Thursday, April 28, 2011

day 98: rhyming word dictionary

Ending our posts on National Poetry Month--(( ).

No poet is equipped without his or her handy rhyming dictionary! The one I have linked below is a thorough adult version. Very impressive.

There are rhyming word dictionaries (the one we have is softcover from Scholastic--and is very thorough for a student) for children as well.

Check this one out for adults:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

day 97: poetry handbook

More for National Poetry Month (( ).

If you are interested in learning more about writing poetry or improving the poetry you do write, you might want to obtain the poetry handbook described below. I like trying different kinds than I normally write (which are nearly alwyas rhymed verse of fairly "normal" rhyme schemes--ABAB, AABBCC, ABCB, etc.). A handbook such as this one helps me learn about other styles--and challenges me to give them a try!

There are many handbooks out there--but the one below received rave reviews, is not too long, and is written by an award-winning poet. Review: This slender guide by Mary Oliver deserves a place on the shelves of any budding poet. In clear, accessible prose, Oliver (winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for poetry) arms the reader with an understanding of the technical aspects of poetry writing. Her lessons on sound, line (length, meter, breaks), poetic forms (and lack thereof), tone, imagery, and revision are illustrated by a handful of wonderful poems (too bad Oliver was so modest as to not include her own). What could have been a dry account is infused throughout with Oliver's passion for her subject, which she describes as "a kind of possible love affair between something like the heart (that courageous but also shy factory of emotion) and the learned skills of the conscious mind." One comes away from this volume feeling both empowered and daunted. Writing poetry is good, hard work.

Tomorrow--tips on getting started writing or teaching poetry.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

day 96: 2011 poet’s market

National Poetry month ( ) is coming to a close in a few days, and I haven’t gotten around to all of the poetry-related posts that I wanted to do, so I will try to squeeze them in here yet this week—and then we will get back to rise/raise. Honest!

First of all, I want to share a link to an awesome poetry handbook for those desiring to sell their poetry. It is put out by Writer’s Digest Books (lots of goodies from them!), those folks who put out the Writer’s Market and other “market” books for selling writing.

From the back of this helpful “sales” book:

*Features on the realities of poetry publishing, mistakes to avoid, identifying scams, giving great readings, and promoting your work.

*Information on workshops, organizations, and online resources that help poets perfect their skills and network with fellow poets and editors.

*Thorough indexes to make choosing the best potential markets easier.

*Access to all “Poet’s Market” listings in a searchable online database.

I haven’t sold a lot of poetry—just a few for review to Blue Mountain Art and a few here and there for Christian newsletters and magazines. However, I would love to have more time to spend on this (probably not happening since I am working on my thirty-fourth curriculum book right now!). For those who enjoy writing poetry, I say, go for it! Seeing your poetry published is extremely rewarding—and to be able to motivate, inspire, uplift, challenge, or humor someone through your words is incredible!

Monday, April 25, 2011

day 95: sit and set pop quiz—answer key

Sit and rise have I's--and lie does too.
"Coz these are things that I, all by myself, can do.
Set, raise, and lay are words that you choose
When each one has an object after it to use.

  1. She sat down and wept when she heard the news.
  2. They sit down.(or sat)
  3. They set the plants out.
  4. They will be setting the clothes out beforehand.
  5. Yesterday, he sat down to rest.
  6. They will set the clothes out to dry.
  7. He sits down.
  8. He is sitting down.
  9. They will be setting the clothes out beforehand.
  10. She has set the clothes out beforehand.
  11. They have sat down.
  12. He has sat down.
  13. They set the trap to catch the bear.
  14. They are sitting down.
  15. They will set the tent up at .
How did you do? :) Rise and raise coming soon!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

day 94: sit and set pop quiz!

Sit and rise have I's--and lie does too.
"Coz these are things that I, all by myself, can do.
Set, raise, and lay are words that you choose
When each one has an object after it to use.

Fill in the blanks below with the correct forms/tenses of sit/set.

  1. She _________ down and wept when she heard the news.
  2. They _______ down.
  3. They _______ the plants out.
  4. They will be _______ the clothes out beforehand.
  5. Yesterday, he ________ down to rest.
  6. They will ________ the clothes out to dry.
  7. He _________ down.
  8. He is ____________ down.
  9. They will be _________ the clothes out beforehand.
  10. She has _________ the clothes out beforehand.
  11. They have __________ down.
  12. He has ____________ down.
  13. They __________ the trap to catch the bear.
  14. They are __________ down.
  15. They will ________ the tent up at .

