Monthly Archives: June 2018

The Weekly Text, June 28, 2018: A Lesson Plan on Using the Interrogative Pronoun

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.

The Algonquin Wits: Heywood Broun on Gasbags

At a newsmen’s banquet President Harding appeared as guest speaker and delivered what struck Broun as the epitome of cliche-ridden ghost-written addresses. After a brief moment of respectful applause, Broun rose from his chair and cried ‘Author! Author!'”

Excerpted from: Drennan, Robert E., ed. The Algonquin Wits. New York: Kensington, 1985.

A Learning Support for Three Commonly Misused Homophones

Several years ago, when I had just started dealing with the problem of homophone confusion among the students I serve, I whipped up this basic learning support on three of the most commonly misused homophones, to wit, two, too and to; your and you’re; and there their, and they’re. I need to emphasize the modifier basic here, because this is about as basic as it gets. Over time I will post more sophisticated versions of this.

In fact, I almost just tossed this. But since I have 13 GB of storage on this website, and only a little over 2 GB of accumulated material (which is nonetheless about 14,000 documents), I figure I can afford to duplicate a few things, and place a few things that haven’t exactly reached the peak of their development. In fact, that’s exactly what you have here.

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.

Deus ex Machina

(Latin ‘god out of the machine’) In Greek drama a god was lowered out onto the stage by a mechane so that he could get the hero out of difficulties and untangle the plot. Euripides used it a good deal. Sophocles and Aeschylus avoided it. Bertolt Brecht parodied the abuse of the device at the end of his Threepenny Opera. Today this phrase is applied to any unanticipated intervener who resolves a difficult situation, in any literary genre.”

Excerpted from: Cuddon, J.A. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. New York: Penguin, 1992.