Tag Archives: learning support

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.

Use the Proper Case of Pronoun.

[If you need this as a learning support in Microsoft Word it’s under that hyperlink.]

“10. Use the proper case of pronoun.

 The personal pronouns, as well as the pronoun who, change form as they function as subject or object.

Will Jane or he be hired, do you think?

 The culprit, it turned out, was he.

 We heavy eaters would rather walk than ride.

 Who knocks?

 Give this work to whoever looks idle.

In the last example, whoever is the subject of looks idle; the object of the preposition to is the entire clause whoever looks idle. When who introduces a subordinate clause, its case depends on its subject in that clause. (N.B. The first two sentences are incorrect, the second two are correct.)

Virgil Soames is the candidate whom we think will win.

Virgil Soames is the candidate who we hope to elect.

Virgil Soames is the candidate who we think will win [We think he will win.]

Virgil Soames is the candidate whom we hope to elect. [We hope to elect him.]

A pronoun in a comparison is nominative if it is the subject of a stated or understood verb.

Sandy writes better than I. (Than I write.)

In general avoid “understood” verbs by supplying them.

I think Horace admires Jessica more than I.

I think Horace admires Jessica more than I do.

Polly loves cake more than me.

Polly loves cake more than she loves me.

The objective case is correct in the following examples.

The ranger offered Shirley and him some advice on campsites.

They came to meet the Baldwins and us.

Let’s talk it over between us, then, you and me.

Whom should I ask?

A group of us taxpayers protested.

Us in the last example is in apposition to taxpayers, the object of the preposition of. The wording, although grammatically defensible, is rarely apt. “A group of us protested as taxpayers” is better, if not exactly equivalent.

Use the simple personal pronoun as subject. (N.B. The first sentence is incorrect, the second sentence is correct.)

Blake and myself stayed home.

Blake and I stayed home.

Howard and yourself brought the lunch, I thought.

Howard and you brought the lunch, I thought..

The possessive case of pronouns is used to show ownership. It has two forms: the adjectival modifier, your hat, and the noun form, a hat of yours.

The dog has buried one of your gloves and one of mine in the flower bed.

Gerunds usually require the possessive case.

Mother objected to our driving on the icy roads.

A present participle as a verbal, on the other hand, takes the objective case.

They heard him singing in the shower.

The difference between a verbal participle and a gerund is not always obvious, but note what is really said in each of the following.

Do you mind me asking a question?

Do you mind my asking a question?

In the first sentence, the queried objection is to me. As opposed to other members of the group, asking a question. In the second example, the issue is whether a question may asked at all.”

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

A Complete Lesson Plan on Using the Predicate Adjective

Here is a lesson plan on using the predicate adjective in short, declarative sentences. The syntax of these kinds of short sentences, which is subject-linking verb-adjective, is one of the most common constructions in English speech and prose. For that reason, I have included a lesson on the predicate adjective on each of the first three units on parts of speech, to wit nouns, verbs, and adjectives, that I wrote about ten years ago and have revised ever since.

That’s a long way around explaining that you will see lessons on using the predicate adjective in grammatically complete declarative sentences at least a couple of more times.

In any case, I open this lesson with this worksheet on the homophones compliment and complement. Because the noun complement is often used as a synonym for predicate in grammar manuals, and I think it’s important that students know how to use grammar manuals, I want them to know this word. This scaffolded worksheet is the mainstay of this lesson; here is the teachers’ copy of it. Finally, here is an adjectives word bank. Please notice  that this document has four copies of the same word list–it’s meant to be cut in four pieces in a paper-saving measure.

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 Number of the Subject Determines the Number of the Verb

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

The number of the subject determines the number of the verb.

 Words that intervene between subject and verb do not affect the number of the verb. (Addendum: The second sentence is the correct one.)

The bittersweet flavor of youth—its trials, its joys, its adventures, its challenges—are not soon forgotten.

The  bittersweet flavor of youth—its trials, its joys, its adventures, its challenges—is not soon forgotten.

A common blunder is the use of a singular verb form in a relative clause following “one of…” or similar expression when the relative is the subject. (Addendum: The second sentence is the correct one.)

One of the ablest scientists who has attacked this problem.

One of the ablest scientists who have attacked this problem.

One of those people who is never ready on time.

One of those people who are never ready on time.

Use a singular verb after each, either, everyone, everybody, neither, nobody, someone.

Everybody thinks he has a unique sense of humor.

Although both clocks strike cheerfully, neither keeps good time.

With none, use the singular verb when the word means “no one” or “not one.”

None of us are perfect (Wrong)

None of us is perfect.

A plural verb is commonly used when none suggests more than one thing or person.

None are so fallible as those who are sure they’re right.

A compound subject formed of two or more nouns joined by and almost always requires a plural verb.

The walrus and the carpenter were walking close at hand.

But certain compounds, often clichés, are so inseparable they are considered a unit and so take a singular verb, as do compound subjects qualified by each or every.

The long and short of it is…

Bread and butter was all she served.

Give and take is essential to a happy household.

Every window, picture and mirror was smashed.

A singular subject remains singular even if other nouns are connected to it by with, as well as, in addition to, except, together with, and no less than.

His speech as well as his manner is objectionable.

A linking verb agrees with the number of its subject.

What is wanted is few more pairs of hands.

The trouble with truth is its many varieties.

Some nouns that appear to be plural are usually construed as singular and given a singular verb.

Politics is an art, not a science.

The Republican Headquarters is on this side of the tracks.

But

The general’s quarters are across the river.

In these cases the writer must simply learn the idioms. The contents of a book is singular. The contents of a jar may be either singular or plural, depending on what’s in the jar—jam or marbles.

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

A Complete Lesson Plan on Understanding and Differentiating Historical Dates

Here is a complete lesson plan on understanding and differentiating historical dates which I have actually previously posted on Mark’s Text Terminal. While this is a social studies lesson on understanding how we use numbers to count and describe historical time, it has an ulterior literacy motive in that it seeks to help students, particularly the many English language learner I have served over the years.

We use two types of numbers when we talk about historical dates, ordinal and cardinal. Ordinal numbers are adjectives that, as their name indicates, place things in order. So, when we use terms like fourteenth century, fifteenth century, and so on, we are using ordinal numbers. Similarly, when we say, respectively, the 1300s, the 1400s, and so on, we are using cardinal numbers, which are nouns and which we use to count things. These two types of numbers are different in English just as they are different in other languages. Because I didn’t initially understand the difference between these kinds of numbers, I struggled to understand the numbering system in Russian when I studied that language.

For that reason, I wrote this context clues worksheet on the adjective ordinal and this on the noun phrase cardinal number. These worksheets aim to help students understand the difference between these two types of numbers and their use in English prose. This is knowledge that transfers across the curriculum–to foreign languages, English language arts, mathematics itself, and, yes, social studies.

Finally, here is the combined learning support and worksheet that is the gravamen of 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.

Write It Right: All Of

“All of. ‘He gave me all of his property.’ The words are contradictory: an entire thing cannot be of itself. Omit the preposition.”

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

A Complete Lesson Plan on the Timelines of World History

I was all but certain that I had previously posted this lesson plan on the timeline of global history, but I can’t find it anywhere on Mark’s Text Terminal. So, here is a context clues worksheet on the noun chronology with which I open this lesson. Here is the reading, which is really a list of significant dates in world history; here also are the questions to answer in worksheet form. Finally, here are is the teacher’s copy of the worksheet, i.e. the answers.

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.