Tag Archives: idioms

The Weekly Text, September 11, 2020: The Crime and Puzzlement Case “Piggy Bank”

Because they’ve been a popular item on this site, I’ve engaged in idle speculation about the social and educational characteristics of the users of the many Crime and Puzzlement lessons I’ve posted here. I must assume these are particularly useful for homebound, younger kids and their parents.

In any case, here is another, a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “Piggy Bank.”

I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the idiom “beyond the pale.” To investigate this case, you’ll need the PDF of the illustration, reading, and questions. To make sure you bring the accused to the bar of justice, here is the typescript of the answer key.

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.

Catch-22 (n)

If Joseph Heller is accurately quoted in the passage above, he understood on some level that the title of his novel Catch-22 would show up in the American vernacular as a designator of bureaucratic absurdity. It turns up everywhere in discourse in the United States, and as I sat down to write this context clues worksheet on the noun catch-22 (it’s Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day today), I wondered whether or not there are users of this noun who don’t realize that it derives from the title of an esteemed American novel.

It’s a difficult locution to work into a context clues worksheet, because, while its meanings are interrelated, there are enough of them (“a problematic situation for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem or by a rule”;  “an illogical, unreasonable, or senseless situation”;  “a measure or policy whose effect is the opposite of what was intended”; “a situation presenting two equally undesirable alternatives” and “a hidden difficulty or means of entrapment”) that this is arguably a polysemous word.

Anyway, catch-22 also sufficiently abstract that if I use this worksheet at all, it will be with somewhat more advanced students.

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: Beyond the Pale

Given that this happened yesterday, today seems like a perfect time to post this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the idiom beyond the pale.

That’s probably enough said.

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: All’s Fair in Love and War

OK, last but not least this morning, here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the idiom “All’s Fair in Love and War.” It’s a nice abstract expression that students, if you want to augment, could work to reify in a few sentences.

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.

Crime and Puzzlement: The $40,000 Raffle

Last but not least this morning, here is a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “The $40,000 Raffle.” You’ll need this PDF of the illustration and questions to conduct your investigation of this case. To solve it, in the final analysis, you’ll want the typescript of the answer key.

I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the idiom “Carry a Torch for.” Older people will recognize this as an expression meaning, in today’s parlance, “having a crush on,” or more succinctly, “crushing on.” I’ll let the great Louis Jordan (lyrics by the equally great Jon Hendricks) explain it:

“I’m the man for you and so you better start to face it
If you ever lose my love you know you never can replace it
I think it’s time for you to start to givin’ me some lovin’
‘Cause I’m carryin’ a torch for you that’s hotter than a oven
It’s time for you and me to do a little turtle-dovin'”

Enough said!

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.

Crime and Puzzlement: “A Case of Kippers”

Alright, last but not least this morning, here is a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “A Case of Kippers.” I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the idiom “burning the candle at both ends.” Here is the PDF of the illustration and questions you and your students will need to conduct this investigation. Finally, here is the typescript of the answer key so that you and your class may bring the culprit to the bar of justice.

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.

Crime and Puzzlement: “The Awesome Treasure”

Alright, here is a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “The Awesome Treasure.” I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the idiom “Any Port in a Storm.” This scan of the illustration and questions drives the case; this typescript of the answer key helps you solve 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.

Crime and Puzzlement: The Possible Dreams Auction

OK, moving right along, here is a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “The Possible Dreams Auction.” I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the idiom “Feather One’s Own Nest.” You’ll need this scan of the illustration and questions that drive the investigation in order to conduct it. Finally, here is the typescript of the answer key.

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.

Crime and Puzzlement: “Buck Shot”

As I’ve previously mentioned, the Crime and Puzzlement material I post on this site quickly became, and remains, among the most popular and therefore heavily downloaded items here.

So, here is a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “Buck Shot.” This Cultural Literacy worksheet on the idiom “Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining” opens the lesson as a do-now exercise to get students settled, engaged, and thinking after a class change. You’ll need the PDF of the illustration and questions in order to conduct the investigation; to solve it, here is the typescript of the answer key.

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.

Argot

“Argot (noun): The special idiom used by a particular class or group, especially an underworld jargon; distinctive parlance.

‘She smoked cigarettes one right after the other, and did not care who knew it; and she was never more than five minutes out of the office before she was talking in newspaper argot, not all of it quite accurate.’ John O’Hara, Appointment in Samarra

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