James Bryant Conant on High Schools

“If one accepts the ideal of a democratic, fluid society with a minimum of class distinction, the maximum of fluidity between different vocational groups, then the ideal secondary school is a comprehensive public high school.”

James Bryant Conant (1893-1978) as Quoted in The Teacher and the Taught (1963)

Excerpted from: Howe, Randy, ed. The Quotable Teacher. Guilford, CT: The Lyons Press, 2003.

Ally (n), Ally (vi/vt)

Today’s Word of the Day from Merriam-Webster is “grubstake,” which I figured I could pass on. However, you might find that this context clues worksheet on ally as a noun and this one on the word as a verb–used, as above, both intransitively and transitively.

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.

Dependent Clause

“Dependent Clause: A group of words that includes a subject and verb but is subordinate to and independent clause in a sentence. Dependent clauses begin with either a subordinating conjunction, such as if, because, since, or a relative pronoun, such as who, which, that. When it gets dark, we’ll find a restaurant that has music.”

Excerpted from: Strunk, William Jr., and E.B. White. The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition. New York: Longman, 2000.

The Order of Things: Evolution

Here’s another lesson plan from Barbara Ann Kipfer’s book The Order of Things, this one on the scale and chronology of evolution. You’ll need this list and comprehension questions worksheet to complete this lesson in your classroom.

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.

Term of Art: Analogy

analogy: A comparison between two different but related things. The ability to comprehend and create analogies is an important component of critical reasoning capabilities. For example, an analogy might compare the biological process of a tree growing from a small seed to a tall oak, to the human process of development from infancy to adulthood. This analogy would be written;

SEED : OAK AS INFANT : ADULT

Another type of analogy is the visual analogy. For example, in a 2 X 2 cell grid, the two cells on the left might contain blue strs, and the top cell on the right might contain a green square. The person taking the test must then select which of several presented figures (including the correct green square) mts go in the empty cell.

For some students with learning disabilities, understanding analogies may be very difficult. They may process information in fairly concrete ways, and miss more subtle connections between dissimilar things.

Ofteh, however, the ability to reason analogically is a relative strength for students with learning disabilities.”

Excerpted from: Turkington, Carol, and Joseph R. Harris, PhD. The Encyclopedia of Learning Disabilities. New York: Facts on File, 2006.

Howard Hughes

Somehow, about six years ago, a struggling student I served improbably found her way to the late Jonathan Demme’s early and critically acclaimed film “Melvin and Howard.” The film is a fictionalized account of Melvin Dummar’s account of encountering Hughes in the Utah desert and giving him a ride to Las Vegas. You can click through on the links to read more about this implausible story.

Anyway, my students, an inquisitive young woman, wanted to know more about Howard Hughes. I worked up this reading on Howard Hughes and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet to supply her with some context for understanding the story in “Melvin and Howard.” Incidentally, I watched the movie myself and didn’t care much for it. Having since seen several of his films, I learned that Jonathan Demme just wasn’t my kind of filmmaker, though I did think his rendition of “The Silence of the Lambs” was the best of the various productions around the legend of brilliant serial killer, cannibal, and psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter.

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.

Suprematism

“Suprematism: An outgrowth of Rayonism, but more immediately of Analytic Cubism, suprematism was a Russian movement founded in 1915 by Kazimir Malevich, who used the circle, rectangle, triangle, and cross as the basis of a purely abstract style and as a vehicle for his spiritual ideas. Suprematism proved highly significant in the development of Constructivism, despite the latter’s more utilitarian outlook.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

A Concluding Lesson Plan on Verbs

If you are a user of this blog, then you may know that I have been, over time, posting all the materials I’ve developed for using the parts of speech to bolster literacy. Since the COVID19 pandemic began, I’ve posted a series of lesson plans on verbs. In fact, with this post, I will have published the entire twelve-lesson unit on verbs that I used in the classroom for several years.

So, if you have accumulated the other eleven lessons, then here is the final lesson plan on verbs, the assessment, for this verbs unit. I open this lesson with this worksheet on the homophones there, their, and they’re. If this lesson continues into a second day (and you’ll see that it is almost inevitable that it will), then here is an Everyday Edit worksheet on National Poetry Month. (If you and your students like the procedural knowledge practice the Everyday Edit worksheets offer you, then you will be pleased to hear that the good people at Education World give away an entire year’s supply of these short exercises.)

Here is the worksheet that serves as a final assessment for the verbs unit posted on this blog.

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.

Devil’s Dictionary: Circumlocution

“Circumlocution, n. A literary trick whereby the writer who has nothing to say breaks it gently to the reader.” 

Excerpted from: Bierce, Ambrose. David E. Schultz and S.J. Joshi, eds. The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary. Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 2000. 

Demure (adj)

It’s Merriam-Webster’s word of the day for today, so here is a context clues worksheet on the adjective demure. I’ve always thought of this as one of those locutions the great Joseph Mitchell called “tinsel words,” but maybe students ought to know it anyway, even if just to understand the meaning of the expression “tinsel word.”

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.