Monthly Archives: November 2018

Rotten Rejections: The Silence of History

[The manuscript dismissed below is The Silence of History by James T. Farrell]

“Although these manuscripts are physically a mess, they are also lousy.”

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

Ritzy (adj)

Because it was Merriam-Webster’s word of the day yesterday, here is a context clues worksheet on the adjective ritzy today. While this is adjective is arguably vernacular, it is part of the grain of American English vernacular; ergo, I suppose, there is an argument to be made for teaching it as such, particularly to English Language Learners, for whom a teacher might want to make the connection to the Ritz Hotels.

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.

Mannerism (n)

“Mannerism (noun): An author’s marked or habitual peculiarity of style; characteristically individual locution or stylistic idiosyncrasy; artificiality. Adjective: mannered; manneristic.

‘Much of what struck foreign observers as bizarre in American description was ta new linguistic confusion of present and future, fact and hope. This became a mannerism, or even a mode of American speech. Statements which foreigners took for lies or braggadocio, American speakers intended to be vaguely clairvoyant.’”

Daniel Boorstin, The Americans

Excerpted from: Grambs, David. The Random House Dictionary for Writers and Readers. New York: Random House, 1990.

 

 

The Weekly Text, November 30, 2018: A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on the Stock Market Crash of 1929

This week’s Text is a reading on the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the comprehension worksheet that accompanies it. Please forgive the lack of annotations, etc. I’m nearing the end of a two-month run of almost unremitting demands on my attention as I moved and started a new job. I am, to day the least, depleted.

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.

Jugendstil (n)

“The German term for the style known elsewhere as Art Nouveau. Named after the unofficial organ of the movement in Germany, Jugend, founded in 1896.”

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

Austerity (n) and Austere (adj)

Here are two context clues worksheets on the noun austerity and the adjective austere. I’m hard-pressed to imagine why high school students, especially seniors, whether college-bound or not, shouldn’t know these words. They will, I expect, be very much in the news in the not-too-distant future.

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.

The Algonquin Wits: Heywood Broun

[Said of one fence-straddling radio commentator]

“His mind is so open that the wind whistles through it.”

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

Word Root Exercise: Ep-, Epi-

If you can use it, here is a worksheet on the Greek roots ep- and epi-. This one is complicated and requires a bit of interpretation, but the basic meanings of these two roots is on, upon, outside, over, among, at, after, and to. As you’ll see from the worksheet itself, this root forms the basis of many commonly used English words like epicenter and epilogue; you’ll also find it in epilepsy and episode. This is one of the most difficult roots to connect to students’ own experience and to find the connecting tissue between these words. I don’t use this much, particularly not with struggling and emergent readers.

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 Decameron

“A collection of 100 tales by the Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-75), completed in c.1353. Many of the tales were old at this time, and many later writers–including Chaucer and Shakespeare–borrowed stories from the collection. In the framework story, seven ladies and three gentlemen escape from Florence when the Black Death arrives in 1348, and spend their time each telling one tale per day for ten days (Decameron comes from the Greek deka, ‘ten’, and hemera, ‘day’). (There is comparable framework story in The Canterbury Tales.) A film version (1971) by Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-75) concentrates on some of the earthier tales. A similar collection to Boccaccio’s entitled The Heptameron (1558) was ascribed to Margaret of Angouleme (1492-1549), queen of Navarre. The tales are said to have been related in seven days (Greek hepta, ‘seven’).”

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

Independent Practice: Johannes Kepler

If you teach social studies, or just want to induce a student interested in science to read something, this independent practice worksheet on Johannes Kepler might serve everyone well.

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.