Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays! We Will Be Out of the Office from Dec 24th Through Jan 2nd


Holiday greetings from all of us here at Prestwick House! We wish you and yours all the best during this well-deserved time off, and will be taking a little time off ourselves. Our offices will be closed from December 24, 2010, through January 2nd, 2011.

If you need your order quickly, be sure to call or order from our website before the holidays, and remember that Downloadable Teaching Guides are available from PrestwickHouse.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!


This month we are offering free shipping on online orders over $50.00 from December 16, 2010 through Jan 15, 2011.
Simply enter coupon code SHIP77 at checkout on any order over $50.00 and recieve free shipping! Happy holidays and we'll see you in the new year!

FAQs for Rhetorical Devices PowerPoint



What is this product?

This is a part of our growing Prestwick House Power Presentation line, providing a quick and easy introduction to the rhetorical devices covered in our bestselling Rhetorical Devices: A Handbook and Exercises for Student Writers.



So, it’s merely a distillation of the material in the book?


Not at all. While each of the 33 devices in the book is defined and illustrated in this presentation, this presentation is heavier on the examples and lighter on the definition. This allows your students to arrive inductively at their own understanding of what the device is and how it works.


Does this presentation provide an in-depth understanding of the devices, or does it stay essentially on the introductory level?

This presentation is designed to provide an introduction and overview of each of the 33 most common rhetorical devices.



How long does the presentation take?


Because this is a PowerPoint presentation (and not a filmstrip or videotape), there is no predetermined “length” to the presentation. In fact, you could look at it as 33 individual presentations in a single package.



So how long does each individual presentation take?


Again, this PowerPoint presentation is designed to be flexible and to meet your needs. Each individual device’s presentation averages 10 slides, and you can show the slides as quickly or as slowly as you choose. You are in complete control.


Do I have to show the presentation in any particular order?

No. The devices are listed in alphabetical order on the Table of Contents slides, but all you need to do is CLICK on the device you want, and you will be jumped to the first page of that presentation.



Can I return to the Table of Contents whenever I want?


Yes. Every page will contain a link back to the table of contents.



Can I jump to other devices even while I’m in another device’s presentation?


Yes. You can return to the Table of Contents and then jump to another presentation; or, whenever the name of another device appears in a presentation, you can CLICK on that term and be jumped to that other presentation.



Toward what grade level(s) is this product geared?


Depending on your school or district’s curriculum and your students’ needs, this introduction to the 33 most common rhetorical devices is appropriate for grades seven and up.


Are there exercises to accompany this presentation? Are there tests?

A rhetorical devices Test Pack—to accompany either this PowerPoint, the book, or both—is available. There are no exercises included with this PowerPoint, but the book Rhetorical Devices: A Handbook and Exercises for Student Writers does contain exercises.



Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday Trivia

  1. Why does the main library at Indiana University sink over an inch each year?
  2. What are the names of the two stone lions outside of the New York Public Library?
  3. Who is the only author to have a book in every Dewey-decimal category?
  4. Of what group were W.B. Yeats, Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and C.G. Jung all members?
  5. Manuscripts of which Fort Pierce author were almost burned as trash?


Last Week's Answers



What did Jorge Luis Borges, John Milton and James Thurber have in common?


All three men suffered from blindness.



Which author was known for liking to write first drafts with a Number 2 pencil?


Hemingway started his career as a writer in a newspaper office in Kansas City at the age of 17 and was known for beginning each of his writings in pencil.



What did O. Henry, Marquis de Sade and Oscar Wilde have in common?


Each wrote while he was imprisoned.



Which famous Greek poet was supposedly killed when a bird flying overhead dropped a tortoise and struck him?


It is believed that the Greek poet Aeschylus was killed when a bird flying overhead dropped a tortoise and struck him. Birds have been known to carry shellfish to great heights and drop them in order crack the shells.



Of the 2200 persons quoted in the current edition of "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations," how many are attributed to women?


Of the 2200 persons quoted in the current edition of "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations," only 164 are women.


Friday, December 17, 2010

What are Teacher Reviewers Saying About Prestwick House AP Language and Composition?


While most AP test preparation guides on the market are designed for use by students on their own, Prestwick House AP Language and Composition by former AP teacher Douglas Grudzina teaches them how to analyze the elements and devices of language assumed by the College Board and provides many of the full-length nonfiction essays, letters, and speeches that standards require students to read.

