English is a fascinating language. George Bernard Shaw once said, “England and America are two countries separated by the same language.” How true. If you sit on your bonnet in England, you happen to be sitting on the hood of your car, not your Easter hat. If an American asks a Brit if he has an antenna, he will certainly get a strange look. The British save antenna for insects and, instead, use aerial for their radios and televisions. Often, our words don’t seem to make much sense. George Carlin asked, “Why do we park in the driveway and drive on the parkway?” Or why do we recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?
Some of the most commonly confused words, especially for English language learners are homographs. The word part homo means same and graphs means writing, so a homograph is a word that is spelled just like another word, but it means something quite different. Some of the homographs can make very strange bedfellows.
The buck certainly does like does. Funny: By the way, why are five female pigs and five male deer quite wealthy? They are ten sows n’ bucks.
Wind can wind up being too strong for sailors to wind their sails.
Did you intimate anything about our little secret to my intimate friend?
The garbage collector (sanitation engineer) had to refuse more refuse.
She took the lead in removing the lead poisoning from the building.
I painted a picture of a bass on the head of the big bass drum.
I object to that object being used as evidence.
The bandage was tightly wound around the wound.
Never subject the subject of your ridicule to total embarrassment.
She wanted to present the present in the present, not in the future.
The statue is located close by the door I want you to close.
The dove dove through the clouds.
I shed a tear when I saw the tear in my shirt.
The Polish like to polish their furniture.
For a minute, I forgot the minute differences between us.
Soldiers never desert in the desert. Funny: Why can’t you starve in the desert? Because of all the sand which is there.
The author of this article, Mark Pennington, has written the assessment-based Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) Grades 4-8 programs to teach the Common Core Language Standards. Each full-year program provides 56 interactive grammar, usage, and mechanics and include sentence diagrams, error analysis, mentor texts, writing applications, and sentence dictation formative assessments with accompanying worksheets (L.1, 2). Plus, each grade-level program has weekly spelling pattern tests and accompanying spelling sort worksheets (L.2), 56 language application opener worksheets (L.3), and 56 vocabulary worksheets with multiple-meaning words, Greek and Latin word parts, figures of speech, word relationships with context clue practice, connotations, and four square academic language practice (L.4, 5, and 6). Comprehensive biweekly unit tests measure recognition, understanding, and application of all language components.
Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) also has the resources to meet the needs of diverse learners. Diagnostic grammar, usage, mechanics, and spelling assessments provide the data to enable teachers to individualize instruction with targeted worksheets. Each remedial worksheet (over 200 per program) includes independent practice and a brief formative assessment. Students CATCH Up on previous unmastered Standards while they KEEP UP with current grade-level Standards. Check out the YouTube introductory video of the Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) program.
The author also provides these curricular “slices” of the Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) “pie”: the five Common Core Vocabulary Toolkits Grades 4−8; the five Differentiated Spelling Instruction Grades 4−8 programs (digital formats only); and the non-grade-leveled Teaching Grammar and Mechanics with engaging grammar cartoons (available in print and digital formats).