Re-Visioning Our Writing

By Christine Norvell, Guest Author I confess. I have asked students to make revisions to their essays. In fact, I may have casually said, “You just have some light revision work,” or “This needs heavy revision.” It sounds flippant to my ears now. Trite. But those comments all beg the same question—what does it really mean to revise our writing? One of my former students … Continue reading Re-Visioning Our Writing

You Should Teach Poetry: Science Demonstrates It

By Albert Cheng, Guest Author Albert Cheng is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Education Reform in the College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas, where he teaches courses in education policy and philosophy. He is the director of the Classical Education Research Lab, where he conducts research on the effects of classical education on character formation. He is a Senior Fellow at … Continue reading You Should Teach Poetry: Science Demonstrates It

In Assigning Seniors Somber Sonnets

In his collection of poetry on loss and lament, Poet-Priest Malcolm Guite offers the following comparison of the use of a Drone in some forms of music to the experience of Loss in our lives. He says, “[“Drone” is] the word that describes that continuous repetitive sound we hear in some early forms of music, especially the Gaelic lament. The drone of the bagpipe grounds … Continue reading In Assigning Seniors Somber Sonnets

Intentional Grammatical Mistakes: Miriam Joseph and Martianus Capella on Bad Grammar (Explorations in the Art of Grammar Series #4)

By Jenna Carey, Guest Author We are immersed with grammatical concepts from the moment we are born to the moment we take our last breath. Our parents bombard us as babies with, “can you say da-da; can you say ma-ma,” then we grow up, leaving “da-da” and “ma-ma” behind, shouting “I love you, I’ll see you at Christmas” on the way out the door. Not … Continue reading Intentional Grammatical Mistakes: Miriam Joseph and Martianus Capella on Bad Grammar (Explorations in the Art of Grammar Series #4)

Fighting “The Death of Words” (Explorations in the Art of Grammar Series #3)

By Sara Osborne[1] As a college writing instructor, I have noticed a disturbing trend in my students’ ability to choose and use words appropriately.  These same students also appear increasingly unable to comprehend critical vocabulary used in non-fiction writing. The unfortunate result of these challenges is an inability to contribute to class discussions on important ideas and the inevitable struggle with articulating a coherent response … Continue reading Fighting “The Death of Words” (Explorations in the Art of Grammar Series #3)

The Death of Words, the Old Testament, and the Great Books (Explorations in the Art of Grammar Series #2)

In the previous post in this series, I considered how vocabulary and prior content knowledge could perhaps play a significant role in reading comprehension and understanding. In the final paragraph I wrote: Unfortunately, fewer and fewer students are taught the languages in which the Great Books are written, and not many more are taught the vocabulary they will encounter even in translations of these Great … Continue reading The Death of Words, the Old Testament, and the Great Books (Explorations in the Art of Grammar Series #2)

Words in Context (Explorations in the Art of Grammar Series #1)

I was reading an article earlier this spring[1] that talked about literacy and the importance of content knowledge and vocabulary for understanding. The article revisited a 1988 published study by Recht and Leslie, oftentimes referred to as “the baseball experiment.” In short, the article, and the study by Recht and Leslie, addressed how after reading a passage about a half-inning of baseball, “good readers” who … Continue reading Words in Context (Explorations in the Art of Grammar Series #1)

An Update from The Classical Thistle

Hello friends! It’s been a while since we have posted articles on here, especially with any frequency, and we wanted to reach out and give you an update. We apologize for the long silence, but we backed off for some good reasons. Why the limited content for two years? COVID-19 had a significant impact on us personally, forcing us into a heavier administrative load at … Continue reading An Update from The Classical Thistle

Little by Little

The stresses of the past calendar year have been numerous.  As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic colliding with regular responsibilities, many of us have found ourselves somewhat disoriented. Shifting priorities, schedules, and communities have forced creative personal and professional pursuits to the bottom shelf, and we’re struggling to find a way towards normalcy—much less excellence—again.  Mental, emotional, and even physical energy is in short … Continue reading Little by Little

Waiting for the Sun

Most of us in the Midwest found ourselves hiding indoors from winter weather this week.  While we curled up beside families and fireplaces, the snow just kept falling.  City maintenance trucks rounded our neighborhood repeatedly like cars on a racetrack, but to no avail. With temperatures hovering in the single digits and teens, there was little opportunity for melting, and the snow kept us home … Continue reading Waiting for the Sun

Forty Days of Faithful Waiting (An Ash Wednesday Reflection)

At the 2012 ETS Annual Meeting in Milwaukee, Stephen Dempster of Crandall University presented a paper entitled “Resurrection on the Third Day in Accordance with the Scriptures.” As suggested by the title, Dempster set out to explain what Paul may have been thinking when he said that Christ’s resurrection on the third day was “in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Cor 15:3).  Dempster ultimately concluded … Continue reading Forty Days of Faithful Waiting (An Ash Wednesday Reflection)

The Power of Story in Connecting With Teens

Story is a powerful thing.  As educators, we know this to be true.  In fact, we endeavor to read as many good, true, and beautiful stories to our young students as possible during the grammar stage.  Line after line, page after page, we invite them into the stories we hope will inform their understanding for years to come.  Much of the time, we read to … Continue reading The Power of Story in Connecting With Teens