Category Archives: English Language Arts

Worksheets, short exercises, learning supports, readings and other materials related to the English Language Arts curriculum.

The Weekly Text, August 16, 2019

Over the years, I have become more an more concerned with the trouble polysemous words have caused the students under my instruction. English is such a wild mutt of a language that it’s not difficult in the least to see why it causes its learners such problems. In some cases, one needs the skills of a linguist to decode dense strands of polysemy.

While not one of the most difficult words in English, success does morph its definition as it morphs into different parts of speech. Students I have served in the past generally have trouble with sequencing and chronologies, so the idea of succession does not come easily to them. This makes understanding of the chronology, structure, and sequence of say, a royal dynasty, difficult to convey in social studies classes.

I wrote this suite of five context clues worksheets on succeed (verb), success (noun), succession (noun), successive (adjective), and successor (noun) in an attempt to help students get a grasp of this family of words. These worksheets might be best presented in one lesson–I don’t know. I’ve tended to place them with units where the words are used, but I am not at all confident that students made the associations between them necessary to understand them.

So I would be particularly interested in hearing how you used them, if you did.

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.

Bill Moyers on News

“News is what people want to keep hidden; everything else is publicity.”

Bill Moyers

Excerpted from: Winokur, Jon, ed. The Big Curmudgeon. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal, 2007.

 

Word Root Exercise: Phil/o, Phile

It’s an extremely productive root in English, so this worksheet on the Greek word roots phil/o and phile might benefit students across a fairly wide band of ability and understanding to build their vocabularies. They mean love, attracted to, affinity for, and a natural liking.

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.

Menarche and Menstrual Cycle

Okay, health teachers, perhaps you need a pair of readings on women’s reproductive health.

First, here is a reading on menarche and the vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet that attends it.

Second, here is a quite short reading on the menstrual cycle and its attendant vocabulary-building and comprehension 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.

Crime and Puzzlement: Music Hath Charms

The statistics in the back end of this website report that there is interest among the blog’s users in the various Crime and Puzzlement lessons I have published here. My own experience using these has been quite successful, as the students with whom I have used them have actually asked to do more of them. Not to put too fine a point on this, but I don’t in general serve students who make it a habit to ask for additional work.

So, here is a lesson plan on “Music Hath Charms,” yet another Crime and Puzzlement case. I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the American idiom “Life of Riley.” Here’s the evidentiary illustration and text that is the centerpiece of the lesson. Finally, you’ll need this typescript of the answer key and explanations of evidence to assist students in solving the case.

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.

Plaintive (adj)

It was Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day on Monday, so here is a context clues worksheet on the adjective plaintive. I couldn’t decide whether or not it warranted a worksheet. Fortunately, my good friend Karen pointed out that it’s a word that describes a concept few other words do, so perhaps it is a word students ought to know before they graduate high school.

In any case, there it is.

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.

Word Root Exercise: Penta, Pent

Alright, I’m wrapping up on a beautiful summer morning in Western New England. Here is a worksheet on the Greek word roots penta and pent. They mean, of course, five.

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.