Category Archives: English Language Arts

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

The Death of Artemio Cruz

“(La muerte de Artemio Cruz, 1962; tr 1964) A novel by Carlos Fuentes. Fuentes takes a deep plunge into the dying body and the sharply aware conscience of Artemio Cruz, a political boss of contemporary Mexico. As Cruz’s entire life passes before him, his personality unfolds into an adversary I/Thou relationship. A third voice sets the events recalled by the accusatory “Thou” and the defensive “I” into objective historical frames. The story of the agonizing Cruz amounts to a tale of survival by betrayal of friends, ideals, and country. When the accusatory voice forces Cruz into shame for his cynicism and immorality, his ego protests that at least he survives, while all the idealists are dead. The power of the story itself is heightened by the brilliant use of stream of consciousness technique, which provides a multileveled depiction of life in Mexico during and after the revolution of 1910.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

Word Root Exercise: Equ/Equi

It’s 51 degrees at 5:10 this morning in The Bronx, This is the first weather approximating autumn this year. On Wednesday, it was 80 degrees here. Weird.

Here is a worksheet on the Latin word roots equ and equi. As you no doubt recognize, as, let’s hope, your student do as well, these two roots simply mean equal.

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.

El Cristo de espaldas

“(1952) A novel by Eduardo Caballero Calderon (1910-1993). Written in a realistic, documentary style, this is the story of a young man suspected of political parricide during Colombia’s civil wars (1948-1958). In a parallel development, a young priest, who has remained neutral in the war, learns the identity of the real murderer in confession. His vow of silence renders him an outcast of the town and of the church. The bishop deprives him of his parish in the belief that “Christ has turned his back” on the priest, but the priest understands that it is men who have turned on Christ.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

Word Root Exercise: Ante

Here is a worksheet on the Latin word root ante. It means before and shows up in the Spanish conjunction, preposition and adverb antes de (again, before).

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.

Francisco de Goya

Somewhere in the shuffle of documents for posts in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month 2018 (and those for 2016 and 2017 as well) l misplaced this reading on Francisco de Goya and the comprehension worksheet that complements it. He’s a key late-Enlightenment figure, and this reading has some key points on art history.

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.

Hypothesize (vi/vt)

OK, here on a insufferably muggy October afternoon in The Bronx is a context clues worksheet on the verb hypothesize. Used intransitively, this verb means to make a hypothesis; transitively, it means to adopt as a hypothesis.

Small wonder English language learners puzzle over this language.

If you find typos in these 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.

Hallmark (n)

This context clues worksheet on the noun hallmark was one of the first of these exercises I composed. Student in a freshman global studies class I was co-teaching were reading about river valley civilizations, and the locution “hallmark of civilization” recurred in the textbook we were using. Finally, one plucky ninth-grader stood up and said “We have a Hallmark store in my neighborhood.”

So I knew I needed this worksheet.

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.