Tag Archives: learning support

The Weekly Text, August 14, 2020: A Lesson Plan on Indefinite Adjectives

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on indefinite adjectives. These are those words–any; each; either; every; many; several; few; all; and some–that we use in speech and prose regularly, often in grammatical error. Now, I do think it’s important that students learn how to understand grammar in general as an organizing structure in language (for future use in the study, of among other things, foreign languages), but I also think kids need to learn how to use grammar and usage manuals. Grammar and usage need not be memorized, but again, it should be understood and applied.

Why? Because if we are to have high expectations of and for our students, we need them to be able to write well. I worked my way through college and graduate school working in writing and academic study centers in which I mostly counseled students on expository writing. In those years, a number of patterns in what professors would suffer in lapses in grammar, usage, and style emerged, and the most salient of those patterns was in agreement: subject/verb, antecedent/pronoun, and modifiers and nouns. So, this is a lesson about agreement in number when using any; each; either; every; many; several; few; all; and some.

I use this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the non sequitur; if the lesson goes into a second day (it’s fairly complicated, so I more often than not took it into a second day by design), then here is an Everyday Edit worksheet on the Tuskegee Airmen to carry you along (and incidentally, if you’d like more Everyday Edit worksheets, the good folks at Education World give away a yearlong supply of them).

Here is the learning support in the form of a graphic organizer for sorting out these adjectives and the numbers of nouns they modify and therefore govern. This is a learning support, in other words, that students play a role in developing. This scaffolded worksheet is the mainstay of the lesson. Here is the teacher’s copy of all the materials that will help you execute this lesson.

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 Lesson Plan on Myths and Mythology

Here, as above and below, is the sixth in an eleven-lesson global studies unit on the origins of religion and philosophy, to wit, a lesson plan on myths and mythology.

I open this lesson with this context clues worksheet on the noun protagonist and include here, in the event the lesson spans two days (as previously mentioned, I am all but certain I intended) another on the noun antagonist. This is an unmistakably complementary and complimentary pair of words for a lesson on mythological figures.

Finally, here is the reading and comprehension questions that are the central work of this lesson. You’ll also need this learning support on the Roman gods for the independent practice (i.e. homework) for this lesson.

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, July 17, 2020

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on the simple future tense of verbs. I open this lesson with this worksheet on differentiating the homophones veracious and voracious, which are both adjectives. It always pays to prepare for a lesson to spill over into a second day. So here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the concept of nuance, which is really something students ought to know before they graduate high school.

You’ll need the scaffolded worksheet that is the mainstay of this lesson to do its work. You might also find this learning support and word bank useful in presenting this lesson and completing its work. Finally, here is the teacher’s copy of the worksheet.

That’s it. I hope you’re staying safe and healthy.

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 5, 2020

OK, things at Mark’s Text Terminal are returning to something resembling normalcy, which means I’ll return to the Weekly Text format for the big post of the week.

So, this week’s Text is a lesson plan on the verb to be used in the present progressive tense. I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the idiom Bone to Pick, as in “I’ve got a bone to pick with you.” In the event the lesson spills over into a second day, here is a worksheet on the homophones prophet and profit.

You’ll need the worksheet at the center the lesson to do the work; you’ll probably also want (but you don’t necessarily need) this word bank as a learning support. Finally, here is the teacher’s copy of the worksheet.

That’s it: stay safe, be well, stand up for what’s right.

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 Learning Support on Note Cards for Research and a Structured Note-Card Blank

Over the years I’ve been assigned to “co-teach” many classes; in New York City, I was a regular fixture in social studies classrooms in which I was charged with supporting struggling learners. In the last school I worked in in the Five Boroughs, I worked with three different teachers with three different approaches to the curriculum. Because the assistant principal in charge of the humanities regularly changed the form and content of the curriculum, my duties required me, as a colleague once put it so cogently, to constantly “reinvent the wheel.”

One of the most contentious, and therefore most subject to change, was the synthetic research paper. One of the teachers I worked with assigned students the task of writing, and turning in for assessment, a set of 3 x 5 cards with sources and notes that would eventually end up in students’ papers. For that reason, I contrived this learning support with examples of note cards for research along with this structured note-card blank to aid struggling learners with this task.

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, May 15, 2020: A Lesson Plan on the Simple Present Tense of Verbs

OK, I think this lesson plan on using the simple present tense of verbs speaks for itself and therefore doesn’t require much comment.

I open this lesson with this worksheet on the homophones who’s and whose. These two words (well, a contraction and a word) are quite easily confused, so the explanation for their use is extensive. Students will walk away, after completing this, with a page from a grammar and usage manual. In the event the lesson goes into a second day, here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the term and concept expletive.

This scaffolded worksheet is the centerpiece of this unit for students. You might need this word bank to support completion of the worksheet. Finally, here is the teachers’ copy of the worksheet to make getting through the lesson a little easier for you.

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 Sample Outline and Structured Outlining Blanks

For ten years, I worked in a school in Lower Manhattan that assigned synthetic research papers to students who lacked basic writing skills. And that issue was one of many at that school where writing assignments were concerned. Over the years, I fabricated a lot of learning supports on the fly, including this sample outline and these structured outlining blanks.

At one point, in the social studies classes I co-taught, students were required to submit outlines in the run-up to writing their actual paper. I suspect I prepared the documents in this post to support students in drafting their outlines. At least that’s what these supports look like to me. Of course, you can use them however you see fit. As always, these documents are in Microsoft Word, so they can be manipulated for your students and circumstances.

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.

Research Topics Explained: A Learning Support

Here is a learning support on topics for research that I wrote to support students in a college writing course I co-taught several years ago. I’m all but certain I’ve posted this elsewhere, probably in combination with some other materials on synthetic research papers. Here it is as a stand-alone post.

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.

Elementary Principles of Composition: Choose a Suitable Design and Hold to It.

[If you would like this passage as a learning support in Microsoft Word, it’s under that hyperlink.]

“12. Choose a suitable design and hold to it.

 A basic structural design underlies every kind of writing. Writers will in part follow this design, in part deviate from it, according to their skills, their needs, and the unexpected events that accompany the act of composition. Writing, to be effective, must follow closely the thoughts of the writer, but not necessarily in the order in which those thoughts occur. This calls for a scheme of procedure. In some cases, the best design is no design, as with a love letter, which is simply an outpouring, or with a casual essay, which is a ramble. But in most cases, planning must be a deliberate prelude to writing. The first principle of composition, therefore, is to foresee or determine the shape of what is to come and pursue that shape.

A sonnet is built on a fourteen-line frame, each line containing five feet. Hence, sonneteers know exactly where they are headed, although they may not know how to get there. Most forms of composition are less clearly defined, more flexible, but all have skeletons to which the writer will bring the flesh and blood. The more clearly the writer perceives the shape, the better are the chances of success.”

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

A Complete Lesson Plan on the Compound Noun

Alright, moving right along, here is a lesson plan on the compound noun and its use in declarative sentences. I open this lesson with the Everyday Edit worksheet on National Public Radio (and as I will never stop saying every time I post an Everyday Edit worksheet, the generous proprietors of Education World will let you walk away from their site with a yearlong supply of these worksheets free of charge). This scaffolded worksheet at the center of the lesson will take most of your time in helping students master this point of grammar and usage. I made this teacher’s copy of the worksheet to make sure I taught the material consistently. Finally, here is the learning support, a word bank, to help move the work along.

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.