Tag Archives: homophones

The Weekly Text, 27 August 2021: A Lesson Plan on Using the Reciprocal Pronouns

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on using the reciprocal pronoun. In addition to the broad use of language the lesson aims to help students develop, the narrow objective of this lesson is to help students understand usage, in this case that the two reciprocal pronouns are, each other, which refers to two people, and one another, which refers to more than two people. 

I generally open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Latinism mea culpa (i.e. “my fault” or “I’m to blame,” or, as I’ve heard some students say, “my bad”; you can probably see the root of culpability in this phrase). This is a half-page worksheet with a two-sentence reading and three comprehension questions. If the lesson goes into a second day, or if you simply prefer it, here is a homophones worksheet on you’re and your. This is also a half-page worksheet, with six modified cloze exercises.

This scaffolded worksheet is the principal work of this lesson. It starts with a series of modified cloze exercises, then calls upon students, to practice independently (i.e. homework) by writing sentences demonstrating they can align the proper number of subject with its proper reciprocal pronoun. To make teaching this a little easier, 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.

The Weekly Text, June 25, 2021: A Lesson Plan on the Demonstrative Pronoun

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on the demonstrative pronouns. What are the demonstrative pronouns? They are four simple words: this, that, these, and those. 

I open this lesson with this worksheet on the homophones to, too, and two. In the event the lesson continues into a second day (an eventuality for which I always prepare), here is a second do-now, this one a Cultural Literacy worksheet on italics. The principle work for this lesson is this scaffolded worksheet. To make teaching the lesson a bit easier, here is the teachers copy of the same worksheet I prepared for my own use.

This lesson gives students an opportunity to try out their procedural knowledge, which the lessons prior to this one introduced in various ways, of subject-verb agreement in declarative sentences. These four words have simple, but elegant rules: this and that always govern the use of a singular noun and singular verb form; these and those, of course, govern the use of a plural noun and a plural verb form. I worked in college writing centers for several years, and one of the most common writing lapses that moved people to visit was subject-verb agreement in number. So–stress this skill, I would say.

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.

Common Errors in English Usage: Unkept (adj), Unkempt (adj)

Here is an English usage worksheet on the adjectives unkept and unkempt. These are a couple of solid modifiers in sufficiently frequent use in the vernacular to teach them to students. This is an English usage worksheet, so one of its purposes besides introducing vocabulary students may not know is to familiarize students with the concept of proper usage. They’re sufficiently near in sound to each other that I’ve tagged this post as containing homophones.

You’ll find ten modified cloze exercises on this page. As always, this is a Microsoft Word document, so you can adapt it to your students’ needs.

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.

Common Errors in English Usage: Perspective (n), Prospective (adj)

Here is a worksheet on sorting out the use of the noun perspective and the adjective prospective. These are a couple of words worth knowing and being able to use properly–especially for high school seniors who are in the process of becoming prospective students at post-secondary institutions. Incidentally, since these are very near homophones, and may indeed sound like homophones to English language learners, I’ve tagged this post as such.

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.

Term of Art: Homonymic Clash

“homonymic clash: A clash between two homonyms, either of which could be used in similar contexts. A classic example is a posited clash in parts of southwest France between a word gat ‘cat’ derived from Latin cattus, and an identical form gat ‘cock,’ predicted by regular processes of sound change from Latin gallus. In fact, the second was replaced by other forms that changed or extended their meaning: faisan, historically ‘pheasant,’ vicaire ‘curate,’ and others. The explanation, proposed by Gillieron, is that these replacements avoided the misunderstandings that the clash would often have caused.”

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

Lightening, (pp), Lightning (n)

If I were to guess, I would say that the present participle of to lighten, lightening, is not much used in everyday discourse. That said, I heard a report earlier this summer on NPR about how the  Black Lives Matter movement in the United States has inspired a discussion about colorism and skin lightening potions in India, where colorism apparently runs rampant. Also, if you ever teach Julia Alvarez’s superb novel In the Time of the Butterfliesit makes at least one specific reference to relatively well-known fact that the dictator of the Dominican Republic from from 1930 to 1961, Rafael Trujillo, used skin-lightening cream and was, unsurprisingly, a virulent racist who slaughtered thousands of Haitians in the infamous Parsley Massacre. In fact, there is even a Wikipedia page on Colorism in the Caribbean if you are interested.

Such are the wages, I’m afraid, of the valorization and privileging of white skin.

So, this set of five worksheets on the homophones lightening and lightning might be more of an exercise in ensuring students understand what the lightning is as a meteorological and electrical phenomenon and how properly to spell the word. Still, there is room in these worksheets for fooling around with the verb to lighten, used 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.

Rack (n, v), Wrack (n,v)

Alright, continuing with recently finished projects, here are five worksheets on the homophones rack and wrack used, in both cases, as nouns and verbs. Both of these words are complicated in their usage, and in fact rarely used in their full range of meanings–which is probably why I never finished this several years ago when I was developing a series of homophone worksheet.

In any case, in these worksheets, both words are used as nouns and verbs. Rack, as a verb, is used both intransitively and transitively; wrack as a verb is used only transitively and really has only one meaning: “to utterly ruin : WRECK.”

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.

Passed (v/pt), Past (adj)

OK, from the back of the Text Terminal, here are five worksheets on the homophones passed (past tense of the verb pass) and past (used as an adjective.) This is another one of those things lying around unfinished. I’ll bet you’ve taught a student or two who confused these two words, so this ought to have some utility somewhere, I guess.

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.

Precedence (n), Precedents (n/pl)

Here are five homophone worksheets on the nouns precedence and precedents. These actually started as a single English usage (Paul Brian’s book Common Error in English Usage) from a passage in  worksheet, but I decided I’d rather have them as homophone worksheets and so rewrote them as such. Precedents, of course, is the plural of precedent–and both are good words for students to know, as is, of course, precedence.

So there you go.

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.

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.