Tag Archives: diction/grammar/style/usage

Cultural Literacy: Emily Dickinson

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Emily Dickinson. I’ve never seen her taught in the public schools in which I’ve served, which for a variety of reasons has always mystified me. 

For her poems, long out of copyright, are available at no charge to readers everywhere. And her work? It is commonly regarded as among the most original of all time. It may require some effort, but I do think it is possible to arouse interest in students in reading Emily Dickinson.

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.

Cultural Literacy: Ruth Benedict

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Ruth Benedict, a towering figure in the study of anthropology in the United States. This is a short worksheet, three questions only, that doesn’t do justice to this path-breaking scholar.

Like Zora Neale Hurston, Dr. Benedict studied with Franz Boas at Columbia University. In fact, if Ms. Hurston’s Wikipedia page is accurate (I understand educators’ trepidation where Wikipedia is concerned, but entries like this–generally non-controversial–are reliable) she worked with Dr. Benedict at Columbia. Dr. Benedict and Ms. Hurston also worked with Margaret Mead, and Dr. Benedict apparently engaged in an intense romantic affair with Dr. Mead. Serving as president of the American Anthropological Association, Dr. Benedict was the first woman to lead a learned society in the United States. Her book Patterns of Culture became a standard text in the study of anthropology, and as far as I can tell remains an enduring classic.

In other words, Ruth Benedict is clearly an appropriate subject, in the hands of an interested student, for what was called in one high school in which I served a “college paper.”

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.

Cultural Literacy: Girl Scouts of the United States of America

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Girl Scouts of the United States of America. This is a short worksheet, a half-pager, with three questions. In other words, there are two worksheet on every page. That said, you may alter or adapt this document for your use–it is in Microsoft Word and easily exportable to a word processing program of your preference.

I don’t know much about the Girl Scouts (though like many people, I expect, I am intimately familiar with their cookie varieties); I was a Boy Scout myself. In the little bit of research I’ve conducted about scouting for this post, I did notice that while The Girl Scouts have not been immune to sexual abuse scandals, although a review of the Scouting sex abuse cases discloses that this is primarily a problem in the Boy Scouts.

In general, I have only one question about this: what the hell is wrong with people?

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.

The Weekly Text, March 26, 2021, Women’s History Month 2021 Week IV: A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on Second-Feminism

This week’s Text, for the final Friday of Women’s History Month 2021, is a reading on second-wave feminism along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

While I understood the historical divide between feminisms, my understanding was mostly intuitive and instinctive. This short reading explains well the difference between first-wave feminism, to wit the Women’s Suffrage movement which culminated in the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and the second wave, which began in the 1960s. The second wave, incidentally, apparently continues to today, as reversals, or the threat of reversals, of the gains made necessitate the ongoing function of a feminist movement.

In any event, this reading summarizes this history concisely, as well as supplying students with a quick way to gain this vital piece of prior knowledge about United States 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.

Anne Boleyn

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Anne Boleyn. This is a short worksheet–two sentences and three questions.

From 1533 to 1536, she was the second of Henry VIII’s wives and therefore the Queen of England. She was beheaded for treason. Henry VIII was a piece of work, and this material opens a lot of questions about monarchy and the virtually unlimited power it conferred upon Henry. In my experience teaching high school social studies, Henry VIII’s wives tend to be glossed over in deference to the issues of secular and religious power his reign raises. 

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.

Cultural Literacy: Madeleine Albright

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Madeleine Albright. This is a full-page document, with a paragraph-length reading and eight questions. As always, however, you may adapt this document, because it is in Microsoft Word, to your students’ needs.

Secretary Albright–the first woman in United States history, incidentally, to serve as Secretary of State–requires little introduction. In her retirement from government service, she has remained active as a scholar of and commentator on world affairs. Most recently, observing (as any sentient person has, I hope) the rise of far right-wing strongmen around the globe, she published a book on fascism, a notoriously slippery subject. The book was well received, so it probably merits a look at some point.

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.

Cultural Literacy: Louisa May Alcott

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Louisa May Alcott. This is a half-page worksheet with two questions; in other words, for every page you print, you’ll produce two worksheets.  

Which doesn’t really do justice to the interest the subject of the document, Louisa May Alcott, seems to generate. For example, Little Women has been produced for stage and screen repeatedly, once even as an anime series. Two of the film adaptations of the novel appeared just a little over a generation apart, with esteemed Australian director Gillian Armstrong’s 1994 adaptation and Greta Gerwig’s highly praised 2019 production appearing within 25 years of each other. 

One thing not well known about Ms. Alcott is the fact that along with such examples of 19th-century New England rectitude as Little Women and Little Men (also adapted as a film three times as well as a Canadian television series) she also wrote racy novels, proto-pulp fiction, really, under the name A.M. Barnard, a fact uncovered by the fascinating antiquarian booksellers Leona Rostenberg and Madeleine B. Stern

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

Cultural Literacy: Clara Barton

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Clara Barton. This is a half-page worksheet–in other words there are two copies on a single piece of paper. There are three questions.

Ms. Barton, who lived a very long life, is well known as the founder of the American Red Cross. She was a self-educated nurse during the Civil War, long before nursing became an academic discipline and the practice assumed professional standards. She was a friend to Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, upon making whose acquaintance she became, respectively an activist for women’s suffrage and for civil rights. Her accomplishments are many, which is why her name is memorialized around the United States in the names of streets, schools, and medical institutions, and why in 1973 the National Women’s Hall of Fame inducted her into its ranks.

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.

The Weekly Text, March 19, 2021, Women’s History Month 2021 Week III: A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on Marie Curie and Radium

This week’s Text, in observance of Women’s History Month 2021, is a reading on Marie Curie and radium with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. Over time, there will be a variety of Marie Curie-related material on this blog: I have several things in a Women’s History Month folder, and there is already a brief biography of her posted on Mark’s Text Terminal.

This reading concerns Madame Curie’s work with radium, and the extent to which her discoveries about the element drove innovations in medical care, particularly the x-ray and radiotherapy for cancer treatment, as well as radium’s utility as a way to understand the structure of the atom. The reading also contains a brief biography of Madame Curie and her husband. I hadn’t realized that Marie Curie coined the term “radioactive.”

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.

Cultural Literacy: Isadora Duncan

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Isadora Duncan. This is a short worksheet, three questions, that could be expanded to include a couple more. I expect this would be high-interest material to certain students, so I’ve tagged it as such.

And, of course, Ms. Duncan’s rich life, in the hands of an interested student, is the stuff of a variety of avenues of inquiry, from modern dance to the life of a bohemian, and beyond. Incidentally, did you know that her sister Elizabeth Duncan was also a dancer? Or that her brother Raymond Duncan was as well? Finally, a second brother, Augustin Duncan was an actor and theatrical director who continued to perform and direct even after he had gone blind.

So, a couple of big questions that come out of even this cursory knowledge of the Duncan family are What is an artistic family? and How does an “artistic family” become artistic?

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.