Monthly Archives: April 2021

Rotten Reviews: The Wapshot Scandal

Fatally flawed.

Hilary Corke, New Republic

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

Skyscrapers

Here is a reading on skyscrapers along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet

If memory serves, I wrote this, along with some other materials, for a student who possessed a considerable interest, bordering on obsession, with tall buildings. Like most of the materials based on Intellectual Devotional readings you’ll find on this site, this is a short but thorough general introduction to the topic. Keep an eye on it, though: this is one of those articles in which information can quickly go out of date. Indeed, I have revised this reading a couple of times as buildings get taller and taller.

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.

Allegory

Allegory: A series of symbols existing harmoniously in a larger system of meaning. While a symbol most often takes the place of a letter, word, or image, such as the cross as a symbol of Christianity, allegory takes symbolism one step further by using images and/or stories to stand in for other ideas or abstract concepts. Picasso’s Guernica, rooted in events from the Spanish Civil War, works as an allegory for total war. (Disputed symbols include the wounded horse and the bull, representing Republican Spain and fascism, respectively.) From the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s, the primacy of abstract art made the use of allegory seem out of date. But with the advent of postmodernism and a return to figurative and narrative works, allegory has again flourished. Modernists Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst, and Jose Clemente Orozco make use of allegory, as do postmodernists Anselm Kiefer and Francisco Clemente.

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

Fathom (vi/vt)

Alright, here is a context clues worksheet on the verb fathom, which is used both intransitively and transitively.

Inasmuch as this can mean “to penetrate and come to understand,” it is a learning word students probably ought to know and be able to use.

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.

Term of Art: Apposition

“Apposition: A syntactic relation in which an element is juxtaposed to another element of the same kind. Especially between noun phrases that do not have distinct referents: e.g. Lucienne is in apposition to my wife in Do you know my wife Lucienne? Thence of other cases where elements are seen as parallel but do not have distinct roles in a larger construction: e.g. Smith is said to be apposed to Captain in Do you know Captain Smith?”

Excerpted from: Matthews, P.H., ed. The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Linguistics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

The Weekly Text, April 9, 2021: A Lesson Plan on Using the Indefinite Pronoun

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on using the indefinite pronouns.

I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the proverb “any port in a storm.” In the event the lesson continues into a second day, I keep this Everyday Edit (and if you like these, the good people at Education World give away a year’s worth of them) worksheet on Duke Ellington handy. This scaffolded worksheet on using the indefinite pronouns is the mainstay of the lessons. Here is a learning support on subject-verb agreement when working with the indefinite pronouns that students can both use with the work of this lesson and carry away for future reference. And, finally, here is the teacher’s copy of the worksheet to make delivering this lesson a little bit easier.

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.

Book of Answers: Dante’s Inferno

“According to Dante’s Inferno (1321), who is at the bottom of hell? In the lowest circle of hell, the place for traitors, a three-faced Satan chews on three people: Brutus and Cassius, betrayers of Julius Caesar, and Judas Iscariot, betrayer of Jesus Christ.”

Excerpted from: Corey, Melinda, and George Ochoa. Literature: The New York Public Library Book of Answers. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.

Cultural Literacy: All Roads Lead to Rome

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the proverb “all roads lead to Rome.” This is a half-page document suitable for use, as I generally use these shorter exercises, to open a class period as a do-now worksheet.

And, of course, you may teach this proverb as either metaphorical or literal: in the ancient world, all roads did, in fact, lead to Rome.

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.

Write It Right: Brainy

“Brainy. Pure slang, and singularly disagreeable.”

Excerpted from: Bierce, Ambrose. Write it Right: A Little Blacklist of Literary Faults. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2010.

Common Errors in English Usage: Raise (vi/vt), Rear (vi/vt)

Here is an English usage worksheet on on the use of raise and rear to describe the parental responsibilities owed to children.

N.B. that there are no sentences to evaluate on this document. Rather, this worksheet is designed to start and simulate among students the kind of conversations writers and other professionals (and therefore presumably advanced for high school students) conduct when discussing usage rules. Therefore, I hope, this worksheet will stimulate thinking in students about how to use language to produce the clearest communication possible.

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.