Module D – Lessons 11 to 20


Click here for Lesson 11
Click here for Lesson 12
Click here for Lesson 13
Click here for Lesson 14
Click here for Lesson 15
Click here for Lesson 16
Click here for Lesson 17
Click here for Lesson 18
Click here for Lesson 19
Click here for Lesson 20
Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.) 
Kings And Queens 

Lesson 11 – Part Three

NEW WORDS: Cinderella’s, abusive, adept, admiration, admonition, announcement, anticipation, apologized, astonished, attendance, attending, attractive, ballroom, bedraggled, bolted, breathlessly, ceased, coachman, compassionate, complain, crisply, dazzling, decreed, detected, dirtiest, dolorous, dreamworld, emotions, entirely, exhausted, extravagant, finery, fireplace’s, fleecy, forsaken, gala, geared, ghostly, glared, gripe, hearth, heartless, incredibly, intently, irate, jealous, lilt, lush, merriment, mesmerized, newcomer, obliged, occurring, pallor, performing, pivoted, preparations, primped, prince’s, raiment, realization, rotund, satisfaction, screaked, secured, sobbing, staircase, stepmother, stepsisters, stoically, strenuous, strikes, stroke, tacitly, trap’s, treated, velvetlike, wand, woolgathered

Chapter Seven: Cinderella
It was once upon a time. A little girl’s father married a new wife. She had two daughters of her own. The girl’s stepmother was heartless. She obliged the girl to do the most strenuous work in the house. And the dirtiest! All this time, her stepsisters did nothing. They were lazy. And they were abusive towards the girl.

The girl’s work would be over each day. She’d be exhausted. She would sit, alone, by the fireplace’s hearth. She would be among the ashes and cinders of the fire. That’s how she got her name, from the cinders. They called her “Cinderella.”

The stepsisters had well-appointed rooms. Their beds were fleecy. Their carpets were lush. Their mirrors were large. They could see themselves from head to foot. But poor Cinderella! She slept on the floor next to the fire. Yet, she bore it all stoically. She did not complain to her father. It would have been of no use. The new wife ruled her father entirely.

They all lived in a kingdom. The king had a son. He was the crown prince. One day, the prince made an announcement. He said that he was going to host a grand ball. It would be at the palace. It would be a gala event. It would be the most extravagant party ever.


The stepsisters heard about this. They screaked with anticipation. All the young ladies in the kingdom were invited. It would be an evening of dancing and merriment. For days, the stepsisters primped in front of their mirrors. They talked of nothing else.

The stepsisters snapped at Cinderella. “Help us make preparations for the ball. Clean our shoes! Comb our hair! Hurry!” Cinderella helped them. She didn’t gripe. Tacitly, however, she wished that she could be in attendance. She so longed to go to the ball! She woolgathered about dancing in the arms of the prince.

At last, the day came. The stepsisters and their mother left for the palace. Cinderella watched them head off. She lost sight of them. Then she cried. Her negative emotions tugged at her. She was dolorous. She was irate. She felt so forsaken.

But she was not alone, after all. She heard a gentle voice. It said, “What’s wrong, dear?”

She looked up. There was a woman with a kind face. “I wish, I wish I could …” began Cinderella. But she could not finish for all her tears and sobbing.


“You wish to go to the ball? Is that it?” said the kind woman. She had a happy lilt in her voice. “Then it shall be so!” she said. She was, you see, Cinderella’s fairy godmother. And she was adept at performing magic.

“Now run into the garden,” she said. “Bring me a pumpkin.” Cinderella went immediately. She skipped to the garden. But she was curious. What could a pumpkin have to do with attending the ball? She brought the pumpkin back. She intently watched her fairy godmother. She scooped out the inside of the pumpkin. She left only the rind. Then the pumpkin turned into a dazzling coach. It was lined with velvetlike satin! Next, she gave a flourish of her wand. She touched a big rat with it. He morphed into a rotund, jolly coachman! He would drive the coach to the ball.

“Now, dear,” said the godmother. “Bring me the mouse trap from the house.” Cinderella secured the trap. There were six live mice in it. “Open the trap’s door, dear.” Each mouse scurried out. She gave each of them, and the pumpkin rind, a tap with her wand. Abruptly, they were surrounded by a bright, white light. Cinderella watched the six mice change shape. They turned into a fine set of six horses. They were all an attractive mouse-colored gray.


The godmother smiled. There was a look of satisfaction on her face. “Well! Are you pleased? Are you geared up to go to the ball?”

“Oh yes!” cried Cinderella. “But, must I go in these bedraggled rags?” Her godmother laughed. She gave a touch of her wand. She changed the tattered clothes into a glittering raiment of gold and silver. And on each foot appeared a delicate glass slipper. They were the prettiest slippers in the world.

Cinderella stepped into the coach. But her fairy godmother gave her an admonition. “Please, don’t stay at the ball after midnight. Not even for a moment! When the clock strikes twelve, the coach will again be a pumpkin. The horses will be mice. The coachman will be a rat. Your gown will turn to the same old clothes you had on.” Cinderella promised she would leave before midnight. Then, she called out her thanks. Away she rode in the coach. She felt happier than she had ever felt before.

Now, let’s move to the palace. The prince heard that a great princess had arrived. But no one knew who she was. So, he went to meet her. He gave her his hand. He led her into the great ballroom. It was filled with people. As they entered, a hush fell upon the room. The dancers stopped dancing. The musicians ceased their playing. Everyone stood still. Everyone gazed upon the beauty of the unknown newcomer.


The prince asked Cinderella to dance with him. They danced together once, then twice. They danced again and again. Cinderella’s face shone with happiness. Everyone at the ball looked on in admiration. Everyone, that is, except the two jealous stepsisters. They glared at the lovely lady. But they had no idea that they were glaring at Cinderella! They didn’t recognize her in the finery that she was wearing.

But what happens when the heart is happy? How quickly the time slips away. Cinderella was mesmerized in a dreamworld. She danced again and again with the prince. But then she received a jolt. She heard the great bell of the palace clock! The bell tolled. One! Two! Three!

“Oh!” she gasped. “The clock! What time is it?”

The prince answered, “Midnight.”

Midnight! Cinderella’s pallor turned ghostly white. She crisply pivoted. Then, fast as a deer, she fled the ballroom. She ran down a long hallway. She bolted down a long staircase. At the foot of the staircase, she stumbled. One of her glass slippers fell off! But Cinderella could not stop. Already, the clock had sounded its eleventh stroke. She leapt breathlessly out of the castle into the darkness. She heard the clock sound the last stroke of midnight. She detected her smooth gown changing. It turned back into the rough cloth of her real clothes.


Her dazzling coach was a pumpkin, again. So, she ran home alone. She got there, and she was out of breath. She climbed the stairs to her cold attic room. Then she noticed something. She was still wearing one glass slipper!

What was occurring as Cinderella ran from the palace? The prince had dashed after her. He didn’t catch her. But he did find something at the bottom of the staircase. It was the glass slipper that had fallen off of her foot.

The next morning, the trumpet sounds woke the kingdom. The prince decreed that he would marry the woman whose foot fit the glass slipper. But how would they find her? The prince sent out his men. They were to try the slipper on the foot of every woman in the land!

From house to house they went. They tried the slipper on foot after foot. But on one foot, the slipper was too long. On another, it was too short. On another, it was too wide. On another, it was too narrow.


And so it went, on and on. At last, they came to Cinderella’s house. One by one, the stepsisters squeezed, pinched, and pushed. But the slipper would not fit their feet. Then, from the shadows, Cinderella stepped forth. She said, “Let me see if it will fit me.”

“You!” the stepsisters cried. “Go back to the cinders where you belong!”

But one of the prince’s men spoke up. He said that he had orders to try the slipper on every woman in the kingdom. He placed the slipper on Cinderella’s foot. It fit perfectly! The stepsisters’ mouths dropped open. They were astonished. And they became even more shocked. From her pocket, Cinderella drew forth the other glass slipper!

And now the stepsisters had a realization. They recognized Cinderella as the beauteous lady they had seen at the ball. They threw themselves at her feet, wailing. They begged her pardon. They apologized for all of the ways they had treated her so badly. Cinderella was incredibly compassionate, however. She forgave them. She then embraced them.

Later, Cinderella married the prince. She even invited her stepmother and stepsisters to live at the palace. And there, Cinderella and the prince lived happily ever after.

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.) 
Kings And Queens


Lesson 12 – Part Four

NEW WORDS: Gadzooks, adorable, anyone’s, attempted, bombshell, caustic, cautioned, commandeered, compelled, conceivable, concocted, contentedly, contingencies, counseled, currently, denouement, described, disguised, dismounted, dissuaded, draped, duped, dwarfs, ebony, eliminate, enchanted, endure, enquired, envy, exceptionally, expelled, expounded, fatigued, forcefully, fulfilling, guileful, hospitable, huntsman, imbued, immersed, inform, inhospitable, intimate, jealousy, journeyed, jutted, labored, lackadaisically, lovelier, madness, maleficent, manifested, matchless, mining, moonrise, morsel, nausea, obediently, orderly, paraded, peacefully, permitted, pervaded, poisoned, poisonous, possibility, pristine, proffer, rampage, recited, relentlessly, residing, resist, retreat, ruptured, scanned, spotless, stepdaughter, strolled, summoned, sunup, sympathy, tainted, tantalizing, tantrum, thundered, toxic, traveling, unconscious, undone, unexpected, unnerved, unrelenting, unrestrained, vainglorious, veracity, virulent, vitriol, wanton, weakened, wheezed, withdrew

Chapter Eight: Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs
There once was a queen who was very beautiful, but who was exceptionally vainglorious. She could not endure the possibility that someone might be more beautiful than she was. The queen had an enchanted mirror. She would look into it and say, “Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who’s the fairest of us all?”

The mirror would answer, “You, Queen, are the fairest of us all.” And she was satisfied, for she knew that the mirror spoke with veracity.

The queen’s stepdaughter was an adorable little girl. Her name was Snow White. As she grew up, she grew prettier and prettier. When she was seven years old, she was lovelier than the queen herself. One day, the queen went to her mirror. She asked, “Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who is the fairest of us all?”

The mirror answered, “You are fair, Oh Queen, ’tis true. But now, Snow White is fairer still than you.”

When the queen processed this unexpected bombshell, she turned green with jealousy. From that moment, her heart turned against Snow White. Envy manifested in her like weeds relentlessly taking over a garden. One day, she summoned a huntsman. She said, “Take the child into the woods, far away from my kingdom. Make sure that she can’t ever return here.”


The huntsman obediently took the child into the forest. But he felt sympathy for Snow White. He counseled her to run away. The huntsman then galloped away. Poor Snow White found herself alone in the woods. She was unnerved, and she ran as long as her feet would carry her. At last, as moonrise appeared, she came upon a little house deep in the woods.

She went inside to rest. She quickly noticed that everything was very small. But it was as orderly and spotless as could be conceivable. By the wall stood seven little beds, side-by-side. They were covered with clean white quilts. Nearby stood a little table, draped with a pristine white cloth. It was set with seven little plates, seven knives and forks, and seven little drinking cups. Snow White was very hungry, but she didn’t want to eat anyone’s entire meal. So, she commandeered a little porridge and bread from each plate. Then she took a little sip from each cup. After that, she realized how fatigued she was. She laid down on one of the beds and fell asleep.