Saturday, April 23, 2011

day 92: april holidays

We will get back to our sit/set; rise/raise; lie/lay study next week. However, I am adding a new little feature to LL 365--the holidays for that month capitalized and punctated properly (well, relatively so!). Many holidays come and people wonder, "Do you cap Day in Thanksgiving Day?" "Do you show possession to Fool in April Fools Day?" etc. etc.

So...for April...a list of holidays punctuated and capitalized as correctly as I found! Note that different style guides (i.e. Associated Press vs. Modern Language Association, etc.) choose to punctuate and capitalize lesser known (National Kool-Aid Day!) or newer things (i.e. email ve e-mail) differently. In those cases, it is truly a style preference rather than a hard and fast rule. So....Happy April...I mean, happy April! :) And definitely, Happy Easter!

All Fool’s Day/April Fools Day

Daylight Savings Time

Palm Sunday


Good Friday


Easter Monday

Earth Day

Administrative Professionals Day

Arbor Day

Cancer Control Month

Alcohol Awareness Month

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

day 91: sit and set

Sit and rise have I's--and lie does too.
"Coz these are things that I, all by myself, can do.
Set, raise, and lay are words that you choose
When each one has an object after it to use.

"Sit, Fido! Before I have to set you down myself!"

Remember these sit and set tips:

  1. Sit has an I—and I alone can do it (it is not done TO something else).
    1. I sit down.
    2. Yesterday I sat down.
    3. Before that I had sat down.

  1. Sit means to recline or lower down to a sitting position—anybody or anything can sit, as long as it does it by itself (i.e. it is NOT set)
    1. The chair sits in the corner empty, missing its owner.
    2. She sat there and pouted all afternoon.
    3. They are sitting down in protest.
    4. She has sat there in tears all day.
    5. They are sitting in the parlor.

  1. Set does not have an I—it is done TO something.
  2. Set must have an object following it—something that it is setting.
    1. Set the table.
    2. Set the baby down in her seat.
    3. God set the stars in the sky.
    4. Set the book on the counter.
    5. We will be setting up decorations at noon.
    6. The jello still needs to set . (It's like you are saying to set the jello!)
    7. She sets the table as though a king is coming.

  1. Set is the same base word for all of its tenses: set; set; set; sets; setting. That is why I recommend teaching this Wacky Word pair first (of the three).

Okay…the tenses for the three:

1, Sit
            a. Base form: sit—Today I sit down. (Remember—no object; down is an adverb here, not an object.
            b. Past simple: sat—Yesterday I sat down.
            b. Past participle: sat—Before that, I had sat down.
            d. Third person singular: sits—The dog sits in the corner.
            e. Present participle/gerund: sitting—I was sitting down.

2. Set
        1. Base form: set—Today I set the vase on the table. (Object—vase)
        2. Past simple: set—Yesterday I set the vase on the table.
        3. Past participle: set—Before that I set the vase on the table.
        4. Third person singular: sets—She sets the vase on the table.
        5. Present participle/gerund: setting—I am setting the vase on the table.

Tomorrow is quiz day…so be ready! J

Monday, April 18, 2011

day 90: sit/set; rise/raise; lie/lay tips for teachers

Many hands rising the sky together, children and adults - stock photo

Sit and rise have I's--and lie does too.
"Coz these are things that I, all by myself, can do.
Set, raise, and lay are words that you choose
When each one has an object after it to use.

I am going to take sit/set; rise/raise; and lie/lay one pair at a time over the next few days; however, I wanted to start the series (or at least this second post) with teacher tips.

I have watched kids with glossed over eyes as I have tried many techniques and order to teach these tricky pairs, and have had many difficulties “rise” up and confuse them (and me!):

  1. People lie; things get laid down—sort of works, but it’s not just people who lie—the sun lies on the horizon; the city lies asleep in the early morning hours; the animal lies in the middle of the road….you get the idea
  2. People lie; things get laid down—but it still didn’t help with the sit/set and rise/raise dilemma
  3. The past tense of lie (as in yesterday I lay down to take a nap…don’t I wish!) is the same as the current tense of lay (as in I am going to lay the book on the table)—poor kids!
  4. And so many more!

So here are a few tips that I would like to pass along to those trying to teach these rules:

  1. Consider a rhyme or mnemonic like the one above to reinforce the I’s in sit, rise, and lie—when we remind students that I do those things—and they have I’s in them, we are helping them remember that these do not have objects following them.
  2. Do NOT start with lie. It is by far the most confusing of the trio—and I try to do that one after rise and sit (with fewer exceptions, etc.) are established in students’ minds.
  3. DO start with sit. Set has the same tense for all—present; past; and past participle. Today I set the table; yesterday I set the table; before that I have set the table.
  4. If you are teaching from a Christian standpoint, Jesus and God are prime examples of rise/rose/has risen and raise/raised/has raised:
    1. Jesus will rise from the grave. God will raise Jesus.
    2. Jesus rose from the grave. God raised Jesus.
    3. Jesus has risen from the grave. God has raised Jesus.

