1. Idiom of the Day:
Some women carry everything but the kitchen sink in their bags; this was helpful to Tim when he needed both a bandage and some Advil after his injury.
Note: In this sentence, please notice that instead of a conjunction, I used a semicolon to separate two independent clauses. Since independent clauses can stand alone, I could also have used a period. But...don't just use semicolons haphazardly! The two clauses you are connecting must have something in common before you can add this punctuation mark!
Here is an example of when you CANNOT place a semicolon in between two clauses:
Example of what NOT TO DO: I cannot wait to go to the beach this summer; my sister is several years younger than I am.
Why do you think the semicolon does not work in this case?
Replace the second clause with one that does stick to the meaning of the sentence!
2. Idiom of the Day #2:
In the short story, The Lottery Ticket by Anton Chekhov, we saw that Ivan began envisioning all kinds of luxuries and power he could have if his wife's ticket held the winning numbers. We decided he should not be counting his chickens before they hatch.
3. Literary Device: Irony
Irony generally occurs when the unexpected happens; in some cases, this could be the exact opposite of what you think makes sense according to how the characters have behaved so far.
Example: An elevator repairman spends the afternoon fixing an elevator that has been stuck on the sixth floor of the building. When he is finished and has packed all his tools, he heads towards the stairs to make his exit.
Note: While there is certainly nothing wrong with using the stairs, we find it rather strange for someone who makes a living fixing broken down elevators to not use the elevator he has just fixed in order to make his exit.
Example 2: Mrs. Costello had just finished telling her neighbor how her son Billy had always been deathly afraid of the water when Billy suddenly walked through the door and announced he had just been certified as a lifeguard.
Question to ask yourself: Would you expect someone who did not enjoy being in the water to suddenly become a lifeguard? The fact that Billy became a certified lifeguard is ironic!
Example 3: Tom boasted about how well he followed directions using a road map, yet the day of an important interview, Tom used a GPS throughout his drive.
Note: The irony here is that we know that Tom prefers using an actual paper map and has told people he is quite good at it! Using a GPS for an important interview is the opposite from what we would think Tom would do!
What is an example of irony in the short story The Necklace?
4. Persuasive Writing:
Without using personal pronouns I, me, my, our, or ours, write an opening paragraph of five solid sentences explaining why the minimum wage in Massachusetts should be ____________ an hour! Be sure your topic sentence simply states your viewpoint effectively. Do not use the words I think. Your persuasive paragraph itself will tell us what you think!
Example of a topic sentence: Living in Massachusetts can be quite expensive, but raising the minimum wage to ________ would help people pay their bills more easily.
Example 2 of a topic sentence: The cost of living continues to rise, especially in Massachusetts, and a new minimum wage of _______________ will soon be necessary for people who wish to continue being residents.
Remember, also, that topic sentences could do not have to always go first. You can build up to it with four good sentences that precede it!
5. More Persuasive Writing Topics:
1. Idiom Review:
If we have been working on a project and find ourselves back to square one, this means:
a. We need to get over to Square One Mall in Saugus as quickly as possible!
b. We need to draw more squares to make the project more decorative.
c. Things did not go as planned, and we need to start over again.
2. Idiom #2 Review:
If Juan bent over backwards for all of his friend's demands, he probably:
a. Did everything he possibly could do to help him.
b. Should definitely become an Olympic gymnast.
c. May need physical therapy soon!
3. Cause and Effect Review:
Please fill in the blank in each of the following sentences with something that could logically happen:
a. Before I met my best friend, _____________________________________________________.
b. I don't have much time in between jobs this afternoon, yet _______________________________________.
c. Even though I enjoy ice skating with friends, ___________________________________________________.
d. ________________________________________, but my favorite meal is breakfast.
e. ______________________________________________, so I will have to change the present I bought him.
4. Grammar Challenge Review:
It's time to add clauses to existing sentences! Decide which nouns in the paragraph below could use a little more information that would make the sentence more interesting! Remember: Clauses contain verbs!
