Kindergarten was invented in Europe in the early 1800s. The idea developed from the practices of four teachers: Robert Owen, J.H. Pestalozzi, Friedrich Froebel, and Maria Montessori. These teachers believed that young children should learn through play and focus on self-understanding. Friedrich Froebel was German, and he came up with the name. In German, "kindergarten" means "children's garden."
Did you go to kindergarten? Do you think the German word "kindergarten" is a good name for this kind of school? What does the phrase "children's garden" make you picture?
The zinnias bloomed quickly this year because they thrive in sunshine.
- to grow or develop; to gain wealth or value; to advance towards a goal due to circumstances
Find two synonyms for the word thrive. Use one of them in a sentence.
Synonyms may include: flourish, prosper, burgeon, proliferate, etc.
May 1 is May Day. This ancient European holiday celebrates the return of spring. Many cultures celebrate May Day with a maypole. First, they tie ribbons to the top of a pole. Then they wrap the ribbons around the maypole through a traditional dance. Some celebrations also include gathering flowers, weaving garlands, or crowning a May king and queen.
Do you have a traditional way of celebrating spring? Where does your tradition come from? Is it a family tradition or a cultural one?
Select one of the expressions below and use it in one or two sentences. Your sentences should make clear the meaning of the expression.
too many cooks in the kitchen: too many people working on one thing
add fuel to the fire: make something worse
out of the frying pan into the fire: get out of one situation only to find yourself in a worse one
A geyser is a hole in the earth where hot water and steam erupt. Geysers form where there is hot water under the ground. Pressure builds up because the water cannot move freely near the geyser. The pressure forces water and steam out of the hole in the ground. Old Faithful is a famous geyser in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. Old Faithful erupts regularly every 35 to 120 minutes.
Have you ever seen a geyser? Research geysers around the world. Where can they be found?
Reading guidebooks before touring a new city will significantly enhance the experience.
- make something better or greater
How can you enhance your chances of doing well on a test? How can you enhance your summer vacation? Use the word enhance in a sentence.
Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday. In Spanish, Cinco de Mayo means "fifth of May." On May 5, 1862, Mexican armies defeated the French in the Battle of Puebla. Cinco de Mayo is a day to celebrate Mexican history. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is also a celebration of Mexican heritage and culture.
The first Tuesday of every May is Teacher Appreciation Day! Write a paragraph about a teacher or faculty member who has made a difference in your life.
- enjoy or value someone or something
- understand something
- increase in worth
Which meaning of the word appreciate is used in each sentence?
- The value of this antique desk has appreciated greatly.
- We appreciated the orchestra's fine performance.
- I appreciate your point of view.
Use the word appreciate in a sentence of your own.
1. The value of this antique desk has appreciated greatly.
In sentence 1, appreciate means increase in worth.
2. We appreciated the orchestra's fine performance.
In sentence 2, appreciate means enjoy or value.
3. I appreciate your point of view.
In sentence 3, appreciate means understand.
Mother's Day is celebrated around the world, but not all countries celebrate on the same day. Mexico celebrates the holiday on May 10. In the United Kingdom, Mother's Day, also known as Mothering Sunday, is the fourth Sunday of Lent. Thailand's Mother's Day is August 12 in honor of the birthday of the queen. Russia celebrates Mother's Day on the last Sunday of November. In the United States, Mother's Day is the second Sunday in May.
What traditions do you take part in on Mother's Day? Are there any new traditions you would like to start to honor your mom, grandmother, or other special relative? Describe them.
- give a lot of time, energy, and focus to something
- identify someone or something in the inscription written in a book
- celebrate the opening of a new bridge, hospital, building, etc.
Which meaning of the word dedicate is used in the paragraph below?
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that 'all men are created equal.'"
—Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
Use one of the meanings of dedicate in a sentence of your own.
In the paragraph above, dedicate means to give a lot of time, energy, and focus to something.
Music is a vibrant part of Mexican culture and tradition. There are several popular styles of music that have been part of Mexican culture for many years. The mariachi style, and its importance to Mexican culture, developed in the 1800s. The style combines stringed instruments and trumpets. Son music, which predates mariachi, uses mainly string instruments, specifically the guitar.
