Category Archives: English Language Arts

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

Artificial Sweeteners

OK, to wrap up on this cool, autumnal morning in southwestern Vermont, here is a reading on artificial sweeteners and the vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet that accompanies it.

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 Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

“A cult radio serial by Douglas Adams (1952-2001), broadcast in 1978 and 1979. The story begins with the imminent destruction of Earth to make way for a hyperspace express route, and the escape of Earthling Arthur Dent and his exterrestrial friend Ford Prefect by hitching a ride on a Vogon spacecraft. The programme combined the comic with the surreal and introduced a host of eccentric characters. In 1981 the serial was adapted for television. The fictional book mentioned in the title gives handy tips to space travellers, and is frequently quoted; its verdict on the Earth is ‘mostly harmless.’ It transpires that the Earth was originally constructed to solve the question of Life, the Universe, and Everything, to which the answer turns out to be 42.

Adams went on to adapt and extend the idea in book form, characteristically producing a “trilogy in five parts’: A Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979), The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980), Life, the Universe and Everything (1982), So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (1984), and Mostly Harmless (1992).”

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

Outlandish (adjective)

OK, moving right along, here is a context clues worksheet on the adjective outlandish.  This word is in common enough use in the vernacular that students should probably know it.

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.

Word Root Exercise: Gyn/o, Gyne, and Gynec/o

OK, let’s begin the week with this worksheet on the Greek roots gyn/o, gyne, and gynec/o. If you know the words gynecologist (or perhaps an even more timely word, misogynist), then you know that these roots mean “woman” and “female.”

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.

Ignacio Manuel Altamirano

Ignacio Manuel Altamirano: (1834-1893) Mexican novelist and poet. A full-blooded Indian, Altamirano was an adherent of Benito Juarez and fought against the French intervention in Mexico. In 1869, he founded Renacimiento, a review to encourage literary activity, almost moribund after fifteen years of turbulence. He became the mentor of the younger generation, to whom he advocated the importance of creating a literature rooted in national life. His poetry consists of a single volume of Rimas (1880), written before 1867 and notable for its description of the Mexican landscape. Altamirano’s preoccupation with purely Mexican themes and customs is also evident in the prose works for which he is best known: Clemencia (1869), a love story set against the background of the French intervention; La navidad en las montanas (1870), a novelette; and El Zarco (1901), a novel dealing with bandits in the state of Morelos.”

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

The Weekly Text, October 18, 2019

This week’s Text, in the ongoing observation of Hispanic Heritage Month 2019 at Mark’s Text Terminal, is a reading on Pueblo Civilization and the vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet that accompanies it.

As I am wont to do, I debated with myself the relevance of Pueblo Civilization to Hispanic Heritage. I’m confident that these first nation peoples were part of the same ethnic group as the Mayans–who of course became a subject population to the Spanish Empire. In any case, if anyone with the bona fides to do so could weigh in on this, I would of course be grateful.

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.

Orthography (n)

It’s probably not an essential word for high school students, but here, nonetheless, is a context clues worksheet on the noun orthography if you can use it.

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.