Category Archives: English Language Arts

This category contains domain-specific material–reading and writing expository prose, interpreting literature etc.–designed to meet the Common Core standards in English language arts while at the same time being flexible enough to meet the needs of diverse and idiosyncratic learners.

Clive James on Bertolt Brecht

“I have nothing against Brecht in his place, which is East Germany.”

Clive James

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

Common English Verbs Followed by Gerunds: Recall

Here is a worksheet on the verb recall when used with a gerund. I recall thinking several times while developing this material that it was a fool’s errand.

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: Teacher-Centered Instruction

“teacher-centered instruction: A pedagogical approach in which the teacher decides what and how to teach. See also teacher-directed classroom. Contrast child-centered education; learner-centered classroom.”

Excerpted from: Ravitch, Diane. EdSpeak: A Glossary of Education Terms, Phrases, Buzzwords, and Jargon. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2007.

Static Electricity

Some years ago, I worked with a student who lived on one of those apartments where every time he touched something or someone, he received a mild electric shock. He didn’t much like this, and wanted to find a way to stop it. I don’t know if this reading on static electricity and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet, which I prepared for him, helped with reducing shocks, but he was quite interested in the subject.

Otherwise, I am not sure why this document exists or what possible utility it might have. If you use it, I sure would appreciated hearing how and why.

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.

Intrado

“Intrados: Inner surface of an arch.”

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

Cultural Literacy: Battle of Hastings

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Battle of Hastings in 1066. This is a half-page worksheet with a three-sentence reading and three comprehension questions. In other words, a concise introduction to what is a seminal event in the history of Western Europe (and the basis for the hilarious 1066 and All That by W.C. Sellar and R.J. Yeatman).

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.

Canard

“Canard (noun): A groundless and hence false report, especially one deliberately fabricated and spread; specious anecdote; rumor or hoax.”

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

Impunity (n)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the noun impunity. It means, of course, “exemption or freedom from punishment, harm, or loss,” and Merriam-Webster offers this usage tip: “<laws were flouted with ~>.”

Yes, yes they were. Now, let’s get to the bottom of this business and start prosecuting miscreants.

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: Dorothy Parker, Famously, on Katherine Hepburn

Mrs. Parker once said of a Katherine Hepburn performance: ‘She ran the gamut of emotions from A to B.’”

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

The Weekly Text, 19 August 2022: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “Idora Park”

It’s Friday again, so that means it’s time for the Weekly Text: here is a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “Idora Park.” This lesson opens with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on nuance: it’s half-page document with a single-sentence reading and three comprehension questions, one of which calls upon students to think of some nuances.

To investigate whatever unlawful act occurred at Idora Park, you’ll need this PDF of the illustration and questions that serve as evidence against the alleged perpetrator. To bring charges and secure a conviction, you’ll need this typescript of the answer key.

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.