Category Archives: The Weekly Text

The Weekly Text is a primary feature at Mark’s Text Terminal. This category will include a variety of classroom materials in English Language Arts and social studies, most often in the form of complete lesson plans (see above) in those domains. The Weekly Text is posted on Fridays.

The Weekly Text, 30 September 2022, Hispanic Heritage Month Week III: One Hundred Years of Solitude

On the third Friday of Hispanic Heritage Month 2022, here is a reading on One Hundred Years of Solitude, the masterpiece of Magical Realism from Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

Have you read it? When I was a high school senior, my somewhat older but infinitely more sophisticated girlfriend gave me a copy. I read it, and as you can imagine, understood none of it. I keep meaning to get back to 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 Weekly Text, 23 September 2022, Hispanic Heritage Month Week II: Fidel Castro

For the second Friday of Hispanic Heritage Month 2022, here are a reading on Fidel Castro along with its vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. And yes, I do understand that Fidel Castro is a controversial figure. Controversy is the food of inquiry, and in any case, Castro is an integral part of modern Latin American history.

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, 16 September 2022, Hispanic Heritage Month Week I: Francisco Goya

Yesterday began Hispanic Heritage Month 2022, which occurs every year between September 15 and October 15. This year’s month contains five Fridays, so there will be five Weekly Texts such as today’s–i.e. readings and comprehension worksheets. Unfortunately, and to my chagrin, this will exhaust my supply of materials for this month where Weekly Texts are concerned. I have developed a number of shorter exercises to post while I figure something out for Fridays–i.e. Weekly Text day.

For now, here is a reading on Francisco Goya along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

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, 9 September 2022: Common Errors in English Usage, Imply (vt), Infer (vi/vt)

This week’s Text is a worksheet on the use of the verbs imply and infer. This is a full-page worksheet with a reading of three longish compound sentences, and ten modified cloze exercises. The text derives from Paul Brians’ fine book Common Errors in English Usage–to which he allows cost-free access at his Washington State University website.

I myself was uncertain about the use of these two words until I saw the 1988 remake of the estimable 1959 film noir D.O.A. Dennis Quaid plays Professor Dexter Cornell (Edmond O’Brien played this character as Frank Bigelow in the original). At one point in the film, Professor Cornell is dealing with a preternaturally cheap hoodlum named Bernard. Bernard says to Cornell, “I don’t think I like what you’re inferring Mr. Cornell.” Cornell sneers at Bernard, “Implying. When I say it, that’s implying. How you take it, that’s inferring.” Bernard replies, “I see. Infer this.” Then true to form for a knuckle-dragger like Bernard, he punches Cornell in the mouth.

Lawrence Block, in his novel Small Town (page 301 in the William Morrow hardcover edition), which I believe was his last, Block has the august New York Times commit a similar error, using infer where imply is required. True to its form, the Times prints a correction the next day.

Why am I on about this, as they say in Great Britain? Because these are two important conceptual words which describe an extremely common, if elliptical, form of communication. In fact, if you want to teach literature at all, these are two words students must understand well, and therefore be able to use well–and, for heaven’s sake, accurately. One more time: so much of human communication occurs by implication and inference (to trot out the nouns) that it seems to me unlikely to overstate the importance of understanding these words and the concepts in communication they represent.

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, 2 September 2022: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “The Big Bang”

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “The Big Bang.” This lesson opens with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on dogma: it’s a half-page document with a two-sentence reading and two comprehension questions. This is one of the better of these things I’ve produced over the years–it’s strength is clearly in its economy. Two sentences, it turns out, is all the subject needs if the writer is sufficiently concise.

You’ll need this PDF of the illustration and questions to use as evidence to investigate the offense against good order the case represents. To bring the alleged misdemeanant or felon to justice, you and your students will also need this typescript of the answer key.

That’s it. And by “that’s it,” I mean that this is the last of these lessons I have to publish here. That also means that there are 72 Crime and Puzzlement lessons on this blog now. Help yourself!

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, 26 August 2022: Concrete (adj), Abstract (adj)

This week’s Text is a context clues worksheet on the use of concrete as an adjective. For the purposes of the context of the sentences here, students are looking for a meaning of “characterized by or belonging to immediate experience of actual things or events,” “specific,” “particular,” “real,” and  “tangible.”

Opposing concrete, both in this post and in meaning, is this context clues worksheet on the adjective abstract. The sentences in this document provide context for an understanding of the definition of this word as “disassociated from any specific instance,” “difficult to understand,” “insufficiently factual,” : “expressing a quality apart from an object <the word poem is concrete, poetry is ~>,”  “dealing with a subject in its abstract aspects,” and “having only intrinsic form with little or no attempt at pictorial representation or narrative content.”

These are obviously important learning words across domains of knowledge–and particularly in the humanities. I cannot imagine teaching poetry, to offer one obvious example, without students understanding fully the meanings of these two words–and what they represent in the use of language.

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, 19 August 2022: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “Idora Park”

It’s Friday again, so that means it’s time for the Weekly Text: here is a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “Idora Park.” This lesson opens with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on nuance: it’s half-page document with a single-sentence reading and three comprehension questions, one of which calls upon students to think of some nuances.

To investigate whatever unlawful act occurred at Idora Park, you’ll need this PDF of the illustration and questions that serve as evidence against the alleged perpetrator. To bring charges and secure a conviction, you’ll need this typescript of the answer key.

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.

The Weekly Text, 12 August 2022: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “The Gentle Breezes”

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “The Gentle Breezes.” I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on motif; it’s a half-pager with a three-sentence reading and three comprehension questions in what looks to me like a nice symmetry. To investigate the wrongdoing in this case, you will need this PDF of the illustration and questions that serve as evidence of the crime. Finally, to apprehend and charge a suspect, you and your students will need this typescript of the answer key.

And that’s it for another week. I hope yours was pleasant and fulfilling.

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, 5 August 2022: A Lesson Plan for the Final Assessment of the Conjunctions Unit

Ok, here is the final lesson plan of the conjunctions unit, which is a sentence-writing review as a unit-concluding assessment. I open this lesson with this worksheet on the homophones peak and peek; if the unit goes into a second day (it very likely will, and perhaps even a third), here is an Everyday Edit the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, which Melba Patillo Beals experienced first hand as one of the Little Rock Nine, and about which she has written eloquently.

This sentence-writing practice assessment worksheet is the final assessment for this unit.

And with this post, the entire cycle of units I wrote to teach the parts of speech is now available on Mark’s Text Terminal. I don’t know how many lessons in total it is, but if it is not 100, it’s close. I hope you find some or all of this material useful. After seven years of piecemeal posting of these materials, they’re all here.

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, 29 July 2022: A Lesson Plan on Correlative Conjunctions (Part 2)

This week’s Text is the second of two lessons on using correlative conjunctions. The first was published here last Friday. If you scroll down eight or so posts below this one, you’ll find it.

I open this lesson with this Everyday Edit worksheet on Charles R. Drew, the surgeon and researcher on blood transfusions. (And don’t forget that you can help yourself to a yearlong supply of Everyday Edit worksheets over at Education World.) If the lesson spills over into a second day, here is a second do-now worksheet on the homophones peace and piece.

This scaffolded worksheet is the center of this unit, and I expect that this teacher’s copy of the worksheet will make delivering the lesson a bit easier for you.

That’s it. I’ll post the final lesson in this unit–and the final lesson of all the Parts of Speech Units on this blog–next 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.