When it was quite dark, the owners of the little house came home. They were seven dwarfs, who labored every day in the mountains. They dug with their picks and shovels, mining for gold. They came inside and lit their seven candles. But then, they saw that everything in the house was not the same as they had left it.


They scanned the room and saw Snow White lying asleep in a bed. They all came running over with their candles. They said, “Oh, goodness gracious!” She was sleeping so peacefully that they did not wake her.

The next morning, Snow White woke and saw the seven dwarfs. They seemed quite hospitable. So, she described to them how the queen had forcefully expelled her from the kingdom. She expounded about how she had run the whole day long, until at last she had found their little house.

Then the dwarfs said, “If you will keep house for us, you may stay with us. We will make sure that you have everything you need.”

Each sunup, the dwarfs paraded off to the mountain to dig for gold. When the dwarfs were away during the day, Snow White was alone in the house. The dwarfs cautioned her. They said, “Don’t let a soul into the house! Beware of the queen, for she may ascertain that you are here.”

And indeed, one day the queen went to her mirror and recited, “Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who is the fairest of us all?”

And the mirror answered, “Oh, Queen, you are of beauty rare. But Snow White, living in the glen with the seven little men, is a thousand times more fair.”


The queen wheezed. A wave of nausea flowed through her body. She knew that the mirror spoke the truth. It was obvious that Snow White must be still be residing in the kingdom. She concocted a guileful plan to eliminate Snow White. She went to a dark and secret room. There, she made a poisonous apple. It was so big, beautiful, and red that anyone who saw it would long for it. But whoever ate even a piece of it would sleep forever. Then the queen disguised herself to look like a peddler. She traipsed across the seven mountains to the home of the seven dwarfs. She knocked at the door. Snow White jutted her head out the window. She called out, “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be inhospitable. But I dare not let anyone in. The seven dwarfs dissuaded me from doing so.”

“All right, I understand. I’ll retreat,” said the old woman. “But here, let me proffer you one of my prized apples.”

“No, thank you,” said Snow White. “I’m not permitted to take anything.”

“Well, Gadzooks, child! You intimate that my matchless apples are poisoned!” said the old woman. “Look here, I’ll take a bite of this apple myself. All right?” But the maleficent queen had planned for all contingencies. When she made the apple virulent, she imbued the poison only in one side. That was the side that she now currently held out, facing Snow White.


Snow White looked at the tantalizing apple. She wanted it so much. So, when she saw the old woman take a bite of the other side, the side without the poison, she could not resist. The old woman had duped her! She stepped outside and took the apple. She bit into the toxic portion of the apple. She instantly weakened and slumped to the ground, now unconscious. It was if she would never get up again.

The queen journeyed back home. She rushed straight to her mirror. As usual, she asked, “Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who is the fairest of us all?”

And the mirror answered, “You are now the fairest of them all.”

The dwarfs soon returned home. They found Snow White lying there, as if dead. They lifted her up. They attempted to find some way to help her. But they came up with nothing, and nothing they did helped the child. They sat around her, all seven of them, and wept. They loved her so much that, for many years, Snow White lay in the dwarfs’ home. All the while, she never changed. She simply looked as if she were asleep. Her skin was as white as snow. Her lips were as red as blood. Her hair was as black as ebony.


Then one day, a prince was traveling through the woods. He stopped at the dwarfs’ house. He dismounted from his horse. From there, he could see the beautiful Snow White. She was so beautiful that he was compelled to kiss her. The prince gently lifted her. Then, a morsel of tainted apple came out of her throat!

The wanton spell was ruptured and undone! Snow White sat up and cried, “Oh! What happened?” The prince, full of joy, said, “You were immersed in an unrelenting sleep. I am a prince, and I love you more than anything in the world. Accompany me to my father’s castle. Please become my bride.”

A splendid wedding was to be held for the prince and Snow White. Her wicked stepmother, the queen, was invited to the wedding. She dressed herself in fine clothes. She strolled to her mirror and lackadaisically enquired, “Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who is the fairest of us all?”


The mirror could inform her only of the truth. “Though you are fair, Oh Queen, ’tis true, the new bride is fairer still than you.”

The queen thundered with vitriol. First, she thought she would not go to the wedding. Then she thought she had to go to see the new bride. When she got there and recognized her as Snow White, she was pervaded with a caustic madness. She went on a rampage. In an unrestrained tantrum, she screamed and stomped her feet. She cursed and spit. She jumped up and down, as though she were wearing red-hot shoes.

The evil queen withdrew from the scene and never came back. And further, she never caused Snow White any trouble again. So, our story comes to its denouement. Snow White and the prince lived together contentedly, for many long, fulfilling years to come.

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.) 

Lesson 13 – Ancient Mesopotamia And Egypt

NEW WORDS: Anubis, Babylon, Carnarvon, Carter, Egyptians, Euphrates, Gilgamesh, Hammurabi, Hammurabi’s, Hatshepsut, Horus, Horus’s, Howard, Iraq, Ishtar, Isis, Ma’at, Mesopotamia, Mesopotamian, Mesopotamians, Osiris, Rosetta, Scooby, Sphinx, Tigris, Tut’s, Tutankhamen, Ur, achieving, activities, adversaries, armies, artifacts, astonishing, awareness, bravery, brutal, burdensome, burial, canopic, carving, changer, chariot, citizens, civilization, climate, consisted, construction, contained, conveyed, coteries, craftsmen, cultivated, cuneiform, decipher, decorations, defined, deities, depicted, discoveries, discovery, domiciled, effective, enthralled, examples, fabricated, fabulous, falcon, floodwater, formidable, gained, garnered, gladdened, goddesses, huts, ideas, imminently, instituted, irritating, jackal, jackal’s, jewelry, lowly, mastered, melange, migrated, miraculously, mummies, mummy’s, necklace, nourishment, obtained, oftentimes, ordinarily, ornate, papyrus, peculiar, periodically, pharaoh, pharaoh’s, pharaohs, pledged, portrayed, possibilities, preeminent, procure, protection, punishments, pursue, pyramids, regularly, reveal, richest, safeguarded, scribe, scribes, scrolls, sediment, severe, suitable, temple, tomb, tombs, transport, unadorned, uncovered, unforgiving, validate, vicinity, vital, worshipping  

Chapter One: Ancient Times

Let’s go way back in time. People moved from place to place. They garnered plants. They hunted animals. That’s how they got their food. They might have lived in unadorned, lowly huts. Over time, they mastered farming. That meant that they could settle down. They cultivated plants that could now be their nourishment. Slowly, coteries of people began to live together.

Let’s learn about the Mesopotamians. They were highly effective at farming. That freed up time for them. They now had time to pursue other activities. They began to build cities. They had buildings, streets, and gardens. Mesopotamian kings and queens lived in these impressive cities. Many people migrated to live there, too. They created a great civilization.


Chapter Two: The Land Between Two Rivers
The name “Mesopotamia” is defined as “between the rivers.” Their lands lay between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. There was ample water in the vicinity. Thus, the land was imminently suitable for farming. Farmers grew the food that fed the people. That included all of those who were domiciled in the cities.

The Mesopotamian kings were in charge of the cities. They had a burdensome job. They were pledged to protect the cities, the people, and the farmland from adversaries.

Many of the cities were built with walls around them. This strengthened the people’s protection. Here’s what a walled city would have looked like long ago.

People had a melange of jobs in the cities. Some people were called “craftsmen.” They made pots, baskets, clothes, and jewelry. Others conveyed people by boat from place to place.

Food was grown in fields outside the city walls. The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers were important. Periodically, these rivers flooded. The floodwater carried rich sediment into the fields. This enhanced the soil. It was good for growing plants. At other times, there wasn’t enough rain for the plants. So, river water was brought to the fields.


Chapter Three: City Life in Ancient Mesopotamia
Some people back then knew how to read and write. They didn’t write on paper. Instead, they used reeds. These would make marks on wet clay. This way of writing is called “cuneiform.” Having a way to write down information was a game-changer. It helped make their civilization great. It opened new possibilities for human progress.

Kings were powerful leaders. They led armies into battle. They made peace, too. Here’s a piece of art made from shells and stones. It shows people bringing special gifts to the king.

Children back then were like kids today. Yes, they played with toys! What do you think this is?

Queens were important, too! They helped to make decisions. One of their queens once wore this gold headdress and jewelry. The headdress looked like the leaves of a tree.


Chapter Four: King Hammurabi’s Written Laws
Hammurabi was a great king back then. He instituted the “Code of Hammurabi.” This was a set of laws. They were written down. That way, each person would know them. We talked about writing down important information and ideas. This is one way a civilization can be strong.

King Hammurabi wanted all of his citizens to follow the laws. People knew what would happen if they broke a law. They would be punished. And some of the punishments were quite severe! Here’s a statue of Hammurabi kneeling.


Chapter Five: Gods, Goddesses, and Temples
Back then, people believed in lots of gods and goddesses. People would go to temples. They prayed to the gods and goddesses there. They also asked the gods and goddesses to help them. Here’s a statue of someone asking a god for help. They believed that the gods and goddesses had lots of power. They thought that they could make good and bad things happen.

People built great temples to the god and goddesses. They hoped more good things would happen by worshipping them. Here are the ruins of the Temple of Ur. Thousands of people would have gone there. It still stands today. It’s in the modern-day country of Iraq.

The people built temples to honor their gods. But they also built other things. Babylon was their richest city. This ornate gate was in the city. It was built to honor Ishtar. She was the goddess of love and war.

People back then told lots of stories. One favorite was about how strong and brave one of their kings was. His name was King Gilgamesh. They also showed his bravery in pictures.

In the story, Gilgamesh was very strong. They said that he could defeat a lion! He  did so many amazing things. He was thought to be a half-god.

Ancient Egypt

Chapter One: The Nile River
Let’s now venture to ancient Egypt. They have the world’s largest river. It’s called the “Nile.” The Nile would rise above its banks and flood the land. This took place each year. The flooding deposited rich soil. This helped them grow plants on their farms. The Nile also brought water to their plants.

How did they farm? Egyptian farmers first dug up the soil. Sometimes they used a hoe for digging. Then they dropped seeds into the ground. Animals such as cows stepped on the seeds. That pushed them into the ground. Sometimes farmers used a plow instead of a hoe. Often, an ox would pull the plow.

Ancient Egypt was another great civilization. It was on the continent of Africa. The land of ancient Egypt lay along the Nile River. All around this land was a desert. It’s called the “Sahara Desert.” Egypt became known as the gift of the Nile. The Nile River is in northern Africa. It’s more than four thousand miles long. The Nile flows north into the Mediterranean Sea.


Chapter Two: Pharaohs and Everyday People
Egyptians identified their rulers as kings, queens, or “pharaohs.” They were the most important people of their time. They made the laws. They were in charge of the army. This is a statue, or stone carving, of a pharaoh.

You may not believe this. Egyptians had things that we’d find in our own homes today. This Egyptian queen is playing a board game.

Egyptians used green and black eye makeup. They thought that it made their eyes more attractive. It may also have safeguarded their eyes from the unforgiving sun. And it kept away irritating little flies.

Their workers made bricks from mud and straw. The bricks were used for construction. They were dried in the hot sun. They would become hard and strong in the arid climate.