Jamal found a new job. He wondered if driving to Boston would be difficult. Jamal had looked for work for a long time. He did not want to start the process all over again. After much thought, Jamal decided he would give it a try.
When you are deciding where to add appropriate clauses, think also about the meaning of this paragraph. It is not necessary to add a clause to every sentence, but it may be worthwhile to add one to sentences that appear choppy. Remember: There is a rhythm in writing and speaking--just as there is in music!
5. Literary Device Review:
Since we introduced foreshadowing during our last class, let's see if you remember how this device is used. This will be your Ticket Into Class, that will serve as a check-in for each of us!
Which of the following provides a strong example of foreshadowing (select all that apply):
a. Ivan (from The Lottery Ticket) reads a newspaper while relaxing on the couch. By the end of the story, that newspaper becomes the center of attention because it holds the answer as to whether Ivan and his wife will become very rich or not.
b. While walking down the street, Jean sees her friend Ben getting into a car (that is not his) and quickly driving away. Jean doesn't think about this until days later when she finds out that there had been a car robbery on their street, and the car Ben was driving fits that description.
c. Stan was having problems paying all his bills. One day, he sees a wallet on the street, and it is filled with cash. Stan decides that the right thing to do would be to take it to the police station, and have them find the owner. Time goes by, and one day Stan receives an envelope in the mail from someone whose name he does not recognize. He opens the envelope to discover a check for $5000, with a note from the person who owned the wallet he had found. It turns out that the owner was a very rich man, and the wallet had been a special gift to him from his parents many years earlier. Stan cannot believe his luck!
6. Latin/Greek Roots Review:
If you collaborate with your classmate, you:
a. are not getting along
b. are working together
c. are becoming great writers
When the teacher asks you to elaborate on a story you tell the class, she wants you to:
a. become an actor
b. stop telling stories
c. provide more details and information about what happened
If labor means work, then the opposite of labor could be:
Welcome to a new week of our Writing Workshop! I hope you are picking up some new techniques and ideas while sharpening your writing skills along the way!
Idiom of the Day:
The shopping mall was set to be built, with plans and blueprints ready to go; however, the funding fell through, and the construction workers were back to square one!
Note: The conjunction however indicates a change has occurred. Ask yourself what was happening at the beginning of the sentence, and what may have to happen as a result of this. Think of our cause and effect exercises, and imagine how one situation always affects something else!
Idiom of the Day #2:
Kara did not know what else she could possibly do next for her boss. She had bent over backwards, but nothing seemed to be good enough for Mrs. Smith!
Note: In this idiom, as in all idioms, the words are not to be taken literally (at face value). We have to actually look back at the previous sentence AND at what follows the idiom to understand what is going on.
3. Cause and Effect
Please fill in the blanks in the following sentences with something that could logically happen. You may be providing a cause or an effect in each one.
a. Because there were only a few customers in the restaurant, the owner decided to ____________________.
b. Sandra had never danced in a recital before, so she _____________________________________________.
c. _____________________________________________, but John still got the job!
d. _____________________________________________, yet Timothy wanted to try for it anyway!
4. Grammar Challenge
Directions: Add a clause to the sentence below.
a. Lynnette was visiting her friends in Maine.
(Note: If you get stuck, think about using the conjunction who, where, or while to introduce your clause.)
5. Literary Device #1
Foreshadowing is an author's method of dropping hints (like clues!) about what will happen later in the story.
Anton Chekhov, who wrote The Lottery Ticket, the short story we read on Friday, used a technique later referred to as Chekhov's gun. Chekhov felt that every element of a story must have meaning or else it shouldn't be there! The reason why his principle is called Chekhov's gun is that if, for instance, a story stated that someone had a weapon or even that a weapon was said to be kept in a cabinet, there had to be a reason for this. It had to appear again later in the story. This is an example of foreshadowing, which means the writer is providing a clue that will later appear again and allow the story to make sense!
An example: In The Lottery Ticket, Ivan is immediately shown opening a newspaper...in the very first sentence of the story! This newspaper plays an important role in the story; it is not just a prop that the character used and tossed away! What did this newspaper (and its contents) later represent as the story came to a close?
