Monthly Archives: January 2018

Santayana on America

“America is the greatest of opportunities and the worst of influences.”

George Santayana

Excerpted from: Winokur, Jon, ed. The Portable Curmudgeon. New York: Plume, 1992.

Word Root Exercise: Hepat/o

Here is a short worksheet on the Greek word root hepat/o. It means liver.

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.

Addison on Intellectual Humility

“The utmost extent of man’s knowledge is to know that he knows nothing.”

Joseph Addison, Essay on Pride (1794)

Excerpted from: Howe, Randy, ed. The Quotable Teacher. Guilford, CT: The Lyons Press, 2003.

Squalor (n), Squalid (adj)

It’s Regents testing week here in New York City, so I am on a “C” schedule; I’m not required at work until almost noon. If I could work a schedule like this all the time, I would be a perpetually happy camper.

Here are two context clues worksheets on the noun squalor and the adjective squalid.

If you find typos in these documents, 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.

Brewer’s Curious Titles: All Quiet on the Western Front

“(German title Im Westen nichts neves). A novel (1929) of the First War by the German writer Erich Maria Remarque (1898-1970). Brutally realistic, and written in the first person, it is prefaced by a statement:

‘This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure for those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have accepted its shells, were destroyed by the war.’

In 1933 the book was publicly burned by the Nazis as being ‘defeatist,’ and Remarque was deprived of his citizenship. The title is ironic. It refers to the fact that a whole generation of his countrymen was destroyed while newspapers reported that there was ‘no news from the west.’ The film version (1930), directed by Lewis Milestone, was a landmark of American cinema.

The title, together with that of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (1934), is played on in All Quiet on the Orient Express, a novel (1999) by Magnus Mills (b. 1954) about a man who doesn’t take a train to India.”

Excerpted from: Crofton, Ian, ed. Brewer’s Curious Titles. London: Cassell, 2002.

The Weekly Text, January 19, 2018

OK, it’s Friday again, and like everybody else, I guess, I anticipate the weekend with relief.

This week’s Text is a complete lesson plan on using coordinating conjunctions. I begin this lesson with this homophone worksheet on the the noun council and counsel used as both noun and a verb. If this lesson runs into a second day (I always plan for a variety of contingencies in a class period), here is–courtesy of the generous folks at Education World, where you can get a year-long supply of these exercises–an Everyday Edit exercise on Banned Books Week. The mainstay of this lesson is this scaffolded worksheet that guides students through the use of coordinating conjunctions. Finally, you’ll probably find helpful the teacher’s copy of the worksheet.

If you find typos in these documents, 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.

Rotten Rejections: Northanger Abbey

“We are willing to return the manuscript for the same (advance) as we paid for it.”

Excerpted from: Barnard, Andre, and Bill Henderson, eds. Pushcart’s Complete Rotten Reviews and Rejections. Wainscott, NY: Pushcart Press, 1998.