Egyptians traveled by boat on the Nile. The boats were also used to carry food. They would transport goods from one part of the kingdom to another.


Chapter Three: Pyramids and Mummies
Pyramids and tombs were burial places. They were for important people, such as pharaohs. Pyramids were fabricated from stone blocks. It took thousands of people to build a pyramid. And it took millions of stone blocks. The stone blocks were cut, first. Then they were pushed and pulled on sleds across the sand by workers. It was brutal work! Pyramids are called one of the “seven wonders of the ancient world.”

When pharaohs died, their bodies were treated in a special way. Everything inside a pharaoh’s body, except the heart, was taken out. The pharaoh’s insides were placed in canopic jars.

The rest of the body was then wrapped up. They used lots of strips of cloth. They placed the body in a wooden box. The wrapped body is called a “mummy.” Often, a painted mask was placed over the mummy’s face. Many a horror movie has been made about mummies. Have you ever seen one? How about Scooby-Doo?!


What happened to the pharaoh’s heart? They believed that their gods and goddesses would judge every pharaoh’s life. They do that by weighing the pharaoh’s heart. What if a pharaoh had been good? He would have a light heart. What if he had not been good? His heart would be heavy. Here a god is weighing a heart.

A pharaoh’s body would be made ready. It was then taken to a tomb or pyramid. The walls of these burial places were painted. They were full of pictures. These were of things that the pharaohs liked during their life.

Other things have been found buried inside tombs and pyramids. They often contained treasures made of gold and jewels. The mummies of Egyptian pharaohs have been found, too. Here’s a necklace and part of a bed that a pharaoh once used. Can you imagine this? Pharaohs had gold decorations on their beds!


Chapter Four: Gods and Goddesses
Here are some Egyptian gods and goddesses. Peculiar, aren’t they? They have human bodies. But they have animal heads. Egyptians believed in animal gods, too. They assumed that the gods and goddesses made good and bad things happen in the world.

Here’s the “Sphinx.” It’s a huge statue in the desert. It has a human head and an animal body. Notice that it has the body of a lion. The Sphinx was a symbol of a god and a pharaoh.

Three of the most formidable Egyptian deities are shown here. The god Osiris has a green face. His wife, Isis, is next to him. Horus, their son, has the head of a falcon. They believed that Horus’s eye protected the living and the dead. His eye was oftentimes drawn on the walls of tombs.

The god Anubis has a jackal’s face. A jackal is a wild dog. They thought that the gods and goddesses were clever and smart, like certain animals.

The Egyptians’ preeminent god was Re. He was the sun god. He is regularly shown with the sun above his head. The goddess Ma’at is ordinarily depicted wearing an ostrich feather.


Chapter Five: Egyptian Writing
Egyptians used little pictures to make words. That’s what their writing system consisted of. The symbols are called “hieroglyphs.” The examples that are portrayed here were carved on a stone wall. They also wrote on paper. They made paper from the papyrus plant. Sometimes the sheets of paper were joined together. That made them into long scrolls.

In ancient Egypt, scribes could read and write. They wrote vital information on walls and on paper. This man is a scribe. Scribes had special tools. They even had writing boards made of wood. These boards were like small desks that could be carried around.

Hieroglyphs look like pictures. Each picture could be a sound, a part of a word, or a whole word. These hieroglyphs reveal the name of a king.


Chapter Six: Tutankhamen
For thousands of years, people have tried to find the pharaohs’ tombs and treasures. Many of them hoped to get rich. Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon were two such men. After much searching, they found King Tut’s tomb. They were gladdened by their discovery.

The tomb was filled with astonishing artifacts. One of the many discoveries was a beautiful throne. King Tut had once sat upon it! Miraculously, they uncovered King Tut’s mummy! It had been inside the tomb for thousands of years. On the mummy, there was a golden mask of King Tut’s face. The whole world was enthralled by these discoveries.


Look at this sculpture. It was found inside the tomb. It shows the face of the young King Tut. Like many important Egyptians, his head was shaved. That’s so that he could wear a wig. They wore wigs so that itchy bugs couldn’t get into their hair!

This chariot belonged to King Tut. It’s possible that the young King Tut rode into battle riding it. Or maybe he rode it through the streets of an Egyptian city.

This box was found in Tut’s tomb. It was fabricated to hold jewelry. There are hieroglyphs all over the box.

This is the “Rosetta Stone.” The words on the stone helped people understand Egyptian writing. We owe a lot to the Rosetta Stone. It helped us to decipher their language. So, we’ve learned about pharaohs and gods. We know about the games they played. We’ve gained awareness of the foods that they liked to eat!


Chapter Seven: Hatshepsut
Another very famous pharaoh was Hatshepsut. She became a pharaoh after her husband died. She had to work very hard. She had to validate that a woman could be a high-achieving pharaoh, too! And she did!

Hatshepsut was a great pharaoh. She sent Egyptians on a long ocean voyage. The sailors were to procure things that were needed in Egypt. This ocean voyage was about 3,500 years ago.

The Egyptians brought back sweet-smelling oils, gold, ivory, plants, and valuable wood. Hatshepsut was pleased that they had obtained these fabulous things.


Lesson 14 – Pattern-Builder Poems

NEW WORDS: Cher, Claire, Ed’s, Ellie, Jared, Kelley, Kelly, Kerry, Larry, Murray, Nellie, Oscar’s, Perry, Shelley, Sperry, aerie, attacks, behead, blockhead, breadwinner, bullheaded, cleric, cornbread, curry, dining, dreary, eerie, eggheaded, figurehead, flair, flare, flavors, flurries, howling, inquire, jarhead, knuckleheaded, leery, marine, marries, mascara, meds, meerkat, merely, monster’s, nicknamed, outspread, parry, peer, prairie, pricey, quarry, query, redhead, scurrilous, shortbread, sleepyheads, spare, spooning, sterile, steroids, store’s, sued, suede, trailhead, undead, unwed, vary, vintage, wiry, zombie

Nellie Ellie Kelley Loves Her Jelly
I have a friend named Nellie,
And she’s nuts about her jelly.
Plum and peach and grape and lime,
She’s eating jelly all the time.

There’s orange jelly on her steak,
And cherry on her birthday cake.
There’s blueberry for her potatoes,
Strawberry for her tomatoes.

Grapefruit for her breakfast toast,
And mint to cover her lamb roast.
Her older sister goes by “Kelly,”
Her younger one is nicknamedShelley.”

Both of them like smelly jelly,
Strange, strong flavors that bother Nellie.
So if you’re somewhere dining out,
And you choose to look about,
And at the table next to you,
You see an odd and funny view,
A girl who’s bought a pricey dish,
Spooning jelly on her fish,
It’s highly likely that it’s Nellie,
With lots of jelly in her belly.


A Knuckleheaded Story
It was dinner at Ed’s homestead.
Ed was the family figurehead.
And the breadwinner.
He’d served his country well as a Marine jarhead.

Unwed Ed fed Ted, Ned, Red, Jed, and Fred.
He served a nice spread of bread, cornbread, gingerbread, and shortbread.
Then Ed said, “Time for bed.”
Ed led them up the stairs.

Four of them were sleepyheads.
They quickly got under their bedspreads.
But Fred the redhead fled!


He sped out of the house.
He was not ready for bed.
He wanted to play, instead.
Ed yelled, “Get back here, or you’re dead!”

And Ed pled, “Besides, you need to take your meds!”
But Fred already had the sled from the shed.
He was out in the snow.
He had a hat on his head.

From it, he snapped off a loose thread.
Off he went! Oops!
He didn’t look well ahead of himself.
The sled ran into a tree next to the trailhead.


He sat in the snow with his legs outspread.
Now Fred bled on his forehead.
But just a bit.
Ed chased Fred on a moped.

Fred had to tread through the snow.
But now he felt a sense of dread.
Bullheaded Ed was catching up!
Fred screeched, “Please don’t behead me!”

Ed called back, “Just get inside, you bigheaded eggheaded blockhead.”
But then they heard an evil howling.
And a zombie appeared from the woods!!
Now it was time for widespread panic!
Now they’d have to escape from the undead!


Please Stop This “Poem!!”
Can a fairy take a ferry?
Is Harry hairy?
Is Mary merry?
Will Mary marry?
Will Mary be merry when she marries?
Does Barry like to eat a berry?
Will he bury a berry?
Is Claire the cleric clear about this?
Is Jerry on a jury?
Do you work at the dairy, dreary dearie?

Does Terry tarry?
That movie star on steroids will stare at the sterile stair for a while.
Is that bird’s eerie aerie airy?
Is Cary friends with Kerry?
I must query about the quarry.


I sold a spare tire to Mr. Sperry.
Did you inquire about the choir?
Are you cheery when you eat a cherry?
I’m worried and weary and wary of that wiry monster’s attacks.
Are you sure she’s from Surrey?

The rear of this roast is rare.
Do things here vary very much?
Come on, Harry, hurry!
Come on, Mary Murray!
Is that Jerry or Jared?

With flair, did they light a flare to see through the flurries?
Are you leery of Larry?
Can a fairy be furry?


Is that meerkat merry, or merely bored?
Will Perry parry with his sword?
Sue sued him for getting suet on her suede coat, and it’s a big issue!
Does courageous Cary care to carry curry?

Are there prayers out on a prairie?
I dare you to race that deer, dear.
I barely got away from that bear by giving him some beer.
Will you peer at this pair of pears, and then pare the skin?

When I see scurrilous Oscar’s scar, it’s scary, and I scurry away with my mascara.
Does Cher share things, like vintage sherry?
Is that just a story about the store’s storage, or is it true history?


Lesson 15 – “Basic English” and “Common Words” Word List Vocab-Builder 

NEW WORDS: Congress, absent, accept, account, adjustment, admire, advertisement, airfield, airship, amusement, apparatus, approval, attraction, authority, behavior, blimp, blunt, bombed, character, chemical, chord, clothe, colony, committee, connection, conscious, crease, degree, dependent, destruction, detail, development, differ, digestion, discuss, discussion, disgust, distant, distribution, earshot, elastic, element, equate, excite, expansion, feeble, fertile, fiction, foot’s, fowl, grouse, hill’s, humor, impulse, insurance, invention, jewel, luggage, mass, mist, molecule, naked, non, observation, operation, organization, original, ornament, parcel, performed, poetry, populate, port, porter, probable, profit, prose, protest, punishment, purpose, quality, quotient, range, reaction, receipt, regret, regular, relation, religion, representative, require, responsible, secretary, segment, selection, skill, slope, snarf, society, sponge, stead, substance, suggestion, surgeon, syllable, talents, tendency, tension, theory, toddler, unsnapped, verse, westward

Kip was absent from school.

He’s a strange guy.

Locusts leave trails of destruction.

Row into that thick mist.

My throat’s sore.

How much is the sales tax?

My foot’s arch is flat.

Head north.

This connection unsnapped.

I like your sense of humor.

Their organization is a nonprofit.

I regret that I can’t come.

His theory has holes in it.

Here are a needle and thread.

Is that a right angle?

This cold killed my sense of taste.

Sing that verse twice.

We accept cash.

That’s a feeble excuse!

She’s an authority figure at work.


Paste this here.

He walked to first base.

This is fertile soil.

Are you through yet?

We had a good discussion.

I was conscious of a ghost in the room.