6. Literary Device #2
Irony occurs in a story when a character does something we do not expect him to do; often, it is exactly the opposite of what we would expect.
An example: A high school student applies for a job to be a lifeguard. HIs mom is astonished he did this because he has had a fear of water since he was a small child. It is ironic that this young man wants to take a job that requires him to constantly be around something he is afraid of. We would not expect someone with a fear of water to become a lifeguard.
When we read the short story The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant today, we will be shown several examples of irony at its best! I bet all of you will be able to identify at least one example when we have finished reading.
7. Greek/Latin Roots
Origin: Latin labor
Examples: collaborate, elaborate, laboratory, laborious
Sentence: It would have taken the students a long time to work on the project individually, so they decided to collaborate to finish it quickly.
Sentence: When Jane mentioned how she had once won an art competition, the teacher asked her to elaborate on this point.
Sentence: He was mixing chemicals in the laboratory in order to find a new vaccine.
Sentence: Crocheting a sweater, stitch by stitch, can be a laborious task if you don't enjoy the process!
8. Fact or Opinion
a. Everyone enjoys the weekend!
b. You should take up golf--it's so relaxing.
c. Did you know that Alaska is our largest state?
d. What a kind person Joe is!
e. Jerry will join us later in the evening.
f. Tom knows everything! [What literary device is being used here, as well?]
g. This is the best pie I have ever eaten!
h. Sydney's laptop took ten minutes before it booted up today.
i. Passing all five HiSETs will earn you a high school diploma!
j. Tami can type 95 words per minute.
k. Sol can skate faster than his little brother, but he is not as fast as his brother Lenny, who is a professional hockey player.
Idiom of the Day:
When Jonas made another huge mistake at work, his boss said it was the last straw.
Directions: What do you think will happen next? Explain your answer in the space below.
Literary Device: Hyperbole
A hyperbole is a deliberate exaggeration, used to emphasize a feeling in writing or in speaking.
Example: I am absolutely starving to death!
Directions: What is the actual meaning of this sentence? Why did the writer decide to phrase it this way?
Identify and explain the meaning of each example of hyperbole:
a. I haven't slept in a week!
b. She cried her eyes out while watching the sad movie.
c. Joe is so hungry he could eat a horse.
d. The child had a ton of homework every night.
Listen for hyperbole during the weekend. Write down any you may hear in your notebooks.
Also, start keeping a personal dictionary in a portion of one of your notebooks. Label each page a different letter of the alphabet, and any time you hear a word that is new to you or whose meaning you are unsure of, add it to your dictionary under the correct letter. Then look up the meaning of that word, and write it down. This is a wonderful way to expand your vocabulary!
Identify the adverbs in each sentence below:
a. I will see you tomorrow.
b. Where did you go?
c. Lena danced happily on the stage.
d. I am not going.
e. You are really kind.
f. Come here!
g. Sit down carefully.
h. I think I have met you before.
You make an inference when you read a story or piece of writing (or even when you hear someone speak) and you make an assumption about what was meant.
Let's try some together!
a. Tom has a bad back ache every day. The doctor asks him how many books he usually carries in his backpack.
Why does the doctor want to know this? What can you infer about this question?
b. Steve runs out to the hardware store to buy a new shovel after hearing the weather forecast.
c. In December, Stacey's mother moved the furniture around in her living room, creating a space near the window.
d. Mrs. Davidson went to the service desk and demanded money back.
Add a clause to the sentences below.
Example: The boys played basketball.
When the weather was nice, the boys played basketball.
a. School would end in early June.
b. It was fun to go to the beach.
c. Do you know John?
d. Music is important to me.
e. Sara made some new friends.
Now add a second clause to these dependent clauses:
Example: Before I knew it
Before I knew it, the days became warmer.
a, After watching the new TV show ________________________________________________________________________
b. Before we know it, ____________________________________________________________________________________
c. When my mom had company, ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
d. If you have time, ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Finish this opening paragraph, pretending that this is something you truly believe in
Everyone should eat eggs for breakfast. ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Try this one next:
Stores and businesses should be closed on Sundays so that people can spend more time with their families.