  1. Suggested order: sit/set; rise/raise; and lie/lay.

Happy teaching—and learning! J

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

day 88: rise, lie, sit overview

Moving on from National Poetry Month--though if someone would like to send poetry, I will still publish it until the end of April.

With Easter so close, I thought we would look at a tricky Wacky Word pair--rise and raise (followed by sit and set and lie and lay since you really should learn them together, if possible).

First, an overview:

Rise and sit have I's--and lie does too.
"Coz these are things that I, all by myself, can do.
Raise, set, and lay are words that you choose
When each one has an object after it to use.

What does that mean? It means that I and rIse, I can sIt, and I can lIe without any object.

But I raise something; I set something; and I lay something....

More tomorrow...then one at a time. These are confusing ones, but with LL's tips and tricks, you will be raising your head high, sitting with grammarians with confidence, laying your dictionary aside, rising up to the occasion, setting the stage for future success, and lying down at night, knowing that you understand lie, rise, and sit! :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

day 87: poetry challenge

We never had any takers for our poetry challenge! I put together a short stanza...but not real happy with it. I will share it below (and swallow my pride!). As my daughter likes to say, "Something is definitely wrong with that iambic pentameter!" LOL!

Still hoping for more poetry! Send it in! We're going to go back to tips very soon, so stay tuned..and invite your friends to join us!

I have bold fonted the words I chose from the list.

Such benevolence we will never know again,
Such a life that was given to us by Him.
So forsaken, oh so cruel the treatment of our Lord,
On Calvary, oblivious to Self, gave eternity to the world.
Will we trust this Savior, who rose on Sunday morn?
Will we trust the gift bestowed—a chance to be reborn?

Friday, April 8, 2011

day 85: poetry challenge for national poetry month

I once entered a poetry contest that challenged me and others to write a poem using a given word list. I found it stimulating and actually had a lot of fun doing it. Plus, I was pretty excited with the outcome of my little poem!

So…I thought we would have a Poetry Challenge on Language Lady! Here are the rules:

  1. Write at least four lines (more is okay but not necessary) of poetry (rhymed or free verse) that contains at least six of the words listed below.
  2. Write your poem on the comment section of the LL blog or the comment section of the LL FB page.
  3. Have fun!

Ready? Here are the words* you may choose from:

risen                            Lord                            forsaken                       bunny

spring                          obsolete                       estranged                     reticent

life                               oblivious                     arduous                        acclimate

calvary                        supercilious                 morning                       ecstatic

benevolent                bestowed                     embolden       tenacity                                               

*Note: You may use any form, tense, or plural/singular of the words. For example, you may use bunnies rather than bunny or arduously rather than arduous.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

day 84: national poetry month part ii of ii

April is National Poetry Month, a month-long celebration of poetry throughout the United States! This event was founded by the Academy of American Poets in 1996 in order to wide the attention of individuals and the media to poetry: the art of it, our poetic heritage, poetry books, living poets, and more.

Below are some links to activities and more for this month’s poetry focus. Don’t forget LL 365 wants to publish some poetry! Inbox me or email it to ! Be sure to include your name along with your poem.

1. ( ) lists thirty ways to celebrate National Poetry Month, including carrying a poem in your pocket that you can share with others, putting a poem in someone’s lunch box, reciting a poem to friends and family, organizing a poetry reading, buying a new book of poetry, donating a book of poetry to your library, and more.

2. If you are a teacher, incorporate poetry into your classroom:
a.     Even content area teachers can find poems relating to health, social studies, and science. Integrate the language arts area of poetry with your area of expertise!
b.     Read a poem aloud to your students each class day during April.
c.     Require each of your students to memorize a poem this month.
d.     Have each student type his favorite poem, including its author—print and compile these into a booklet to give to each student.
e.     Hold a poetry contest.

Join us tomorrow for a “poetry challenge”! J

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

day 83: national poetry month part i of ii

April is National Poetry Month, a month-long celebration of poetry throughout the United States! This event was founded by the Academy of American Poets in 1996 in order to wide the attention of individuals and the media to poetry: the art of it, our poetic heritage, poetry books, living poets, and more.

