Category Archives: Independent Practice

This is material either specifically designed for or appropriate to use for what is more commonly known as “homework.”

The Weekly Text, July 30, 2021: A Lesson Plan on the Reflexive and Intensive Pronoun

This week’s text is a lesson plan on the reflexive and intensive pronouns–i.e. myself, yourself, herself, himself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, and themselves–and their use in declarative sentences and expository prose.

I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the bibliography and its function in scholarly writing. In the event the lesson goes into a second day due to whatever classroom exigencies you encounter, you might want to use this Everyday Edit worksheet on Miranda rights (“You have the right to remain silent…” etc.) that the United States Constitution guarantees people when they are arrested. (Incidentally if you like Everyday Edit worksheets, don’t forget that the good people at Education World offer a year’s supply of them at no charge.)

Here is a learning support on reflexive and intensive pronouns that I distribute with this scaffolded worksheet that is the primary work of this lesson. Finally, here is the teacher’s copy of the worksheet that eases delivery of this material.

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: Bi, Bin

Here is a worksheet on the Latin word roots bi and bin. They mean two and twice. But you already know that, and your students probably will before long as they work their way through this material.

Of course these are extremely productive roots in English, and this worksheet includes many of the most frequently used words containing bi or bin, to wit: biannual, bicameral (a useful social studies word), bilingual, bicycle, and bifocal.

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.

Cultural Literacy: Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the proverb “every cloud has a silver lining.” This is a half-page worksheet with the barest of reading, one simple sentence, and three questions.

Two of the questions (namely two and three) ask students to apply their understanding of this expression by identifying an instance in their own life in which a cloud had a silver lining–or, as the reading as it, “Every misfortune has its positive aspect.” Then students are asked to compose a simple declarative sentence that includes this proverb.

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.

J. Edgar Hoover

Here is a reading on J. Edgar Hoover along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. From the Intellectual Devotional series, this is a good general introduction to Hoover’s biography.

Any “good” biography of J. Edgar Hoover must by definition include his subversion of democracy, via COINTELPRO, during his reign as FBI Director. Hoover was a nasty piece of work, and he’s just the kind of villain that students find fascinating; he’s also a good figure with which to begin a critical examination of United States history in the twentieth century, including the Civil Rights Movement and the anti-Vietnam War upheavals. It’s an established fact that COINTELPRO monitored Malcolm X closely; his daughters, earlier this year, released a letter from the late New York City Police officer Raymond Wood in which Detective Wood confessed to participating with the FBI in the conspiracy to murder Malcolm. Netflix has done an admirable job of exposing this with the excellent documentary series Who Killed Malcolm X? I found it riveting.

In other words, these two documents are a gateway to some juicy, engaging stuff. I can already think of two students of mine who would have engaged deeply in a unit around these circumstances and events.

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.

A Learning Support on Writing the Compound Sentence with a Semicolon and No Conjunction

Here is a learning support on writing the compound sentence with a semicolon and no conjunction. This is a full page of text, but like everything else here, you can do with it as you wish: it is formatted in Microsoft Word.

I have a lesson plan in the works on this piece of procedural knowledge, so check back if this is something you want your students to be able to do.

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.

Cultural Literacy: Ego

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the concept of ego. This is a half-page worksheet; the reading is three sentences, though two of them are longish compounds, and there are three comprehension questions.

This is a concept students should understand. The virtue of the reading in this document is that it situates the ego in Freud’s structural theory of mind, (without, interestingly, ever mentioning Sigmund Freud himself) so students will also learn about the id and the superego. This is a good general introduction to this subject. That said, there is clearly room to expand this document (easy for you to accomplish, since like everything on Mark’s Text Terminal, this is a Microsoft Word document) for further exploration or exposition of psychoanalytic theory. If I were to expand this in any way, I would make sure students walked away with a basic understanding of Freud’s biography and his ideas about the psyche.

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: Apo-

OK, last but not least on this summer afternoon, here is a worksheet on the Greek word root apo. It means away, from, off, and separate.

I don’t know if I’ve ever used this document in the classroom, which isn’t surprising, since I have hundreds of these worksheets. I tend to use the most productive roots, with words that students must use to navigate the secondary common branch curricula, in my weekly instructional period dedicated to word roots and vocabulary. Still, you’ll find this root at the basis of apogee, apology, apostle, and apostrophe among other relatively high frequency words in English, so it might be worth asking students to take a look at it. I think I would be inclined to modify it into a shorter, simpler pattern recognition exercise. Because this is a Microsoft Word document, you too can manipulate it to your purposes.

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.

Containment

Here is a reading on the United States’ policy of containment along with its accompanying vocabulary-buidling and comprehension worksheet.

This is a good general introduction to this piece of United States foreign policy toward the Soviet Union after World War II. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is the best short introduction to the topic I’ve seen, presenting the biographies and motivations of the key players, to wit, George F. Kennan and President Harry Truman, as well as a quick analysis of the policy itself.

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.

Common Errors in English Usage: Every (adj)

Here is a worksheet on the use of every, which is an adjective, but which readily joins with words like body and one to give us nouns like everybody and everyone. These are singular nouns, so they take singular verb forms. That’s the gist of this worksheet–but there is a small excursus on the use of their with these nouns in the interest of avoiding gendered pronouns, and therefore sexism in language.

The worksheet consists of 10 modified cloze exercises, which you may modify further, as this is an open source document formatted in Microsoft Word. Which, like all of the documents under the header of Common Errors in English Usage, are informed by Paul Brians’ excellent book of the same name, which he has posted on the Washington State University website

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.

Cultural Literacy: Fiscal Year

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the fiscal year in both concept and practice. It’s a half-page worksheet with a reading of two sentences and three questions.

In other words, it’s a short, basic, but effective general introduction to the fiscal year. I wrote this because I worked in a economics-and-finance-themed high school in Lower Manhattan. But the truth of the matter is that I don’t think I ever had a need to use it. Maybe you will.

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.