His tendency is to be blunt.

I feel shame for doing that.

What sex is the baby?

What rate do they charge?

Leave me in peace.

That’s a high-quality suit.

The porter will take your luggage.

This hill’s slope is steep.

Stick out your tongue.

Sort these into piles.

Twist off this cap.

He smokes a pipe.

I have a savings account.

A stitch in time saves nine.


The committee wrote their report.

Till the soil with this spade.

This elastic band snapped in two.

I’ll stretch out on the couch.

I need a good fiction book.

We had a nice view.

The plane took off.

That’s a dull blade.

This feels rough.

Put this ornament on the tree.

Hit the ball straight.

What’s your point?

Don’t waste time!

Insurance will pay for the damage.

Don’t miss this key detail!

See what you weigh on this scale.

I got five calls from the advertisement.

Your behavior is mean!

Put on the brake!

Cut the wire here.


Screw this in slowly.

A grouse is a fowl.

What a sparkling jewel!

Screw in the light bulb.

Let’s go to the amusement park!

There’s a chemical spill on the road.

You have my approval to do that.

Do you know for certain?

Your wound will heal.

My impulse is to snarf down more chips.

There’s a parcel at the door.

Let’s study U.S. westward expansion.

I admire her talents.

That invention will make money.

Crush the other team!

Climb to the observation tower.

He has an attraction towards her.

I’ve got a bad cough.

I’m dependent on you to do that.

You disgust me!


The surgeon is done with his operation.

He’s our representative to Congress.

He’ll pay for his crime.

The secretary took the meeting notes.

I was in range of earshot.

What a nice young man!

I owe you a debt of thanks.

It’s probable that I’ll be there.

What’s the purpose of that complex apparatus?

To what degree will she tell the truth?

Their air force bombed our airfield.

There’s a new development in our plans.

Knead this mass of dough.

This pill will help your digestion.

Make the adjustment with this tool.

I doubt I can do that.

Add me to the distribution list.

A blimp is an airship.

She has an edge in the race.

Is this prose or poetry?

Here’s the receipt for your purchase.


Is this true or false?

Wipe this with the sponge.

I’ll think about your suggestion.

What a selection of candies!

Douse the flame.

You’re responsible for this chore.

My religion won’t let me eat that.

Your punishment is no T.V. for a week.

What’s this gooey substance?

Look at that bird in flight!

This grain is rye.

I went on a protest march!

What was her reaction to your idea?

I exercise on a regular schedule.

There’s much tension in our society.

There’s a relation between cause and effect.

That’s a seven-syllable word!

We had a good tour guide.

Tie this in a knot.

I differ with your view on this.

Iron a crease into my pants.


“Two” is the quotient of “six-divided-by-three.”

The boat sailed into port.

You’re being too loud.

She has a high moral character.

That struck a chord with me!

Our cat is a male.

Let’s discuss this problem.

What do you equate her strange mood to?

They sailed to a distant colony.

Watch this segment of the T.V. show.

I require hard work from you.

Please clothe the toddler.

I got mixed up.

I didn’t like that element of the story.

That’s quite an original idea!

He performed with great skill.

You can’t see a molecule with the naked eye.

It would excite me to go to the ball.

You’ve got some nerve!

The queen’s daughter came in her stead.

Populate the pond with these trout.

Keep the noise down! 

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.) 
Seasons And Weather


Lesson 16 – Part One 

NEW WORDS: Christian, Columbia, Fahrenheit, Jewish, Kwanzaa, adieu, alternating, apparel, battens, benumbing, blanketed, brimming, captivating, caution, cautious, centric, characteristic, characteristics, comparable, compatriot, compel, corroborate, covenant, defrost, delighting, depending, designated, designates, district, engaging, envelopes, envisage, eventuate, festive, festivities, fireplaces, fluctuating, forfends, forgather, forming, frolic, furnaces, greenest, hatches, hazardous, heaters, hibernal, hometown, hottest, incrusted, injured, irrefutable, lists, lunar, measurements, merciless, metric, neighborhoods, opposing, oranges, pleasurable, prodigious, project, reciprocal, regardless, religions, remaining, repeatedly, representation, researching, resolutions, roadways, roasty, rotation, salaam, schools, scrapes, seldom, serendipity, shroud, shutter, sledding, snowplows, snowstorms, standstill, substantiate, suffused, sweaters, sweltering, tangerines, themes, thermometer, tolerate, tradition, vacillates, varieties, walkways, whereabouts

Chapter One: What’s The Weather Like?
Dear Friends,

Hi! My name’s Ann. I’m from Washington, D.C. (Did you know this? “D.C.” means “District of Columbia.”) I’m in fifth grade. But I remember when I was younger, just like you. Right now I’m in school. We’re learning about seasons and weather. For my school project, I’ll be your weather pen pal. I’ll teach you about the weather where I live. I’ll also talk about the weather in lots of areas on Earth. You can help me with my project. Just answer all my questions. Then I can learn about the seasons and weather where you live.

There are different kinds of weather. It can be sunny, cloudy, windy, rainy, and stormy. How about where you live? What’s the weather like today?

No matter where you live on Earth, you can count on this. Weather is always fluctuating. It changes by the hour. It vacillates from day to day. There are weather patterns during certain times of the year. For example, let’s look at summer. Its weather pattern is mostly sunny and warm. Weather patterns may change a lot in some places. They may vary little in other places. It depends where you live on Earth.


This is a representation of the Earth. I’ve colored two places on the map blue. One’s the North Pole. One’s the South Pole. The North and South Poles are at opposing ends of the Earth. But they share comparable weather patterns. The weather pattern at the North and South Poles is always cold. And the land is mostly blanketed by ice.

This is the South Pole. It’s located on the continent of Antarctica. It’s one of the most hibernal places on Earth. The ground is incrusted by ice all year long. But guess what?  It seldom rains or snows here. The wind can be merciless. And the temperature can be benumbing.

I’ve suffused the centric area of this map red. What’s the weather pattern in this area? It’s mostly very warm all year. Its biggest changes are the measurements of rainfall at alternating times of year.

Envisage a rainforest. The day may start off warm and sunny. But by afternoon, it may rain very hard. This weather pattern may eventuate on most days! This place gets lots of rain and sun almost year-round. The rain and sun are both good. They keep the plants and trees green and healthy.


This part of the map is green. It’s most of the U.S. Most of the U.S. is on the continent of North America. The state of Hawaii, though, is made up of islands. They’re located in the Pacific Ocean. In most of the United States, it’s not always cold. And it’s not always hot. Most of the U.S. has weather changes with each season. So, we get cold weather, hot weather, and everything in between.

There are four seasons in a year. They are winter, spring, summer, and autumn. Each season has different weather. So, the weather in the U.S. changes a lot. It depends on where you live and which season it is. Plants, trees, grass, and flowers change in different seasons. You’ll also see different kinds of animals in different seasons.

This image shows the season called winter. It’s the coldest season. In some places, snow and ice shroud the ground during wintertime. Other places may not have snow and ice. But they’re still colder in winter than in other seasons. Some animals, like bears, sleep during the winter season.

Eventually, winter ends and spring begins. In spring, the sun shines a little longer and warmer each day. This melts the ice and snow. In spring, new leaves appear on the trees. New plants grow up from the warming Earth. And flowers bloom again. Many baby animals are born during the spring, too!


After spring comes summer. Summer is the hottest season of the year in the U.S. Summer is the season in which all the plants are at their greenest. They’re brimming with leaves, flowers, and fruit. Birds, bugs, and other animals are easiest to spot in the summer.

Finally, after summer comes autumn. Autumn is also called “fall.” In most places in the U.S., the leaves change colors. Then they fall off some varieties of trees. The air outside gets cooler. The sun shines a little less each day. Autumn is when farmers harvest their fruits and vegetables. Further, birds fly south, and everyone battens down the hatches for winter.

Let’s say the seasons together. “Winter, spring, summer, and autumn.” What season is it right now where you live? How do you know? Each season has its own special characteristics. For example, a characteristic of summer is hot weather. One of winter is snow.

The seasons are different, depending on where you live. Not all places have to tolerate snow in the winter. And not all places are sweltering in the summer. But one thing’s irrefutable. It doesn’t matter where you live. The seasons repeatedly change in the same order, year after year.


What’s something that happens over and over again in the same order? It’s called a “cycle.” Every year, the rotation of the seasons starts in winter. It’s followed by spring, summer, and autumn. Then it turns back to winter.

I’ll be talking a lot about my hometown, Washington, D.C. But the characteristics of the four seasons where you live might be different. It will be fun to see if your weather is different from mine!

I’ll say “adieu” for now. But I’ll write again soon. Until then, I hope you’re delighting in pleasurable weather regardless of your whereabouts!

Your compatriot, Ann


Chapter Two: Winter
Dear Friends,

Salaam, from your pen pal, Ann! You got my last letter, right? I told you about the four seasons that occur in most parts of the U.S. They’re winter, spring, summer, and autumn. Today, we’ll be researching winter. What kinds of things do you think of when I say “winter?” Snowmen? Icicles? Here’s what I think of. COLD!

Winter is our coldest season. The shortest day of the year is on December 21. It designates the start of winter. Winter also includes January and February.

It can get very cold in the winter in most of the U.S. How do we substantiate how cold it is? We use a tool called a “thermometer.” This tool measures “temperature.” That’s a metric we use to talk about how hot or cold it is. When it’s hot outside, the liquid in the thermometer rises towards the top. When it’s cold outside, the liquid stays near the bottom.

What’s another way we corroborate that it’s wintertime? Look at the way people are dressed. Look at what these people are wearing. These clothes will help them stay warm in the winter. Winter apparel forfends you from the cold. It keeps your body nice and warm while you’re outside. Hats, mittens, and scarves help you stay warm. And you might wear “extra layers.” Think about sweaters.


It gets cold in the winter where I live, in Washington, D.C. Sometimes it’s even cold enough to snow! I wish it would snow every day. But, the temp must fall below freezing for it to snow. (The freezing point is 32 degrees Fahrenheit.) What happens if the air between the clouds and the ground is below 32? Then, instead of rain, snowflakes will likely fall.

Some years, Washington, D.C., gets prodigious snowstorms. They’re known as “blizzards.” They bring city traffic to a standstill. They compel the schools to shutter. There are other years when it only snows once or twice. What’s winter like where you live? Do you get snow?

When it snows, people work together to clear the snow. People often use snow shovels. They shovel snow off of walkways. That way, others don’t slip and become injured.

In many places, snowplows get to work clearing the streets. There’s a big plow on the front of the truck. It scrapes the snow and ice from the roadways. These trucks also carry salt or other chemicals. They spread it on the roads as they pass. The salt and chemicals defrost the remaining ice. And, they keep new ice from forming. This makes the roads less hazardous for people to drive on.


You need to be cautious out in the snow. That’s whether you are walking or driving. Snow and ice are slippery. You must use extra caution when the ground is covered with snow or ice.

I always cheer up when it starts to snow. That’s because I love to frolic in it. I like to build snowmen. And I have snowball fights with my friends.

Another way to have fun in the snow is to go sledding! After a big snow, all you need is a nice steep hill. Put on warm clothes. Bring something to ride on to go sledding. It’s great fun!