Included in this student-centered guide are individual chapters that each focus on analyzing a different element of language with direct instruction and explanation. Each lesson is followed by a passage annotated to point out how the particular element is being used, and then the concept is reinforced with five AP-style multiple-choice questions. The answers to these questions are included in the text so the student can see how the material from the passage might appear on an AP exam.

Selections from Prestwick House AP Language and Composition include Martin Luther King's "Letter Written from Birmingham Jail," two of Winston Churchill's most famous speeches from World War II, several of the Federalist Papers by John Jay and Alexander Hamilton, and a number of speeches by Presidents Abraham Lincoln, John Kennedy, and Barack Obama. In addition, the new synthesis essay is addressed with two annotated models with student essays and accompanying exercises. Models and exercises include text, graphic, and pictorial documents for the students to read and glean information from for their synthesis.


Recently, we have received feedback on
Prestwick House AP Language and Composition from teachers on the Prestwick House National Curriculum Advisory Board. Read quotations from teachers below, download a free lesson "Analyzing Language Conventions: Diction and Syntax," featuring Patrick Henry's Speech to the Second Virginia Convention, or find out more at PrestwickHouse.com!






"This book starts with the topics that are essential to any AP Language course and progresses to more specific pieces that the teacher can pick and choose to suit their class' needs. "

Susan Mulligan




"Students must master certain concepts in order to pass the AP exam. This book presents a number of challenging, high-quality literature selections to engage students in learning and practice of rhetorical ideas. This is the best resource I've seen to assist in preparation for the exam. "

Sharon King-Hanley


"The multiple choice questions and free response questions coincide well with the units. I also like that these types of questions are dispersed throughout the text."

Shekema Silveri





"AP teachers have a short time to do a lot of work. Any opportunity to compress key readings, examples, sample questions and responses into one resource is valuable. This also offers a teacher the flexibility to use it on a regular or semi-regular basis."

Michael Wheer




"As someone who as taught AP Language and Composition, having such complete texts with such sophisticated questions would have been immensely helpful. Beautiful job on Appendix 1, the list of rhetorical devices and logical fallacies. That is a huge help."

"I truly appreciate the variety of texts chosen. They are lively (even considering the actual date of the pieces), and provide some excellent examples of language and composition."

"The language within this text is sophisticated and lucid. It speaks to the Advanced Placement student who should be expecting to take a rigorous examination for college credit. Totally on point."


Leticia Geldart



"From my experience, lots of AP exam practice books are too generic, and don't really give students/teachers much choice when it comes to preparing for the exam. This new book fits the bill perfectly, integrating the skills with pertinent passages the students can benefit from most."

"The selections and the accompanying questions are high level, inducing the students into actually thinking deeply about the selections, not just replying with basic information like many test prep books do. I am already planning on how to incorporate this book into my curriculum this year and the next."


Luis Garza



"As an AP teacher, I am continually looking for new, interesting materials to present to the class. This product focuses on non-fiction, a genre that is often less addressed in textbooks. The chosen pieces are historically significant and of notable literary merit. The multiple choice and free response questions are challenging and appropriate, and the annotated pieces and sample student essay responses are wonderful exemplars for the students. I teach an eleventh grade pre-AP/humanities course that links social studies and English. "

"Students are required to explore historical, social, political, and philosophical aspects of different cultures and must read widely and critically in preparation for the Advanced Placement exam, which they take during their senior year. This product is an excellent tool that I can use to encourage the analysis of nonfiction, teach various literary terms and rhetorical devices, prepare the students for the AP exam, and demonstrate the interrelatedness of history and English."


"This book is appropriate for an Advanced Placement class. The reading is challenging, worthwhile, and varied, and the multiple choice questions and free response prompts are prime examples of what the kids will see on the AP exam."


"I particularly like the student annotations and essay exemplars. It is always beneficial for students to see models of work. Another strength of this product is the quality of the pieces. They are not generic pieces meant solely to teach skills. Instead, the pieces are all of significant literary and historical merit and intertwine the teaching of skills, literary devices, test taking strategies, and literature."



