Book of Answers: Where the Wild Things Are

“What is the name of the little boy who goes to the country of the Wild Things in Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are? Max.”

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

The Weekly Text, 2 December 2021: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “Westward Ho-Hum!”

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on the the Crime and Puzzlement case “Westward Ho-Hum!” I open this lesson with this half-page Cultural Literacy worksheet (with a two-sentence reading and three comprehension questions) on the Gallicism esprit de corps. To fortify this document with a bit of context, Merriam-Webster defines this noun as denoting “the common spirit existing in the members of a group and inspiring enthusiasm, devotion, and strong regard for the honor of the group.”

To investigate this case, your students will need this PDF of the illustration and questions that serve as both evidence and procedure of inquiry into this heinous crime. Finally, to solve your case and apprehend a suspect, here is the typescript of the answer key.

And that’s it for this week. I hope you and yours enjoyed a relaxed and (if this is your bent), suitably gluttonous Thanksgiving.

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.

Write It Right: Collateral Descendant

“Collateral Descendant. There can be none: a ‘collateral descendant‘ is not a descendant.

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

Common Errors in English Usage: Him, Her, and He, She

From Paul Brians’ highly useful book Common Errors in English Usage, here is a worksheet on the pronouns him, her, he, and she. This is a full-page worksheet with a reading of a carefully explanatory paragraph and ten modified cloze exercises. Essentially, this is a worksheet on pronouns and case, dealing with the nominative and objective cases, but not the possessive, in English pronoun declension.

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.

Classicism

“Classicism (noun): A classical Greek or Roman word or idiom in English, or a term or coinage based on or similar to one from one of the classical languages; classical scholarship, mode or aesthetic ideology based on or allegedly derived from a “classic” epoch. Adjective: classical, classicistic; Noun: classicist; Verb: classicize

‘The artificial facility found vent in his renderings of the Rubaiyat. “Saprous bones,” “somatick atoms,” and aimaterose heart” seem legitimate classicisms; but “methystine lake” requires some explanation as a term for drunkenness.’ Shane Leslie, Introduction to Hadrian the Seventh”

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

Word Root Exercise: Gon/o,

Here is a worksheet on the Greek roots gon/o and -gony. They mean reproduction, origination, and generation. Unsurprisingly, then, you’ll find gon/o at the base of gonad. Otherwise, besides cosmogony, (and, alas, gonorrhea ) the words on this worksheet are all new to me. If the book from which they are drawn is believable, these are words that will turn up on the SAT.

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.

Millions of Angels Dancing on a Pin

“The question of ‘How many angels could dance on a pin’ is often quoted as the essence of medieval scholasticism, a burning issue for the likes of Duns Scotus and Thomas Aquinas. In fact, although Scotus certainly troubled himself over the question of ‘Can several angels be in the same place?’ there is no mention of dancing on pins until it was raised as a mockery in the seventeenth century by Protestant academics. Still, it’s a question that ought to be answered and if we take an angel to be nor more or less than an atom, then 200,000 could fit in the width of a single human hair. More impressively, neuroscientist Anders Sandberg has come  up with the figure of 8.6766×1049 angels, based on theories of information physics and quantum gravity.”

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.

Cultural Literacy: Cupid

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Cupid. This is a half-page worksheet with a five-sentence reading and three comprehension questions. I think this is a relatively well-balanced reading in terms of the amount of content it contains. Whether or not three comprehension questions are sufficient to understand the reading in its fullness is up to you. As this is a Microsoft Word document, you can do with it as you wish.

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.

Dr. Gholdy Muhammad on Education and Social Conditioning

“As we consider classrooms today, educators must be aware that previous social conditioning isn’t just a thing of the past but still manifests today. If a society tells children they aren’t good enough through television, songs, cartoons, or other forms of media, they may still think they aren’t capable of the intellectualism I am describing in the book. Additionally, this is exacerbated when teacher education programs and K-12 classrooms do not explicitly teach Black and Brown excellence. And I’m not just talking about teaching this history during one month of the school year–this excellence needs to be embedded in the culture and fabric of the school. Culture, race, and cultural responsiveness cannot be packaged in a program or restricted time frame….”

Excerpted from: Muhammad, Dr. Gholdy. Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy. New York: Scholastic, 2020.

Minimum Wage

Here is a reading on the minimum wage and its attendant vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. In three paragraphs, this reading does an admirable job (the guys who wrote and edited the Intellectual Devotional series are clearly masters of the art) of exposing the history of the minimum wage in President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s broad array of New Deal legislation, the rationale for the law, and its practical effects on American social and economic history.

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.