Tutor Tips - Page Five
Celebrate Black History
I wish I would've found this earlier in the month
instead of at the end! This week's tutor tip celebrates Black
history month. The paragraphs below describe the history of Black
History Month. It was a difficult task to select the
most interesting/inspiring person from the list at http://www.historychannel.com/exhibits/blackhist/! Today's
highlighted person is Whoopi Goldberg. The paragraphs below
describe Whoopi's life. I had no idea that she was a
high school dropout with dyslexia, that she worked at a beautician in
a mortuary or that she has a PhD from New York University.
Celebrate Black History month by sharing this info with your students
- or go to the link above to select your own most interesting and
G. Woodson, (1875-1950) noted Black scholar and historian and
son of former slaves, founded the Association for the Study of Negro
Life and History in 1915, which was later renamed the Association
for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).He
initiated Black History Week, February 12, 1926. For many years the
2nd week of February (chosen so as to coincide with the birthdays of
Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln) was celebrated by Black people
in the United States. In 1976, as part of the nation's Bicentennial,
it was expanded and became established as Black History Month, and is
now celebrated all over North America.
comedienne. Born Caryn Elaine Johnson on November 13, 1949
(some sources say 1950 or 1955), in New York City. Goldberg
and her younger brother, Clyde, were raised by their mother,
Emma, in a housing project in the Chelsea section of
Manhattan. Goldbergs father abandoned the family, and her
single mother worked at a variety of jobsincluding
teaching and nursingto make ends meet. Goldberg changed
her name when she decided that her given name was too boring.
She claims to be half Jewish and half Catholic, and
Goldberg is attributed to her family history. With
her trademark dreadlocks, wide impish grin, and piercing
humor, Goldberg is best known for her adept portrayals in both
comedic and dramatic roles, as well as her groundbreaking work
in the Hollywood film industry as an African-American woman.
Goldberg unknowingly suffered from dyslexia, which affected
her studies and ultimately induced her to drop out of high
school at the age of 17.
In 1974, Goldberg moved to California,
living variously for the next seven years in Los Angeles, San
Diego, and San Francisco. At one point during this time she
worked as a mortuary beautician while pursuing a career in
show business. During her stay in San Francisco, she won a Bay
Area Theatre Award for her portrayal of comedienne Moms Mabley
in a one-woman show.
Shortly after receiving this honor, she
returned to New York. In 1983, she starred in the enormously
popular The Spook Show. The one-woman Off-Broadway
production featured her own original comedy material that
addressed the issue of race in America with unique profundity,
style, and wit. Among her most poignant and typically
contradictory creations are Little Girl, an
African-American child obsessed with having blond hair; and
Fontaine, a junkie who also happens to hold a
doctorate in literature.
By 1984, director Mike Nichols had moved The
Spook Show to a Broadway stage, and in 1985, Goldberg won
a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album for the recording of
skits taken from the show. At the same time, she began to
receive significant attention from Hollywood insiders.
Director Steven Spielberg cast Goldberg in the leading female
role of his 1985 production of The Color Purple
(adapted from the novel by Alice Walker), a film that went on
to earn 10 Academy Award and five Golden Globe nominations.
Goldberg herself received an Oscar nomination and her first
Golden Globe for Best Actress.
Goldbergs success with The Color
Purple launched a highly visible acting career. Since
1985, she has appeared in over 80 film and television
productions. Her early film credits include the spy comedy Jumpin
Jack Flash (1986), directed by Penny Marshall; Fatal
Beauty (1987), costarring Sam Elliott; Claras
Heart (1988); Homer & Eddie (1989), costarring
James Belushi; and the civil rights period drama, The Long
Walk Home (1990), costarring Sissy Spacek.
Goldberg won numerous awards for her
supporting role as Oda Mae Brown in Ghost (1990),
including an Oscar (becoming only the second African-American
actress ever to win) and her second Golden Globe. The film,
starring Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze, was a public favorite.
That same year, the National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People named Goldberg the Black Entertainer of the
Year, and she also collected an Excellence Award at the Women
in Film Festival.
In 1991, Goldberg appeared in the comedy Soapdish
with an all-star cast featuring Sally Field, Kevin Kline, and
Elisabeth Shue, among others. She then appeared as Detective
Susan Avery in Robert Altmans well received parody of the
Hollywood movie business, The Player (1992), starring
Tim Robbins. Also in 1992, she starred in the enormously
popular Sister Act as a world-weary lounge singer
disguised as a nun hiding from the mob. Directed by Emile
Ardolino, Sister Act earned Goldberg an American Comedy
Award for Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture, as well as
another Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy.
