Tag Archives: short exercises

Juncture (n)

At this point, on most days, if I post a context clues worksheet chances are good that it was that day’s Word of the Day at Merriam-Webster. So, on that note, I’ll stop qualifying them as such, because if I am finding it a tedious rhetorical move, I’ll bet you are too.

So, here is a context clues worksheet on the noun juncture. This word has meanings related to junction, but for our purposes, as the worksheet’s context points up, the meaning is “a point of time; esp : one made critical by a concurrence of circumstances.” This is a relatively heavily used work in English, and a strong one, with a Latin pedigree.

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.

Ubiquitous (adj)

It’s Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day today, so, like Pavlov’s dog, I got out an index card and wrote this context clues worksheet on the adjective ubiquitous. It’s of solid, if distant classical origin–ubique means everywhere in Latin–and found its way into English in this form in 1830. Ubiquitous means “existing or being everywhere at the same time : constantly encountered : WIDESPREAD.”

This is an adjective that tends, in any case, to show up in educated discourse.

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.

Delve (vi)

It’s Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day today. It is also a very strong verb from Middle English, and a word that ought to be used in our schools more often. Hence this context clues worksheet on the verb delve. In the years I’ve been a teacher, students haven’t much delved into the world of ideas as skimmed its surface in preparation for high-stakes standardized tests. Maybe it’s time, especially in the second two years of high school, to ask students to delve into something.

In any case, this verb has a transitive use, excavate (i.e., dig) that Merriam-Webster now designates as archaic. However, intransitively, delve means, for our purposes, “to make a careful or detailed search for information” and  “to examine a subject in detail.” If you know delve and use it, I wonder if you find the verb rarely appears without the preposition into, which then has an object following it? He delved into the essays of James Baldwin.

(OK, delve, intransitively, also means “to dig or labor with or as if with a spade.” I don’t know if I’ve ever heard anyone say they were off to delve out the hog pen, so I left it alone.)

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.

Cultural Literacy: Allies

Given the rise of tyranny around the world, and given the dismal state of United States’ foreign policy, I think now is the time to post this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Allies in both World War I (opposed, in that conflict, to the Central Powers that arose in turn out of the Triple Alliance in Europe) and World War II (opposed, in that global war, to the Axis powers).

This might make a handy learning support for students with less than adequate funds of memory. Questions about the members of alliances are the kinds things that pop up on standardized tests.

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.

Limpid (adj)

It’s the Word of the Day at Merriam-Webster’s, so here is a context clues worksheet on the adjective limpid. It means “marked by transparency,” “clear and simple in style,” and “absolutely serene and untroubled.” I’ve used it in the first two senses, but not in the third, in this worksheet.

I understand that this is a words students can probably live without. But what would it look like if we asked them to live with it? This is a word commonly used in poetry. If you read any amount of fiction, or even the blurbs on novels, you’ve almost certainly encountered the locution “limpid prose,” as in “In limpid [and feel free to add ‘crystalline’ here] prose. Hiram Famauthor tells the story of Stanley, who overcomes adversity to triumph in life.” So, if you have advanced English language arts students, or kids struggling with literacy, there are at least of couple of reasons to teach them this word.

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.

Cultural Literacy: Colonialism

Today begins National Hispanic Heritage Month 2020. For the next four Fridays, for The Weekly Text, Mark’s Text Terminal will observe the month by posting readings and comprehension worksheets related to the history of LatinX people in the United States and Elsewhere.

Let me kick this off today with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on colonialism. As I said to an interview committee the other day, we live in a pregnant moment that can, with (if you’ll allow me to play out this metaphor ad nauseum) proper prenatal care, yield real social change. If we are going to talk seriously about the injustices visited on non-white people the world over, we need to discuss colonialism seriously. In just about every respect, we are all dealing with the legacy of colonialism–and the time has come–now–to reckon with it. We neglect to do so at our intellectual and moral peril.

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.

The Order of Things: Big Bang Sequence

OK, folks, there is a lot of traffic on Mark’s Text Terminal today, so I’ll publish one more post before moving on to other things for the afternoon. From Barbara Anne Kipfer’s fascinating book (to me, anyway, The Order of Things, here is a lesson plan on the Big Bang sequence along with its reading and comprehension worksheet.

This is a relatively short exercise. However, like just about everything here, these are Microsoft Word documents, so you may manipulate them for your students’ needs.

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.

Purport (vt)

It’s Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day today, so here is a context clues worksheet on the verb purport, which is used only transitively. Don’t forget your direct object: what is the subject of your sentence purporting? Arcane knowledge? Expertise in neurosurgery? A conscience?

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.

Ruddy (adj)

It popped up as the Word of the Day at Merriam-Webster’s last week, but I let it go by. Then I saw it used not once, but twice, in the Harlan Coben thriller I’m reading at the moment, so I wrote up five sentences. Here, therefore, is a context clues worksheet on the adjective ruddy if you can use it.

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.

English Usage: Rebelling, Revolting

Here’s an English usage worksheet on using rebelling and revolting in declarative sentences. This is a relatively short exercise that can, nonetheless, to be expanded.

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.