Organizer #3 of 4 Writing Strategies Differentiation Due: Tuesday, 28 February 2012 All homework must be completed in its entirety



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Standard: WOC 1.3 – Demonstrate an understanding of proper English usage and control of grammar, paragraph and sentence structure, diction, and syntax.

  • ESLR: Resourceful Learner – Take responsibility for learning

  • Rationale: On the CAHSEE you will be asked to identify well-constructed sentences. To answer these questions, you should be familiar with the rules and conventions of sentence structure, with an emphasis on correct forms of verbs, pronouns, possessives, and superlatives.

  • Directions: Review the definitions below and then answer the questions that follow.

    1. Questions about verb usage will ask you to recognize sentences in which verbs correctly agree with the subject of the sentence.

      • Example: The polish on the cowboy’s boots was wearing off.

      • The trick here is not to let the plural noun boots throw you off, causing you to use the plural verb were by mistake. Boots is not the subject of the sentence; polish is the subject.

    2. Questions about pronoun usage will ask you to identify the correct pronoun in a given sentence.

      • Example: They were coming around the corner just as I rode up on my bike.

    3. Questions about possessive pronouns will ask you to identify the correct form of a possessive pronoun in a given sentence.

      • Example: The puppy was so rambunctious that it tore apart its squeaky toy.

      • Be careful not to confuse its, which is a form of the possessive pronoun, with it’s, which is a contraction meaning it is.

    4. Questions about the use of superlatives (usually end in –est; used to compare 3 or more things) and comparatives (usually end in –er; used to compare 2 things) will ask you to identify the appropriate superlative or comparative form in a given sentence.

      • Example of a superlative: At the concert, Jango sang the lowest note he’s ever sung.

      • Example of a comparative: Jango sang in a lower key than he had in yesterday’s rehearsal.

    1. Directions: Choose the word that best completes the following sentences. Be sure to use POE and answer the additional questions.

    1. The legendary goddess was the ________________ of all the Greek deities.

      1. beautifulest

      2. more beautiful

      3. most beautiful

      4. most beautifying

    2. Using the four rules of English usage above (and your grammar packet), explain why your answer is correct. (Hint: It has to do with comparatives and superlatives.)

    3. __________________________________________________

    4. __________________________________________________

    5. What we didn’t expect is that _______________ would finish our project a week ahead of schedule.

      1. she and me

      2. she and I

      3. her and I

      4. her and me

    6. Try this one pronoun at a time – which makes more sense in the blank: “she” or “her”? _____________________________

    7. Cross out the two answers that use the wrong “she/her” pronoun.

    8. Which makes more sense in the blank: “I” or “me”? ________

    9. Cross out the last wrong answer, and you’ll have the right one!

    10. Which of the three Olympic runners is the ___________?” the spectator asked the judge.

      1. more fast

      2. fastest

      3. most fastest

      4. most fast

    11. Using the four rules of English usage above (and your grammar packet), explain why your answer is correct. (Hint: It has to do with comparatives and superlatives.)

    12. __________________________________________________

    13. __________________________________________________

    14. The committee had _________________ last meeting on Tuesday.

      1. it’s

      2. its

      3. their

      4. they’re

    15. Define it’s. _________________________________________

    16. Define its. _________________________________________

    17. Define their. _______________________________________

    18. Define they’re. ______________________________________

    19. Is “committee” singular or plural? ______________________

    20. Cross off the two answer choices that don’t match the number of the subject.

    21. Use the definitions above to eliminate the last wrong answer and find the correct one!

    22. Tam left the decision up to __________________.

      1. we

      2. us

      3. she

      4. they

    23. This one’s an easy one – sound it out! Don’t forget to cross off each wrong answer as you find it!

    24. Many situations in life ___________ some knowledge.

      1. require

      2. does require

      3. is requiring

      4. requires

    25. Is the subject of this sentence “situations” or “life”? ________

    26. Is the subject singular or plural? ________________________

    27. Cross off all of the answer choices that disagree with the subject in number – you should only have one left!

    28. Mike said he was adjusting ______________ to the new environment.

      1. easier

      2. easily

      3. more easier

      4. easy

    29. Using the four rules of English usage above (and your grammar packet), explain why your answer is correct. (Hint: It has to do with comparatives and superlatives.)

