Monthly Archives: August 2019

Aristotle on the Educated and Uneducated

“The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living from the dead.”

Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)

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

The Wizard of Oz

Finishing up on this unutterably beautiful morning in Southwestern Vermont, here is a reading on the classic film The Wizard of Oz along with its accompanying worksheet for building vocabulary and comprehension.

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.

Book of Answers: Stephen Crane

What year was Stephen Crane born? The author of The Red Badge of Courage (1895) was born in 1871, six years after the end of the Civil War. He died in 1900.

Excerpted from: Corey, Melinda, and George Ochoa. Literature: The New York Public Library Book of Answers. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.

Acquaint (vt)

Moving right along on this Friday morning, here is a context clues worksheet on the verb acquaint, which is only used transitively.

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.

E.H. Gombrich on the Early Humans and the Development of Tools

“Tools must have been invented by someone too. The earliest ones were probably just sticks and stones. But soon stones were being shaped and sharpened. We have found lots of these shaped stones in the ground. And because of these stone tools we call this time the Stone Age. But people didn’t yet know how to build houses. Not a pleasant thought, since at that time it was often intensely cold—at certain periods fare colder than today. Winters were longer and summers shorter. Snow lay deep throughout the year, not only on mountain tops, but down in the valleys as well, and glaciers, which were immense in those days, spread far out into the plains. This is why we say the Stone Age began before the last ice age had ended. Prehistoric people must have suffered dreadfully from the cold and if they came across a cave where they could shelter from the freezing winds, how happy they must have been! For this reason they are also known as “cavemen,” although they may not actually have lived in caves.”

Excerpted from: Gombrich, E.H. Trans. Caroline Mustill. A Little History of the World. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005.

Cultural Literacy: Double Jeopardy

Here’s a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the legal concept of double jeopardy. Given that this is an important Constitutional principle in the United States, I think this document is probably relevant in a high school classroom.

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.

Devil’s Dictionary: Bribe

“Bribe, n. That which enables a member of the California Legislature to live on his pay without any dishonest economies.”

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

Ascent (n), Assent (vi)

At this point, I’ve settled sufficiently into my new job to begin publishing a round of blog posts beyond the Weekly Text. So, as I sit in my classroom first thing in the morning, long before students arrive, I’ll offer these five homophone worksheets on the noun ascent and the verb assent. The verb, apparently, is only used transitively; that said, it’s worth mentioning that assent can also be used as a noun. An exemplary sentence might be something like “Mike gave his assent to the zombies to crash in his garage for one night only.”

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.

Term of Art: Youth Culture

Youth Culture: Strictly speaking a subculture, the subject of an influential debate between (mainly) functionalist writers and their critics. Youth cultures are explained either by factors in the experience of adolescence, or by the manipulation of young people’s spending and leisure, through advertising and other mass media. The functional separation of home, school, and work supposedly makes teenagers increasingly distinct from adults, more self-aware, and subject to peer group rather than parental and other adult influences. But the relative affluence of teenagers in the decades after the Second World War, especially if they were in work, also encouraged the growth of a large and profitable market for goods and services specifically directed at young consumers. This has promoted the growth of a distinctive youth fashions and styles in clothes, music, and leisure, many of the originating in the United States.

For some writers, the cultural clash across generations has displaced social class as the primary form of conflict in modern industrialism. Yet class itself figures importantly in shaping the content of different youth cultures. Research in the United States distinguished the so-called college cultures of (mainly) middle-class youth from the rough or corner cultures of their working-class counterparts. The former were thought to manage the gap between conformist attitudes to achievement and otherness of adolescent school life—of which the school itself is the center. Corner cultures, in contrast, were viewed as a response to working-class academic failure; centered around the neighborhood gang rather than the school; and as reflecting the search for alternative, even deviant status, identity, or rewards. In Britain, however, youth culture was almost exclusively identified with male working-class youth and the moral panic about its style and aggressiveness. Neo-Marxist studies saw this as symbolic protest against, for example, the dissolution of the traditional working-class neighborhood community, and mass control over what were once predominantly working-class forms of leisure (such as soccer). Much of this literature is reviewed in Mike Brake, The Sociology of Youth Cultures and Subcultures (1980).

Developments in both sociology and society itself, notably during the 1980s, greatly modified the terms of the debate. Feminist writers pointed to the invisibility of girls in the mainstream literature on youth and have researched gender variations in youth culture. The experiences of youth among ethnic minorities have received more attention. But, above all, the period since the mid-1970s has seen the demise of the notion of the independent teenage consumer and rebel. The focus of research has switched instead to the youth labor-market, and the dependence of young people on the household, as a result of growing unemployment and the vulnerability of youth to flexible employment. See also Coleman, James S. 

Excerpted from: Matthews, Gordon, ed. Oxford Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

The Weekly Text, August 30, 2019

For my erstwhile colleagues at the High School of Economics & Finance in Lower Manhattan, I offer as this week’s Text this reading on the joint-stock company and its role in colonizing North America, along with its vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

Needless to say, Mark’s Text Terminal sends best wishes to the hardworking teachers at “Eco,” as it is called, and to teachers everywhere about to begin another school year.

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.