Tag Archives: grammar and style

The Weekly Text, April 12, 2019

In this school district, spring break begins today. Not a moment too soon for me, I confess. Here are three context clues worksheets on the verb venerate (it’s transitive), the adjective venerable, and the noun veneration. These three in combination assist students, in my experience, see the way that the parts of speech work in English morphology and vice versa.

If you are on break this week, I bid you a restful vacation.

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.

Pathetic Fallacy

“Pathetic Fallacy: The ascribing of human traits and feelings to inanimate objects or nature, or the use of anthropomorphic images or metaphors. Also ANTHROPOPATHISM

John Ruskin coined the name and a later writer, James Thurber, created our favorite example of the pathetic fallacy in a cartoon caption for The New Yorker: ‘It’s a naive domestic Burgundy without any breeding, but I think you’ll be amused at its presumption.’”

William and Mary Morris, Harper Dictionary of Contemporary Usage

Excerpted from: Grambs, David. The Random House Dictionary for Writers and Readers. New York: Random House, 1990.

Learning Support: Citing Sources

This learning support on citing sources is part of an entire lesson plan on the subject that I thought I’d previously posted in these pages. I couldn’t find it when I searched. I’ll take a stroll through the archive soon and get that material out here for teachers’ use.

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.

Learning Support: English Language Arts Posters Text

For a variety of reasons, I have always found the kinds of classroom decorations available for purchase in “teachers’ stores” (what the heck is a teachers store, anyway?) to be insincerely cheerful and annoyingly inauthentic. For that reason, I developed a short unit on making classroom posters. One component of this exercise is this raw text for making classroom posters on English Language Arts topics.

Observing students as they work on creating posters helps me assess a wide range of student abilities, including organizing and executing a task as well as persisting to finish that task, following directions, reading, writing, and spelling, and understanding the basic concepts the text outlines.

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.

Action Verb

“A derived noun whose formation has the general meaning of ‘act or process of…’: e.g. construction (from construct + ion), with the basic meaning ‘process of constructing.’ Compare agent noun.

Excerpted from: Marshall, P.H., ed. The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Linguistics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Compliment (n) and Complement (n)

These five worksheets on the homophones compliment and complement are actually the first I ever wrote. You’ll notice that I set up the worksheets to use these words as nouns. Because it turns up as a term of art in any number of grammar and style manuals, I wanted students to learn the use of complement as a grammatical term. It’s used in all kinds of ways, even sometimes to describe a predicate, which I think is better called, simply, a predicate.

However, as a means of describing both the direct objects and the indirect objects of verbs, I think this is a very good word indeed. I’m fairly certain I placed all five of these worksheets as do-now exercises at various places in a thirteen-lesson unit on verbs. If you use them the same way, you may want to mention to students that both of these words can be used as verbs; both are used 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.

Write It Right: Adopt

“Adopt. ‘He adopted a disguise.’ One may adopt a child, or an opinion, but a disguise is assumed.”

Excerpted from: Bierce, Ambrose. Write it Right: A Little Blacklist of Literary Faults. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2010.