    30. __________________________________________________

    31. __________________________________________________

    32. A few years ago, ________________ attended the same school together.

      1. me and her

      2. she and I

      3. she and me

      4. I and she

    33. Try this one pronoun at a time – which makes more sense in the blank: “she” or “her”? _____________________________

    34. Cross out the two answers that use the wrong “she/her” pronoun.

    35. Which makes more sense in the blank: “I” or “me”? ________

    36. Cross out the last wrong answer, and you’ll have the right one!

































    1. Assignment #7: Due Monday, 27 February 2012

    2. Sentence Construction

    3. Standard: WOC 1.2 – Understand sentence construction and proper English usage.

    4. ESLR: Resourceful Learner – Take responsibility for learning

    5. Rationale: On the CAHSEE you will be asked to identify well-constructed sentences. To answer these questions, you should be familiar with the rules and conventions of sentence structure, with an emphasis on correct forms, parallel structure, modifier placement, and consistency of verb tenses.

    6. Directions: Review the definitions below and then answer the questions that follow.

    1. Parallel Structure: When two or more actions are being described in the same sentence, all verbs or verb phrases must be written in the same form.

      • Incorrect: My dog Max loves jumping over hedges and to chase Frisbees.

      • Correct: My dog Max loves to jump over hedges and to chase Frisbees.

    2. This is true for nouns and phrases as well as verbs—that is, they have to be written in the same form.

      • Incorrect: Mr. Benjivengo is gifted not only as a teacher but also at writing novels.

      • Correct: Mr. Benjivengo is gifted not only at teaching but also at writing novels.

    3. Verb Tense Consistency: When two or more actions are being described in a sentence, all verbs or verb phrases describing the same time period must be written in the same tense.

      • Incorrect: While I waited for the movie to begin, I was realizing that I’d forgotten all about my sister’s ballet recital.

      • Correct: While I waited for the movie to begin, I realized that I’d forgotten all about my sister’s ballet recital.

    4. Subordination: A well-written sentence will flow from subject to verb to object without lengthy interruptions in between. When subordinate clauses interrupt the flow of a sentence, it can be awkward.

      • Awkward: Jesus, after working on his essay for three hours, decided to go outside for some fresh air.

      • Improved: After working on his essay for three hours, Jesus decided to go outside for some fresh air.

    5. Modifier Placement: When modifiers are misplaced in a sentence, the results can be confusing.

      • Example: Unaware of what was happening, the fast-talking con artist swiped Jeanine’s watch.

        1. This suggests that the con artist was unaware of what was happening.

      • More Precise: The fast-talking con artist swiped Jeanine’s watch while she was unaware of what was happening.

    1. Directions: Choose the BEST replacement for the sentence that is underlined. Select “Correct as is” if the sentence does not need to be replaced. Be sure to use POE and answer the additional questions.

    1. Dmitri’s ice cream melted while driving through rush hour traffic.

      1. Driving through rush-hour traffic, Dmitri’s ice cream melted.

      2. While driving Dmitri’s ice cream through rush-hour traffic, it melted.

      3. While Dmitri was driving through rush-hour traffic, his ice cream melted.

      4. Correct as is.

    2. (Hint: This question deals with modifiers. Refer to the rules above or your grammar packet to help you. Think about who it sounds like is doing the action in the sentence – does it make sense?)

    3. _____ can be eliminated because _______________________

    4. __________________________________________________

    5. _____ can be eliminated because _______________________

    6. __________________________________________________

    7. _____ can be eliminated because _______________________

    8. __________________________________________________

    9. So, _____ is the correct answer because _________________

    10. __________________________________________________

    11. To make bread, you have to mix the flour; adding the yeast, and to knead the dough.

      1. to mix the flour, add the yeast, and knead the dough.

