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 16, 2019

Over the years, I have become more an more concerned with the trouble polysemous words have caused the students under my instruction. English is such a wild mutt of a language that it’s not difficult in the least to see why it causes its learners such problems. In some cases, one needs the skills of a linguist to decode dense strands of polysemy.

While not one of the most difficult words in English, success does morph its definition as it morphs into different parts of speech. Students I have served in the past generally have trouble with sequencing and chronologies, so the idea of succession does not come easily to them. This makes understanding of the chronology, structure, and sequence of say, a royal dynasty, difficult to convey in social studies classes.

I wrote this suite of five context clues worksheets on succeed (verb), success (noun), succession (noun), successive (adjective), and successor (noun) in an attempt to help students get a grasp of this family of words. These worksheets might be best presented in one lesson–I don’t know. I’ve tended to place them with units where the words are used, but I am not at all confident that students made the associations between them necessary to understand them.

So I would be particularly interested in hearing how you used them, if you did.

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 9, 2019

This week’s Text, delivered from Vermont, the only place to be in this month, is a complete lesson plan on the Latin word root cent–which means, you will instantly recognize, and your students will before long, hundred. I use this context clues worksheet on the noun myriad to open this lesson–it gives students a hint about where to look for the meaning of cent. Finally, here is the scaffolded worksheet that is the mainstay of this lesson. It includes cognates, so if you’re working with Spanish-speaking students–or students who speak any or the other Romance languages–they will find words they already know in that list.

You are, I hope, enjoying your 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, August 2, 2019

[Today is Tuesday, July 30; I have a very busy week in store making the rounds of job interviews, so I am publishing The Weekly Text for this week today.]

The dog days have arrived. You are, I hope, by a body of cool water with your favorite cold beverage nearby. Remember: stay cool and hydrated!

The Weekly Text for this first Friday in August is this reading on muckraker Jacob Riis and its attendant vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. New York City teachers, nota bene: Riis’s name is on parks, monuments, and buildings in your town.

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 26, 2019

While I have used the materials in this week’s Text in a variety of configurations, including, most often in a unit on the procedural knowledge necessary to produce research papers, I also keep it around as a standalone, which I call the “Research Paper in Miniature Lesson Plan” I wrote this several years ago after observing, in the school in which I worked, that teachers assigned synthetic research papers without any explicit instruction on the how and, perhaps more importantly, the why of citing sources when preparing such a document.

Today’s Text is, then, basically, a lesson plan on citing sources. I have opened this lesson, for reasons I think I can safely assume are obvious, with this context clues worksheet on the noun evidence; if, for some reason, this lesson runs into a second instructional period, I keep nearby this second context clues worksheet on the noun bibliography in case I need it. Finally, the mainstay of this lesson is this worksheet on the why and how of citing sources.

As I’ve worked with this lesson over the years, I have come to regard it (and you might find this a useful way of thinking about it as well) as an outline or template for a series of such lessons. Depending on what you’re working on in your classroom, an hour or so of editing and reconfiguring would transmute this lesson for use with a variety of short readings. In other words, whatever your domain is, and whatever content you are teaching, it could be adapted to work with this lesson and vice versa.

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, June 28, 2019

If there is anything better than Vermont in the summer, I guess I don’t know what it is. I’ve lived in this state on and off in my life; I’m now looking for a job here, and hope to stay here for the rest of my working life.

This week’s Text is a complete lesson plan on argumentation; more specifically (and as with the other lesson plans on argumentation I’ve posted, this one relies on Cathy Birkenstein and Gerald Graff’s excellent They Say/I Say: The Move That Matter in Academic Writing), this lesson involves students in the use of rhetorical figures in argumentation to enter an ongoing debate. I begin this lesson, right after a class change, with this context clues worksheet on the Latinism nota bene, generally abbreviated as n.b. Users of other context clues worksheets from Mark’s Text Terminal will note that this document is a very slight departure from the usual format. Finally, here is the worksheet that is at the center 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, June 21, 2019

OK, here, very simply, because I am exhausted on this first Friday of the summer break, are five homophone worksheets on the nouns capital and capitol. Right off the top of my head, looking at these, I can see a number of ways to edit and revise them to take students more deeply into these words and the concepts they represent.

That’s it. I hope you’re enjoying nice weather and the free time to get out in 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, June 14, 2019

Today is the final Friday of the 2018-2019 school year, probably the most challenging year I have faced in my career. Enough said. Let’s move on.

Here is a complete lesson plan on trade and commercial interaction as a cause of history. I opened this lesson, when I was using it, with this context clues worksheet on the adjective efficient; I wanted students to use this word to understand that one of the many benefits the earliest human civilizations derived from the rivers next to which they were situated was the use of that water to increase efficiency in trade. Finally, here is worksheet and note-taking blank for student use in this lesson. Nota bene, please, that this is a brainstorming lesson that calls upon the teacher to serve as an active Socratic foil. You’ll need to prepare to ask a lot of broad questions about how trade increased human contact, created the concept of cosmopolitanism, fostered the rise of social class distinctions, changed diets, religion, languages clothing–hell, really, trade made the world what it is today.

And remember: in spite of all the talk in the last generation or so about “the rise of globalization,” the global economy really begins with the Silk Road.

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.