If you’re outside a while, you’ll get chilled to the bone. It’s nice to come back inside to get warm again. Some homes have fireplaces. People light logs on fire to help warm the house. I love reading a good book by the roasty-toasty fire.

There are other ways to stay warm inside. People also use gas furnaces and electric heaters. And of course, get cozy when you go to bed. Curl up under a few extra blankets!

Winter’s also a time when folks from different religions celebrate holidays. Christmas, a Christian holiday, comes on December 25. Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday, also falls around this time. And so does Kwanzaa. That’s a week-long holiday celebrated by some African-Americans.


Here’s a festive tradition during these holidays. People string colorful lights around their homes and neighborhoods. You should see Washington, D.C. at this time of year. The lights make it a captivating place.

Another important winter holiday falls on December 31. That’s the last day of the year. It’s called New Year’s Eve. January 1, the day after December 31, starts the new year. January 1 is called New Year’s Day. Here’s a New Year’s tradition. Many people make resolutions. They write out lists of things that they covenant to do better in the new year.

Next, let’s look at the Lunar New Year. This is also designated the Chinese New Year. Luck and good fortune are reciprocal themes for this holiday. It falls around late January and early February. The color red is worn during the festivities. It’s thought to be a sign of serendipity and happiness. Homes are decorated with red paper cut into designs. Folks write happy wishes on red paper. They hang them throughout the house. Children often receive red envelopes. Money may be tucked inside! What do you hope for if you receive these envelopes? You’re also supposed to receive good fortune in the New Year. Families forgather to wish each other good luck. They have big feasts. They will serve fish, pork, and poultry. They will serve tangerines, oranges, dumplings, and special cakes.

There are so many engaging things to do in the winter! What’s your favorite part of winter?

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.) 
Seasons And Weather

Lesson 17 – Part Two

NEW WORDS: Hindu, Passover, Seder, air’s, anticipate, ascends, autumn’s, balmy, barbecues, buoyantly, calmer, cognize, colossal, commemorated, commences, congregate, culmination, departs, devised, disparate, disrobed, dissimilar, drains, ducklings, energetic, envision, exemplary, extends, fair’s, famed, favored, foals, fragrant, garbed, garments, hibernating, homage, illustrative, indications, indulge, innumerable, intimations, judged, kaleidoscopic, levels, loosens, melting, memorial, metropolis, milder, monuments, museums, nearest, nippy, nuzzle, officially, oppressive, patchwork, plows, proficient, progresses, recollect, refreshments, relish, repast, returning, rollick, safeguard, scorching, scrimmage, seeps, sensational, sightseers, slight, snooze, soil’s, spatter, sprung, stirs, studying, stuffing, sunburn, thermometer’s, togethers, transpires, twirling, uncles, veils, vendors, ventures, visitors, warms, weekends, whirling

Chapter Three: Spring
Dear Friends,

The next season is spring! Spring arrives gradually, bit by bit. It commences in mid-March. It extends through April and May. The air warms. The ground starts to thaw. That’s because the days are longer. So, that gives us more sunlight. The rivers and streams fill with water. That’s from the melting snow and ice.

Tiny green leaves pop out on some tree branches. A few new plants also start to peek up out of the soil. Hibernating animals wake from their winter snooze. These are indications that “spring has sprung!”

Spring’s a windy season. Some people say this: “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” This means that the weather in spring changes. It’s stormy and windy at the start. But it gets calmer and milder by the end. What’s fun to do at the windy start of spring? It’s an exemplary time to fly a kite!


There are also lots of rainy days in the early spring. March and April have the most rain. I love it when I get to wear my raincoat and rain boots. Then I can splash in puddles! What can you see sometimes after a spring rain shower? You might see a magical rainbow in the sky. There’s another old saying that tells us this: “April showers bring May flowers.” The rains of April help flowering plants to grow big and healthy. Then they can produce pretty, fragrant flowers in May. Some flowers even bloom throughout the summer.

The world outside truly changes in spring. Flowers are one of the key intimations of spring. They substantiate that the plant world has come to life again. Soon, bees are buzzing among the flowers. Birds are chirping in the leafy trees. And the afternoon hours are balmy and pleasurable.

Washington, D.C., is famed for its spring cherry blossoms. In April, the cherry trees throughout the metropolis burst into bloom. Innumerable brilliant pink and white flowers show that spring is here. My parents and I have a special spring picnic every year. We set up under the cherry blossoms.


Spring is a key time on farms. For the farmer, it’s time to get back out in the fields. He must plow his soil. He must prepare it for planting. He plows the field first. This stirs up the soil’s nutrients. And he loosens the ground. That’s so that new seeds can take root. The time will soon be right. The farmer will go through his plowed fields. He’ll plant his seeds in neat rows. What’s it like a couple of weeks later? The field will be brimming with little green seedlings! By summer, you won’t be able to see the brown soil at all. All the big, green plants will fully cover the soil.

Spring is also a key time for the farms’ animals. Lots of animals give birth to new babies. The barnyard and fields are full of baby animals. The mothers nurse and care for them as they grow. Baby horses, called “foals,” rollick in the fields. Lambs nuzzle close to the mother sheep. Ducklings queue up and follow their mom to the pond.

Washington, D.C., was devised to be built on the banks of the Potomac River. Rivers often reach their peak levels in the spring. Melted snow from the surrounding fields and mountains drains into creeks. It seeps through the ground to reach the river. It will soon flow out to the sea. Sometimes the river water becomes so high that it floods.


Several holidays are celebrated in the springtime. There’s the Christian holiday of Easter. People often go on Easter egg hunts. They look for decorated eggs or an Easter basket full of candy. There’s the Jewish holiday of Passover. Special food is served to family and friends at the Passover “Seder.” There’s the Hindu holiday of Holi. It’s a festival and celebration of colors. People dance, sing, and spatter colored water on each other.

Another important holiday is Memorial Day. It’s commemorated on the last Monday in May. On this day, we pay homage to the U.S. men and women who fought and died in different wars. They gave their lives to safeguard the U.S. There are lots of parades, picnics, barbecues, and family get-togethers. In D.C., we also have a big concert to celebrate.

What’s spring like for you? Is it dissimilar from spring in D.C.?

Your friend, Ann


Chapter Four: Summer
Dear Friends,

“Hi,” from your pen pal, Ann! Today we’ll talk of summer. What do you envision when I say, “summer?”

Summer’s my favored season. I relish the warm weather and sunshine. Summertime means vacation, too. I don’t have school in the summer months.

Here’s what transpires at the start of summer. Our part of the Earth receives the most sunlight that it gets all year long. The days are the longest they’ll be all year. The Summer begins in June, most places. Summer includes July and August. It doesn’t matter where you live in the U.S. Summer will bring the warmest weather of the year.

Remember one way to tell how warm it is outside? Look at a thermometer. That’s a tool that measures the temperature. When it’s cool outside, the thermometer’s liquid stays down in its lower part. What about when it’s warm outside? The liquid rises and comes close to the top. Where does the liquid go in the summer months?


Do you recollect this? We talked about the winter months. We said you could also tell how cold it was by the way people dress. The same is true in summer. People’s garments tell you how warm it is. All of these people are dressed for warm weather. What do you see about the way that they’re garbed?

I’ve told you this before. I live in Washington, D.C. That’s the capital of the United States. D.C. is an illustrative city to learn about when studying the seasons. That’s because here the four seasons are disparate from one another. It’s easy to tell by walking outside or looking out the window. You quickly cognize whether it’s winter, spring, summer, or autumn.

Summer is the most energetic time of year in D.C. Each year millions of Americans vacation here. They come to visit the famous monuments, museums, and buildings. The city gets really crowded with sightseers in the summer. But I like to see the patchwork of all the different kinds of people downtown.


Summer’s weather can be oppressive in D.C. See how high the liquid is in this thermometer to the left? It says it’s 100 degrees Fahrenheit. That means it’s really hot outside! It’s a good thing there are lots of vendors who sell cold refreshments. It’s easy for visitors to find ice cream and snow cones. These and other cold treats help them to cool off!

The trees in D.C. are full of green leaves in the summer. I love my neighborhood. There are lots of parks with mowed grassy areas. People really enjoy them. On weekends, lots of my neighbors are outdoors. You might see them working in their flower beds and gardens.

I like to go to the local swimming pool. That’s a good way to keep cool in the summer. Lots of others have the same thought. Everyone at the pool is wearing plenty of sunscreen. That way, they don’t get sunburned. Nothing ruins summer fun like a bad sunburn!


Sometimes you can rest under shady trees. That veils you from the hot sun. Other people simply stay indoors, especially on the hottest days.

The Fourth of July is the biggest summer holiday. It’s an especially important day in Washington, D.C. July 4th is the birthday of the U.S. Lots of people celebrate the day with family and friends. Lots of my friends have picnics or barbecues. Others take trips to the beach. I like to go to the parades during the day on the Fourth of July. Then I enjoy the booming, kaleidoscopic fireworks at night. I also love to eat lots of watermelon!

July 4th and ventures to the pool and beach make for good memories. I always think of fun times when I think about summer. What’s summer like where you live?

Your friend, Ann


Chapter Five: Autumn
Dear Friends,

Eventually, the warm weather of summer departs. It’s time for autumn to begin. Kids are returning to school in autumn. Autumn officially starts in the middle of September. And it includes October and November.

By autumn, the air’s cooler than it was in the scorching summer months. It might still feel warm on some early autumn days. But there’s a slight chill in the air at night. And by the end of autumn, get out your coat. It can be really cold during the day, and at night!

As autumn progresses, the days get shorter. The sun ascends just a little bit later each day. And it sets a bit earlier. By October in Washington, D.C., leaves are changing. Lots of the trees’ leaves don’t look so green, anymore.

In autumn, most leaves turn to bright yellow, orange, red, or brown. It’s so beautiful! Last autumn, my family took a trip to the nearby mountains. We went to enjoy the colors. The air was so cool and crisp. We had a sensational time. Look at this picture from our trip. The forests are bright with fiery color!


Other changes with trees will occur. This is after they’ve turned colors. “Deciduous” trees then begin to shed, or lose, their leaves. That’s why another name for “autumn” is “fall.” That’s because the leaves of the trees “fall” to the ground. The ground is covered with a blanket of brown leaves.

Do leaves change color and fall off the trees where you live? If so, you can do the same thing that we do. We rake up all the leaves into one colossal pile. Then we jump in it, just for fun. The leaves make a soft, crunchy cushion.

Now let’s go a few hours outside D.C. You’ll start to see farms. Autumn means harvest time for farmers. It’s hard work being a farmer. All summer, farmers have been caring for their plants while they grow. They’ve watered them. They’ve made sure the weeds and bugs of summer did not ruin them. Autumn’s the time to gather the fruits and vegetables in the fields.

There’s something fun after the crops are harvested. The farmers get together for the county fair. My family goes each year to the nearest county fair. It’s incredible. The farmers bring their best vegetables and animals. They show off how proficient they are at growing vegetables and raising farm animals.


I took this picture of the pumpkins at last year’s fair. The fair’s judges had already come by and judged them. Which ones do you think the judges liked best? How do you know?

What if the fair was only about vegetables? Then I wouldn’t get so excited about it. But there are lots of fun rides. And there are all kinds of foods. I love to eat cotton candy and corn dogs. Some people also take their chances playing games. They try to win stuffed animals. Once, I won a gigantic teddy bear.

