Answer Key: Old St. Nick…
Old Saint Nick Poem…Plagiarized?
I. Pre-Reading Tasks
II. While Reading Tasks
- chimney noun noun ( pl. -neys) a vertical channel or pipe that conducts smoke and combustion gases up from a fire or furnace and typically through the roof of a building.
- tradition noun the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way : every shade of color is fixed by tradition and governed by religious laws.
- biblical adjective of, relating to, or contained in the Bible : the biblical account of creation | biblical times.
- scholar noun a specialist in a particular branch of study, esp. the humanities; a distinguished academic : a Hebrew scholar.
- authorial adjective (author) nouna writer of a book, article, or report : he is the author of several books on the subject.
- attribution noun (attribute) verb • ascribe a work or remark to (a particular author, artist, or speaker) : the building was attributed to Frank Lloyd Wright.
- literary adjective 1 [ attrib. ] concerning the writing, study, or content of literature, esp. of the kind valued for quality of form : the great literary works of the nineteenth century.
- fraud noun wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain : he was convicted of fraud | prosecutions for social security frauds.
- marshals verb ( -shaled , -shaling ; chiefly Brit. -shalled, -shalling) [ trans. ] | figurative he paused for a moment, as if marshaling his thoughts.
- battery noun • an extensive series, sequence, or range of things : children given a battery of tests.
- circumstantial adjective 1 (of evidence or a legal case) pointing indirectly toward someone’s guilt but not conclusively proving it.
- starkly adverb [as submodifier ] : the reality is starkly different. stark adjective • unpleasantly or sharply clear; impossible to avoid : his position on civil rights is in stark contrast to that of his liberal opponent | the stark reality of life for deprived minorities.
- (at) odds plural noun at odds in conflict or at variance : his behavior is at odds with the interests of the company.
- descendant noun a person, plant, or animal that is descended from a particular ancestor : Shakespeare’s last direct descendant.
- genealogist noun ( pl. -gies) a line of descent traced continuously from an ancestor : combing through the birth records and genealogies.
- gumshoe noun informal a detective.
- syntax noun (the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language : the syntax of English.
- archives noun (usu. archives) collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people : source materials in local archives | [as adj. ] a section of archive film.
- ardent adjectiveenthusiastic or passionate : an ardent baseball fan | an ardent suitor
- partisan noun a strong supporter of a party, cause, or person.
- icon noun a person or thing regarded as a representative symbol of something : this iron-jawed icon of American manhood.
- recast verb present or organize in a different form or style : his doctoral thesis has been recast for the general reader.
- genteel adjective polite, refined, or respectable, often in an affected or ostentatious way.
- men of letters The term ‘Man of Letters’ (‘belletrist’, from the French belles-lettres), has been used in some Western cultures to denote contemporary intellectual men; the term rarely denotes ‘scholars’, and is not synonymous with academic. (wikipedia)
B. Reading Comprehension -Sentence Fill-ins
1. Clement Clarke Moore has always been credited with writing the poem, The Night Before Christmas. b.
2. His his authorship was challenged by English professor Don Foster. c.
3. Moore, was a wealthy Manhattan biblical scholar. b.
4. Better known as ”The Night Before Christmas,” it became one of the most widely read poems in the world. c.
5. Don Foster, an English professor at Vassar College… a.
6. In a new book, Author Unknown… c.
7. Mr. Foster argues that ”A Visit From St. Nicholas,” first published anonymously in a Troy, N.Y., newspaper…a.
8. Henry Livingston Jr., was a gentleman-poet of Dutch descent. b.
9. Livingston, who lived in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., died before Moore was ever named as the poem’s author. c.
10. But without physical evidence these claims came to naught. c.
11. Mr. Foster, a well-known literary gumshoe, pioneered the technique of studying the details of a text’s wording and syntax to establish authorship… b.
12. Before 1820 Americans typically pictured St. Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus, as a skinny, stern bishop… a
13. The poem helped recast St. Nicholas as a jovial elf and turn Christmas into a time for giving gifts to children. b.
14. Clement Clarke Moore II, a descendant of the famous poet, said he was not concerned about the challenge. c.
Identify the nouns:
years, children, stockings, chimney, care, tradition, Manhattan, scholar, history, man, American, image, Santa, author, account, visit, night, poems, world.
III. Post Reading Tasks
2. Writing Task
Directions: Take the first line from the poem The Night Before Christmas, and create new verses.
Have students share their poems with the class.