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, October 16, 2020: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “Blot It Out”

It’s Friday again. I don’t know about you, but I am experiencing time in some very strange ways during this pandemic. Anyway, Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 has come and gone.

So, this week’s text is a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “Blot It Out.” I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the phrase Art for Art’s Sake (incidentally, when you watch movies, new or old, produced at the Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) studio, you’ll see the Latin phrase “Ars Gratia Artis” above the roaring lion’s head as the film begins to roll, well, you can now explain that phrase to students and children). You’ll need this scan of the illustration and questions in order to conduct your investigation. Finally, here is the typescript of the answer key so that you can make allegations and bring your suspect to the bar of justice.

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, October 2, 2020: Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 Week III–A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on Teresa of Avila

Ok, for Week III of Hispanic Heritage Month 2020, and for the Weekly Text from Mark’s Text Terminal for October 2, 2020, here is a reading on Teresa of Avila along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

Teresa was essentially a sixteenth-century Catholic mystic. Her mysticism, unsurprisingly, brought her to the attention of the Inquisition. She founded a religious order; as the reading explains, she was, in the final analysis, an influential figure in Catholic theology. If you want to move beyond the relatively basic comprehension questions on the worksheet, you–and more importantly, your students–can consider some of the concepts present in Teresa’s story: religious law, orthodoxy, mysticism, feminism and women’s role in the Church, among others.

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.

Book of Answers: Emile Zola and the Dreyfus Affair

“Of what crime was Emile Zola convicted? In 1898-99, he was convicted of libel in France for his letter “J’Accuse.” The open letter to the French president defended Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer accused of treason. After the conviction, Zola fled to exile in England for a year, before returning to France as a hero.”

Excerpted from: Corey, Melinda, and George Ochoa. Literature: The New York Public Library Book of Answers. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.

The Weekly Text, September 25, 2020: Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 Week II–A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on American Imperialism

This week’s Text–and it may seem odd as an offering for National Hispanic Heritage Month–is this reading on American Imperialism and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. The United States has violated the sovereignty of Latin American nations repeatedly since the early-nineteenth century. This meddling in the affairs of Latin America arguably began with the theology of Manifest Destiny and the foreign policy of the Monroe Doctrine.

Even the easygoing researcher will locate dozens of examples of United States involvement in Latin America. Three are most salient for the purposes of this blog post, mostly for their egregiousness: the 1954 coup in Guatemala that overthrew the democratically elected Jacobo Arbenz; ten years later, the 1964 Brazilian coup that toppled the leftist government of Joao Goulart; and, in my own historical memory, the 1973 coup against the democratically elected President of Chile, Salvador Allende. The latter, incidentally, has been extensively documented, with Henry Kissinger’s role in the Chilean coup examined by, among others, the late Christopher Hitchens and, most comprehensively, by the National Security Archive.

Finally, I’ve always found it useful to turn to one of American history’s most famous quotes, from General Smedley D. Butler, on American imperialism:

“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

(Smedley D. Butler, War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America’s Most Decorated Soldier (Port Townshend, Washington: Feral House, 2003.)

Enough said.

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, September 11, 2020: The Crime and Puzzlement Case “Piggy Bank”

Because they’ve been a popular item on this site, I’ve engaged in idle speculation about the social and educational characteristics of the users of the many Crime and Puzzlement lessons I’ve posted here. I must assume these are particularly useful for homebound, younger kids and their parents.

In any case, here is another, a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “Piggy Bank.”

I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the idiom “beyond the pale.” To investigate this case, you’ll need the PDF of the illustration, reading, and questions. To make sure you bring the accused to the bar of justice, here is the typescript of the answer key.

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, September 4, 2020: A Lesson Plan on Comparative Adjectives

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on the interrogative adjectives. These are the words which, whose, and what when they are used as adjectives.

The lesson begins, in the interest of getting kids settled after a class change, with this parsing sentences worksheet on nouns; if the lesson spills over into a second day, here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the concept of the ultimatum–and don’t forget to tell students that the plural is ultimata. Here is the scaffolded worksheet that is at the center of this lesson, and here is the teacher’s copy of the worksheet to make this a little easier on you.

That’s it! Have a good weekend, and Godspeed if you are returning to school soon.

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, August 28, 2020: Two Context Clues Worksheets on Antagonist (n) and Antagonize (vt)

This week’s Text is a simple one, to wit a pair of context clues worksheets. The first is a  worksheet on the noun antagonist and the second is another on the verb antagonize, which is used only transitively. These are a couple of words students need to know and use across the curriculum.

I bid godspeed to those of you who have returned or will soon be returning to school, be it in a physical or virtual classroom. Stay safe, and teach your students well.

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, August 14, 2020: A Lesson Plan on Indefinite Adjectives

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on indefinite adjectives. These are those words–any; each; either; every; many; several; few; all; and some–that we use in speech and prose regularly, often in grammatical error. Now, I do think it’s important that students learn how to understand grammar in general as an organizing structure in language (for future use in the study, of among other things, foreign languages), but I also think kids need to learn how to use grammar and usage manuals. Grammar and usage need not be memorized, but again, it should be understood and applied.

Why? Because if we are to have high expectations of and for our students, we need them to be able to write well. I worked my way through college and graduate school working in writing and academic study centers in which I mostly counseled students on expository writing. In those years, a number of patterns in what professors would suffer in lapses in grammar, usage, and style emerged, and the most salient of those patterns was in agreement: subject/verb, antecedent/pronoun, and modifiers and nouns. So, this is a lesson about agreement in number when using any; each; either; every; many; several; few; all; and some.

I use this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the non sequitur; if the lesson goes into a second day (it’s fairly complicated, so I more often than not took it into a second day by design), then here is an Everyday Edit worksheet on the Tuskegee Airmen to carry you along (and incidentally, if you’d like more Everyday Edit worksheets, the good folks at Education World give away a yearlong supply of them).

Here is the learning support in the form of a graphic organizer for sorting out these adjectives and the numbers of nouns they modify and therefore govern. This is a learning support, in other words, that students play a role in developing. This scaffolded worksheet is the mainstay of the lesson. Here is the teacher’s copy of all the materials that will help you execute 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, July 3, 2020: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “Bomb Sight”

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “Bomb Sight.” I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the proverb “pride goeth before a fall.” You’ll need this scan of the illustration and questions that drive the case to conduct your investigation. Finally, here is the typescript of the answer key so that you and your students can solve the case and arrest the suspected felon and bring him or her to the bar of justice.

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, May 15, 2020: A Lesson Plan on the Simple Present Tense of Verbs

OK, I think this lesson plan on using the simple present tense of verbs speaks for itself and therefore doesn’t require much comment.

I open this lesson with this worksheet on the homophones who’s and whose. These two words (well, a contraction and a word) are quite easily confused, so the explanation for their use is extensive. Students will walk away, after completing this, with a page from a grammar and usage manual. In the event the lesson goes into a second day, here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the term and concept expletive.

This scaffolded worksheet is the centerpiece of this unit for students. You might need this word bank to support completion of the worksheet. Finally, here is the teachers’ copy of the worksheet to make getting through the lesson a little easier for you.

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.