Julie Petitbon



"I especially liked that each chapter had an opening explanation, a reading, then practice multiple choice, an essay prompt and then a student essay. Showing my students sample essays helps them grasp the concept better, I find. I also liked the exercises. I'm always finding that the students need more practice."

Janice Mullan



"The examples are very challenging and appropriate - I especially like the diversity and scope of the examples, and the addition of student essays is very helpful for students so that they can aspire to improve their own writing."

Michelle Peeling





"The book is straightforward and easy to understand for both students and teachers. The multiple choice explanations were in-depth and helpful. Marisol Cruz It's a great resource for AP students. The selections are direct and the questions push students to think at a higher level."

Sara Zeek

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Host Your Own Dickens of a Christmas Party in Your Classroom!

by Douglas Grudzina (Originally posted at the Prestwick Café Blog in December 2009)



(Pardon the cliché, but … )


Now You Can Host Your Own Dickens of a Christmas Party!


As everyone knows (and if you don’t, you should be boiled in your own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through your heart, you should!), when Charles Dickens’s most notorious Christmas villain-hero encounters the Ghost of Christmas Past (we’re talking, of course, about Dickens’s A Christmas Carol if you haven’t guessed), one of the visits he makes is to a Christmas Eve party hosted by a former employer, “Old Fezziwig.”


Dickens’s account of the party reads like this:


The Ghost stopped at a certain wareho
use door, and asked Scrooge if he knew it.


“Know it!” said Scrooge. “Was I apprenticed here?”


They went in. At sight of an old gentleman in a Welsh wig, sitting behind such a high desk, that if he had been two inches taller he must have
knocked his head against the ceiling, Scrooge cried in great excitement:


“Why, it’s old Fezziwig! Bless his heart; it’s Fezziwig alive again!”


Old Fezziwig laid down his pen, and lo
oked up at the clock, which pointed to the hour of seven. He rubbed his hands; adjusted his capacious waistcoat; laughed all over himself, from his shoes to his organ of benevolence; and called out in a comfortable, oily, rich, fat, jovial voice:


“Yo ho, there! Ebenezer! Dick!”


Scrooge’s former self, now gro
wn a young man, came briskly in, accompanied by his fellow-prentice.


“Dick Wilkins, to be sure.” said Scrooge to the Ghost. “Bless me, yes. There he is. He was very much attached to me, was Dick. Poor Dick. Dear, dear.”


“Yo ho, my boys!” said Fezzi
wig. “No more work to-night. Christmas Eve, Dick. Christmas, Ebenezer! Let’s have the shutters up,” cried old Fezziwig, with a sharp clap of his hands, “before a man can say Jack Robinson!”


You wouldn’t believe how those two fellows went at it. They charged into the street with the shutters—one, two, three—had them up in their places—four, five, six—barred them and pinned then—seven, eight, nine—and came back before you could have got to twelve, panting like race-horses.


“Hilli-ho!” cried old Fezziwig, skipping down from the high desk, with wonderful agility. “Clear away, my lads, and let’s have lots of room here! Hilli-ho, Dick! Chirrup, Ebenezer!”


Clear away! There was nothing they wouldn’t have cleared away, or couldn’t have cleared away, with old Fezziwig looking on. It was done in a minute. Every movable was packed off, as if it were dismissed from public life for evermore; the floor was swept and watered, the lamps were trimmed, fuel was heaped upon the fire; and the warehouse was as snug, and warm, and dry, and bright a ball-room, as you would desire to see upon a winter’s night.


In came a fiddler with a music-book, and went up to the lofty desk, and made an orchestra of it, and tuned like fifty stomach-aches. In came Mrs Fezziwig, one vast substantial smile. In came the three Miss Fezziwigs, beaming and lovable. In came the six young followers whose hearts they broke. In came all the young men and women employed in the business. In came the housemaid, with her cousin, the baker. In came the cook, with her brother’s particular friend, the milkman. In came the boy from over the way, who was suspected of not having board enough from his master; trying to hide himself behind the girl from next door but one, who was proved to have had her ears pulled by her mistress. In they all came, one after nother; some shyly, some boldly, some gracefully, some awkwardly, some pushing, some pulling; in they all came, anyhow and everyhow. Away they all went, twenty couple at once; hands half round and back again the other way; down the middle and up again; round and round in various stages of affectionate grouping; old top couple always turning up in the wrong place; new top couple starting off again, as soon as they got there; all top couples at last, and not a bottom one to help them. When this result was brought about, old Fezziwig, clapping his hands to stop the dance, cried out, “Well done.” and the fiddler plunged his hot face into a pot of porter, especially provided for that purpose. But scorning rest, upon his reappearance, he instantly began again, though there were no dancers yet, as if the other fiddler had been carried home, exhausted, on a shutter, and he were a bran-new man resolved to beat him out of sight, or perish.


