Word Root Exercise: -mancy

I’ve struggled with this worksheet on the Greek Word root –mancy for a variety of reasons, but mainly because it means divination which Merriam-Webster defines as the art or practice that seeks to foresee or foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge usually by the interpretation of omens or by the aid of supernatural powers. I’ve used this worksheet in the classroom, mainly to assess students’ ability to recognize the pattern in the definitions, which all include the word divination front and center.

However, that hasn’t done much to help students understand the larger meaning of these four words. I’ve added some context clues sentences to the worksheet to guide students toward the meaning of divination, rather than just telling them the definition, which I don’t like to do–students themselves need to use the word to master its meaning.

I realize that these aren’t some of the most commonly used words in the English language (although if one studies intellectual and/or religious history, as I did as an undergraduate, the word necromancy comes up more often than you’d imagine it would). That said, these are abstract words, and many of the students I serve need assistance in understanding abstract concepts and the words that represent them. This worksheet might be best thought of as a useful intellectual exercise in vocabulary building for struggling students–using words that students may never use themselves.

Needless to say, I hope, I don’t necessarily consider this some of my best work. If you were ever inclined to comment on something you take away from Mark’s Text Terminal, I entreat you for your assessment of this–in my opinion, on this date–dubious worksheet.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

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