By early November, the D.C. air gets nippy. Some days the skies are clear and sunny. Others are gray and cloudy. The wind blows more than it did in the summer. The autumn wind sends dry, crunchy leaves whirling and twirling. They’re flying through the streets and parks. They’re whispering that winter is coming soon!


It’s now late November. Autumn’s gradually winding to a close. We now have one of the most important holidays in the U.S. You got it! Thanksgiving Day. On this day, we like to congregate with family and friends. In my family, it’s a big shindig. We have grandparents, cousins, uncles, and aunts to our home. They travel from all over to have Thanksgiving dinner with us. I always buoyantly anticipate our grand repast. We indulge ourselves with turkey, stuffing, potatoes, rolls, and cranberry sauce. And we top things off with pumpkin pie for dessert. Then, my cousins and I scrimmage with the football in the yard!

Thanksgiving is close to the culmination of autumn in D.C. By that time, the trees are disrobed of their greenery, and the leaves are raked. The air starts to feel very cold, especially at night. Once the trees look like this, you know that autumn is nearing an end. Soon, it will be winter. We’re once again at the beginning of the cycle of the seasons!

Now we’ve talked about each season. We’ve learned of their different characteristics. What will I tell you about next? You’ll just have to wait and see!

Your friend, Ann

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.) 
Seasons And Weather

Lesson 18 – Part Three

NEW WORDS: affected, airline, antennas, aplenty, astronaut, attentive, basis, cameras, cirrus, commandment, complicated, conventional, cumulate, cumulus, disregarded, encroaching, entreat, epistle, exhibition, exhorted, fatal, fellowship, flashed, flitting, foofaraw, forecast, forecaster, grindstone, hailstones, hailstorm, images, launched, meanly, merrymaking, meteorologist, meteorologist’s,  meteorologists, meteorology, nears, now’s, nowadays, overview, periods, picnickers, pragmatic, predict, predicting, predictions, prone, provisioning, rainstorms, ruminated, safer, satellite, satellites, seriously, shiftless, slothful, somnolent, stratus, summertime’s, temperatures, temps, tends, thunderstorm, thunderstorms, tougher, vacationers, weatherman, weatherperson, weatherwoman, wispy, witnessing

Chapter Six: The Grasshopper And The Ants
There was a field on a fine summer’s day. A grasshopper was hopping about. He was singing, dancing, and enjoying his merrymaking.

Nearby, there was a fellowship of ants. They were hard at work. They had built their house underground. They were provisioning it with food. They’d have enough to last them through the long, cold winter ahead.

“Why not come and play with me?” asked Grasshopper. “Why get in a foofaraw about winter? We have food aplenty now. Come, leave your work. Now’s the time to dance and sing.”

But the ants disregarded him. They kept their noses to the grindstone. They worked all day and each day.

But not Grasshopper. He was shiftless. All summer long, he jumped about the field and danced and sang. The ants worked while he played. Sometimes he’d sit for hours and listen to the humming of the bees. He would watch the butterflies flitting about. He would take long, slothful naps in the somnolent sun. And when he woke up, he would sing this song.


“The summertime’s the time for me,
For then I’m happy as can be.
I watch the butterflies and bees,
As they fly around as they please.
Oh, summertime’s the time for me!
For I’m as happy as can be.”

Yes, Grasshopper was a happy fellow. But he never ruminated about the future.

One day, Grasshopper woke up. He felt a chill in the air. Then he saw the leaves turn red, gold, and brown. Then he saw them fall from the trees. The days kept getting cooler. Soon, Grasshopper saw no butterflies or bees. And the fields where he liked to play turned bare and hard.

The cold days of winter were now upon him. Grasshopper was freezing and hungry. He came to the ants’ house. He knocked on the door.


“What do you want?” they asked.

“May I come in? Can you share your food?” asked Grasshopper.

“What did you do all summer?” asked the ants. “Didn’t you cumulate some food? That way, you could use it now!”

“No,” said the shivering grasshopper. “I didn’t think of that. I spent the summer singing and dancing in the sun.”

“So,” said the ants meanly, “you sang and danced all summer. You did that while we worked. Well, now you can sing and dance while we eat!”

The hungry grasshopper walked away. Now he sang this song.

“Next time I’ll work as well as dance. Then I’ll be ready, like the ants!”


Chapter Seven: Safety In Storms
Dear Friends,

Have you ever seen a thunderstorm? I got caught in one the other day. It brought me to a realization! Weather can be amazing and powerful! The lightning flashed. The thunder boomed. It was quite an exhibition. Today I’ll tell you about severe weather. You’ll learn how to stay safe during thunderstorms.

You’ve seen large, dark clouds like these in the sky. You probably know what weather to expect when you see them. These are storm clouds. Do you want to get soaked? Probably not! So, what do you do when you’re witnessing a storm like this encroaching on you? You got it! Get indoors!

During a thunderstorm, you can see lightning. Lightning is a stroke of electricity. It connects energy in the ground with energy in a cloud. You might see a bright bolt of lightning. It flashes and zig-zags in the sky.

Lightning is often followed by a loud clap of thunder. The sounds of thunder vary. What if the thunderstorm is far away? The thunder may just sound like a distant rumble. But what if the storm nears? The thunder gets louder and louder. And, the time between seeing lightning, and hearing thunder, gets shorter and shorter. Thunder can’t hurt you. But lightning can be dangerous.


A lightning strike knocked down this tree. Lightning can start fires, too. Worst of all, lightning can seriously injure you. It can even be fatal! There’s a very small chance of being struck by lightning. But it can happen. Fortunately, there are simple ways to be safe from it. My teachers taught them to me. Now I’ll teach them to you.

Lightning tends to strike tall things. It may strike trees. It may strike tall buildings. Here’s the smartest thing you can do in a storm. Stay indoors! What if you can’t take cover in a building? Then a car is also a safe place.

What if you’re stuck outside in a thunderstorm? What if you just can’t get indoors? It’s critical that you remember this. NEVER take shelter under, or near, a tree or tall object. The tree leaves may help keep you dry. But you never want to be near a tree if it gets hit by lightning. Instead, you should lie down prone on the ground. Get far away from any trees. Then wait for the storm to pass. Yes, you’ll get drenched. But you won’t get struck by lightning or a falling tree.


Here’s another important commandment. Always get out of a pool, lake, river, or ocean right away during a thunderstorm. Electricity moves through water. So, a person in the water can be hurt by a single lightning strike. Be safe and stay dry inside during a thunderstorm!

You might see hail during a storm. Have you heard of hailstones? During a hailstorm, chunks of ice fall from the clouds onto the ground. Usually, hailstones are small. They’re about the size of peas, or smaller. Sometimes, though, hailstones can be as big as a golf ball. Rarely, they can be as big as a baseball. It’s always best to stay indoors during a hailstorm.

Storms and other kinds of severe weather can be quite dangerous. It’s important to know how to stay safe during them. If you can, don’t go outside in a storm. If you have to go outside, wear the right kind of gear. Put on a raincoat, boots, and a hat during rainstorms. Be smart and be safe. Then you can enjoy the amazing power of nature. It’s quite the show!

Your friend, Ann


Chapter Eight: Meteorology
Dear Friends,

Haven’t we learned a lot about seasons and weather? This is my last epistle to you. Today’s our last lesson. We’ll learn how to know what kind of weather is on the way.

Have you ever watched the weatherman or weatherwoman on the news? Sometimes, people blame them for bad weather. That happens when their plans are spoiled by rain. But the weatherman does not control the weather. He just tries to predict it. And he looks at many time periods. What will it be later in the day? Tomorrow? Next week? Sometimes he’s right. Sometimes he’s wrong.

The study of weather is called “meteorology.” It’s about making weather predictions. The person who does this is called a “meteorologist.” We use the words weatherman and weatherwoman for the people on TV who tell us about weather. You’ve seen them on the evening news. Often that person is a meteorologist.


Predicting weather is important. It helps people know what to wear that day. It helps you know if you’ll need an umbrella. Predicting weather also helps you plan things. Can you go on a picnic? Can you go to the beach? You want to make sure that it won’t rain on you while you’re outside!

But picnickers and vacationers aren’t the only ones who want to know. Farmers must know how much rain to expect. What if the meteorologist says it won’t rain for a while? Farmers may need to find another way to get water to their plants. In fact, many jobs could be affected by the weather. You might be a baseball player or a construction worker. You might be a garbage man, an airline pilot, or an astronaut!

How do meteorologists forecast weather? One way is this. They study weather patterns and temperatures from the past. Here’s what you see when you watch them on TV. The weatherperson tells you what the high, or warmest, temp will be for that day. Then they’ll give you the low, or coldest, temp. High temps usually come during the daytime. Low temps are mostly at night. The weatherperson may tell you if the temps that day are conventional for that time of year. They check the weather record to find that out. The weather record is kind of like a weather diary. It lists what the weather was like on that day in prior years.


What else do they use to predict weather? How do they know what will happen? In fact, predicting the weather is quite complicated. Yes, we have amazing computers and equipment nowadays. But the forecaster is still wrong sometimes.

However, their predictions are correct a lot of the time. That’s thanks in part to “satellites.” Look at the one in this picture. Satellites are objects launched into space. They contain cameras, radios, and antennas. But there aren’t people on them. Once in space, they travel around the Earth. The satellite cameras take pictures. They beam them down to forecasters. They use the photos to help them. They can see storms as they develop. They can predict whether the skies will be clear or cloudy.

Of course, you don’t always need a meteorologist. Often, you can tell what the weather will be like yourself. It’s obvious if dark clouds like this roll over your town! These dark clouds are “cumulus” clouds. They often turn into thunderstorms. You can also find cumulus clouds during nice weather. They appear white and puffy, like a cotton ball.


These are “cirrus” clouds. They are thin and wispy clouds. They float way up high in the sky. Usually, cirrus clouds mean the weather will be clear and pleasant.

Stratus” clouds are the third cloud type. They float fairly low to the ground. These flat clouds can stretch across the entire sky. They sometimes drop light rain or drizzle.

The most important part of a meteorologist’s job is to help save lives. That’s by warning people when severe weather is on the way. Look at this picture. It was taken when a “hurricane” was heading toward land. A hurricane is a huge storm. It forms out over the ocean.

The meteorologist in this picture is studying images of a hurricane. It’s about to strike land. The shot was made by a computer. It was helped by satellites, airplanes, and other tools. It’s able to see how fast the wind is moving. It sees how much rain there is. It sees which direction the storm will move.


Thank goodness for these computers and satellites. The meteorologists saw the hurricane days before it came near land. So, they exhorted people to leave their homes. They warned folks to head to safer ground, if need be. A lot of people were kept safe from this severe weather. That’s because of the meteorologists. They help people stay prepared. They help people stay safe. And that’s despite whatever challenges the weather may throw their way.

Now, we’ve gained a pragmatic overview about typical weather in each season. But what about on a day-to-day basis? Well, it’s tougher to know exactly what the weather will be like. So, it’s a good idea to listen to your local weatherman or weatherwoman. Then you’ll know to bring an umbrella that day. Or you’ll know to have extra sunscreen. That way, you’ll be prepared.

Thanks for helping me with my weather project! From now on, I hope you’ll keep an eye to the sky. And I entreat you to be attentive to the weather where you live!

