Category Archives: Independent Practice

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

Cultural Literacy: Straw Man

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the concept of a straw man in argumentation. This is a half-page worksheet with a two-sentence reading (the second of them a long compound) and two comprehension questions. This is a cogent introduction to the topic of the straw man. However, it presupposes an prior understanding of argumentation (and its rules) that some students may not possess. But in our current discursive culture, understanding the straw man, a favorite tool of demagogues, strikes me as vital for the development of critical awareness in students.

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: Progressive Education

Should you be using progressive methods in your teaching practice, you might find this Cultural Literacy worksheet on progressive education useful. If nothing else, it will help your students understand the way their class operates.

This is a full-page worksheet with a six-sentence (a full paragraph) reading and six comprehension questions. Once again, the editors of The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy have done an admirable job of summarizing a series of concepts, complicated when taken together, into a short but thoroughly informative reading.

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: Lex

Here is a worksheet on the Latin word root lex. It means “word,” “law,” and “reading.” This is a very productive root in English–n.b. that it morphs to leg for most legal terms–and yields a number of academic words, many of which you already know, like lexicon, lexical, and, of course, dyslexia. This root, when it morphs, gives us high-frequency words such as legal and illegal.

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.

Spanish Civil War

Here is a reading on the Spanish Civil War along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. While the reading does mention that this conflict became a “cause celebre among communists and left-leaning Western intellectuals,” it does not mention the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, an oversight in my estimation. This lapse, if you too think it one, can be remedied with this material from the Zinn Education Project.

Incidentally, The Brigade’s members were dismissed as “premature antifascists” in their time. In ours, I suppose, they would be ridiculed as the “woke left” by the halfwits on Fox News. They were right then and remain so about the menace of fascism.

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 Weekly Text, 14 January 2022: A Lesson Plan on the Compound Preposition

This week’s Text is this lesson plan on using compound prepositions.

I open this lesson with this Everyday Edit worksheet on Eleanor Roosevelt; if this lesson goes into a second day, here is another on time zones. Incidentally, if you and your students find these Everyday Edit worksheet edifying (and therefore rewarding), the good people at Education World generously distribute a yearlong supply of them at no charge.

Here is the scaffolded worksheet that is the principal work of this lesson. And, at last, here is the teacher’s copy of same.

And that is it for another week.

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 Weekly Text, 7 January 2022: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “Trick or Treat”

Happy New Year!

The first Weekly Text of 2022 on Mark’s Text Terminal is this lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “Trick or Treat.” I open this lesson with this half-page (with a two-sentence reading and three comprehension questions) Cultural Literacy worksheet on the concept of a “lunatic fringe” in politics, timely material in 2022 wherever you happen to be in the world, I submit.

To conduct your investigation of the heinous crime committed and documented in the pages of this lesson, you’ll need this PDF of the evidentiary illustration and questions that form the center of this case. Finally, here is the typescript of the answer key that will aid you in making an arrest and closing this case.

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 Gray Areas in Comma Use

Last but not least, here is a learning support on gray areas in comma use. This is the fifteenth of fifteen posts carrying learning supports–presented seriatim in the order, sorted by major subheadings, from the punctuation manual from which they are excerpted. If you click here, you will end up back at the first posted support, titled “An Introductory Learning Support on Using the Comma.” From there, you scroll up to find them in order. Each post indicates which is which in the sequence.

If you want it, here is the table of contents for all fifteen of the learning supports in this chain.

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 Comma Placement Relative to Other Punctuation

Here is a learning support on comma placement relative to other punctuation. This is the fourteenth of fifteenth learning supports, presented seriatim as they were presented in the punctuation manual from which they were excerpted. (You can find an excursus on this choice of publishing practice here.)

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: Tip of the Iceberg

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the idiom “tip of the iceberg.” This metaphor remains in sufficiently common use, I think, that students, especially students for whom English is a second language, might want to learn it at some point. This is a half-page worksheet with a reading of two compound sentences and three comprehension questions. With characteristic brevity, the authors of the passaage (i.e., the authors and editors of the The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy) convey that this idiom indicates “Only a hint or suggestion of a much larger or more complex issue or problem.”

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 Using a Comma with Specific Words or Names

To finish up for today, here is a learning support on using a comma with specific words or terms. This is the thirteenth of fifteen such posts. (You can find an excursus on this choice of publishing practice here.)

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.