There were more dances, and there were forfeits, and more dances, and there was cake, and there was negus, and there was a great piece of Cold Roast, and there was a great piece of Cold Boiled, and there were mince-pies, and plenty of beer. But the great effect of the evening came after the Roast and Boiled, when the fiddler (an artful dog, mind. The sort of man who knew his business better than you or I could have told it him.) struck up “Sir Roger de Coverley.” Then old Fezziwig stood out to dance with Mrs Fezziwig. Top couple, too; with a good stiff piece of work cut out for them; three or four and twenty pair of partners; people who were not to be trifled with; people who would dance, and had no notion of walking.


But if they had been twice as many—ah, four times—old Fezziwig would have been a match for them, and so would Mrs Fezziwig. As to her, she was worthy to be his partner in every sense of the term. If thats not high praise, tell me higher, and I’ll use it. A positive light appeared to issue from Fezziwig’s calves. They shone in every part of the dance like moons. You couldn’t have predicted, at any given time, what would have become of them next. And when old Fezziwig and Mrs Fezziwig had gone all through the dance; advance and retire, both hands to your partner, bow and curtsey, corkscrew, thread-the-needle, and back again to your place; Fezziwig “cut”—cut so deftly, that he appeared to wink with his legs, and came upon his feet again without a stagger.


When the clock struck eleven, this domestic ball broke up. Mr and Mrs Fezziwig took their stations, one on either side of the door, and shaking hands with every person individually as he or she went out, wished him or her a Merry Christmas. When everybody had retired but the two prentices, they did the same to them; and thus the cheerful voices died away, and the lads were left to their beds; which were under a counter in the back-shop.


During the whole of this time, Scrooge had acted like a man out of his wits. His heart and soul were in the scene, and with his former self. He corroborated everything, remembered everything, enjoyed everything, and underwent the strangest agitation. It was not until now, when the bright faces of his former self and Dick were turned from them, that he remembered the Ghost, and became conscious that it was looking full upon him, while the light upon its head burnt very clear.



It does sound like fun, doesn’t it? And to think that, according to the Ghost of Christmas Past, the entire party (including the cost of the fiddler) came to a mere three or four pounds of mortal money. Even adjusting for inflation, it was not an exetravagant expense.


So, you’re coming up on the last days of school before the holiday vacation. Are your students really thinking about mid-term exams coming up in a few weeks or that research paper that’s due on January 5?


They’re probably nodding off from all those late nights performing in their band and chorus holiday concerts or earning extra cash during the mall’s extended holiday shopping hours!


So here’s how to keep them awake and engaged: Give a party!


Scrooge’s favorite part of Fezziwig’s ball seems to have been the dancing, especially the “Sir Roger de Coverly,” during which the host and hostess really showed off their terpsichorean skill.


Here’s the music they danced to—all you need is a keyboard or a recorder or a comb and a piece of tissue paper:


Sir Roger de Coverly

(slip jig)

Source: The Session (http://www.thesession.org/tunes/display.php/1196)


The Sir Roger de Coverly was, by the way, what they called a “finishing dance.” It was a relatively simple dance with a lively tune that everyone could dance to. Reserved for the last dance of the ball, it gave everyone an opportunity to finish the party in high spirits and work up some body heat before venturing out into the cold. You’ll notice that it is indeed the last dance of the evening at the Fezziwigs’ Ball.


Now, knowing the music isn’t worth much if you don’t know the steps, so … here they are! Clear away your desks and get your students romping …


It is danced like all country dances, the gentlemen in a line, and the ladies in another opposite to their partners. The first gentleman at the top and the lady at the bottom of the line have to begin each figure, and then the other gentleman and lady at the opposite corner have to repeat the figure immediately.

  • First lady and gentleman meet in the center of the line, give right hands, turn once round, and retire to their corners, the same for the other two at the top and bottom.

