Tag Archives: context clues

Comprise (vt)

Its use is complicated, so it is often misused, but here, nonetheless, is a context clues worksheet on the transitive verb comprise. It means “to include especially within a particular scope,” “to be made up of,” “compose,” and “constitute.” All of this said, before teaching this word, you might be well served to review usage rules for it.

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.

Compel (vt)

Here is a context clues on the transitive verb compel. It means “to drive or urge forcefully or irresistibly” and “to cause to do or occur by overwhelming pressure.” This is commonly used word in English because it is useful. Enough said.

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.

byzantine (adj)

You noted, I expect, that the header for this post contains what is generally used as a substantive and in that role is capitalized. Byzantine, of course, means, variously, “of, relating to, or characteristic of the ancient city of Byzantium,”  “of, relating to, or having the characteristics of a style of architecture developed in the Byzantine Empire especially in the fifth and sixth centuries featuring the dome carried on pendentives over a square and incrustation with marble veneering and with colored mosaics on grounds of gold,” and “of or relating to the churches using a traditional Greek rite and subject to Eastern canon law.”

What we have in the context clues worksheet on the adjective byzantine with a lower-case b, is a run-of-the-mill modifier. Used this way, the word means “of, relating to, or characterized by a devious and usually surreptitious manner of operation <a ~ power struggle>,” “intricately involved,” and “labyrinthine <rules of ~ complexity>.” I tend to use this word as synonym for complex and complicated. It’s a tricky word, polysemous and altering between proper and common status. It shows up enough in academic prose, I would argue, that students probably ought to learn it.

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.

Obeisance (n)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the noun obeisance. It means “a movement of the body made in token of respect or submission,’ “bow,” “acknowledgment of another’s superiority or importance,” and “homage.” This is not exactly a high-frequency word in English, but I have seen it pop up in more than one place in the various social studies textbooks I’ve encountered over the years, which is why I prepared this document.

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.

The Weekly Text, Friday 9 December 2022: History of Hip-Hop Lesson 1, Oral Tradition

OK, here is the first lesson plan proper of the History of Hip-Hop Unit. I begin this lesson with this context clues worksheet on the noun prose. You’ll need this reading and worksheet on the global oral tradition to execute this lesson. I guess that’s enough said here–I think these documents tell their own story.

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, Friday 2 December 2022: History of Hip-Hop Prelude Lesson

During the pandemic lockdown, on 27 August 2020, I posted a trove of documents under the title A Tentative Start to a Unit on the History of Hip-Hop. Basically, it was a longish essay larded with documents with which I’d been struggling for years to synthesize into a real unit. Last year, the impetus and time such an endeavor requires came together; I was able to assemble a seventeen-lesson, reasonably cogent unit out of the materials, augmented with newer material that I published in that original post in the late summer of 2020.

My aim in this unit is to situate Hip-Hop in the broader global oral tradition. I began this unit initially, and begin it now, with these two apercus from Chuck D (Carlton Douglas Ridenhour) from the seminal Hip-Hop group Public Enemy:“We’re almost like headline news…. Rap music is the invisible TV station that Black America never had….”; “Rap is the CNN of young Black people.” So, to start off this unit, here is the prelude lesson to the History of Hip-Hop Unit along with the worksheet for prompting discussion of the statements above from Chuck D.

From the planning materials folder for this unit, here is the unit planthe lesson-plan template, and the worksheet template so that you can add lessons or alter them to fit the needs of your classroom. When I passed this unit by some colleagues, they all asked questions along the lines of “No Bob Dylan?” A fair question, since there is abundant evidence of Dylan’s influence on Hip-Hop. Another possible lesson would call upon students to make the connection between Dub music and Hip-Hop; there is, I think, a reason beyond fashion cool that Jay-Z was seen in a t-shirt bearing the Tuff Gong Recording Studios logo. So, as I assembled the materials for this unit, I did so with the idea that ultimately I might add lessons, or, indeed, break this into two units.

I also cached some Cultural Literacy and context clues worksheets in this unit’s planning materials folder for future use. Here they are if you want them:

Cultural Literacy: active voice; aka; aphorism; blank verse; circumlocution; comedy; complex sentence; complex-compound sentence; compound sentence; conjunctions; contraction; couplet; cultural imperialism; demagogue; denotation; double entendre, and four-letter word.

Context Clues: ad hominem; charisma-charismatic; infer, and oppress.

Finally, as I have mentioned to the point of tedium on this blog, all but one of the documents in this sixteen-lesson unit are formatted in Microsoft Word. That means you can adapt, alter, revise, edit, and generally manipulate them to suit the needs of 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.

Cohesion (n)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the noun cohesion. It means “the act or state of sticking together tightly, especially unity <the lack of unity in the Party —Times Lit. Supp.>,” “union between similar plant parts or organs,” and “molecular attraction by which the particles of a body are united throughout the mass.” This word tends to show up more commonly in its adjectival form, cohesive (“exhibiting or producing cohesion or coherence”). As this document is formatted in Microsoft Word, you can easily convert it to cohesive if that better suits your needs.

Otherwise, stay tuned, as I will eventually get around to writing a worksheet for cohesive. I suspect this one, on cohesion, was a word of the day at Merriam-Webster at some point, which is how it ends up in my warehouse.

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.

Malinger (vi)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the verb malinger. It is used only intransitively, which makes sense; it means “to pretend or exaggerate incapacity or illness (as to avoid duty or work).” I thought it carried a connotation–owing to the presence of the Latin root mal (i.e. bad, evil, ill, and wrong)–of hanging around with bad intent. Evidently not.

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.

The Weekly Text, 26 August 2022: Concrete (adj), Abstract (adj)

This week’s Text is a context clues worksheet on the use of concrete as an adjective. For the purposes of the context of the sentences here, students are looking for a meaning of “characterized by or belonging to immediate experience of actual things or events,” “specific,” “particular,” “real,” and  “tangible.”

Opposing concrete, both in this post and in meaning, is this context clues worksheet on the adjective abstract. The sentences in this document provide context for an understanding of the definition of this word as “disassociated from any specific instance,” “difficult to understand,” “insufficiently factual,” : “expressing a quality apart from an object <the word poem is concrete, poetry is ~>,”  “dealing with a subject in its abstract aspects,” and “having only intrinsic form with little or no attempt at pictorial representation or narrative content.”

These are obviously important learning words across domains of knowledge–and particularly in the humanities. I cannot imagine teaching poetry, to offer one obvious example, without students understanding fully the meanings of these two words–and what they represent in the use of language.

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.

Havoc (n)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the noun havoc, which means “wide and general destruction” “devastation,” and “great confusion and disorder.” The context clues in this worksheet point to both definitions, so students will very likely figure this out quickly.

Interestingly, while researching this post, I learned that havoc also has use as a transitive verb meaning “to lay waste” and “destroy.” Havoc is often used with active verbs like cause and of course the always dependable wreak–although please beware that contentious debate has broken over the past tense (wrought or wreaked?) of this verb.

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.