• Some cool grammar practice links:
    These games provide excellent review of all parts of speech. Don't worry if you miss a few; some are intended to be tough! You can keep page six of your Comm Arts Resources pages (see your binder) nearby for help.
    Not as fun-looking as Grammaropolois, but much better organized. Here you can choose which grammar practice you'd like. I'd start with the stuff that sounds familiar, and move onto the hard stuff later.
    Throw your deadly ninja stars at the chosen parts of speech. Complete each level at least twice.
    For fans of Big Words, check out these related sites:
    NEW! MasterWord New!
    At this site, FIRST click on Literacy Games on left column, THEN click on Age 11 and THEN choose the game called MasterWord8. It can be challenging unless you pay attention to the clues!

    Word Twist NEW!
    Word Twist is very similar to the word game Boggle. Click on the first letter you wish to use, then follow around to the next letters in order. It's timed, so hurry! Cool stats to check out when you're done.

    Fowl Words

    Great practice for Big Words! In this timed version, you're presented with a long word and challenged to find a given number of smaller words within it. Harder to do when you're under a time limit!

    Mag's Word Finder

    Enter any word at this site, and it will tell you all the smaller words which can be created using those letters.


    Spell words using the scrambled tiles, but don't let the flaming tiles reach the bottom of the screen or your library is toast!

    Word Hunt

    Word Hunt, a timed word search game, is featured here along with several other popular spelling games.

    Just Fun:

    Online Basketball
    You may still want to play with these October Book Project sites:

    Big Huge Labs
    Big Huge Labs is a site that allows you to create some really cool stuff using your saved images: magazine covers, movie posters, photo booth strips, and more! One of these might be adaptable for a cereal box cover.

    Word Search Creator
    Lots of these exist on the Internet, but this one is cool because it lets you really pick and choose your formatting.

    Crossword Puzzle Creator
    Pretty simple game creator that can be printed off, or screen-shot for use in a project.

    Today's Paragraph Exercise (copy into a Google doc):

    robert and his father had enjoyed hiking and camping out together ever since robert was old enough to walk their favorite hiking trail was the appalachian trail which stretches from maine to georgia they had never walked that far of course but enjoyed the section of the trail that passed through their part of pennsylvania although his dad always picked the date it was up to robert to plan the meals shop for the food and get all the necessary supplies packed for the outing dad always insisted that robert create a checklist so that nothing would be forgotten but sometimes robert got lazy if we forget anything it won't be a big deal robert explained to his mother there are always other hikers around who will loan you a can opener or share their matches mother just shook her head as if she disagreed but said nothing she had firmly stated from the very beginning that these trips had nothing to do with her and she would not get involved mosquitoes sore feet and using a bush for the bathroom was not her idea of a vacation robert checked the calendar this weekend was their next trip and here it was already thursday he had totally forgotten no big deal he said aloud i've packed our supplies a thousand times sure you don't want to make a list asked his mother sipping a cup of tea at the kitchen table never had a problem before robert answered confidently besides if i forget one little thing what could possibly go so wrong if he only knew

    Preposition Poems:

    I Can Live With...

    by Samantha Sourpuss

    I can live

    with hand me downs,

    with a room that's too small,

    with teddy bear wallpaper,

    with a cell phone without texting,

    with a mom who's too nosey, and

    with a dog who sleeps on my bed,

    But I can't live


    An ignorant older brother.



    by C.U. Later

    After dinner,

    After I sharpen my pencil,

    After I get an eraser,

    After I text Elizabeth,

    After I find my textbook,

    After I get a drink,

    After I pet the dog,

    After I find a comfy chair,

    I'll start my homework.


    ave you ever noticed that girls can get away with anything it seems that if boys do just one little thing wham they’re in trouble but girls can get away with murder last summer at camp for example there was a big food fight okay maybe the boys started it but the girls were throwing chocolate pudding and dinner rolls just like everybody else but guess who got in trouble when we were dragged into the camp office Mrs Jenkins the camp director demanded an explanation we were all too scared to even talk finally our counselor Phil said I guess boys will be boys but Mrs. Jenkins replied boys should be gentlemen that night she made us sweep and mop the whole dining hall and even wash the windows as we worked and sweated until midnight we vowed to get revenge on the girls for sticking us with the punishment our chance came that very next day


    Pet Peeves

    In “Complaint Box: Public Grooming,” Lion Calandra gripes about the very public ways in which commuters on public transportation attend to their personal hygiene:

    These days, if someone seated near me on my morning ride is putting on makeup, someone else is clipping his fingernails (and, on one odd occasion this summer, a toenail). Or they’re plucking eyebrows, tying ties, squeezing pimples, even spraying perfume. There are those who just have to bathe themselves in lotion. Others are brushing their hair. It’s the full monty, commuter style.

    Questions | For discussion and reading comprehension:

    1. What do you think about “public grooming”? Is it one of your own “pet peeves,” or do you think it is acceptable? Why?
    2. What do you think the author’s tone of voice was when he said “Maybe tomorrow you can shave your legs on the train” to the woman who had just finished flossing her teeth? How can you tell?
    3. What connection does the author make between public grooming and modern media, such as YouTube and reality television? Do you agree or disagree?
    4. Have you ever groomed yourself in public? If so, would you think twice about doing so after reading this essay?

    Activity | Explain to students that they will now prepare to write their own 500-word persuasive and descriptive essays about one of their pet peeves, inspired by the “Complaint Box” series.

    Begin by having a discussion on what “worked” in Lion Calandra’s essay, and what makes essays like this one interesting to read in general. You might prompt students to consider vivid description, colorful language, strong imagery, specific examples and details, dialogue, etc. They should also consider structure. Ask: How does the writer “hook” the reader from the beginning? How does the middle of the essay proceed? How does the author end the piece?

    Ask students to return to the pet peeve they did the freewrite about from the warm-up (or to choose a different one) and do some more writing about it, using the following prompts:

    • Write a few descriptive sentences about why this particular thing really irks you.
    • Think of 1-3 examples of times when you observed someone engaging in this behavior. When did it happen? Where did it take place? What exactly did the person do? Describe the scene as vividly as you can.
    • Have you ever addressed the person doing this thing directly? If so, what did you say, and what happened? If not, why not?
    • What are some reasons why people engage in this behavior? Are they aware that it is bothersome to others?
    • What factors might foster this behavior? How might people be dissuaded from engaging in this behavior?

    Next, split the class into pairs or small groups, and assign each one to read another “Complaint Box” post. Suggestions: “Immobile on the Phone” (about people who stand still, blocking the sidewalk, while on their cell phones), “iPod Volume” (about having to listen to others’ music because the volume on their iPod is turned up too loudly), “I See London”“Counter Culture”“No More Cheeks to Turn” (about kids picking on a girl at camp). Or, have groups choose a post from the entire series

    In their groups, students should fill out the sheet Opening Up the Complaint Box (PDF) as they read their chosen post.

    When they are finished, have each pair or group should share their findings with the group, discussing the parts of the essay that they feel were successful and sharing their favorite parts. Afterward, ask the class: What can we learn from what works (and what doesn’t) in these essays? Make a list of writing strategies and techniques on the board.

    Students should then write a full rough draft of a “Complaint Box”-style essay about their own peeve. Once they are finished, they should hold peer or student/teacher conferences, and then revise the draft for a final version.

Last Modified on June 9, 2011