Your friend, Ann


Lesson 19 – “BNC-COCA” Lists Vocab-Builder

NEW WORDS: Chromebooks, Hawthorne, Internet, Montana, Quaid, Rafferty, absolute, access, according, active, adapt, advantage, advertise, advise, affair, alcohol, alright, alter, apparent, appeal, appoint, argue, article, ashamed, associate, atmosphere, attract, average, banking, behaviors, benefit, brand, cable, calculate, career, casual, centimeter, circumstance, client, collecting, command, commerce, commit, complaint, complicate, confuse, contract, cooling, council, culture, definite, demand, department, depress, desperate, directed, disappoint, discipline, disturb, divorce, economy, edit, educate, election, email, embarrass, employ, encourage, engage, entertain, evidence, examine, exhaust, expense, expensive, extend, extreme, fascinate, feature, finance, foreign, fortunate, frustrate, gorgeous, gotta, governmental, grammar, graph, hedge, hesitate, hobby, idiot, illustrate, immediate, influence, insure, intent, interrupt, interview, involve, involvement, juggling, justice, kilometer, league, legal, mathematics, maximum, mental, microwave, minister, minus, mission, mum, official, oppose, organize, policy, politics, pollute, population, possess, practical, practices, prefer, pregnant, premium, presentation, pressure, presume, prevent, previous, profession, pronounce, propose, qualify, realize, recent, reckon, recommend, recover, reduce, refer, refrigerator, regard, relate, relief, remark, repairs, replace, reports, requirement, reserve, retire, returns, robberies, salary, secure, senior, series, shift, shove, snooty, social, species, standard, stomachache, stressful, struggle, style, surround, suspicion, teenage, television, tempt, tense, there’ve, therefore, threat, topic, trial, union, unite, university, update, upswing, vehicle, virus, volunteer, whereas, witness, zero

I need access to your desk.

I sense a shift in her opinion.

Wear casual clothes to the dance.

I demand an answer!

I encourage you to try this.

This book will fascinate you.

We’ve walked one kilometer.

She’s a mathematics teacher.

I hope I qualify for the team.

I reckon I can do that.

Surround their troops!

Can I tempt you with this cake?

Look it up on the Internet.

You can’t divide by zero.

According to mom, this is tasty.

I command you to march!

Don’t disturb me!

This film will entertain you.

She’s from a foreign country.

Turn it to maximum volume.

My wife is pregnant.


It was a tense day at work.

His story was an absolute hoot!

That car’s too expensive.

He’s surely an active child.

I like that brand of soap.

Don’t move another centimeter.

Don’t disappoint me!

Prove it to me with evidence.

That’s a gorgeous dress!

Exercise is good for mental health.

It’s wrong to pollute the river.

I’m tired; therefore, I’ll take a nap.

Advertise your car in the paper.

Don’t you realize what you did wrong?

We’ve got to adapt to the new boss.

We just got cable T.V.

You got through a tough circumstance.

Don’t take advantage of me.

Your vehicle needs significant repairs.

A trip to the doctor is for your benefit.

Commerce” is buying and selling goods.


Where’s the clothes department?

Car exhaust smells bad.

I think that sport would frustrate me.

That’s my minister from church.

That’s a practical tool.

Our next topic is “deadly spiders.”

I highly recommend that book.

Did you witness the crime?

Get out your social studies book.

The refrigerator stopped cooling.

I got a salary increase this week!

It’ll take a week to recover from this flu.

They’re having a teenage love affair.

Reduce the volume on the television.

Gran calls herself a “senior citizen.”

We need to unite in this common cause!

Fireworks on July 4 is a U.S. tradition.

Isn’t it apparent that I’m mad?

You’re fortunate to have great parents.

I advise you to not do that.

I need to reserve a hotel room for a week.


Brush your teeth on a daily basis.

I commit to do that before bedtime.

I’ll buy just the standard package, not the premium.

Depress this to open the pill bottle.

That’s an expense we can’t afford.

That front hedge is dying.

Eight minus six is two.

Does your store have a returns policy?

Can you refer me to a good dentist?

Shove this into the trash.

They’ll give you a 30-day free trial.

I’m ashamed to admit that!

Let me educate you about that subject.

That pretty flower is a “mum.”

Their party was quite the affair!

How many people do you employ?

Their club has a snooty atmosphere.

Calculate 15 times 22.

Don’t complicate this mess further!

I’m desperate to go to the bathroom!

The economy is on the upswing.


Can I feature you as our guest speaker?

Don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Your mission is to spy on the enemy.

There’s a large population of deer here.

My juggling act will attract a crowd.

What do you propose we have for dinner?

He’s grown to an average height.

Turn back to the previous page.

You’ve gotta read this article!

Which color do you prefer?

Rubbing alcohol stings on a cut!

Does he possess a gun?!

Nothing you say will alter my opinion.

Call me in regard to his complaint.

There’s suspicion about his involvement.

There are over 1,100 species of bats!

I can retire when I turn 60.

I prefer coffee, whereas you prefer tea.

There’ve been a series of robberies around here.

That was a stupid remark!

Dad’s union just went on strike.


I can’t be definite that she was there.

The law says that you must insure your car.

I have a slight headache.

I’ll appeal your decision to mom!

You surely chose a stressful career!

I directed our school play.

What’s your email address?

I confuse which twin is which.

Don’t engage in rude behaviors!

His hobby is collecting stamps.

That idiot couldn’t add two plus two.

Justice won, and he was found “guilty.”

I’ll extend the deadline for your book reports.

I’ll illustrate my point with this graph.

It’s legal to park your car there.

I think my job interview went well.

She’s under lots of pressure at work.

My aunt is a governmental official.

His profession is banking.

My client states that he’s innocent.

What a relief to be done with that!


Give me a chance to argue my point.

Project your presentation onto the screen.

You need to better organize your closet.

How do you pronounce that word?

I’ll oppose him in the election.

I presume you’re Mr. Rafferty?

I’ve got an extreme stomachache.

We’re the best team in the softball league.

Let me talk, and don’t interrupt me!

I want to work in high finance on Wall Street.

What’s your intent in calling this meeting?

We work hard to prevent accidents here.

Meet my associate, Ms. Hawthorne.

She’s had a lot of influence on my thinking.

I hope that they appoint me to the King’s Council.

He practices with lots of discipline.

That requirement is not in our contract.

I hope Mr. and Mrs. Quaid don’t get a divorce.

Edit my letter for grammar mistakes.

Can I involve myself in your volunteer work?

I can’t relate to people who like that sport!


Is the door locked and secure?

Their culture has some odd traditions.

Our School District got us Chromebooks.

I hope he won’t embarrass himself!

I struggle with them dating so young.

We need to replace your car’s spark plugs.

She dresses with a lot of style!

He went to the University of Montana.

Warm this in the microwave.

Alright, I’m coming!

Did you examine the evidence?

I need your immediate action on this.

Politics is a dirty business.

Here’s the most recent update.

This new virus is a huge threat.


Lesson 20 – Stories Misc:
Two Athlete Stories

NEW WORDS: Ali’s, Burt, Connor, Dean’s, Dex, Dexter, Fong, Glenn, Hawaiian, Klingon, Knicks, Marv, Marvin, Marvin’s, McCarthy’s, Muhammad, Oliver, Ollie, Patty, Rocky’s, Tasmanian, Trevon, Tyree, accurately, adversary, assign, awarded, backtracked, barbecue, basics, bewitched, blared, bleary, blitzed, blurted, bolder, bowler’s, brawny, brazen, bulldoze, burgers, canny, capability, capiche, carrier, carriers, caterwauled, championship, chanted, chastised, cheddar, cheerleaders, cheeseburger, clasped, combo, commenced, condolences, crazed, crisper, crispy, crumpled, daze, deafening, deja, destined, detonate, discombobulated, dominoes, downs, dressing, droned, drunken, earned, eggplant, erratic, extremes, feverish, fiesta, finder’s, flocked, flummoxed, focused, frothing, fullback, fumble, giants, grader, grated, gratingly, greased, grizzly, growling, guacamole, halfback, halftime, hamburger, handoff, happening, hotter, humongous, hunkered, imminent, impatient, inched, infectious, instinctively, interrupted, invading, joint, kickoff, locker, lumbered, lurched, masters, mayo, meaner, melee, midfield, mimicked, mocking, mounted, muse, obdurate, opponent’s, overweight, paralysis, passion, pepperoni, phalanx, pigskin, pitted, possession, practiced, propitious, pudgy, pumping, punter, quarterback, rallied, receiver, recoup, reflexes, regroup, rethink, rifled, rumbled, salsa, sardine, sauerkraut, scatter, scramble, shamefully, shield, sinewy, skedaddle, slashed, slaw, sluggishly, snatched, spiked, splurge, squabbling, squalling, stalemate, stalwart, stampeding, stationed, strapping, stretcher, stubborn, stumble, stupor, sucked, supernova, supporters, tackle, tackled, tackles, tackling, talons, tamed, tartar, tender, tensions, thunderbolt, tortilla, touchdown, trophy, trouncing, turf, unleashed, unstoppable, vacuum, valiantly, victims, vu, wussy

The Secret Weapon   
“Down! Set! Hut one! Hut two!” The football soared. It flew over Rocky’s helmet. Sometimes Lawrence just messed up. He couldn’t hike the ball to our punter very well. Trevon backtracked from the right side of the field. He lumbered after the ball. It wobbled. It was in an erratic, drunken stupor. It was destined to cross into our end zone. Trevon shrieked at the top of his lungs. “Wrong way, ball! STOP! STOP!”

He stumbled. He inched his way to the football. He snatched it up. But five giants from the Rams’ team were there. They piled onto him. They tackled him hard. It sounded like a car crash. The Rams belted out, “SAFETY!” They’d scored two points. They were WAY ahead. It was sixteen to zero. And we hadn’t gotten close to scoring. Not even once.

Rocky blurted out, “Come on, Lawrence! When are you going to learn? You’ve got to hike the ball TO me. It’s supposed to land in my hands!”

Lawrence answered shamefully. “Sorry, man. I get flustered. Especially when we’re up against such a stalwart team.”

Coach Fong chastised the teammates. “Men! We’re on the same team!” He paused. He got in their faces. He boomed, “Aren’t we?! You can’t be squabbling. No one’s perfect. Look forward. Don’t look back. Try harder. Make the best of what we’ve got. CAPICHE?!”


The two boys nodded, “yes.” A minute flew by. The halftime buzzer sounded. It droned gratingly. But Coach whispered, “Thank goodness!” Then he yelled out with a brazen tone. “Locker room, guys. Move it! Time to regroup. Time to recoup. Time to rethink. We’ll turn this around!”

We flocked into the locker room. I felt like part of a cattle herd. Then our reflexes took over. It was deja vu. We’d done this before. Ten of us yelled out, “Bring in Tyree! TYREE! TYREE!”

Tyree was our Secret Weapon. Coach Fong never put him in, in the first half. It would be unfair. But sooner or later, all’s fair in love and war. Think about it. What if the Knicks could hit the jackpot? What if they could stumble on a strong eight-foot center? They’d play him! Right? Finder’s keepers!

