Genius for Melody
ReadOasis Step 4 (Part 1) On June 2, 2010, President Barack Obama stood on a small stage in the White House. In the audience sat a mix of elite leaders and famous musicians. The President was about to give America’s highest award for popular music to Paul McCartney of the... Read more
The Grammar of Jokes
ReadOasis Step 2 Mr. Jones stood in front of his English class. The students looked sleepy and bored, so Mr. Jones decided to open with an interesting story. He told the students a famous joke, and here is what happened…    The Joke. Two older couples ate dinner together. After... Read more
The Motown Sound (Step 3)
ReadOasis Step 3 The Motown Museum (Wikipedia) Soul music combines rhythm and blues and gospel. Like the blues, soul arose out of the black experience in America, and soul musicians took these styles out of the black church and into the world and the streets. They confidently and proudly... Read more
W.C. Handy: Father of the Blues (Step 3)
ReadOasis Step 3 (Part 1) "Then I saw the beauty of primitive music." W.C. Handy, Father of the Blues W.C. Handy at Age 19 W.C. Handy grew up in a small town in Alabama in the southern part of the US. His father was the pastor of a church,... Read more
This Old Man
A Traditional Children's Song ReadOasis Step 1 This old man, he played one, He played knick knack with his thumb, With a *knick, knack, paddy whack, Give the dog a bone; This old man came rolling home. This old man, he played two, He played knick knack with my... Read more
Winter Time
Winter Time By Robert Louis Stevenson ReadOasis Step 5 Berit Watki Winter in Merstham (Creative Commons) Late lies the wintry sun a-bed, A frosty, fiery sleepy-head; Blinks but an hour or two; and then, A blood-red orange, sets again. Before the stars have left the skies, At morning in... Read more
Great Waves of Art
ReadOasis Step 3 Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) was a Japanese artist, painter, and maker of prints, called UKIYO-E. During his life, he was the leading expert on Chinese painting in Japan. His most famous work is The Great Wave off Kanagawa, created in the 1820s. The Great Wave comes from... Read more
Wishes
By Sara Teasdale ReadOasis Step 2 I wish for such a lot of things That never will come true-- And yet I want them all so much I think they might, don't you? I want a little kitty-cat That's soft and tame and sweet, And every day I watch... Read more
The Meaning of Haiku
ReadOasis Step 2 (Part 1) An old man is walking along a rocky river bed. He is a traveller, but he is carrying only a few things. He can hear the songs of birds and the breath of the wind. The sound of the River Fuji is clear in... Read more
Escape at Bedtime
By Robert Louis Stevenson ReadOasis Step 3 Photo by NASA   The lights from the parlour and kitchen shone out Through the blinds and the windows and bars; And high overhead and all moving about, There were thousands of millions of stars. There ne’er were such thousands of leaves... Read more
El Greco: Genius of Spanish Art
ReadOasis Step 2 (Part 1) El Expolio by El Greco El Greco wanted to be a great artist. (His name means “the Greek.”) Like many Greek artists of his time, El Greco moved to Venice, Italy. Venice was alive with cultural change, achievement, and art during a period of... Read more
The Mystery and Horror of Poe
ReadOasis Step 3 A man sits at night in his room alone. He is deeply saddened by the death of his lover. Her name was Lenore. Deep in despair, he begins to hear a tapping at the window. He looks up and opens it. And there stands a large... Read more
On the Road Again (Step 1)
ReadOasis Step 1 Little Willie was born into hard times. On October 29, 1929, the American economy went bad. It was called Black Tuesday. Many people lost all their money. By Willie’s day of birth in 1933, around 25% of Americans had lost their jobs. People were hopeless, poor,... Read more
Victor Frankenstein: A Mad Scientist
ReadOasis Step 4 Man, how ignorant you are in your pride of wisdom! - Victor Frankenstein As a young man, Victor Frankenstein was obsessed with the mixture of science and magic, and he desired to discover and make medicine that would give eternal life to the drinker. And he became... Read more
If by Rudyard Kipling
In 1907, Rudyard Kipling received the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was the first English-language writer to receive the prize. Kipling was a innovator in the art of short stories. His children’s books, like Jungle Book, are classics of children's literature. Kipling also wrote poetry. One of his famous poems... Read more
Beyond the Freezing Point (Ayako Miura)
ReadOasis Step 3 (Part 1) It was much later that I finally learned what a dark age it was. It’s after you know the light that you recognize darkness. You cannot know darkness when you’re in the middle of it. Ayako Miura (1922-1999) Up to the end of World... Read more
Picasso and the Beatles
ReadOasis Step 4 The Spanish painter Picasso demonstrated remarkable artistic aptitude at a very young age. According to his mother, his first words were "piz, piz." "Piz" is short for "lápiz," which means "pencil" in Spanish. Picasso's father was an art professor who raised his son in a world... Read more
A Sentimental Imagination
ReadOasis Step 3 (Part 1) I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. Charles Dickens (1786-1851) Most people know Charles Dickens for his famous ghost story: A Christmas Carol. But many people don’t realize that Dickens was the most notable English author of the... Read more
I See You — Avatar
ReadOasis Step 2 (Part 1) Your name is Jake. You are a soldier. Since you lost the feeling in your legs, life has been awkward. But you got used to it. And when your brother died, your heart stopped feeling some, too. "Get used to it," you think. But... Read more
Serious About Humor (Step 3)
ReadOasis Step 3 (Part 1) It's early in the morning. A funny looking man is getting ready for work. He casually looks up at the clock on the wall. Then his eyes pop wide open. He's running late! In a rush, he hurries to the kitchen. He opens the... Read more