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Yosemite Sam

Tutor Resources


On Writing Clearly:

C.S. Lewis,

The way for a person to develop a [writing] style is (a) to know exactly what he wants to say, and (b) to be sure he is saying exactly that. The reader, we must remember, does not start by knowing what we mean. If our words are ambiguous, our meaning will escape him. I sometimes think that writing is like driving sheep down a road. If there is any gate open to the left or the right the readers will most certainly go into it.

C.S. Lewis, as quoted in pt. 2 of “The Final Interview of C. S. Lewis” by Sherwood Wirt

ambiguous = open to more than one interpretation; having a double meaning.

August 12-13, 2019. Please review this site and view the “General Rules” sheet.

August 9, 2019. Welcome to a new year! In order to make it easy for you to go to one place to view assignments and communicate between tutoring sessions, I have set up this general page. Please use TEXT, PHONE or EMAIL for time-sensitive questions after checking this page first for general updates. This is an evolving process, so please be patient

For specific assignments, you can check your password-protected page under “Student Pages”. Do NOT give your password to anyone (parents are allowed!). You will be assigned a temporary user name (one of the above). Please let me know what your chosen user name is and I will change it on this page. It can be any non-identifying moniker you desire.

From time to time, I will delete old dated (no longer useful) information from the “General Info” section of this page. I will leave up information on your Student Page and on this page under “General Links and Presentations” so you can refer back to it.


General Course Helps


For cursive practice, collecting great passages from literature, quotes from literature, scripture passages, maxims and proverbs, personal rules (e.g., George Washington’s “Rules for Civility”). Procedure: Get a THIN blankbook that is easy to write in, with college-rule lines. Label it. This is a “keeper” book. Use your best handwriting. Longer passages (such as a literature passage) may be typed, printed, cut and pasted into the book.

“How and Why to Keep a Commonplace Book” | Thought Catalog (link), by Ryan Holiday, Aug 28, 2013

Cursive Fast Guide
Cursive Capitals Fast Guide

Download Free lined paper for writing practice from http://www.studenthandouts.com. (Link)


“The 1000 Most Common SAT Words”, (download below) in alphabetical order. 70 pages.

The procedure below is for those who are assigned this study. If you are not assigned these, study them as SAT Prep on your own.

Pacing: 33 words per week/5 days a week = 6 words a day! Not bad! Don’t wait until the last minute!

Study Procedure: Copy 33-34 words from the SAT list each week into a section of your notebook. Divide them either Syllable Division or Morphological Division using online resource given. Choose 3 words of 3+ syllables and look up its etymology using the resource given, and copy this info into your notebook. Use these words in your writing, practicing your skills. Bring your notebook to Monday Sessions for “Study Check” (✔︎ or ✘ for the week).

Grammar Helps

Subordination! Game Rules:

Getting Ready for Play: Cut out the cards. Keep them in a ziplock bag, holepunched and attached to your 3-ring binder with a string or ring. There are 56 cards with subordinating conjunctions or sub. conj. phrases. Play this game with no more than 4 players, OR re-shuffle the deck and play them twice if you have more than 4 players. Players may call their answers out orally (saying where the internal punctuation goes, if needed).

Rules for play with 2+ players: Shuffle the deck. Lay the cards in one pile, face down. Player One draws a card and shows the others. Each player must create and say a sentence using that word or phrase. If the sub. conj. or sub conj phrase leads the sentence, the player must SAY the comma in its proper place. NOTE: If the card word/phrase does NOT lead the sentence, there is no comma needed. Use Spelling Bee protocol: “Although. Although the man’s dog died (“comma”), he didn’t appear too sad about it. Although.” The other players must check him. If he forgot to say the internal punctuation or forgot protocol by not saying the word before and after the sentence, or if that player did not compose a grammatically correct sentence, then he LOSES a point (see scoring and rewards). If that player is successful, he wins a point and the next player plays. There are NO skipped turns in this game.

Scoring and Winning: Play until all cards have been played (if more than 4 players, until all cards have been played twice). Count up points. The one with the most points wins. Ties may be broken by using an egg timer or stop-watch for a fast-paced challenge. Reshuffle the cards. The first player selects a card and has 1 minute to create his sentence with protocol and proper punctuation. This is fun! “Points” can be tallies on a scoresheet, M&M’s or candies, toothpicks, pennies, poker chips, etc. The winner should receive a fun privilege.

Rules for Solo Play: We can’t always get a group together for games! In this case, shuffle the cards, lay them face down in TWO piles: Pile A leads the sentence, Pile B follows the independent clause. Cut a square from leftover cardstock and make a comma on it in RED. Put it over Pile A. That will remind you to use the comma. Challenge yourself to create a sentence with that word card. The focus of solo play will be to memorize the words and use them in sentences. Use the Spelling Bee protocol as above. Treat yourself to a little reward each time you finish all 56 cards!

**Subordinating Conjunctions List PDF (link) by Livingston.org. Memorize this list!

Writing Helps

Identifying the Purpose of the Assignment/Question/Paper

Pre-Writing “Brainstorming”

“How to Create a Mind Map on Microsoft Word” (Link) by Edraw. A “mind map” is the same thing as a brainstorming web; it’s just a different term. Hand-drawn is faster in a pinch.

Organizing Ideas

Drafting from an Outline


Reading/Poetry Resources

Smithsonian’s TweenTribune Web Site (link)

WORLD Teen Web Site (link)

NOTE: If you have an account, you will need a password to log-in to the above two websites to access special features. The articles on this page can be viewed without a password or account.

Microsoft WORD Tutorials for Windows

(Click on brown button for this page)

UPDATE INFO: This main page was last revised on August 13, 2019. Please check your own page for the most recent updates of those.