Today I had my English students read a passage about Benjamin Franklin, who wrote ‘Poor Richard’s Almanack.’
Me: Any questions about these words?
Student 1: Yes, what is an ‘Almanack’?
Me: Well, it’s a kind of book. It’s a book with lots of information in it. About the weather and…other…things… *Tries to remember what Poor Richard’s Almanack actually is. Swears to prepare better next time.* In this case, ‘Poor Richard’s Almanack’ is the title of something Benjamin Franklin wrote. But an almanac is also a kind of book.
Student 1 and Student 2: -whisper whisper whisper-
Student 2: Well… *looks at Student 1 and they both start laughing, like they don’t want to tell me what they’re talking about* What is it called?
Student 1: Back…back…
Student 2: Do you know that movie ‘Back to the Future’?
Me: Yes… *waits to see where this is going*
Student 2: Well, in the movie, he has the…book.
Me: *Brain explodes with happiness. Instantly develops all-encompassing pride and adoration of class, to be coupled with similar existing feelings towards Michael J. Fox.* YES! Yes! You’re so right! That’s an almanac! In Back to the Future II, he gets the sports almanac. For sports! Yes!
For next week: Teach the phrase ‘it’s all about the Benjamins’ with a straight face.