Monthly Archives: November 2020

4 Degrees of Attachment

“Secure * Anxious and Preoccupied * Avoidant and Dismissive * Disorganized

These human characteristics, which can already be assessed by the time a child is 18 months old, are based around four major observational themes: Proximity, Maintenance, Safe Haven, Secure Base, and Separation Distress. At their root they are but measures of the successful exchange of comfort, warmth, and pleasure between an infant and its parents that was first conceived by Sigmund Freud and greatly extended by the work of John Bowlby.”

Excerpted from: Rogerson, Barnaby. Rogerson’s Book of Numbers: The Culture of Numbers–from 1,001 Nights to the Seven Wonders of the World. New York: Picador, 2013.

The Weekly Text, November 20, 2020: A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on Walt Disney

This week’s Text is a simple one, to wit this reading on Walt Disney and its attendant vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. This is relatively high-interest material for students, at least many I’ve served. There are relatively few children in our society (and arguably in any society) whose imagination Walt Disney and his characters haven’t colonized.

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.

The Blackboard Jungle by Evan Hunter

The Blackboard Jungle “The first novel (1954) of the US writer Evan Hunter (1926-2005), based on his personal experience. It is a somewhat sensationalized account of an American urban high school where the boys are rough, the headmaster a bully, and the teachers overworked and additionally plagued by personal problems. As a result of the book, the expression ‘blackboard jungle’ became a popular idiom for any undisciplined school of this type. The phrase itself is a variant on The Asphalt Jungle. A film version (1955), directed by Richard Brooks, is now chiefly remembered for its soundtrack, featuring ‘Rock Around the Clock’ by Bill Haley and the Comets.” 

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

Common Errors in English Usage: Shrunk (pp), Shrank (vi/vt)

If you’re a stickler for usage, or want to give your students a chance to become sticklers in their own right, then this English usage worksheet on the past participle shrunk and the simple past tense verb shrank might be one avenue to bring that endeavor to fruition. For the record, shrunk is the past participle, so it must be used with the helping verbs had and have. Shrank, on the other hand, is the simple past tense of the verb shrink.

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.

Book of Answers: Maurice Sendak’s First Book

“What was Maurice Sendak’s first book? The author/illustrator was a designer of window displays in a toy store when he was commissioned to illustrate The Wonderful Farm by Marcel Ayme in 1951. Sendak wrote and illustrated his first children’s book, Kenny’s Window, in 1956.”

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

Cultural Literacy: Hobbits

If you seek to interest students in J.R.R. Tolkien’s work, this Cultural Literacy worksheet on Hobbits might be a good place to start. It’s a short exercise–a half-page–with only three questions. I’ve used this to good effect with alienated students who I know had an interest in mythology, and fantasy literature.

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.

Write It Right: Body for Trunk

“Body for Trunk. The body lay here, the head there.’ The body is the entire physical person (as distinguished from the soul, or mind) and the head is a part of it. As distinguished from the head, trunk may include the limbs, but anatomically it is the torso only.”

Excerpted from: Bierce, Ambrose. Write it Right: A Little Blacklist of Literary Faults. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2010.

Interpret (vi/vt), Interpretation (n)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the verb interpret and another on the noun interpretation. The verb is used both intransitively and transitively; it’s worth mentioning that used intransitively, its meaning is limited “to act as an interpreter between speakers of different languages.”

The reasons for teaching these words should be obvious, so I won’t wheedle, nag, badger, pontificate or lecture on 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.

Lenny Bruce on Communism

“Communism is like one big phone company.”

Lenny Bruce

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

Communism

As it seems to have returned to its prominent place in the bundle of American political anxieties, now seems like a good time to post this reading on communism and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

In my ill-fated career as a doctoral candidate, one of the more interesting seminars I took was on the “Hegel-to Marx Problem.” Needless to say, I read quite a bit of Marx and Engels for that class, as well, later, on my own. I bring this up because I want to comment that for a one-page reading, the documents in this post introduce communism thoroughly and objectively. It’s good stuff if you need 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.