An acrostic is a type of poem. The poem is written in a column, and the letters that begin each line spell a name or a message. Acrostic poems can be written about any subject.
Curious and quick, the
Takes the mouse!
Write your own acrostic poem.
The school's gym wasn't a big enough venue for the dance, so they moved it to a banquet hall.
• a place where an event, such as a concert, conference, or sports event, is held
Write your own sentence using the word venue.
There was an old man from Peru,
Who dreamt he was eating his shoe;
He awoke in the night
In a terrible fright
And found it was perfectly true.
A limerick is a short, comedic poem characterized by an aabba rhyme scheme. The exact origins of this type of poem are unknown. The earliest collections of limericks in English were written around 1820. Edward Lear, a British writer, wrote and illustrated a book of limericks called Book of Nonsense in 1846.
Write your own limerick. Try to use the aabba rhyme scheme. Be prepared to share and discuss your poem.
The root word ast means star. It comes from the Greek words for star: asteri and astro.
Write the definitions of two of the words below. Use the other two words in sentences.
astronomy: the study of the objects and matter in space
astronaut: a person who travels outside of the earth's atmosphere
asteroid: a small, rocky celestial body that orbits the sun
asterisk: a symbol used in printing that looks like this: * The asterisk can be used to direct readers to information that is elsewhere on the page.
Students' sentences will vary.
April 22 is Earth Day! The holiday was first observed in the United States on April 22, 1970. Now millions of people all over the world celebrate the holiday. Some honor the day by cleaning up public spaces, planting trees, or holding parades. The most important way to celebrate is to help keep the environment clean every day of the year.
Brainstorm ways you can help the environment, both at home and at school. Can you put any of your ideas into action today?
In 1990, NASA deployed the Hubble Space Telescope, named for the American astronomer Edwin P. Hubble (1889-1953). The telescope is in orbit about 342 miles above the Earth. It takes photographs of space.
- move (troops, people, or objects) into position
synonyms: station, post, place, install, locate, situate, establish, distribute
- bring into effective action, utilize
synonyms: use, utilize, employ, take advantage of, exploit, bring into service, call on, turn to, resort to
Write a sentence using each meaning of deploy.
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
The poem "The Tyger" by William Blake is made up of six stanzas (the first is shown above). Each stanza is a quatrain, which means it has four lines. Quatrains use a variety of rhyming patterns. In "The Tyger," each stanza follows the aabb rhyming pattern: the first two lines rhyme and the last two lines rhyme. Another common rhyming pattern found in quatrains is abab, in which the first and third lines rhyme and the second and fourth lines rhyme.
Write two quatrains of your own. Write one with an aabb rhyme scheme and one with an abab rhyme scheme.
ornithology: a branch of zoology that deals with birds
ichthyology: a branch of zoology that deals with fish
mammalogy: a branch of zoology that deals with mammals
primatology: a branch of zoology that deals with primates
entomology: a branch of zoology that deals with insects
herpetology: a branch of zoology that deals with reptiles and amphibians
What does the suffix -ology mean?
Write a definition for zoology.
What does the suffix -ology mean?
The suffix -ology means the scientific study of a certain subject.
Write a definition for zoology.
Zoology is a branch of biology (or science) that deals with animals; the scientific study of animals.
Some words imitate the sound they are representing. These words are created through onomatopoeia, making a word by imitating a sound. Meow! Boom! Hiss! and Splash! are examples of onomatopoeia. Poets use onomatopoeia in their writing because this literary device brings strong images and sounds to a reader's mind.
Can you think of other examples of onomatopoeia? Write a short poem using some of the words.
A metaphor is a figure of speech that compares things without using the words like or as.
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
What is life compared to in this metaphor?
What does the metaphor imply about a person's power to control his or her life?
The metaphor compares life to theater and people to the actors playing their parts.
The metaphor implies that a person's role or actions in a person's life are decided by fate or a higher being.
I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,
or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.
–Excerpt from "Introduction to Poetry" by Billy Collins
Billy Collins is a popular American poet. His poetry can be funny and also serious. Billy Collins was the United States Poet Laureate from 2001 to 2003. He has won many awards for his writing. The Trouble With Poetry and Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems are just two of his many published poetry collections.
Are you familiar with Billy Collin's poems? Research his poetry and pick one of his poems that you enjoy. Then write about how the poem makes you feel and why you like it.
This is an excerpt from Martin Luther King Jr.'s celebrated "I Have a Dream" speech:
I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
Describe Dr. King's state of mind. Identify specific words and phrases from his speech to support your inferences.
Accept answers that describe Dr. King as hopeful, determined, faithful, persistent, courageous, bold, and unwavering in the face of difficulty.
Daffodils bloom in the spring. The scientific name for daffodils is Narcissus. The name Narcissus comes from a Greek myth about a hunter who was known for his beauty. The hunter fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. He became obsessed with his image and died at the edge of the pool. A flower grew where Narcissus died. The downward-tilting head of the daffodil is said to mimic Narcissus gazing at his reflection in the water.
A myth is a story told to explain a practice, belief, or natural occurrence. Many well-known myths were created by ancient cultures and explain things like the creation of the world and the existence of stars. What does the myth of Narcissus explain?
The myth of Narcissus explains the origin of daffodils.
The word narcissism comes from the Greek myth about Narcissus.
Can you define this word? Look it up in the dictionary.
vanity, self-centeredness, extreme love of one's self
Schools started using chalkboards in the early 1800s. Before that, many students used slates, or small chalkboards meant for one person. Teachers would write a problem or prompt on each student's slate. The teachers had to copy the same information again and again. Then teachers began mounting large chalkboards on their classroom walls. All of the students in a class could see the large chalkboard at the same time.
Have you ever written on a chalkboard? If so, do you prefer writing on a chalkboard or a whiteboard? If not, do you think you would prefer a chalkboard to a whiteboard? Explain your answer.
Look at these Latin root words related to family members.
List at least one English word based on each Latin root. Then select two of your English words to use in sentences.
frater: fraternal, fraternity, fraternize
soror: sorority, sororal, sororial
mater: maternal, maternity, matriarch
pater: paternal, paternity, patriotic, patriot
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
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?
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.