Category Archives: The Weekly Text

The Weekly Text from Mark’s Text Terminal is where one finds manipulable (because they are in Microsoft Word format) curricular materials for use withs struggling learners.

The Weekly Text, August 9, 2018

Today is August 9. On this day in 1945, three days after the atomic bomb fell on Hiroshima, a plutonium bomb called Fat Man was dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki. In 1974, while I was away at the Philmont Boy Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico, Richard Nixon, engulfed in the Watergate scandal, resigned the presidency. Today is Singapore’s National Day, which celebrates that nation’s independence from Malaysia, which it achieved in 1956.

This week’s Text is four parsing sentences worksheet for nouns. These are pretty simple literacy exercises designed to get students reading and understanding the structure of basic declarative sentences by analyzing the parts of speech in them.

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, July 27, 2018

Today is July 27. On this day in 1953, United States and North Korean delegates signed the Korean Armistice Agreement, which ended the Korean War. In the United States, if is National Korean War Veterans Day. On this day in 1789, the United States Congress created the first presidential cabinet department, the Department of State.

Apropos of that founding, this week’s Text is a reading on the treaty of Versailles along with the 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.

Rotten Reviews: Ghosts

[This squib refers to the performance of Henrik Ibsen’s play in London in 1891.]

“The play performed last night is ‘simple’ enough in plan and purpose, but simple only in the sense of an open drain; of a loathsome sore unbandaged; of a dirty act done publicly.”

Daily Telegram

Excerpted from: Bernard, Andre, and Bill Henderson, eds. Pushcart’s Complete Rotten Reviews and Rejections. Wainscott, NY: Pushcart Press, 1998.

The Weekly Text, July 20, 2018

This week’s Text is four context clues worksheets to teach a family of words related to the noun constitution. I use the indefinite article to modify family because all of these words–I’ve included four here, constituent, two uses of constitute as a verb, and constitution–are polysemous and their use can become relatively complicated. Daniel Willingham, in the latest of his books I’ve read (to wit, The Reading Mind), has observed that really to build vocabulary, it is almost certainly best to teach a word across the range of its morphology and usage. These four worksheets are a start in that direction, but they could easily be elaborated on and, arguably improved.

In any case, the four words presented in these worksheets, in order, are as follows (definitions come from Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition: constituent defined in the sense of “one who authorizes another to act as agent;’ constitute in the first sense (i.e. in Worksheet 1) used as a verb as in “set up, establish: as a: enact b: found c (1): to give due or lawful form to (2): to legally process;” constitute in the second sense (i.e. in Worksheet 2) use as a verb as in “make up, form, compose;” and, finally, constitution used as a noun as in “a: the basic principles and laws of a nation, state, or social group that determine the powers and duties of the government and guarantee certain rights to the people in it; b: a written instrument embodying the rules of a political or social organization.”

And that is it for this week. I hope you are enjoying the summer.

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, July 13, 2018

It’s Friday the 13th! On this day in 1787, by an act of the Congress of the Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance became law. Also on this day in 1930, soccer’s first World Cup matches were played. In 1985 on this day, the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_AidLive Aid concerts for Ethiopian Famine relief were held in London and Philadelphia. It’s the birthday of Jean-Luc Picard; British actor Sir Patrick Stewart is, amazingly, 78 years old today.

This week’s Text is a lesson plan, one of many, that I worked up to use with Lawrence Treat’s series of kid’s books, Crime and Puzzlement. I came across these materials in two books last year, to wit George Hillocks Jr.’s  otherwise unremarkable Teaching Argument Writing Grades 6-12: Supporting Claims with Relevant Evidence and Clear Reasoning (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2017), but also in two separate papers contained in Keith J. Holyoak and Robert G. Morrison’s (eds.) The Cambridge Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005). All three of these texts extolled the Crime and Puzzlement books as exemplary instructional material for teaching students to assess, analyze, and synthesize evidence in support of an argument and contention.

I ordered the first volume, broke it up and scanned texts for several of the “cases,” and tried them out in my classroom. My freshman English students jumped right into these, and clearly enjoyed them. So I knew I had to build a unit to rationalize the use of this material in my classroom.

Now, about four months later, that unit is nearing completion, and I have 72 lessons in the unit. This week’s Text offers you the first lesson plan in the Crime and Puzzlement Unit Plan. To teach this lesson, you’ll need this worksheet on the case entitled Boudoir. To “solve” the “case,” you’ll need the answer key. Depending on how you begin your class period and its duration, you may want to start the lesson with a do-now exercise, which for this lesson is this Cultural Literacy worksheet on Marie Antoinette’s probably apocryphal statement “Let them eat cake.”

Unfortunately, the Crime and Puzzlement books (there are three in total) appear to remain in copyright, so I don’t think I can ethically or legally post many of these lesson plans. If you choose to contrive your own material based on these books, I can post the unit plan (it’s not quite ready as of this writing) for you; it will contain the standards met, a lengthy, discursive justification for using these methods and materials, and other supporting documentation.

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.

Bare (adj), Bear (n), and Bear (vt/vi)

Here are five worksheets on the homophones bare and bear. They’re short, and therefore, in my classroom, useful for a number of purposes, most commonly to begin an instructional period after a class transition.

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.

A Midsummer Text, July 2018

Here are five worksheets on the homophones two, too, and to, which I am confident you have noticed that are frequently confused–sometimes to hilarious effect (i.e. Dumb and Dumber To), but more often just, well, confusing effect.

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.