This week’s Text is four context clues worksheets to teach a family of words related to the noun constitution. I use the indefinite article to modify family because all of these words–I’ve included four here, constituent, two uses of constitute as a verb, and constitution–are polysemous and their use can become relatively complicated. Daniel Willingham, in the latest of his books I’ve read (to wit, The Reading Mind), has observed that really to build vocabulary, it is almost certainly best to teach a word across the range of its morphology and usage. These four worksheets are a start in that direction, but they could easily be elaborated on and, arguably improved.
In any case, the four words presented in these worksheets, in order, are as follows (definitions come from Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition: constituent defined in the sense of “one who authorizes another to act as agent;’ constitute in the first sense (i.e. in Worksheet 1) used as a verb as in “set up, establish: as a: enact b: found c (1): to give due or lawful form to (2): to legally process;” constitute in the second sense (i.e. in Worksheet 2) use as a verb as in “make up, form, compose;” and, finally, constitution used as a noun as in “a: the basic principles and laws of a nation, state, or social group that determine the powers and duties of the government and guarantee certain rights to the people in it; b: a written instrument embodying the rules of a political or social organization.”
And that is it for this week. I hope you are enjoying the summer.
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.