Tyree was, well, colossal. We’d never seen a 9th-grader as humongous as him. He was a strapping six foot, five. He weighed two hundred twenty pounds. And all of it was muscle. Plus, he could skedaddle like greased lightning! He was a brawny, sinewy thunderbolt!


Coach stationed him to raise fear. He put him in front of the opponent’s center. The game almost always went our way after that. Tyree would bulldoze through their front line. He slashed and sliced his way forward. He’d plow through. He was like a sharp knife invading a mountain of fleecy whipped cream. Other times, he’d be less delicate. He could be a supernova. He’d detonate. The other players would scatter. They’d be like ten pins that were victims of a bowler’s strike.

Tyree blocked passes. He tackled the halfback. He tripped up the fullback. He blitzed, trouncing the quarterback. And God forbid if the adversary had to punt! Coach would assign Tyree to the Special Team, too. He’d be the initial player down the field. The poor guy who caught the punt! He’d get slammed to the ground. Generally, we’d wonder if the receiver could even get up!

The second half commenced. And it was to start in our favor. We were to receive the kickoff. Coach put Tyree in to block. And block he did! He must have plowed down five of the Rams. He was like a one-man ancient Greek phalanx. He was a giant human shield. He created an enormous vacuum. He sucked Marvin Jones from behind him. Marv conveyed the ball to midfield. Now we were in this game!


Our cheerleaders were pumping us up. They loved to play with words. Muhammad Ali’s poems were their muse. They chanted our favorite cheer. “The Rams are sheep. Like Little Bo Peep. They’re in too deep. They look asleep. They’re gonna weep!” It took only three plays. We had our first touchdown!

We unleashed our Secret Weapon for the kick. Tyree was growling! He almost shape-shifted into an angry grizzly. He caterwauled down the field, “Get out of my way! I’m coming to get you! Woe be it, if you catch the ball. I’m the guy who tackles you! BAM!”

He was a wild animal. Sitting out the first half just ticked him off. He was impatient. He was chomping at the bit. Now he waited for the kick. He was stomping up and down. He was huffing and puffing. My condolences to the other team. What if I had been one of them? I’d have just walked over to the sidelines. I’d have quit! Right then and there!

The ground shook. Tyree rumbled down the field. He bowled down one Ram blocker after another. They crumpled like a row of falling dominoes. Thump number one. Thump number two. Thump number three. You could hear their loud grunts, as each soldier dropped.


Tyree got to the ball carrier. WHAM! He raised his hands into the air. He blared out a deafening Klingon battle cry. The poor runner just lay there. The breath had been knocked out of him. The Rams almost had to bring over a stretcher.

In just three plays, the Rams lost seven yards. Tyree had led the charge on each down. The Rams had to punt. Tyree blitzed the line. He was unrestrained in his advance. He forced a weak kick. The punter had to scramble. The punt went only twenty yards.

We were now in propitious field position. We obtained three successful first downs. Then our quarterback rifled a perfect pass. It flew accurately to Marvin’s clutches. We scored again. Now we were within two points of the Rams.

The cheerleaders were having a blast. Their passion was infectious. “Slam a Ram. Turn him into ham. Wham and bam a Ram. Till he looks like a mashed-up yam!”

Things calmed until the two-minute drill. It was a non-scoring stalemate. Our teams were like two stubborn Russian chess masters. It’s like we were playing for a draw. Each side hunkered down. It was all defense for most of the fourth quarter. Tensions mounted. This was on both the field, and among the sardine-packed bleachers.


Then we got our break. Or so we thought. It was time for the Secret Weapon to play his best card. That was his obdurate tackling capability. The Rams had the ball on the fifty-yard line. Tyree had worked himself into a frenzy. He mimicked a crazed Tasmanian devil. It appeared that his eyes were going to pop out. It’s a miracle that he wasn’t frothing at the mouth!

“Down. Set. Fifty-two! Thirty-nine!” The Rams quarterback clutched the pigskin. He faked a handoff. Then he threw the ball six yards. It went to their tight end. Poor guy. The Weapon was all over him. Tyree ripped the ball right out of his opponent’s talons.

But it was a fumble. Tyree didn’t have the ball in his own claws. At least not yet. The ball flew to the turf. It zigged. It zagged. It bounced all over. It was like a Mexican jumping bean. Or a greased watermelon. A melee of players were trying to catch the prey.

But Tyree finally won the contest. He plowed down three Rams. He scooped up the ball. He clasped it with an iron grip. But then, he just stopped! He looked mesmerized. He looked to his left. He looked to his right. He turned his head one way. Then another. Was he bewitched?! He was clearly confused.


He fought off two Rams. They couldn’t get him down. But finally, he escaped his paralysis. He made his decision. He lurched forward like a rocket! Now, no one could catch him. He was unstoppable.

But something wasn’t right. The crowd was feverish. Our team’s supporters were squalling, “No! No, Tyree! The other way! Run the other way!” The poor Weapon was lost. He’d become too discombobulated. He was running the ball towards OUR end zone. He wasn’t headed toward the Rams’ end zone!

He crossed the goal line. He spiked the ball. He assumed that he was a hero. He was confident that he’d scored a touchdown. But then he looked up. In horror, he saw the entire Rams team. They were stampeding towards him. He was flummoxed. He didn’t have a clue. What was happening?

So he panicked. He ran after the ball. He snatched it up. Instinctively, he headed out of OUR end zone. This time he went in the correct direction. But three Rams cut him off. Tyree ran to his left. A wall of Rams was waiting for him. Even Tyree couldn’t fend off six guys at once. They still had to fight valiantly to get him down. But a successful tackle was imminent. The Rams tamed him.


Tyree got up sluggishly. He slumped off of the field. He was in a bleary daze. His head hung low. The Rams earned back possession. There were only seconds left in the game. The Rams ran a couple of safe plays. They ran out the clock. They’d won. It was sixteen to fourteen. Their cheerleaders were now mocking US. They belted out some canny rhymes of their own. “A Jet is like a house pet! He’s wet. He’s upset. He needs to visit the vet.”

Tyree was ashamed. He couldn’t face what he’d done. He refused to play in the next two games. But you try to turn lemons to lemonade. This ended up being a good learning experience. And I mean for ALL of us. Coach Fong realized something. We’d weakened ourselves. We’d become too dependent on the Weapon. Most of the team’s players had gotten a bit soft in the belly. Coach called us lazy. That made us mad! But he was right. And we knew it.


We tried hard to pump Tyree up. We let him know that what he did could have happened to anyone. So, he gradually got over his funk. He started to act like our favorite player again.

At the same time, Coach worked us. We practiced harder than ever. And we focused on simple basics. Our tackles were tougher. Our hikes were crisper. Our punts were longer. Our blocking was stronger. Our Special Team was meaner. Our ball-carriers were faster.

A few weeks passed. It was our big day. We were in the locker room. It was before our Championship Game. We were pitted against the Eagles. Coach rallied us. He helped us to feel proud. “Gentlemen! Remember that tough Rams game a few weeks ago? We had a single Secret Weapon. That was Tyree. In this game today, it’s different! We now have a much more powerful Secret Weapon. And that is ALL of you, working together. Now you’re a whole TEAM! Everyone’s pulling their weight! Now, let’s go crush ’em.”

So that’s exactly what we did! And we were both proud and happy for Tyree. He was awarded a trophy. He was the Most Valuable Player of the game! And he completely deserved it!


The Perfect Burger 
“What a day! Are you guys prepped to run hard? Are you gonna run like the wind?” Dean’s six friends nodded “yes.” “Are your muscles good and stretched?” Dean saw six thumbs-up. “Let’s go!”

It was early May. But it felt like a summer day. The seven friends would keep to their routine. It mattered not that it was hotter than normal. They’d run as a group. They’d stay in a tight pack. That would be for the first half-hour. That got them loose. It warmed them up. Then they would race each other. They’d push themselves to extremes. This was good for their health.

No one talked. Dean asked, “Why are we all so quiet? Dexter! Penny for your thoughts!” Dex flashed a big grin. He said, “Burgers. I saw an ad on TV last night. McCarthy’s has three special new meals. They’re putting wild stuff on their burgers. They look incredible. But I bet they’re not so good for you. At least not if you eat them too often.” They knew that they had to stay thin. You couldn’t be pudgy and run cross-country track.


Dean said, “Now that’s a fun thing to talk about. What would everyone’s perfect burger be? Just for a treat, of course.” Burt was the first to speak up. “Easy for me. Quarter-pound juicy patty. Loaded with bacon. Extra-sharp cheddar cheese. Lettuce, tomato, and ketchup. You can’t beat that!”

Dean said, “That sounds good. But that’s a boring recipe. Would any one of you go for something a little bolder?” Trevon spoke up. “I’d go for spicy German mustard. And I’d pile mushrooms on top. And crispy fried onion rings. But the best part would be the sliced hot peppers!”

Dean yelled, “Now you’re talking! Oliver?” His friend thought a minute. Then Ollie said, “A ‘corny’ burger. Thin slices of corned beef on the patty. Topped with Swiss cheese. Then sauerkraut. And thousand island dressing. I’d burp for a day. But it would be so worth it!” They all laughed.

Ollie looked at Glenn. “Okay, Mr. Health Nut. So, what about you?” Glenn said, “A veggie burger, of course. A slice of tender cooked eggplant. A black bean patty. Roasted red peppers. On wheat bread. Oh yeah, and topped with sliced cucumbers. And I’d finish it with lemon juice and olive oil.”


Ollie cried out, “That’s disgusting. Where’s your courage, man? That sounds like a wussy burger.” Connor then interrupted them. “It’s got to be a fish burger for me. Thick, deep-fried white fish. Then loaded with tartar sauce and cole slaw. And a chopped mix of both dill and bread-and-butter pickles. Kind of a sweet and sour combo.”

Burt then called out. “Dex, we haven’t heard yours yet. You’re the one who got this started.” Dex smiled. “Wait till you hear this, guys. Pretzel bun, bison, fried egg, and pepper-jack cheeseburger. Mayo, yellow mustard, and sweet relish. Let’s see, some crisp sliced red onion. Oh, yeah! And with pepperoni and barbecue sauce.” At least three of the guys yelled, “Whoa!”

Dean was the last one to talk. “Hawaiian burger. A thick beef patty. And I’d have Canadian bacon and pineapple on top. Then a sweet sauce of some kind.”

Glenn spoke up. “And you guys laugh at what I like? That’s just gross!” Everyone but Dean agreed with Glenn.


Practice ended. The teammates were cooling off. They were in the school parking lot. Dexter blurted out, “Guys, you know we’ve got to go there. Just once in a while. You know, as a special treat. I’m for going right now. McCarthy’s, anyone?!” His friends cheered. Off they went. They headed to their favorite hamburger joint.

There was a winner that night. It was special recipe number two. The Fiesta Burger. It was a two-patty burger. They topped it with grated cheese. Then spicy salsa, guacamole, and crunchy tortilla chunks. Three of the seven friends gave it their vote. They were sure that they’d just eaten “the perfect burger!”

Glenn had the last word. He’d learned something the hard way. He’d been overweight. And he knew that wasn’t healthy. “Guys, that dinner was a splurge. You know how heavy I used to be. It’s ’cause I ate like this EACH night. Think if I hadn’t gotten my eating under control. I couldn’t run cross-country with my best friends!”

Click on this link to move forward to Module D, Lessons 21 – 30


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