The surprising success of this film led to Sister Act 2:
Back in the Habit (1993), directed by Bill Duke, and
featuring Maggie Smith (reprising her role as Mother
Superior), James Coburn, and then-unknown R&B artist
Goldberg launched her own television talk
show, The Whoopi Goldberg Show, in 1992. Featuring
Goldberg in one-on-one interviews with prominent political and
Hollywood celebrities, the talk show ran for 200 episodes
until 1993 when it was cancelled due to low ratings. That
year, Goldberg also appeared in the feature film Made in
America (1993), costarring her then-boyfriend Ted Danson.
In 1994, 1996, and 1999, she hosted the
Academy Awardsmaking her the only woman to ever do so.
Since 1986, she has also co-hosted Comic Relief, an annual
live showcase of big-ticket comedians (including Comic Relief
cohosts Robin Williams and Billy Crystal) to raise money for
In 1998, Goldberg began appearing on the
celebrity game show Hollywood Squares, for which she
won a daytime Emmy Award for two consecutive years. She has
appeared in numerous other television productions, most
notably Star Trek: Generations (1994).
Goldbergs recent film appearances
include The Deep End of the Ocean (1999), starring
Michelle Pfeiffer, and Girl, Interrupted (1999),
costarring Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie (who won a Best
Supporting Actress Oscar for her role).
In the early 1970s, Goldberg was briefly
married to the man who had been her drug counselor. The couple
had one child, Alexandra, and divorced in 1974. She was
married to cameraman David Claessen from 1986 to 1988.
Goldberg then had a high-profile romance with actor Ted Danson
in the early 1990s. After their breakup, she became engaged to
Lyle Trachtenberg, a labor organizer, but their relationship
ended in the mid-'90s. Soon after, she began dating actor
Frank Langella. The couple split in 2000.
Goldberg holds a Ph.D. in literature from
New York University, and an honorary degree from Wilson
College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
) 2000 A&E Television Networks. All
||The Color Purple
||Jumpin' Jack Flash
||Kiss Shot (TV)
||Homer & Eddie
||The Long Walk Home
||Bagdad Cafe (TV series)
||The Whoopi Goldberg Show
||Made in America
||Sister Act 2: Back in
||Loaded Weapon I
||The Lion King
||The Little Rascals
||Star Trek: Generations
||Naked in New York
||Moonlight and Valentino
||Boys on the Side
||Ghosts of Mississippi
||In the Gloaming (TV)
||A Christmas Carol
||How Stella Got Her
||The Rugrats Movie
||A Knight in Camelot (TV)
||Alice in Wonderland (TV)
||The Deep End of the
||The Magical Legend of
the Leprechauns (TV miniseries)
||Jackie's Back! (TV)
||Strong Medicine (TV
||More Dogs Than Bones
||The Adventures of Rocky
Back to Top
Celebrate St Patrick's
Day - March 17th
This week's tutor tip explores the history of St.
Patrick's Day and the customs. Read this along with your student
and at the end of the history section there are a couple of surprise
song to sing/read together.
About St. Patrick's Day
St. Patrick was born about 390 AD in Roman Britain. As a youth he was
kidnapped by Irish raiders and sold into slavery in Ireland. He
escaped six years later and fled to Gaul. After several years of
monastic life, he returned to Ireland in 432 AD as a missionary to the
people there. Legend has it that he drove all of the snakes out of the
country. It is said that he used the three-leafed shamrock to explain
the concept of the Trinity; hence its strong association with his day
St. Patrick is a hero in Ireland. In fact, there are
about 60 churches and cathedrals named for him in Ireland alone. One
of the most famous cathedrals is St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin.
These grounds bear the mark of the place where St. Patrick baptized
Green is associated with Saint Patrick's Day because
it is the color of spring, Ireland, and the shamrock.
Leprechauns are also associated with this holiday.
According to the legend, the Leprechaun is an Irish fairy. It is told
that Leprechauns are unsociable, unfriendly, live alone. Also, they
make shoes and possess a hidden pot of gold. The legend says if the
Leprechaun is caught by a treasure hunter then he must tell where is
treasure is, unless the Leprechaun can trick the hunter and vanish
They were probably added later on because greeting card compaines
needed something cute to put on their greeting cards.
Good Luck for St. Patrick's Day
Finding a four-leaf clover (that's double the good luck it usually
Wearing green. (School children have started a little tradition of
their own -- they pinch classmates who don't wear green on this
Kissing the blarney stone.
copied from: http://holidays.lovingyou.com/march/history.shtml
Wee Little Patrick( tune Yankee Doodle)
Patrick is a leprechaun
He has a sack of gold
He hides it in a special place
Between two stumps, I'm told
I think I once saw Patrick
Out in the woods at play
He smiled and laughed and winked his eye
And then he ran away
Don't try to follow Patrick
To find his treasure sack
He'll twist and jump and run away
And he never will come back.
