Tag Archives: building vocabulary

Credential (n)

At this moment, in this nation, we currently bear witness people without any brief or expertise in a given subject nonetheless speaking with grotesquely misplaced confidence in their own genius. There is a word for this: bloviating. There is also a term of art to describe it: epistemic trespassing.

In any case, now seems like just about the perfect moment to publish this context clues worksheet on the noun credential. Please do keep in mind that the Latin word root cred means believe. When someone possesses a credential from a reputable (credible, if you like) education institution, that means they are someone we can believe, rather than a political hack with a big mouth and few brains. If you are interested in going a bit further with this with your students, here is a worksheet on the Latin word root cred itself.

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.

Cultural Literacy: Encryption

Because this Cultural Literacy worksheet on encryption has tended to qualify as high-interest material, I have tagged it as such. Keeping secrets, it turns out, is of particular fascination to adolescents.

Who knew?!

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.

A Complete Lesson Plan on Using the Predicate Pronoun

Here is a lesson plan on using the predicate pronoun. I open this lesson with this Everyday Edit worksheet on Anne Frank (and you can help yourself to a yearlong supply of these worksheets courtesy of the good people at Education World). Here is a learning support on pronouns to assist students in developing their own understanding of these words and their use in declarative sentences. This scaffolded worksheet is the center of this lesson; here is the teacher’s copy of the 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.

Autoimmune Disease

Good morning on a bright and sunny day in southwestern Vermont. This seems like a good time to post this reading on autoimmune disease and 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.

Word Root Exercise: Ocul-

OK, finally for today, here is a worksheet on the Latin word root ocul. It means, you will all but certainly be unsurprised to hear, eye. This is a very productive root in English, and is at the basis of words students really must know.

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.

Review Essay: A Lesson Plan on Ghoti and Its Others

The amount of research on reading is voluminous. Even after reading what I consider and exhaustive (and occasionally exhausting) amount of this material across a period of 15 years, I still barely scratched the surface of this body of literature. At the classroom level, however, teaching practice demands keen attention to two things: decoding–i.e. recognizing the correspondence between letters and their sounds, known as phonemic awareness, and comprehension–i.e. understanding the meanings of words and applying that understanding, in synthesis, to the entire body of a text to understand it.

English is a tough language to decode. One person who recognized this and wanted to do something about it was the Irish playwright and Nobel Laureate George Bernard Shaw. Shaw was sufficiently concerned about the odd vagaries of English spelling that he actually bequeathed money in his estate for spelling reform. Indeed, there is a form of orthography known as the Shavian Alphabet (Aside: Shavian is both an adjective and a noun meaning, basically, related to George Bernard Shaw and his writings.)

In any case, one of the well-known representations of the challenges of English phonics, often erroneously (it first appeared, apparently, in a letter from Charles Ollier to Leigh Hunt) attributed to Shaw, is the word ghoti. It is possible, using English phonics, to pronounce this word as fish: take the gh from tough (i.e. f), the o from the plural women (i.e. short i), and the ti from action (i.e. sh).

Over the years, when I had a few minutes left in a class period, generally at the beginning of the school year, I would trot this out for the struggling readers and English language learners I served. After explaining–in summary of course–much of the foregoing in this essay, I would point out to students that if they struggled with English phonics and their representation in orthography, they were in very good company: George Bernard Shaw, Nobel prizewinning author whose plays are still routinely performed today.

This year, I finally wrote out this lesson plan on ghoti for use in a full class period. Here is the accompanying worksheet and the teacher’s copy of same. I added a few words, which I grabbed somewhere along the line. Now it’s yours if you can use 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.

Independent Practice: Three Chinese Dynasties

Here’s an independent practice (what teacher also call homework) worksheet on three Chinese dynasties. This is really a basic reading comprehension worksheet and therefore seeks to use the social studies curriculum as a means of increasing literacy.

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.