What do you know about Mexico? If you have never been there, have you seen pictures? Do you think you would like to visit this country? Why or why not?
The word unimaginable has a prefix and a suffix attached to the base word imagine.
The prefix un- means not.
The suffix -able means able to; having the power or ability to.
Unimaginable means impossible to comprehend or beyond understanding.
Write definitions for the following words without using the base words in your definitions. Then select one of the words and write a sentence using it.
Unbearable means something can't be endured or tolerated.
Unbelievable means something is not likely to be true.
Unattainable means something is not able to be achieved or owned.
Mother's Day has a long history in many cultures. The ancient Greeks had spring celebrations to honor the mother of the gods, Rhea. Ancient Romans had a similar celebration for their mother goddess, Cybele. India still celebrates the ancient festival Durga-puja, which honors the mother goddess Durga. In the 1600s, the United Kingdom celebrated Mothering Sunday. Mothering Sunday took place on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Children who had been working on farms away from home returned to attend church and visit their families.
Many families have a storyteller or family historian. Do you know someone who has this role in your family? What kinds of stories and legacies have been passed down from previous generations in your family?
Can you determine what these idioms mean?
- James didn't push Joel; he wouldn't hurt a fly.
- My dad will let me have a television in my room when pigs fly.
- Grace passed the math test with flying colors.
Write your own sentences using each of the expressions.
Wouldn't hurt a fly means to be gentle or someone who would never injure or hurt someone else.
When pigs fly means something impossible. The phrase is a hyperbole, or an exaggeration, to describe an impossibility.
With flying colors means to be especially successful or victorious.
Since the invention of the bicycle in the 1800s, people around the world have used bicycles for both recreation and transportation. Bicycling is one of the most efficient ways in which energy is converted to movement. Riding a bicycle is more energy-efficient than walking! The word bicycle means a two-wheeled vehicle. The root bi- means two. The word cycle comes from the Greek word kyklos, meaning circle or wheel.
Have you ever ridden a bike? If so, describe a memorable bike ride. If not, describe what you think a bicycle ride would be like.
"That last test question really baffled me!" said Jake.
- to puzzle or confuse completely
What baffles you? Give examples. Include the word baffle in your answer.
The draisienne was an early version of a bicycle. The two-wheeled machine was made of wood and had a seat and a board to support the rider's arms. The rider propelled the draisienne with his feet. He moved his feet along the ground to push the machine forward. The draisienne was invented by the German Baron Karl von Drais de Sauerbrun around 1817.
If you could travel around the world on or in any vehicle, which would you choose? Why? Describe what you think it would be like.
Her view from the top of the mountain was fantastic. She could see entire towns below her!
- too strange to be believable
- terrific or wonderful
Use one of the meanings of the word fantastic in a sentence of your own.
The Tour de France is a three-week-long bicycle race in France. It takes place throughout the month of July every year. The bicyclists travel around the countryside of France and finish the race in Paris. Henri Desgrange, a French journalist and editor, sponsored the first race in 1903. He hoped that the race would help boost sales of his newspaper. Today, the competition remains one of the most famous bicycle races in the world.
Have you ever been in any kind of race? If not, have you ever watched one? Describe how you felt during the race and what happened.
Jessa's favorite genre of film is comedy, while Alexa prefers action movies.
- a category of artistic composition, such as music, literature, or film, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter
List three different genres you enjoy and a book or film title for each one.
People around the world have played sports for thousands of years. Archaeological evidence shows that cultures that never interacted with each other played similar games. Ball games were common among ancient peoples, including the Chinese and the Aztecs. The Japanese ball game kemari is a noncompetitive ritual performance that dates back more than 1000 years. In ancient Greece and Rome, people participated in many playful ball games as pastimes recommended for their health.
Do you play sports? Describe what you like about sports. If you don't like sports, what are some physical activities that you enjoy? How do you feel after you have been physically active?
Learning how to care for her new puppy made a big impact on Sara's life.
- the striking of one thing against another
- the effect that something has on a person or thing
Give an example of something or someone who has had an impact on your life.