, however, this stuff is just too tentative. I do want to say this: if you have ever considered commenting on material on Mark’s Text Terminal, I would encourage you to do so now. I am particularly interested in hearing from women about how I could dilate upon the basic questions the comprehension worksheet asks, and improve them, and improve this whole project. And internet trolls? Don’t bother. I’ll just trash your comments.

And, as always:

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.

Margaret (Eleanor) Atwood

“(b. 1939) Canadian poet, novelist, and critic. Born in Ottawa, she attended the Univ. of Toronto and Harvard Univ. In the poetry collection The Circle Game (1964; Governor General’s Award), she celebrates the material world and condemns materialism. Her novels, several of which have become bestsellers, include Surfacing (1972), Lady Oracle (1976), Life Before Man (1979), Bodily Harm (1981), The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) Governor General’s Award), Cat’s Eye (1988), The Robber Bride (1993), and Alias Grace (1996). She is noted for her Canadian nationalism and her feminism.”

Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Bessie Smith

It’s finally starting to feel like spring in New England, for which I am grateful. In celebration of spring, and of Women’s History Month 2019, here is a reading on Bessie Smith, the justly named “Empress of the Blues,”  with an accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

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.

Abigail Adams’ Prescience on Law and Gender

“In the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire that you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If perticular [sic] care and attention is not paid to the ladies we are determined to foment a Rebelion [sic], and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.”

Letter to John Adams, 31 Mar. 1776

Excerpted from: Shapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

Everyday Edit: Anne Sullivan

Here is an Everyday Edit worksheet on Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller’s legendary teacher.

Incidentally, if you or your students like using these short exercises in your classroom, the good people at Education World generously distribute, at no cost, a yearlong supply of these Everyday Edit worksheets. At my current posting, I am required to use a scripted curriculum, so I cannot employ these in my classroom. In the past, however, I’ve used them regularly to good effect with struggling learners. In fact, I have placed them in lesson plans where appropriate.