  • First couple cross again and give left hands and turn once; back to places. To be repeated by the others.

  • First couple give both hands, the others the same.

  • First couple back to back, and retire to places; the other corners the same.

  • The first couple advance, bow to each other, and retire; the same repeated by the other couples.

  • The top gentleman then turns to the left, and the top lady (his partner) turns to the right; all the other ladies and gentlemen turn and follow the leaders who run outside of the line, and meet at the bottom of the room, giving right hands, and raising their arms so as to form a kind of arch under which all the following couples must pass, joining hands, and running forwards when they have all passed under the arch. The first lady and gentleman remain the last at the end of the two lines, and the figures of right hands, left hands, both hands, back to back, bow, and running outside the lines are repeated by all, when the first couple will have arrived at their original place.

Excerpted from Coulon’s Handbook of 1873

Source: StreetSwing.com (http://www.streetswing.com/histmain/z3covrly.htm)



As for the food … well, negus is a hot, spiced red wine (your principal and some parents might object) … and Dickens says that the celebrants were drinking beer (again, there are laws against that sort of thing in school) … so we’ll have to improvise a bit.


Dickens does say “there was cake,” so here’s a tasty possibility:


Christmas Cake

  • 3 lb butter
  • 3 lb (6 3/4 C) Sugar
  • 32 Large Eggs
  • 3 1/2 lb (12 1/2 c) Flour
  • 3/4 lb (2 3/4 c) Patent Flour
  • 10 LB Currents
  • 1 1/2 lb Cut Almonds
  • 5 lb Candied Peel, Chopped
  • a little Apple Pie Spice

Cream up the butter and sugar, and beat in the eggs in the usual way. Stir in the flours, fruit, etc., and thoroughly mix. Fill into papered cake hoops which are placed on well covered baking sheets. Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees).

And everyone associates these with the old-fashioned Christmases of long, long ago …


Sugar Plums

  • 1 lb confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 lb cold butter
  • 2 tb heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla or 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • pitted ready-to-eat prunes
  • candied cherries
  • pitted dates
  • walnut or pecan halves
  • granulated sugar for rolling candied cherries
  • silver dragees for garnish

Pour the unsifted confectioners’ sugar into a large bowl. Cut the butter from the stick into small slivers, dropping them into the sugar. Add the cream and vanilla or almond extract. Work with your fingertips until the mixture clings together somewhat.


Turn the mixture onto a sheet of waxed paper. Knead by pushing the mixture against the surface with the heel of your hand, lifting the edges of the waxed paper to add and incorporate any crumbs of dough. Continue kneading in this manner until the mixture is well blended, smooth, and creamy. Wrap in waxed paper and chill just long enough so that the fondant can be handled easily without sticking.


PRUNES— Split the tops of the prunes and spread slightly. Roll a small portion of the chilled fondant into a ball and press into the cavity. Garnish with a sliver of candied cherry.


CHERRIES—Cut a cross in the top of each cherry and spread slightly to form petals. Fill with a small ball of fondant and decorate the tops with a few silver dragees. (NOTE: Candied cherries can be used by splitting them in half and filling with a small ball of fondant. Using the red and green cherries made for fruitcakes works well, and you can make plums that are half red and half green if desired. Allow the fondant to show for more contrast).


DATES—Cut the dates partway through and press a small portion of fondant onto the cavities. Roll the filled dates in granulated sugar.


WALNUTS OR PECANS—Shape the fondant into small balls; place between two walnut or pecan halves; press together lightly.


Store one layer in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator. The sugarplums will keep well up to two weeks.


Tiny Tim, in the next Stave of the novel, is the character who most enjoys his family’s goose with its Sage and Onion Stuffing. Just add one goose …


Sage and Onion Stuffing

  • 3 medium onions, peeled
  • 4 large apples, peeled, cored & chopped (use tart apples like Granny Smith)
  • 2 tablespoons loosely packed dried sage leaves, crumbled
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into tiny bits
  • Garnishes: sliced apples, parsley or watercress


In large bowl, combine onions, chopped apples, sage, pepper and butter. Stuff cavity of goose and sew or skewer the openings and truss in the usual way. (Or wrap in foil if you’re not cooking a goose!) Bake at 450 degrees for one hour.


