Monthly Archives: June 2018

The Weekly Text, June 28, 2018

Today is June 28, 2018. Today is the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, nearly 50 years ago. We’ve made real progress in this country in respecting the rights of the LGBTQ community, which is not to say we don’t have more progress to make on civil rights for this and all communities. (By the way, the Stonewall Inn is still right there on Sheridan Square in the West Village. Stop in for a drink some time–it’s a very friendly place whatever your sexual orientation happens to be.) Today is the birthday of an American national treasure, the incomparable Mel Brooks. Born Melvyn Kaminsky right here in New York City, he is ninety years old today.

This week’s Text is a complete lesson plan on the using the interrogative pronoun. I start this lesson with this homophone worksheet on the contraction you’re and the possessive pronoun your. If for some reason (and there are often plenty of reasons for this) the lesson goes into a second day, I like to keep nearby this Cultural Literacy worksheet on plagiarism, which I use with other lessons as well (I find one cannot emphasize the issue of plagiarism enough). The center of this lesson this scaffolded worksheet on using the interrogative pronoun. Finally, here is 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.

Cornice (n)

“Any ornamental molding that completes the part to which it is attached. A cornice is a common architectural member on facades, but applies to a molding at the junction of a wall and ceiling as well. In classical architecture, it is the crowning molding of an entablature.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Reify (v) and Reification (noun)

Over the years, and with several readings of Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe’s Understanding by Design and related books, I have finally managed to din into my own head the importance of teaching students conceptual knowledge that transfers within a domain, and even across domains. I’ve come to think that teachers, whatever their subject and grade level, are in the business of reifying.

Here are two context clues worksheets on the verb reify and the noun reification. They are words, I am increasingly convinced, that students should learn as soon as it is developmentally appropriate. If nothing else, these words will help students understand that there are two basic cognitive categories, the abstract and the concrete. These two words may well help instantiate the difference between concrete and abstract nouns, something I find students with low level of literacy struggle to distinguish–and something that definitely gets in the way of learning on a broader scale.

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.

An Artist of the Floating World

“A novel (1986) by the Japanese-born British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro (b. 1954), about a Japanese artist looking back on his life after the Second World War.

‘The floating world’ is a Japanese euphemism for the entertainment districts of Japanese cities, scenes from which were depicted in the genre titled Ukiyo-e (‘pictures of the floating world’), a type of painting particularly popular during the Tokugawa period (1603-1867) in Japan. Subjects included courtesans, actors, scenes from plays and erotica. A well-known work of fiction from the period is Ukiyo Monogatari (c. 1661; ‘tales of the floating world’) by the Samurai turned novelist Asai Ryoi.”

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

Cultural Literacy: Cosmology

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the word and concept of cosmology. I’ve used this with lesson on the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment.

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.

Rotten Rejections: The Mysterious Affair at Styles

[This refers to the 1920 novel by Agatha Christie]

“It is very interesting and has several good points, but it not quite suitable for our list.”

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

Extricate (v)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the verb extricate, which is definitely a word students ought to know by high school.

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.