Excavating English

February 5, 2011
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Excavating English

Content: Vocabulary
Grade(s): 5th – 9th
Perspective: Secular
Prep Time: Moderate
Teacher Manual: Yes
Teacher Involvement: Essential
Cost: $$ || ?
Pages: 174 pages
Publication Date: 2013
Publisher: www.ellenjmchenry.com
Review Updated: 5/7/2014

From Ellen McHenry’s website:

An introduction to the nature of the English language (its flexibility and willingness to take in new words), reasons to study the history of English, places where English is spoken, basic principles of phonetics (including topics such as palatalization), how and why languages change, language family groups, the Indo-European languages and where they came from, the oldest words in the English language, cognates, the Germanic family of languages, Grimm’s Law, King Arthur, the Anglo-Saxons, Alfred the Great, Old English, the Danes and Old Norse, the Norman Conquest and its linguistic consequences, the centuries of silence, Chaucer and his “Canterbury Tales,” the Renaissance and the introduction of Latin and Greek words, the “Great Vowel Shift,” the English dictionary, English crosses the Atlantic, immigrants to America and the words they brought with them, international English.

Activities include: a group game about nouns and verbs, a map activity about countries where English is spoken, some word puzzles about obsolete words, food words and acronyms, experiments with phonetics in your own mouth, identifying phonetic sounds in a variety of words, Indo-European numbers, a map study, activities about cognates, a word search puzzle about our oldest words, another map study, reading and listening to Old English, Anglo-Saxon names and words, Norse word puzzles, read and listen to the prologue from The Canterbury Tales, Norman French words in English, Renaissance word puzzles, common Latin and Greek roots, a group game about dictionary definitions, and several review quizzes and crossword puzzles. Also included are suggestions for more reading (via websites).

Download FREE sample lessons of Excavating English.

About the Author:
Ellen J McHenry is a homeschool mother who holds an art degree, with a minor in math, from Penn State. She has worked as a professional illustrator for more than 20 years. During her years teaching homeschool co-op science classes, Ellen recognized a need for a different type of instructional material and so her career as a curriculum writer was born. Excavating English was co-written by Ellen’s sister, Ruth A. Johnston, who is a professional linguist.


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