In this chapter, you will learn to:
- Use pre-reading strategies
- Ask questions to check your understanding while you read
- Build your vocabulary
- Understand the main ideas, details, and sequence of a text
- Add suffixes to words that end in silent e
- Use commas after transition words
- Identify and correct run-on sentences
- Write a narrative paragraph
Get Ready to Read
Think about the questions below or discuss them with a partner.
- Do you have a good memory? How do you know?
- What do you do to remember information?
- Describe a time when you really wanted to remember something but couldn’t.
Think about the title Memory Magic. Which of these words do you think will be in the text?
Readers check their understanding of a text while they read. One strategy is to ask questions while you read, and then look for the answers. What do you wonder when you read the sentence below?
Dave Farrow is a Canadian recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records for Greatest Memory.
You might wonder, “What did he do to set this record?” Continue reading with this question in mind. Asking questions and looking for answers helps keep your brain thinking while you read.
Try this strategy as you read Memory Magic.
Find these words in the text. Use the context to choose the best meaning.
1. ___________________ is a condition that makes it hard for a person to read, write, and spell.
2. ___________________ is a deep blue colour.
3. ___________________ is a deep purple colour.
4. A person someone is romantically involved with, runs a business with, or does an activity with is called their ___________________.
5. ___________________ means happening all the time or very often over a period of time.
6. To ___________________ is to learn something so well that you can remember it perfectly.
7. ___________________ means to remember something.
Check Your Understanding
1. What’s the main idea of paragraph four?
2. What’s the main idea of paragraph five?
3. What’s the main idea of paragraph six?
4. How does the brain remember information? Put these steps in order.
a. The information goes into your short-term memory.
b. You think about the information over and over.
c. Your brain takes in information through your senses.
d. The information goes into your long-term memory.
e. Your brain pays attention to the information.
Something is incorrect in each of these sentences. Cross out the incorrect words. Add the correct words.
5. Your long-term memory only holds information for a few seconds.
6. Your short-term memory can hold about 15 things at a time.
7. Dave recommends breaking big tasks into smaller tasks, working hard for short periods of time, and taking short breaks to help your mind remember.
8. Roy G. Biv stands for red, orange, yellow, green, brown, indigo, and violet.
9. The text suggests that you memorize an address or vocabulary words in chunks.
If a word ends with silent e, drop the e before an ending that starts with a vowel.
become + ing = becoming
choose + ing = choosing
amaze + ing = amazing
share + ed = shared
Keep the silent e before an ending that starts with a consonant.
late + ly = lately
safe + ty = safety
use + ful = useful
sincere + ly = sincerely
These words break the rules:
argue + ment = argument
true + ly = truly
Arrange a date to be tested on your ability to spell these words.
Practice the pattern. Spell each word correctly after adding the suffix to the word.
1. write + ing
2. come + ing
3. care + ful
4. wise + ly
5. change + ing
6. use + less
7. surprise + ing
8. hope + ful
9. safe + ly
10. make + ing
11. excite + ment
12. have + ing
13. drive + ing
Commas with Transition Words
Commas can set off transition words from the rest of a sentence. Here are some common transition words:
|To add information||First, second, third, next, then, finally|
|To give an example||For example, for instance, in fact|
|To summarize||In conclusion|
Here is an example from the text you read:
First, create a picture in your mind for each stage (I can see a worm, a fish, a monkey, a human). Then, think of a path you regularly walk along. For example, I often walk from the sidewalk, into my house, and into the kitchen. Finally, imagine each picture in a place along your path.
Fill in the commas in the paragraph below.
Are humans smarter than other animals? Well there are a lot of things that only humans can do. First we can survive in all sorts of environments. In fact we can survive in extreme environments like the desert, the Arctic, and outer space. Second we can write down information, so that it can easily be shared with lots of people. Third we can make art, stories, poetry, and music. Finally we can invent really complicated things. For example we can build airplanes and computers. In conclusion humans may be the smartest animal in the world.
When two sentences are combined without a comma or one of the FANBOYS (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so), the result is a run-on sentence. Run-on sentences are a common sentence writing error.
- Run-on: Memory champions need to hold lots of information in their short-term memory at one time, they use different tricks.
What’s wrong: It’s missing one of the FANBOYS.
Fixed: Memory champions need to hold lots of information in their short-term memory at one time, so they use different tricks.
- Run-on: The words Roy G. Biv can help you remember the colours of the rainbow for each word stands for the first letter of a colour.
What’s wrong: It’s missing a comma.
Fixed: The words Roy G. Biv can help you remember the colours of the rainbow, for each word stands for the first letter of a colour.
- Run-on: Short-term memory can only hold about seven things at one time organizing information in chunks allows you to remember more.
What’s wrong: It’s missing a comma and one of the FANBOYS.