According to the National Poetry Month site, the goals of National Poetry Month are to
§        Highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets
§        Introduce more Americans to the pleasures of reading poetry
§        Bring poets and poetry to the public in immediate and innovative ways
§        Make poetry a more important part of the school curriculum
§        Increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media
§        Encourage increased publication, distribution, and sales of poetry books
§        Increase public and private philanthropic support for poets and poetry

According to the aforementioned site, the Academy celebrates National Poetry Month in the following ways:
§        Posters: Each year the Academy creates and distributes nearly 200,000 official NPM posters, which are mailed for free to teachers, librarians, and booksellers nationwide.
§        Events: The Academy presents several special events and readings in April. Some of our special events include a 10 Years/10 Cities reading series and our star-studded annual Poetry & The Creative Mind.
§        Publicity: To ensure that poetry gains national attention in the media each April, the Academy mails several thousand press releases and media kits each year to editors and journalists across the country. As a result, thousands of articles about poetry appear in newspapers, magazines, and online media outlets. The Academy also acts as the official clearing house for news and information about National Poetry Month.
*Inspiration & Guidance: The Academy offers a plethora of practical resources for celebrating NPM, including tips for teaching poetry during April, creating a poetry book display in your bookstore or library, presenting a poetry reading or contest, and much more

Tomorrow—suggestions from the National Poetry Month for ways that individuals and teachers to celebrate this month.

In the meantime, I thought we could celebrate it here on Language Lady 365 by doing the following:

(1) Publishing poetry of the readers—you! I would love to publish some poems written by readers, so send them via INBOX, and I will put them up in the coming days;

(2) Have a poetry challenge—challenging readers to write a four line (or so) poem with words from a given word list. More on the latter later; in the meantime, send your poems in!

Monday, April 4, 2011

day 82: homework help—final sentence writing help

A few more ideas for encouraging/helping your child with sentence writing, then we’re on to something new!

  1. If your child is hesitant to write because of penmanship difficulties, either teach him how to type (use a typing program for young kids) or write for him as he dictates to you. He needs to see that penmanship difficulties do not mean that he is unable to write. Writing is thinking. Penning is art.
  2. Try having him write sentences about things you are doing. For example, have him write a sentence each day in a journal about that day or every Saturday about the weekend.
  3. Or have specific things listed at the top of a journal for him or her that he/she writes about:
    1. Monday: Weekend
    2. Tuesday: Food
    3. Wednesday: Book
    4. Thursday: Animal
    5. Friday: Person
    6. Saturday: Movie
  4. Have him write a sentence under a picture, similar to captions. These pictures may be ones that he has drawn or colored or cartoons or pictures from a book.
  5. Make a list of nouns and a list of verbs. Have him write a sentence using one word from the noun list and one word from the verb list. For example:
NOUNS                                               VERBS
Dog                                                     run
Boy                                                      jump
Girl                                                     catch
Radio                                                  blare
Cow                                                    ate

For more sentence writing help, along with help in other areas of language arts, for the second/third grade level (i.e. already reading well), check out the sample of the our books, “Character Quality Language Arts,” Level Pre A ( ). There is a full month that you may use with our child free of charge. Happy writing!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

day 81: homework help---more sentence help

Just a couple of most posts about sentence writing for our “Homework Help” feature this month—then back to more tips and tricks for all readers, writers, speakers, and thinkers! Below is a list of other sentence writing ideas for you and your student/child:

  1. If your child likes the feeling of creating through writing, but doesn’t think he can write sentences, you may want to try one of the following:
    1. Have him copy sentences that you write for him or sentences out of one of his favorite books.
    2. Write sentences for him with a light colored highlighter and have him write over the highlighter with his pencil.
    3. Write “fill in the blank sentences for him.” When I was in teacher’s college, these were called “cloze sentence” (for those who want to google to find out more). This is where you write sentences but leave blanks for him to fill in key words. This way you have started the sentences for him, but what happens in the sentence and to whom is still his creation. (There’s a site that lets you build these and print them for your kids/students at .)

  1. If he can’t think of anything to write about in his sentences, ask him questions that he must answer in sentence form. “What is your favorite animal?” “What is your favorite color?” etc.
  2. If he is having trouble writing “real” sentences (i.e. write fragments or dependent clauses instead), have him say it aloud and ask him more questions. For example, if he says “Blue” (to the favorite color question), say “Blue what?” If he says “favorite color,” continue to coach him. “Try this…Blue is…can you make that into a complete sentences instead of just words?” (Coaching is a huge part of teaching writing!)
  3. If he likes to write stories, have him dictate sentences to you (or alternate giving sentences—he then you) that you pen for him.
  4. Finally, have him write a sentence a day to get used to sentence writing. We had journals for our kids that they copied verses and quotes in—one a day—to help them get a feeling for sentence writing.

Tomorrow—final homework help for sentences. Thanks for joining us!