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, January 24, 2019

On January 6, I published 56 documents for teaching Chinua Achebe’s masterpiece Things Fall Apart.  In last week’s Text, I published a similar set of documents for teaching Elie Wiesel’s Night.

This week’s Text is a batch of documents for teaching William Golding’s Lord of the FliesI wrote these materials, but never marshalled them into a coherent unit plan, over a two-year period beginning a little over 12 years ago; after that, I never used them again, so it has been about ten years since I laid eyes on this stuff. In any case, let’s get these documents uploaded into this post.

Because I was working in global studies and United States history classrooms at the the same time that I was co-teaching the English class dealing with this novel, I perceived instantly that Golding’s novel was Thomas Hobbes’s “state of nature” nightmare, where life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” For that reason, I asked the English teacher with whom I was teaching to make an explicit connection between Hobbes and Lord of the Flies. To that end, here is a reading on Hobbes and its (extended, you’ll notice, if you’ve previously picked up these things from Mark’s Text Terminal) accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. I also wrote, to follow up on students’ understanding of the Hobbesian dystopia depicted in Lord of the Flies, this independent practice worksheet that I suspect I would have assigned at about the middle of the novel. The reading and worksheet above began the unit, I’m quite sure.

Next, here are 12 context clues worksheets–one for each chapter. I’m not sure why I compiled this complete vocabulary list for the novel, let alone kept it around. Perhaps I intended them as a learning support? I just don’t remember. I have learned the hard way not to throw away work, no matter how pointless or useless it appears at second glance, so that explains that document’s presence here.

These 12 comprehension worksheets drive a basic understanding of Lord of the Flies and its allegory.

Finally, here are three quizzes on the novel. You will note that these are numbered 2, 3, and 4. If there was ever a number 1, it is lost to time. Also, these aren’t exactly some of my best work, and may well reflect my contempt for my co-teacher’s (and the administrator under whom we served) insistence on quizzes as an assessment tool. I vastly prefer expository writing–i.e. papers–as a means of assessing understanding.

And that’s it. Every document in this post is in Microsoft Word, so these are documents you can manipulate for your own–and your students’–needs.

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, January 17, 2020

Mark’s Text Terminal is undergoing a cleaning of its digital storage locker. A couple of weeks ago I posted a trove of materials for teaching Chinua Achebe’s masterpiece Things Fall Apart; two weeks hence, I’ll post another cache of documents for teaching William Golding’s Hobbesian nightmare, Lord of the Flies.

This week’s Text is an assortment of documents I wrote between ten and twelve years ago for teaching Elie Wiesel’s Holocaust memoir, Night. I’ve not used these materials in ten years, so I am moving them off my hard drive and onto Mark’s Text Terminal for storage–and to offer them to others for their use.

I’ll start by uploading this reading on Night (from the Intellectual Devotional series) and its attendant vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. I’ve definitely posted these documents elsewhere on this website; since they are in this unit’s folder, I’ll include them here because it makes sense to do so.

As I write this post, I realize that when I walked into a new job at the High School of Economics & Finance in Lower Manhattan in the fall of 2008 (exciting times at that moment in the Financial District, as the world economy was about to fall off a cliff on account of worthless mortgage securities peddled fraudulently–and you who did this know who you are), I came into a situation in which my co-teacher, whom I’d not met, was out, and I needed to get some materials together right away to keep busy those young people whose education I was charged with delivering. For that reason, my first move was to write this prelude for group work to furnish kids with some context for understanding the Holocaust, and therefore for understanding Night.

Somewhere in this process I wrote this unit plan, which looks incomplete to me. I also wrote these eight lesson plans, only the first three of which, I regret, are complete. Still, the other five are solid templates, and wouldn’t be hard to finish.

Here are eight context clues worksheets, one for each chapter of Night, along with their eight sets of definitions for your class linguist.

Finally, here are the eight comprehension worksheets I used to guide the reading of the book.

Every document attached to this post is in Microsoft Word, so they are at the disposal of you and your students.

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, January 10, 2020

This week’s Text is a complete lesson plan on the Latin word roots bi and bin, which mean, of course, two and twice. In the hope that it will hint to students the meaning of these roots, I open this lesson plan with this context clues worksheet on the noun adjective dual. Finally, here is the word root worksheet that is the substance of this lesson.

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, January 3, 2020

Let me begin by stipulating that where math teaching is concerned, I leave a lot to be desired.

So, several years ago, when I was tasked with developing a math and science literacy unit for struggling learners, I had little time and few ideas, so I began planning one of my standard literacy units. Fortunately I had a couple of colleagues to coach me on some of the actual math work (and thanks to Nate Bonheimer and Jeremy Krevat for this). I’ve been posting lessons from this unit as I’ve gone along.

This week’s Text, therefore, is this lesson on the concept of solving problems. This lesson begins with this extended context clues worksheet on the verb solve (it’s used both intransitively and transitively) and the noun solution. These definitions of solve and solution can serve either as the teacher’s copy or as a learning support. This problem set and comprehension questions serves as the second piece of work for students. Here is one version of the answer key and here is another. Finally, here is the answer-key template if you decide to develop this lesson further and need it.

Let me end where I began: I am not a particularly deft math teacher, so this is not, by this blog’s standards, a superior piece of work. However, it may well work as a framework for a number of lessons on understanding the lexicon we use with mathematics.

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, December 20, 2019

Tomorrow is the winter solstice; the day sure seems to come up fast this year. After tomorrow, the days will begin to lengthen, which means warmer weather and more light is on the way. And who doesn’t want that? I like a few deep, dark winter nights, but a little, in the end, goes a long way.

This week’s Text, the last of 2019, is a complete lesson plan on the demonstrative adjective. I open this lesson with this Everyday Edit on worksheet on “Edison’s First Movie Set” (and if you and your students like working with Everyday Edit worksheets, the good folks at Education world give away a year’s supply of them under that hyperlink). If the lesson runs into a second day, here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on slang. Finally, here is the scaffolded worksheet on the demonstrative adjectives that is the gravamen of this unit.

That’s it. Happy Hanukkah, Happy, Kwanzaa, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I’ll be back on Friday, January 3 with the first Weekly Text for 2020.

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, December 13, 2019

Okay, Friday has rolled around again, and it is the end of a momentous week for this author. To make a long story short, I now own a car for the first time in almost 17 years.

This week’s Text, from my ongoing endeavor to write a couple of units on the art of argumentation and the craft of composing a synthetic research paper, is a complete lesson plan on the art of quoting in a paper. I wrote this context clues worksheet on criterion and criteria, which are, respectively, a singular and a plural noun, specifically for this lesson. As I look at this document today, I realize that depending on how one deals with it, and who one is teaching, that this worksheet could stand on its own as a lesson (and I have one on datum and data in the works). Finally, here is the worksheet that is at the center of this lesson and affords students an opportunity to try their hands directly at quoting within a larger body of text.

That’s it! It’s Friday the 13th, so step lightly and carefully.

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, December 6, 2019

This week’s Text is a complete lesson plan on the Latin word root bene. It means good and well, and as you have probably already figured out, it turns up as the root of such common words in English as benefit and benevolent. This context clues worksheet on the noun welfare with which I intended deploy a hint to point students in the right direction (and also to hint at the idea that government welfare benefits, which so many families in our nation now receive, are meant to keep us, as individuals and as a society, good and well). Finally, here is the word root worksheet that is the mainstay of this lesson.

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.