Fixed: Short-term memory can only hold about seven things at one time, but organizing information in chunks allows you to remember more.
The examples above showed you how to turn a run-on sentence into a compound sentence. You can also fix a run-on sentence by turning it into two simple sentences. Instead of a comma and one of the FANBOYS, you just use a period. Below are some examples:
- Memory champions need to hold lots of information in their short-term memory at one time. They use different tricks.
- The words Roy G. Biv can help you remember the colours of the rainbow. Each word stands for the first letter of a colour.
- Short-term memory can only hold about seven things at one time. Organizing information in chunks allows you to remember more.
Turn each run-on sentence into a compound sentence.
1. People say this diamond is cursed for all its owners have suffered illness or death.
2. Tim Horton was a hockey player in the NHL he is better known for his donut shops.
3. There are over 1,000 kinds of bees all over Canada some can even be found in the Arctic.
4. My phone isn’t charged I need to plug it in.
5. We could fly to Calgary or we could get there by bus.
Turn each run-on sentence above into two simple sentences.
A narrative paragraph tells a story. It should:
- Have a beginning, middle, and end
- Include details about:
- Who is in your story
- What happened
- Where it happened
- Why it happened
- How it happened
- Tell the events in the order they happened
- Use linking words to connect your sentences: first, then, next, finally
Below is an example of a narrative paragraph.
The Bus Ride Home
The bus ride home from school usually started out well enough. First, the bus would happily rumble from pothole to pothole down the winding country roads. On a hot summer day, all the windows would be down, blowing the children’s hair wildly in all directions. The kids all seemed to talk at once in their outdoor voices. There was only one thing that could quiet them down. The bus would turn around a big bend as we neared my house. Next, the sweet and sour stink of pig manure would pour through the windows. The excited chatter turned into groans of disgust. Then the bus would screech to a standstill at the end of my laneway, as though the smell was so thick the bus couldn’t bear to carry on. Finally, my brother and I would have to stand up and walk past the rows of eyes scowling at us from above shirt collars that had been yanked up over offended noses. The two of us would walk down our long dirt laneway in silence. Only one thought brought me comfort in that moment: the smell of pig manure was nothing compared to the smell of chicken manure that awaited that bus farther down the road.
Smells have the power to bring back strong memories. The part of our brain in charge of memory is very close to the part of our brain that processes smell. Tell a story about a smell that really stands out in your memory. Follow the TOWER method:
- Think of all the memories involving smell that come to mind. Choose the one that you think will make the best story. Think of who the story involved, what happened, where it happened, and why it happened.
- Organize the details into a beginning, middle, and end.
- Write your first draft. Include a topic sentence, the details, linking words, and a concluding sentence.
- Edit your paragraph, with the help of your instructor and the Memory Magic story checklist.
- Rewrite your paragraph. You may wish to type it on a computer. Finally, hand it in to your instructor.
Ask your instructor for a copy of the checklist, or print one from the link above. For a printable version, see Appendix 2.
|Check Your Understanding|
|1||To memorize a list of information, you can make a word or phrase using the first letter of each word in the list.|
|2||Another trick for remembering lots of information is to organize it into chunks.|
|3||A third trick for remembering information is to visualize it along a path you regularly take.|
|4||c, e, a, b, d|
|5||Your short-term memory only holds information for a few seconds.|
|6||Your short-term memory can hold about seven things at a time.|
|7||Dave recommends breaking big tasks into smaller tasks, working hard for short periods of time, and taking short breaks to help your mind focus.|
|8||Roy G. Biv stands for red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.|
|9||The text suggests that you memorize a phone number or vocabulary words in chunks.|
|Commas with Transition Words|
|Are humans smarter than other animals? Well, there are a lot of things that only humans can do. First, we can survive in all sorts of environments. In fact, we can survive in extreme environments like the desert, the Arctic, and outer space. Second, we can write down information, so that it can easily be shared with lots of people. Third, we can make art, stories, poetry, and music. Finally, we can invent really complicated things. For example, we can build airplanes and computers. In conclusion, humans may be the smartest animal in the world.|
|1||People say this diamond is cursed, for all its owners have suffered illness or death.|
|2||Tim Horton was a hockey player in the NHL, but he is better known for his donut shops.|
|3||There are over 1,000 kinds of bees all over Canada, and some can even be found in the Arctic.|
|4||My phone isn’t charged, so I need to plug it in.|
|5||We could fly to Calgary, or we could get there by bus.|
|1||People say this diamond is cursed. All its owners have suffered illness or death.|
|2||Tim Horton was a hockey player in the NHL. He is better known for his donut shops.|
|3||There are over 1,000 kinds of bees all over Canada. Some can even be found in the Arctic.|
|4||My phone isn’t charged. I need to plug it in.|
|5||We could fly to Calgary. We could get there by bus.|