Finally, since you won’t be serving negus or beer at your party (we’re guessing, anyway), you’ll want to offer some kind of beverage. Winters were cold in Dickens’s day, and beverages were hot. Here’s an old stand-by:


Hot Mulled Cider

  • 1 gal apple cider
  • 2 “knobs” of fresh ginger
  • 2 whole lemons, quartered
  • 2 whole oranges, quartered
  • pinch of allspice (optional)
  • 10 whole cloves
  • enough cinnamon sticks to place one in each cup of cider


Real apple cider from a fruit and vegetable stand is better than the bottled stuff, but the bottled stuff is better than nothing. Mix everything together (except the cinnamon sticks) in a large pan and heat until the cider is almost boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Serve the hot punch with a ladle in a cup or glass that won’t melt (or burn your students’ fingers). Garnish each with a cinnamon stick.


Now, Bob Cratchit makes his Christmas punch with hot gin and lemon, but you’re probably best serving the cider to your students and saving the wine, beer, and gin for after you get home … or if you want to give a faculty Dickens Christmas Party …


The point is—and here’s why a party might sometimes be a valid classroom activity—Dickens loved life. He loved holidays, and he hoped to teach others how to enjoy them as well. What better way to keep up the spirit (oops, unintended pun) of the holidays and the pass on the liveliness of great literature than to help your students experience the lives of the people on the pages?


Besides, you know you’re not going to get them to review for that vocab quiz, so you may as well have a party.


And have a happy holiday and a richly, richly deserved vacation!



Monday, December 13, 2010

Tuesday Trivia

  1. What did Jorge Luis Borges, John Milton, and James Thurber have in common?
  2. Which author was known for liking to write first drafts with a Number 2 pencil?
  3. What did O. Henry, Marquis de Sade and Oscar Wilde have in common?
  4. Which famous Greek poet was supposedly killed when a bird flying overhead dropped a tortoise and struck him?
  5. Of the 2200 persons quoted in the current edition of "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations," how many are attributed to women?



Last Week's Answers



Which famous author is rumored to have added his own name to the King James translation of the bible?


Some believe that Shakespeare inserted his own name into the King James bible during the final editing process performed in 1610, when Shakespeare would have been 46 years old. In Psalms 46, the 46th word is shake. Counting from the end of Psalm 46, the 46th word is spear.

Which author believed that, “verbs are like weeds among flowers; the weeds should be removed.”


Michel Thaler, a French writer, published a 233-page novel called Le Train de Nulle Part without using a single verb.



Which author gave his 1949 Nobel Prize acceptance speech and was met with only a smattering of polite applause because it was virtually impossible to understand what he was saying?


While William Faulkner’s speech was unintelligible to the audience in attendance, it was universally acclaimed as one of the best acceptance speeches ever written after its newspaper publication the following morning.



Who accidentally killed his wife while trying to shoot a glass off her head?


William S. Burroughs



What affliction did Winston Churchill, Charles Dickens and Rudyard Kipling have in common?


Insomnia

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesday Trivia

  1. Which famous author is rumored to have added his own name to the King James translation of the bible?
  2. Which author believed that, “verbs are like weeds among flowers; the weeds should be removed”?
  3. Which author gave his 1949 Nobel Prize acceptance speech and was met with only a smattering of polite applause because it was virtually impossible to understand what he was saying?
  4. Who accidentally killed his wife while trying to shoot a glass off her head?
  5. What affliction did Winston Churchill, Charles Dickens and Rudyard Kipling have in common?

Last Week's Answers


Which perennial favorite Christmas book was first sold in the same year as the first Christmas card on record was sent?


A Christmas Carol was written in the six weeks leading up to December 19, 1843 and was based on people that Dickens knew personally including Ebenezer Scroggie, a counselor at Ediburgh.



Which American author and printer wrote his own epitaph which read, “The body of __________, Printer (like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out and stripped of its lettering and gilding), lies here, food for worms; but the work shall not be lost, for it will (as he believed) appear once more in a new and more elegant edition, revised and corrected by the Author.”


Benjamin Franklin wrote the above epitaph but traded it in for something simpler later in his life.



How tall was John Keats?


John Keats was only about 5 feet tall



Which author and scientist came up with the date for the end of the world (2060) but studying biblical texts?


