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At his labyrinthine laboratory on the Harvard Medical School campus, you can find researchers giving E. Coli a novel genetic code never seen in nature. Around another bend, others are carrying out a plan to use DNA engineering to resurrect the woolly mammoth. His lab, Church likes to say, is the center of a new technological genesis—one in which man rebuilds creation to suit himself.

When I visited the lab last June, Church proposed that I speak to a young postdoctoral scientist named Luhan Yang. A Harvard recruit from Beijing, she’d been a key player in developing a powerful new technology for editing DNA, called CRISPR-Cas9. With Church, Yang had founded a small biotechnology company to engineer the genomes of pigs and cattle, sliding in beneficial genes and editing away bad ones.

(Note: We updated this blog post in November 2016. See Present Perfect: Two Uses and Present Perfect Vs. Present Progressive for new charts and tips.)

1. Start by telling your students that there are two uses of the present perfect (most students are not even aware of this). Point out that diagram (A) indicates a finished past action . Diagram (B) shows an action that started in the past, continued to the present, and may continue into the future .

2. Next, focus on the first use of the present perfect (from diagram A). Help your students understand when they can use this finished past action by comparing it to the simple past’s finished past action . Explain that we use the simple past tense when we want to communicate when we did something, as in diagram *C). We use the present perfect tense when we don’t want to indicate the time, either because we don’t know it or it isn’t important, as in diagram (D).

I realise this is a lofty claim to make, particularly coming from a person who is yet to be published. However, I feel like I have read, and attempted to write, enough of ’em to have cracked ‘The Formula’, the unbeatable equation that will lead inexorably to the creation of the Perfect Children’s Book.

Without any further ado, I’ll begin. If you don’t have your notepad and pen ready yet, that’s not my fault – you had enough warning.

That’s about all I have time for here. Simple, isn’t it? It should be. Writing children’s books takes no effort, after all – just about anyone can knock one out over a weekend, or slap one together if they’ve nothing better to do. It’s amazing we’re not all doing it! I hope you’ll follow these guidelines, and that success will soon be knocking at your door.

The American family is a rapidly changing institution. You may have grown up in the stereotypical American family - two parents and one or more children, with a father who worked outside the home and a mother who stayed home and cared for the children and the household. Today, with the entry of so many more women into the workforce, with the increasing divorce rate, and with the growing number of single-parent households, other family structures have become more common.

If your own family is not like the one you grew up in, your situation is certainly not unusual. Currently, 30 percent of American families are now headed by single parents, either divorced, widowed, or never married. Some children live in foster families; others live in step-families or in gay and lesbian families. In more than two thirds of families, both parents work outside the home.

Any group of people living together in a household can create and call themselves a family. For example, to share expenses a divorced mother with two children may live with another divorced woman with children; together, they may consider themselves a family. A grandparent who lives with her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren may become an integral part of their family. The variations of family structures and definition are almost endless, but they have certain qualities in common: Family members share their lives emotionally and together fulfill the multiple responsibilities of family life.

Visitors are allowed 3 free articles per month (without a subscription), and private browsing prevents us from counting how many stories you've read. We hope you understand, and consider subscribing for unlimited online access.

At his labyrinthine laboratory on the Harvard Medical School campus, you can find researchers giving E. Coli a novel genetic code never seen in nature. Around another bend, others are carrying out a plan to use DNA engineering to resurrect the woolly mammoth. His lab, Church likes to say, is the center of a new technological genesis—one in which man rebuilds creation to suit himself.

When I visited the lab last June, Church proposed that I speak to a young postdoctoral scientist named Luhan Yang. A Harvard recruit from Beijing, she’d been a key player in developing a powerful new technology for editing DNA, called CRISPR-Cas9. With Church, Yang had founded a small biotechnology company to engineer the genomes of pigs and cattle, sliding in beneficial genes and editing away bad ones.

Visitors are allowed 3 free articles per month (without a subscription), and private browsing prevents us from counting how many stories you've read. We hope you understand, and consider subscribing for unlimited online access.

At his labyrinthine laboratory on the Harvard Medical School campus, you can find researchers giving E. Coli a novel genetic code never seen in nature. Around another bend, others are carrying out a plan to use DNA engineering to resurrect the woolly mammoth. His lab, Church likes to say, is the center of a new technological genesis—one in which man rebuilds creation to suit himself.

When I visited the lab last June, Church proposed that I speak to a young postdoctoral scientist named Luhan Yang. A Harvard recruit from Beijing, she’d been a key player in developing a powerful new technology for editing DNA, called CRISPR-Cas9. With Church, Yang had founded a small biotechnology company to engineer the genomes of pigs and cattle, sliding in beneficial genes and editing away bad ones.

(Note: We updated this blog post in November 2016. See Present Perfect: Two Uses and Present Perfect Vs. Present Progressive for new charts and tips.)

1. Start by telling your students that there are two uses of the present perfect (most students are not even aware of this). Point out that diagram (A) indicates a finished past action . Diagram (B) shows an action that started in the past, continued to the present, and may continue into the future .

2. Next, focus on the first use of the present perfect (from diagram A). Help your students understand when they can use this finished past action by comparing it to the simple past’s finished past action . Explain that we use the simple past tense when we want to communicate when we did something, as in diagram *C). We use the present perfect tense when we don’t want to indicate the time, either because we don’t know it or it isn’t important, as in diagram (D).

Visitors are allowed 3 free articles per month (without a subscription), and private browsing prevents us from counting how many stories you've read. We hope you understand, and consider subscribing for unlimited online access.

At his labyrinthine laboratory on the Harvard Medical School campus, you can find researchers giving E. Coli a novel genetic code never seen in nature. Around another bend, others are carrying out a plan to use DNA engineering to resurrect the woolly mammoth. His lab, Church likes to say, is the center of a new technological genesis—one in which man rebuilds creation to suit himself.

When I visited the lab last June, Church proposed that I speak to a young postdoctoral scientist named Luhan Yang. A Harvard recruit from Beijing, she’d been a key player in developing a powerful new technology for editing DNA, called CRISPR-Cas9. With Church, Yang had founded a small biotechnology company to engineer the genomes of pigs and cattle, sliding in beneficial genes and editing away bad ones.

(Note: We updated this blog post in November 2016. See Present Perfect: Two Uses and Present Perfect Vs. Present Progressive for new charts and tips.)

1. Start by telling your students that there are two uses of the present perfect (most students are not even aware of this). Point out that diagram (A) indicates a finished past action . Diagram (B) shows an action that started in the past, continued to the present, and may continue into the future .

2. Next, focus on the first use of the present perfect (from diagram A). Help your students understand when they can use this finished past action by comparing it to the simple past’s finished past action . Explain that we use the simple past tense when we want to communicate when we did something, as in diagram *C). We use the present perfect tense when we don’t want to indicate the time, either because we don’t know it or it isn’t important, as in diagram (D).

I realise this is a lofty claim to make, particularly coming from a person who is yet to be published. However, I feel like I have read, and attempted to write, enough of ’em to have cracked ‘The Formula’, the unbeatable equation that will lead inexorably to the creation of the Perfect Children’s Book.

Without any further ado, I’ll begin. If you don’t have your notepad and pen ready yet, that’s not my fault – you had enough warning.

That’s about all I have time for here. Simple, isn’t it? It should be. Writing children’s books takes no effort, after all – just about anyone can knock one out over a weekend, or slap one together if they’ve nothing better to do. It’s amazing we’re not all doing it! I hope you’ll follow these guidelines, and that success will soon be knocking at your door.

The Perfect Children, Cincinnati Soul, Garage Soul, Singer.


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