Answer Key: Superstitions

Lesson Plan: Why Are So Many People Superstitious?

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

  1. acquaintance |əˈkwāntəns| noun a person one knows slightly, but who is not a close friend: a wide circle of friends and acquaintances.
  2. frown |froun| verb furrow one’s brow in an expression of disapproval, displeasure, or concentration: he frowned as he reread the letter.
  3. aghast |əˈɡast| adjective [predicative] filled with horror or shock: when the news came out they were aghast.
  4. high five |ˌhī ˈfīv| informal, chiefly North American noun-a gesture of celebration or greeting in which two people slap each other’s open palm with their arms raised: they gave each other an exuberant high five in the middle of the press center.
  5. Superstitions |ˌso͞opərˈstiSH(ə)n|  noun a widely held but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, or a practice based on such a belief: she touched her locket for luck, a superstition she had had since childhood.
  6. exorcism |ˈeksôrˌsizəm| noun- the expulsion or attempted expulsion of an evil spirit from a person or place.
  7. *ward off phrasal verb -To ward off a danger or illness means to prevent it from affecting you or harming you. She may have put up a fight to try to ward off her assailant.
  8. animate |ˈanəˌmāt| [with object]  verb  bring to life: the desert is like a line drawing waiting to be animated with color. • give inspiration, encouragement, or renewed vigor to: she has animated the nation with a sense of political direction.
  9. irrational |i(r)ˈraSH(ə)nəl| adjective 1 not logical or reasonable.
  10. veteran |ˈvedərənˈvetrən| noun -• a person who has served in the military: a veteran of two world wars.



New Oxford American Dictionary   

*Collins English dictionary

Grammar Focus: English Subject  Pronouns

A few months later, at the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, a friend waved me over. ‘Hey! I thought that was you. Were you praying back there?’

She’d seen me kneeling in mud, touching a solar-yellow dandelion. ‘Yes,’ I said, to expedite my day, because this seemed less bonkers than explaining what I was actually doing.

From him, I learned that superstitions can be a form of prayer,

You release the fear that comes from feeling responsible for everything that happens to you


Reading Comprehension Fill-ins

After Hurricane Andrew destroyed our home in 1992 (a nine-foot storm surge seemed to choose us, leaving the other houses on our block largely untouched), I developed a repertoire of new superstitions overnight, like mental mushrooms sprouting out of the saltwater that had flooded up to our ceiling.