Sir Isaac Newton wrote a letter in 1704 in which he predicted that the end of the world would be in 2060. The father of modern science had an interest in biblical prophecy as well. Newton came up with this prediction after a detailed study of various biblical texts.



Who wrote the longest novel in the English language?


Samuel Richardson wrote the longest novel in the English language, Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady—which contains approximately 1 million words.




Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday Trivia

  1. Which perennial favorite Christmas book was first sold in the same year as the first Christmas card on record was sent?
  2. Which American author and printer wrote his own epitaph which read, “The body of __________, Printer (like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out and stripped of its lettering and gilding), lies here, food for worms; but the work shall not be lost, for it will (as he believed) appear once more in a new and more elegant edition, revised and corrected by the Author.”
  3. How tall was John Keats?
  4. Which author and scientist came up with the date for the end of the world (2060) but studying biblical texts?
  5. Who wrote the longest novel in the English language?
Last Week's Answers

Which author left Harvard without a diploma because he felt the $5 fee was too much to pay?

Henry David Thoreau graduated from Harvard, but refused to pay the diploma fee.



Which author wrote a letter to her niece stating, “Walter Scott has no business to write novels, especially good ones.—It is not fair.—He has fame and profit enough as a poet, and should not be taking the bread out of other people’s mouths.—I do not like him, and do not mean to like Waverly if I can help it—but fear I must.”?


Jane Austen



In 2004, the US defense budgeted $1 million to bring productions of which Shakespeare play to military bases?


Othello



Who was the first poet buried at Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey?


Chaucer was the first poet to be buried in Westminster Abbey and he now resides among 29 poets buried and 55 poets commemorated in the Poets’ Corner.



Daniel Defoe changed from his original name to Defoe because he found it “more socially and upward sounding.” What was his original last name?


Foe


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday Trivia


  1. Which author left Harvard without a diploma because he felt the $5 fee was too much to pay?
  2. Which author wrote a letter to her niece stating, “Walter Scott has no business to write novels, especially good ones.—It is not fair.—He has fame and profit enough as a poet, and should not be taking the bread out of other people’s mouths.—I do not like him, and do not mean to like Waverly if I can help it—but fear I must.”?
  3. In 2004, the US defense budgeted $1 million to bring productions of which Shakespeare play to military bases?
  4. Who was the first poet buried at Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey?
  5. Daniel Defoe changed from his original last name to Defoe because he found it “more socially and upward sounding.” What was his original last name?


Last Week's Answers


  • William Sydney Porter/O.Henry
  • Mary Westmacott/Agatha Christie
  • Amandine Dudevant/George Sand
  • Francois Marie Arouet/Voltaire
  • Eric Blair/George Orwell
  • Charles Dodgson/Lewis Carroll
  • Mary Ann Evans/George Eliot

Monday, November 22, 2010

Prestwick House Releases First AP Language Test Prep Guide Designed for Use as Core Curriculum

This week, Delaware-based publishing company, Prestwick House, Inc., is proud to release its newest title for the Advanced Placement classroom, Prestwick House AP Language and Composition, written by former AP teacher Douglas Grudzina.


Grudzina has authored several successful educational guides including Writing an A+ Research Paper, Reading and Analyzing Non-Fiction: Slant Spin and Bias, Three Simple Truths and Six Essential Traits of Powerful Writing, and Grammar for Writing.



While most AP test preparation guides on the market are designed for use by students on their own, this book teaches them how to analyze the elements and devices of language assumed by the College Board and provides many of the full-length nonfiction essays, letters, and speeches that standards require students to read.



"My first priority in designing this book was to create something that the AP English Language and Composition teacher could use as a core text," says Grudzina. "The AP teacher is always in the unique and stressful position of having to teach the curriculum and prepare his or her students for the AP exam. Most AP prep materials are, at best, supplemental, and the teacher must devise ways to tailor the curriculum to address AP skills and adapt the generic AP materials to support the curriculum."



"Because this book contains so many full-length selections from the new Common Core State Standards list of illustrative texts, it can be your class's primary nonfiction literature text and its main AP prep guide. You no longer have to go looking for texts your students can practice analyzing."


