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.

Common English Verbs Followed by Gerunds: Discontinue

If you can use it (I still don’t know if I can), here is a worksheet on the verb discontinue in its use with a gerund. I wonder if I should have discontinued writing this particular series of documents.

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.

Oswald Spengler

“Oswald Spengler: (1880-1936) German philosopher. A schoolmaster before he turned to writing, Spengler is remembered for his influential The Decline of the West (2 volumes, 1918-22), a study in the philosophy of history. He contended that civilizations pass through a life cycle, blossoming and decaying like natural organisms, and that Western culture is irreversibly past its creative stage and headed into eclipse. Though acclaimed by a public disillusioned in the wake of World War I, his work was criticized by both professional scholars and the Nazi party, despite some affinities with its dogma.”

Excerpted/Adapted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Archimedes

Here is a reading on Archimedes along with its vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

Is there anything more I need to say about this polymath from Syracuse? He gave us the lever, and shouted “Eureka” (Greek for “I have found it”) when he solved the problem of the Golden Crown.

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.

Synonym

“Synonym: (Greek ‘together name’): A word similar in meaning to another. It is rare to find an exact synonymous meaning, It is usually a matter of ‘shades’ of meaning, as in: insane, mad, demented, daft, loopy, psychotic, barpoo, crazy, nutty, maghnoon, off one’s coconut, etc. See ANTONYM.”

Excerpted from: Cuddon, J.A. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. New York: Penguin, 1992.

Cogent (adj)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the adjective cogent. It’s not a word one hears much, which is too bad as it is a solid, useful word which means “appealing forcibly to the mind or reason,” “convincing,” “pertinent,” and  “relevant.” Merriam-Webster also makes a point of emphasizing the synonym “valid” for cogent.

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.

56 Pillars

“In prehistoric Britain, fifty-six stone pillars stood in the outer circle of Stonehenge. In more recent times, the National War Memorial in Washington, erected after World War II, commemorates the dead with fifty-six pillars (also the number of signatures on the 1776 Declaration of Independence of the thirteen states). And in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the People’s Republic, fifty-six towering red columns were erected to represent the ‘equal, united and harmonious’ ethnic groups of China.”

Excerpted from: Rogerson, Barnaby. Rogerson’s Book of Numbers: The Culture of Numbers–from 1,001 Nights to the Seven Wonders of the World. New York: Picador, 2013.

Cultural Literacy: Fractal

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the fractal as a concept of mathematics, which turns out to be something different than I thought it was. I’d confused the basic concept of fractals with a Mandelbrot set, which is a type of fractal–but not the only one, apparently.

In any case, this is a full-page worksheet with a four-sentence reading and five comprehension questions.

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.

Suetonious

Suetonious: Latin Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (AD 69?—after 122) Roman biographer and antiquarian. Suetonius’ family was of the knightly class. His writings include De viris illustribus (“Concerning Illustrious Men”), short biographies of literary figures what were the ultimate source of nearly all that is known about the lives of eminent Roman authors. Lives of the Caesars, his other major work, is seasoned with bits of gossip and scandal related to the first 11 emperors; it is largely responsible for the vivid picture of Roman society and its decadent leaders that dominated historical thought until modified in modern times by the discovery of nonliterary evidence.

Excerpted/Adapted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Common English Verbs Followed by Gerunds: Detest

Finally this morning, here is a worksheet on the use of the verb detest when it is used with a gerund. I detest listening to gasbags on the radio.

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: Touchstone Text

“touchstone text: A book or article that serves as a model for writing assignments.”

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