We have a slightly different set of directions for today! You will receive a handout of today's review that you will work on before we discuss them as a class. You will work on this section right away (as soon as you arrive in class!). In this way, we will be able to fit more information into our tight schedule, and students will not have to wait for everyone else to get to class before beginning their work! Have fun!
1. If, as the idiom says, it takes two to tango, this could mean:
a. you should go on TV and dance
b. you can't perform the dance alone
c. there will often be more than one person involved in a negative situation
2. An example of an apple not falling far from the tree might be:
a. a daughter deciding to become a doctor, which is the profession of her mother
b. a man thinking about working in a garage, just as his best friend does
c. an apple not rolling far away from the tree because it is not round enough
3. Find the appositive in the following sentences:
a. Tomas, a friend of mine, will be visiting us this evening.
b. Maine, a New England state, is known for having delicious lobsters.
c. I was out shopping with Sami, a woman I met at school.
d. Did you happen to find that restaurant, The Happy Fish, that was reviewed on The Phantom Gourmet?
e. I am buying a new car, a Jaguar, when I win the megamillions!
4. Please find the prepositional phrases in the sentences that follow. Remember that a phrase is a group of words that does not contain a verb and may begin with a preposition, such as "at the zoo" or "behind the cash register."
a. Did you stay after school?
b. I kept hearing the loud signal from that train.
c. In other words, please try your best!
d. Sit down in a comfortable chair when you read a good book.
e. You will find an answer in each sentence.
f. The refrigerator contained lots of food!
5. List the independent clauses in the sentences below.
Note: An example of an independent clause could be a simple sentence, or it could be the section in bold print that follows: Whenever I feel tired, I fall asleep rather quickly. Remember--an independent clause can stand alone.
a. I am so happy whenever I visit my daughter.
b. If you need help, please don't hesitate to call me.
c. While you are taking classes, it's a good idea to work as hard as you can.
d. We ate lots of food while we were sitting at the banquet table.
e. I listened to music all day, and I walked along the beach every night.
6. List the dependent clauses in the sentences below.
Note: A dependent clause needs the rest of the sentence to make complete sense. An example is: Because he needed a job, Tim sent out many resumes.
a. I will buy her some presents tomorrow when I receive my paycheck.
b. Whenever you see her, please tell Joan I was asking for her.
c. The puppy trainer was very patient when she worked with the dogs.
d. Fran cleaned out her car while she waited for her sister.
e. Wherever you go on your trip, please be careful to stay safe.
f. Don't worry about getting everything right when you're learning a new skill.
7. An example of alliteration could be:
a. Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
b. There are some cute chickens on Cedar Road.
c. Always try your best!
8. Since hydr- is the Greek root that means water, select as many of the sentences below that are true:
a. Using a fire hydrant when fire fighters battle a blaze is often necessary.
b. Drinking a lot of water will keep you hydrated.
c. It is possible to become dehydrated while playing sports on a hot day.
9. Fact or Opinion: Please write fact or opinion in the space after each statement below.
a. Frank is the nicest uncle in the world.
b. Juan has been playing the guitar for ten years.
c. Sally owns the oldest hair salon on the block.
d. Peter has broken lots of records in speed skating.
e. Hockey is everyone's favorite sport.
f. My grandmother's meatballs were the best!
10. Please finish the story below. You may create any situation you would like, but please remember to keep the sentences parallel. This means that if the verbs are written in the past tense, keep them that way. It also means it is important to maintain the same point of view throughout your writing. For example, if the story is written using first person point of view (and uses the pronouns "I" or "my"), you should not switch to a different point of view (such as third person, which uses the pronouns "he," "she," or "they," among others). Try to add at least three solid sentences!
Sue decided it was time to move to a new apartment. It wasn't that she hadn't enjoyed living in the city of Lakeville; in fact, she had often thought she would stay there forever. But something had happened recently that caused Sue to change her mind.