Included in this student-centered guide are individual chapters that each focus on analyzing a different element of language with direct instruction and explanation. Each lesson is followed by a passage annotated to point out how the particular element is being used, and then the concept is reinforced with five AP-style multiple-choice questions. The answers to these questions are included in the text so the student can see how the material from the passage might appear on an AP exam.


Selections from Prestwick House AP Language and Composition include Martin Luther King's "Letter Written from Birmingham Jail," two of Winston Churchill's most famous speeches from World War II, several of the Federalist Papers by John Jay and Alexander Hamilton, and a number of speeches by Presidents Abraham Lincoln, John Kennedy, and Barack Obama.
In addition, the new synthesis essay is addressed with two annotated models with student essays and accompanying exercises. Models and exercises include text, graphic, and pictorial documents for the students to read and glean information from for their synthesis.

Prestwick House AP Language and Composition (ISBN# 9781935466680) is now available online at PrestwickHouse.com. For more information call (800)-932-4593.



Thursday, November 18, 2010

FAQs for Prestwick House Levels of Understanding



The newest product line from Prestwick House, Levels of Understanding, will hit shelves this January. This title-specific series is based on Bloom's Taxonomy, and helps students learn to independently evaluate literature. Instead of teaching your students how to answer questions about a particular text, help them develop the skills to critically evaluate literature without relying on outside guidance.

Using Bloom’s learning domains, Levels of Understanding breaks down complex questions into smaller parts and outline the
steps necessary for students to develop a sound evaluation of a text. Students will begin with the most basic and fundamental skill, comprehension, move on to reader response, analysis, and synthesis, and gradually build to the highest skill, evaluation.

Not only will these guides help you prepare your students for standardized tests like the AP Language and Literature exam, the SATs, and the ACTs, but they will also give students the self-assurance to develop and articulate a personal assessment of the text — a skill that will be advantageous in college and beyond.



What do you mean by “levels of understanding”?


Each section of this guide—which may be divided by scenes, acts, chapters, or groups of chapters—contains five types of questions that are representative of Bloom’s learning domains, starting with the most basic and fundamental skill, knowledge and comprehension, and gradually building to the highest skill, evaluation.



The five types of question are as follows:



Comprehension – will ask the most basic questions to ascertain the students’ fundamental understanding of the text, such as plot facts and character identification.

Reader Response – will ask the students to “respond” to the text by relating it to personal experience or presenting an opinion on a character or event.

Analysis – will require students to study how various techniques and literary or theatrical devices (e.g., diction, symbolism, imagery, metaphors, asides, or soliloquies) function in the text. Analysis questions do not ask the student to merely identify or define a literary, theatrical, or rhetorical device, but to also explain its significance.

Synthesis – will bridge the gap between the analysis and evaluation questions, requiring students to look at other scenes in the text and draw conclusions about themes, motifs, or a writer’s style. Often, a synthesis question will require students to draw on prior knowledge—what has been learned in class or through research—and/or information from sources other than the literary title in order to arrive at a satisfactory answer.

Evaluation – will ask the student to make a qualitative judgment on the text and determine whether a particular aspect of it is effective or ineffective.



The intent of this product is to help students not only gain a better understanding of an individual text, but to aid them in developing skills to critically analyze and evaluate literature in general.



Who is the intended audience of this product?


This product can be used with classes of all ability levels, from remedial to honors. The teacher can decide which questions the students should answer, depending on the class’s goals and objectives.



Additionally, since the questions focus on the text itself, the overall difficulty level of the product will match the complexity of the book or play.



How many questions are in a unit?

The number of questions in a unit depends on the length and complexity of the specific title being studied. Generally, there are 2-5 questions for each of the levels per section.




Are these units reproducible?


Yes. Each major division of the text begins on a new page so that you need to copy only the specific parts you want.




Are these units downloadable?


Yes, these units are available for download in PDF form.




What Common Core Standards does Levels of Understanding meet?


The following table lists the Anchor Common Core Standards that this product meets:












COMMON CORE STANDARDSCORE #
Reading Literature: Key Ideas and Details1,2,3
Reading Literature: Craft and Structure4,5,6
Reading Literature: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas9
Reading Literature: Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity10
Writing: Text Types and Purposes1,2
Writing: Production and Distribution of Writing4
Writing: Research to Build and Present Knowledge9
Language: Knowledge of Language3
Language: Vocabulary Acquisition and Use4,5