Thursday, March 30, 2006


Calvin and Hobbes taught one of my daughters to read. She pored over the cartoon treasuries until the bindings were shot and pages started falling out. I often thought how it would be fun to create a Calvin and Hobbes reading "curriculum" so I was delighted to find out about this textbook from the mid-1990's.

The Calvin and Hobbes comic strip ran from 1985-1995 and Bill Watterson allowed only two licensed items during that time: a 16 month wall calendar and this book, which was written by a speech pathologist and special education teacher in North Dakota. The license limited the print run of this book to 2500 copies with the stipulation that it only be advertised to school teachers. Here is part of the letter they wrote to Watterson, asking permission to publish this book:

"We are special educators in Tioga, North Dakota, and we are very aware of how your work speaks for all children as well as for those who have trouble articulating their experience in the world around them.

Several of the children we see have attention deficits or social difficulties. One boy said, "Calvin makes me see that I can laugh at the stuff that other people always nag me about!"

We have incorporated Calvin and Hobbes into our programs to help our students understand concepts like humor, puns, implied meaning, figurative language, sarcasm, facial expression; all the subtle language concepts that "make it or break it" for these children. So many of these kids use Calvin as a point of reference."

Here is a vocabulary list from Unit 1:

A. I'll crack
B. coronary
C. nail me
D. flay me
E. out of his mind
F. looking at the big scheme of things
G. stew in my own guilt
H. blow every capillary in his body

Here are some of the reading comprehension questions:

"In 'The Report', Calvin and Susie call each other several names that imply the other is not very smart. Fill in those phrases below."

"What do you think the principal meant when he said they had 'quite a file' on Calvin?"

"Calvin told Hobbes that he dropped the binoculars. Why was that an understatement?"

"Why wouldn't Calvin's idea to glue the binoculars work?"

"When Hobbes suggests that Calvin tell his mother, he disagrees. What phrase implies he's been in trouble with his mom before?"

(For more information and excerpts from this book click here)

This book recently sold on eBay for $365 so I will keep my eyes open for it because Wisconsin isn't that far from North Dakota, where it was published. I see that the same seller has another copy on eBay right now.
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Blogger Mimi said...

Bwahahahahahahaa! That's genius!

11:22 AM  

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