      2. to have mixed the flour, added the yeast and to knead the dough.

      3. to mix the flour, adding the yeast, and going to knead the dough.

      4. Correct as is.

    12. This question deals with parallel structure. There are three verbs in the list – underline all three verbs in each answer choice.

    13. Put a checkmark next to each verb that matches the tense of the first verb in the list, and put an X next to each verb that does not match the tense of the first verb in the list.

    14. The only list to have three checkmarks is the correct one!

    15. As soon as Tamar arrived in the big city, she started to plan all the exciting things she wanted to do there.

      1. starts planning all the exciting things she wants to do there.

      2. would have planned all the exciting things she wants to do there.

      3. will plan all the exciting things she wants to do there.

      4. Correct as is.

    16. If the sentence begins, “As soon as Tamar arrived . . .,” will the rest of the sentence be in present tense, past tense, or future tense? _______________________________________

    17. Find the answer choice that matches this verb tense – it is your correct answer!

    18. While cleaning the attic, Purnima’s doorbell rang.

      1. Purnima’s doorbell rang while cleaning the attic.

      2. While Purnima was cleaning the attic, the doorbell rang.

      3. While the doorbell rang, Purnima was cleaning the attic.

      4. Correct as is.

    19. (Hint: This question deals with modifiers. Refer to the rules above or your grammar packet to help you. Think about who it sounds like is doing the action in the sentence – does it make sense?)

    20. _____ can be eliminated because _______________________

    21. __________________________________________________

    22. _____ can be eliminated because _______________________

    23. __________________________________________________

    24. _____ can be eliminated because _______________________

    25. __________________________________________________

    26. So, _____ is the correct answer because _________________

    27. __________________________________________________

    28. As soon as I get to school, I have to be putting on my uniform, warm up, and have gotten ready for the game.

      1. put on my uniform, warmed up, and gotten ready for the game

      2. put on my uniform, to warm up, and to get ready for the game

      3. put on my uniform, warm up, and get ready for the game

      4. Correct as is.

    29. This question deals with parallel structure. There are three verbs in the list – underline all three verbs in each answer choice.

    30. Put a checkmark next to each verb that matches the tense of the first verb in the list, and put an X next to each verb that does not match the tense of the first verb in the list.

    31. The only list to have three checkmarks is the correct one!

    32. By the time the desk was decided to be bought by them, they were the only ones left in the store.

      1. The desk was decided to be bought by them. They were

      2. They decided to buy the desk. By that time they were

      3. By the time they had decided to buy the desk, they were

      4. Correct as is.

    33. Two of the answer choices are in passive voice. Cross out the two answer choices that have a “be” verb + another verb followed by a phrase starting with “by . . .”

    34. List the eight “be” verbs here: _______________________________

    35. ________________________________________________________

    36. Of the two remaining choices, which one is the MOST clear? _______

    37. Explain why your answer choice is correct.

    38. ________________________________________________________

    39. ________________________________________________________

    40. Directions: Choose the word or set of words that BEST completes each of the following sentences.

    41. Floyd likes to be an___________ when doctors perform surgery at a local hospital.

      1. observation (Part of Speech: ________________________)

      2. observer (Part of Speech: __________________________)

      3. observing (Part of Speech: _________________________)

      4. observant (Part of Speech: _________________________)

    42. Next to each answer choice, write its part of speech (noun, adjective, verb). The one that matches the blank in the sentence is the best choice!

    43. Before long _________ to my side.

      1. will Benji come around

      2. Benji is coming

      3. Benji has been coming

      4. Benji will come around

    44. If the sentence starts, “Before long . . .,” has it happened yet? ______

    45. Cross off the two answer choices that are in the wrong tense. Of the remaining choices, select the one that is MOST clear.


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