50. Jack And The Beanstalk


New Visitor’s…Please read the two paragraphs at the end of this column before beginning your explorations in theater, poetry, children’s literature, movies, television, books, and the Arts. It will say New Visitor’s Greeting and be in boldface.

Educational Website…Please, also, check out my educational website at aimtjp.wikispaces.com. No www. is needed. If you have any teachers or children in the family, they will enjoy it immensely. There are tons of immediately ready to use ideas in reading, children’s literature, Internet explorations, problem solving, and poetry on the opening screen and in the Public Dropbox.


Movies…The Princess Bride (1987) with Robin Wright, Cary Elwes, and Mandy Patinkin is the gold standard of movies where adventurers have to climb a mountain to rescue the princess. Like all fairy tales, it starts with someone reading the spell binding story to a child in bed. From that point on anything can come to life and happen in the reading. Before seeing Jack The Giant Slayer this week’s top grossing movie, call The Princess Bride up on your movie channel. When it appeared in 1987 everyone was using quotes from the movie. See if you recognize these ten quotes while watching the movie.

  1. Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.
  2. Have fun storming the castle
  3. This is true love – you think this happens every day?
  4. We are men of action. Lies do not become us.
  5. Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line.
  6. Inconceivable (my favorite)
  7. Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.
  8. Go away or I’ll call the Brute Squad.
  9. You’re trying to kidnap what I’ve rightfully stolen.
  10. 10.  I just work for Vizzini to pay the bills. There’s not a lot of money in revenge.


Movies II…Jack The Giant Slayer was made on a budget of $200, 000,000. It was number one at the box office, but is still 170,000,000 dollars from breaking even. The movie reinvents the story of Jack and The Beanstalk as Jack battles with armies of giants instead of just one giant to save the princess. You will be amazed at how director Bryan Singer, coordinated all the giant people, especially in the “attacking the castle” scenes. Nicholas Hoult plays Jack and Eleanor Tomlinson plays the princess. Stanley Tucci, once again, works in his new villain role. Hoult is best known for dating Jennifer Lawrence and for the movie Warm Bodies that is playing at the same time as Jack The Giant Slayer.

Eleanor Tomlinson, at age 21, has already been in fourteen movies and television shows. She plays this part well as she did in Alice In Wonderland and the Illusionist, two of the bigger movies in which she appeared.

National Women’s History Month…A great statistic was released at the beginning of this month. Women now make more than men in forty percent of American households. More men go to college than women, but more women graduate from college than men. This new workforce of women graduates is meeting the expectations of a college education. School to a higher paying career programs seem to be working for young women.


Zombies: How Do They Do It…Sunday’s The Walking Dead did thirteen million viewers this weekend. Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Callies, Laurie Holden, Steven Yuen, and a cast of thousands star in this fright-fest. Some of the people playing zombies have been killed ten times. You can watch past episodes for free on a number of channels, as well as, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). Cult followings have a zombie dead count attributed to each actor. Just when you thought it was safe to walk down a dark alley…It is never safe to walk down a dark alley!!!


Children’s Literature I…Julie Andrews’ Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies By Emma Walton Hamilton features the poems and songs of over seventy poets, performing artists, and songwriters.

It is one of the largest works at 190 pages in the Julie Andrews collection (www.julieandrewscollection.com). The book contents are perfect bedtime reads. It also comes with a great CD filled with songs, poems, and lullabies. Julie Andrews says her collection is designed to spur the imagination and wonder in all children. The cast of presenters she put together accomplishes her mission.


Columnist’s Note…Each day this section of the column features a poetry activity, creative writing exercise, or critical thinking puzzle. These three challenges should be kept in a portfolio or diary. They are designed to activate both sides of your brain. They, also, will prove everyone has a poem or a story they can write with a little encouragement.

Poetry…Today’s writing challenge for your poetry portfolio and diary will introduce Tercet Terrain. Take a look at the example below and see if you can add one more line to a tercet. Write a few of your own with some simple themes.

Tercet Terrain

A ‘tercet’ is a three line *stanza.  It is generally accepted that all three lines rhyme. Here is an example:

When kids get sick,
They often pick,
A medicine they can lick.

Fill in the missing lines in each tercet below (they vary) and then try to compose two tercets of your own.

Send the tercets you created into this column or store them in the portfolio that you have been keeping of the activities that challenge you in this column. Copy this challenge and share it with a teacher friend or parent.

A – 1          There is no way

A – 2          I can obey

A – 3          ________________________________

B – 1          Try to eat this tasty pear

B – 2          ________________________________

B – 3          Good food for those who dare.

C – 1          _________________________________

C- 2            It is more than pretty

C – 3          Another wonder of the city!

D – 1          Happiness and warmth from the heart

D – 2          Cannot be purchased at the supermart.

D – 3          __________________________________

Monday’s Puzzle…Common Denominators

Monday Puzzle Patter…The answer to yesterday’s puzzle appears below. If you haven’t completed the puzzle, please go back to yesterday’s column 49, complete the puzzle, and then return to this page to check your answers.