(sung to I'm a little teapot)
I'm a little Leprechaun short and green,
Here is my shamrock but I can't be seen,
When you pull my feather,hear me scream (everyone scream)
I'm a little Leprechaun,short and green.
copied from: http://www.childfun.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=26
This weeks tutor tip answer's the above question and
more! How many hamburgers do you eat a week? How many does
your student eat? At the end of the hamburger history section,
is a section on the nutritional content of fast food for you to review
with your student.
The History of Hamburgers
modern dish, Beef
Tartare. In the nineteenth century, German immigrants
brought a dish called Hamburg Style Beef to the United States, which
had traveled to the seaport city of Hamburg, Germany from Russia. This
dish was a raw, chopped piece of beef and is believed to be the
primitive ancestor of the modern hamburger.
Your Guide to Hamburgers
origin of the hamburger is clouded in history and controversy.
In Medieval times the Tartars, a band or warriors from the
plains of Central Asia would place pieces of beef under their
saddles while they rode. This would tenderize the meat that
would then be eaten raw. This is the legend of the origin of
Now several people who claim to be the descendents
of the hamburger's inventor dispute what happened next. The popular
story is that the first hamburger was served up at the 1904 St. Louis
World's Fair. This sandwich was made with a cooked patty of ground
beef on a hard roll. Of course there are earlier references but this
might very well be the first time a cooked patty hit the bun.
Mass distribution of the fast food hamburger started
Castle in 1921. White Castle was such an immediate success
that dozens of imitators jumped up and quickly failed. This tiny
hamburger originally sold for 5 cents. Later the tell tale holes were
added to the patty to speed up cooking times and eliminate the need
In 1934 the Wimpy Burger appeared. Named for
Popeye's hamburger eating character, this burger went for the upscale
market at 10 cents a burger. In keeping with the founder's wishes, all
1,500 restaurants were closed down when he died in 1978. The 1930's
also saw the advent of the drive-in. Drive-in's changed the landscape
of burgers forever by allowing diners to remain in their cars and
therefore creating the concept of drive up service that remains the
mainstay of the fast food industry.
By the late 1930's, Bob Wain of Bob's Big Boy,
introduced the first double patty burger. Variety in Hamburgers was
beginning and like White Castle the Big Boy found a lot of imitators.
But it wasn't until 1948 when the first McDonald's
opened that the modern fast food Hamburger was set to revolutionize
the way we eat. This first McDonald's didn't sell Hamburger's though;
it was a Hot Dog stand. Ray Kroc, who would create the McDonald's
empire, joined the team in 1954. By then the Hot Dog's had been
replaced by Hamburgers. The Big Mac was introduced in 1968.
If you doubt the importance of the Hamburger on
American Culture then consider this: Americans on average eat 3
hamburger's a week. And McDonald's alone has sold 12 hamburgers for
every person in the world. Nearly 7% on the United State's workforce
had their first job at McDonald's. Hamburgers account for nearly 60%
on all the sandwiches eaten. So next time you pick up a hamburger,
remember it's not just a sandwich, it's an economy. And don't forget
the fries. French fries consume 7.5% of the United States Potatoes.
Copied from www.about.com
We are surrounded by hundreds of different fast food
restaurants offering loads of tasty and greasy food. Here are some of
America's favorite fast food restaurants and recommendations on which
sandwiches will cause the least damage. To make the comparison simple,
we will break down three of the most famous sandwiches eaten at each
restaurant by grams of fat, as well as the content of carbohydrates
AskMen.com likes to rate its suggestions so that the
sandwiches will be ranked according to how bad they are for one's
general health. This basically means that foods with high scores can
be eaten more often than those with low scores. For those on a strict
diet, it might mean you'll be able to cheat twice a week instead of
only once. Good stuff. And for those of you who don't follow a diet,
it may be a good way to add only two inches to your waist as opposed
to five. Here is a simple way to compare your favorite grease bins, or
rather fast food restaurants.
Please go to this link to check your favorite sandwich!
Evidently, most of these harmless looking sandwiches
will increase your fat intake faster than you can chew. Note that the
statistics don't include mayonnaise or any additional perks often
added to most sandwiches. Fast food sandwiches usually come hand in
hand with french fries or chips, so don't forget to include condiments
and side orders in your caloric and fat gram calculations.
copied from www.askmen.com
The Cracked Pot
In this time of war and turmoil, the next tutor tips
will take a completely different tack - that of positive and thought
provoking fables, which offer a look at the brighter side of
life. Please enjoy these with your student.
The Cracked Pot
A water bearer in India had two large
pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his
neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was
perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the
long walk from the stream to the master's house, the cracked pot
arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the
bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his
master's house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its
accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the
poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable
that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to
After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter
failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.
"I am ashamed of myself, and I want to
apologize to you."
"Why?" asked the bearer. "What are
you ashamed of?"
