Tag Archives: punctuation

The Weekly Text, October 30, 2020: A Lesson Plan on Using the Definite and Indefinite Articles

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on using definite and indefinite articles.

I open this lesson with this parsing sentences worksheet for nouns. This scaffolded worksheet on using the definite (the) and indefinite (a, an before words starting with vowels) articles. Finally, here is the teacher’s copy of the worksheet to make working through this lesson a little easier.

That’s it. Happy Halloween! Don’t eat too much candy, and wear your mask!

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.

Term of Art: Indirect Speech

indirect speech: The reporting of something said, thought, etc. with deictic and other units adapted to the viewpoint of the reporter. E.g. He said he would bring them might report a promise, originally expressed by the utterance ‘I will bring them in.’ But the person who made the promise is someone other than the reporter; hence, in the reporting, original I is changed to he. Also the promise was earlier than the report; hence, in addition, will is changed to would. With these adaptations, he would bring them is an example of, and is said to be ‘in,’ indirect speech.”

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

Term of Art: Proper Noun

“Proper Noun: The name of a particular person (Frank Sinatra), place (Boston), or thing (Moby Dick). Common nouns name classes of people (singers), places (cities), or things (books) and are not capitalized.”

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

Lettrism

“Lettrism: A phenomenon since the 1950s, lettrism is the juxtaposition of letters, words, signs, and pictographic symbols with visual effect as the primary concern and with the meaning (if any) of secondary importance. Concrete poetry is a form of lettrism, but here the verbal meaning is as important as the design. Also called typewriter art.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Term of Art: Prepositional Phrase

“Prepositional Phrase: A group of words consisting of a preposition, its object, and any of the object’s modifiers. Georgia on my mind.”

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

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 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.

Term of Art: Orthography

“Orthography: [Through French and Latin from Greek orthographia correct writing]. 1. A term for correct or accepted writing and spelling and for a normative set of conventions for writing and especially spelling. In the 15th and 16th centuries, there was considerable variety and uncertainty in the writing and printing of English. Advocates of standardized spelling emphasized the importance of regularization by referring to it as trewe ortografye, trew orthographie, etc. 2. The study of letters and how they are used to express sounds and form words, especially as a traditional aspect of grammar; the spelling system of a language, whether considered ‘true’ and ‘correct’ or not. In linguistics, however, the name for the study of the writing system of a language and for the system itself is more commonly graphology, a level of language parallel to phonology. The earlier, prescriptive sense of the term continues to be used, but the later, more neutral sense is common among scholars of language. The orthography of English has standardized on two systems, British and American. While far from uniform in either system, it allows for much less variation than is possible, for example, in the orthography of Scots.”

Excerpted from: McArthur, Tom. The Oxford Concise Companion to the English Language. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

A Lesson Plan on Using the Modal and Conditional Verbs

Here is a lesson plan on using modal and conditional verbs.

I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on, simply, verbs. In the event this lesson goes into a second day, here is another do-now, this one an Everyday Edit worksheet on the roller coaster. This scaffolded worksheet on using modal and conditional verbs is the centerpiece of this lesson. Finally, here is the teacher’s copy of the worksheet to make teaching this lesson a little easier.

Incidentally, if you like Everyday Edit worksheets, please remember that the good people at Education World generously offer a yearlong supply of them at their site.

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.

Congress (n)

Here are two context clues worksheets on the noun congress if you can use them. Incidentally, these present an opportunity to help students further differentiate between proper and common nouns–congress is used both ways in these documents. A simple question like “Why is this noun capitalized in some sentences and not in others?” would push the conversation in the direction you need it to go to develop understanding of this area of usage.

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.