Common Denominators will really stretch you imagination. Can you figure out what the first two words have in common in the challenge below? This activity is not for the faint of heart. If you can’t get more than half, don’t be upset. Some of our fourth graders had trouble, too. Answers will appear in tomorrow’s column.


Indian – peacock = feathers

Door opener – Musical term = key

Complain (slang) – a meat = beef

A triangle – mold = shape

A water body – Netflix video sent to your TV = stream

A fierce wind – a girl = Gale

Try your hand at these thinkers!

1.  Fish – pirates =                            sword

2.  Flower – gun =                                     pistil

3.  Safety – rail =                              guard

4.  Street – after a ride =                    rode

5.  The ocean – cards =                     fish

6.  Apple – earth’s center                   core

7.  Phone – finger =                          ring

8.  Letter – egg =                             o-val

9.  Game with a ball – soup =             bowl

10. Little person – something you eat = shrimp

11. Center of attraction – a state =      main

12. Movie character – found in space = star

13. Spaceship – cup holder =              saucer

14. Horse – clouds =                         reins

15. River – check holder =                 bank

16. Usual – fly in one =                     plain

17. Strand – a color =                        maroon

18. Bad jokes – an old apple =            rotten

19. A measure – a playground =         yard

20. Sprained ankle – a hawk =            soar

21. House – plate =                           home

22. Cake – two fingers =                    peace

Tuesday’s Puzzle Challenge…Helpless Words……The ability to find a smaller word contained in a larger word often will help you pronounce the larger word.  Such is not the case for the words below.  When you combine the answers below, their sounds are altered and will not help you pronounce the new word.  Sort out the clues, then combine the clue words and you’ll create a unique word. Answers will appear in tomorrow’s column.

Clue A        Clue B                  A                B                A + B

EX.  Father’s Boy/Fish Catcher          son             net              sonnet

1.  Hearing organ/Bird’s home            ________    ________    ________

2.  Baseball hitter/Opposite of off         ________    ________    ________

3.  Colony insect/Upturned dress part  ________    ________    ________

4.  Opposite of on/Frozen water          ________    ________    ________

5.  Donald shortened/Follows either     ________    ________    ________

6.  Sewer rodent/Negative particle       ________    ________    ________

7.  Thin’s opposite/Opposite of his       ________    ________    ________

8.  An accomplishment/Opposite of his________     ________    ________

9.  A___not happy/To put into action  ________    ________    ________

10. To remove earth/What time is__?   ________    ________    ________

*11. Cleopatra’s snake/Anger             ________    ________    ________

*12. French boyfriend/Cravats            ________    ________    ________

13. Opposite of his/Opposite of off       ________    ________    ________

  • = Supers


New Visitor’s Greeting…Welcome to Let’s Talk, a freewheeling column on movies, theater, television, books, educational practices, current events, and the Internet. If you are a first time visitor to the column, I recommend that you start with the About topic in the Index Bar at the top of the page. Follow About with the Let’s Talk column in archives. It was the first column of the New Year. Proceed to Let’s Talk II and then work your way up to today’s column. These columns will introduce a plethora (a better word choice than myriad) of new ideas and old delights you may have missed. It will give you a strong foundation for some of the issues we are introducing and following up in newer columns.

New visitor’s comments are welcome, too. They are immediately placed on this page in the contributor’s comment section or are shared with the column’s readers on Sunday. You are welcome, also, to suggest topics for discussion or enlist help from the site’s family of readers. I am a compendium of useless information. Challenge me, please, with great theater, travel, history, books, movies, and educational issues that would interest a wide audience of readers. The “compendium comment” was stolen from Orson Bean. Bean used the quote many times on television talk show interviews. Please recommend my column to your friends and other lovers of discussion.


About tjpalumbo

Tom Palumbo is a nationally known and award winning author, teacher, technology designer, administrator, and grant writer. He has taught for thirty-five years in preschool through 12th grade classrooms throughout the quad state area. His ideas have made a difference in the way thousands of teachers, parents, and children read, write, do mathematics, use technology, and think creatively and critically. Tom’s twenty books on reading, writing, critical thinking, and mathematics have won four national book awards. 5,000 teachers and home schooling parents have matriculated through his graduate courses/lectures. 12,000 have signed up for his website. As Director of Pennsylvania’s Parent Information Center and New Jersey’s Citizen’s For Better Schools Resource Center, Tom received over two hundred commendations for his presentations to thousands of teachers, parents, and administrators throughout the Florida, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland area. Workshop participants receive idea loaded CD’s, access to hundreds of videos, PowerPoints, curriculum links, games, and lessons on his website, and an activity booklet filled with common core curriculum in line with local, state, and national standards. Instruction, on each of these resources, is presented during his presentation. Mr. Palumbo has over two hundred learning centers, bulletin boards, and project developers in reading, writing, poetry, literature, and math in make-it/take it item format that can, also, be part of any workshop program. Call or email Tom to set up a workshop for your organization. Tom Palumbo tjpalumbo@aol.com 215-262-9986 aimtjp.wikispaces.com
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