"I have been able, for these past two years, to
deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water
to leak out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my
flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value
from your efforts," the pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot,
and in his compassion he said,
"As we return to the master's house, I want you
to notice the beautiful flowers along the path."
Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked
pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the
side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the
trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and
so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice
that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the
other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw,
and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the
path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered
them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers
to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way you are,
he would not have this beauty to grace his house."
Each of us has our own unique flaws. But in love's
plan nothing goes to waste! As love calls you to your appointed tasks
don't be afraid of your flaws.
You are indeed special!
Carrot, Egg, Herb Tea
This week's tutor tip is a fable for
you to read and discuss with your student. How do you deal with
adversity? I hope that you are as inspired as I was by this
Carrot, Egg, Herb Tea
A daughter complained to her father
about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know
how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of
fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one
Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He
filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the
pots came to a boil.
In one he placed carrots, in the second he placed
eggs, and the last he placed herb tea. He let them sit and boil,
without saying a word.
The daughter sucked her teeth and impatiently
waited, wondering what he was doing. In about twenty minutes he turned
off the burners. He fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl.
He pulled the eggs out and placed them a bowl. Then he ladled the herb
tea out and placed it in a bowl.
Turning to her he asked. "Darling, what do you
"Carrots, eggs, and herb tea," she
He brought her closer and asked her to feel the
carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to
take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed
the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. She
smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.
She humbly asked. "What does it mean
He explained that each of them had faced the same
adversity, boiling water, but each reacted differently.
The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting.
But after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became
The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had
protected its liquid interior. But after sitting through the boiling
water, its inside became hardened.
The herb tea was unique, however. After boiling in
water, it had changed the water.
"Which are you?" he asked his daughter.
"When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you
a carrot, an egg, or herb tea coffee bean?"
Are you the carrot that seems hard, but with pain
and adversity do you wilt and become soft and lose your strength?
Are you the egg, which starts off with a malleable
heart? Were you a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a
divorce, or a layoff have you become hardened and stiff. Your shell
looks the same, but are you bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and
Or are you like the herb tea? It changes the hot
water, the thing that is bringing the pain, to its peak flavor reaches
212 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water gets the hottest, it just
If you are like the herb tea, when things are at
their worst, you get better and make things better around you.
How do you handle adversity?
Are you a carrot, an egg, or herb tea?
The value of time
I have often thought about the relative
value of the passage of time. Today's tutor tip explores this
theme in a series of examples. The bottom line for me is to
try to embrace and appreciate every moment in my life - good and bad
and I hope that you can do the same.
To realize the value of one year:
Ask a student who has failed a final exam.
To realize the value of one month:
Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of one hour:
Ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To realize the value of one minute:
Ask the person who has missed the train, bus or plane.
To realize the value of one second:
Ask a person who has survived an accident.
To realize the value of one millisecond:
Ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.
Time waits for no one. Treasure every moment you
have. You will treasure it even more when you can share it with
Being thankful for what you have in life
can have many benefits and today's tutor tip examines the other side
of the coin - or having an attitude of gratitude.
The Other Side of the Coin
I'm thankful for the taxes I pay
because it means that I'm employed.
I'm thankful for the mess to clean after a party
because it means I have been surrounded by friends.
I'm thankful for the clothes that fit a little too
because it means I have enough to eat.
I'm thankful for my shadow who watches me work
because it means I am out in the sunshine.
I'm thankful for a lawn that needs mowing,
windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing
because it means I have a home.
I'm thankful for all the complaining I hear about
because it means we have freedom of speech.
I'm thankful for the spot I find at the far end of
the parking lot
because it means I am capable of walking.
I'm thankful for my huge heating bill
because it means I am warm.
I'm thankful for the lady behind me in church who
sings off key
because it means that I can hear.
I'm thankful for the piles of laundry and ironing
because it means I have clothes to wear.
I'm thankful for weariness and aching muscles at
the end of the day
because it means I have been productive.
I'm thankful for the alarm that goes off in the
early morning hours
because it means that I'm alive.
I'm thankful for getting too much email
because it lets me know I have friends who are thinking of me.
Copied from http://www.storybin.com/positive/positive110.shtml by
The Blind Men and the Elephant
By reading the delightful poem - The Blind Men and the Elephant by John Godfrey
- Students will develop sensitivity to others' points of view.
- Students will understand the importance of having as much information as possible before coming to conclusions.
The Blind Men and the Elephant
by John Godfrey Saxe
American poet John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887) based the following poem on a fable which was told in India many years ago.
It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind
The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”
The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, “Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”
The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”
The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he;
“ ‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”
The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”
The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”
And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!
So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!
Merriam Webster Dictionary
I have recently rediscovered the Merriam Webster
dictionary website -
www.m-w.com . What a great site! Check out the interactive puzzle below as an exercise for your students.
Back to Top