Clip Art: Endymion Sleeping on Mount Latmos

Endymion (some say it's Adonis) wears a hat, a Roman tunic, and sandals and naps on Mount Latmos. The original marble Roman sculpture dates from the 2nd Century C.E., where the drawing is based and is located in the British Museum in London. 
Source: The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Ancient styles of hats" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1845. This image is in the public domain. 


Clip Art: A Winged Griffin About to Take Flight

This public domain image depicts the mythological creature the griffin — part lion and part eagle. A griffin is a legendary creature with the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion. It is said to be a powerful and majestic beast, capable of flying great distances and possessing great strength. In many myths and legends, griffins are depicted as guardians of treasure or protectors of sacred places. 
This particular image is in the public domain, which means it can be used for any purpose, including commercial use, without restriction. This is because the image's copyright has either expired or was never copyrighted in the first place.
Find more of creations on TpT!

Organizing Main Ideas: Basic Skills Practice in a Writing Workshop for Middle and High School Students in the English Language Arts Classroom

In this post, I discuss how I teach organizing as a writing skill in an English Language Arts writing class.

Hey there, writing enthusiasts! As an English teacher, I often ask this question - "How do you teach writing?" And the answer is more complex than you might think. However, I teach concrete skills that can help you improve your writing. Writing is like any other skill, it gets better with practice, and with the right approach, you can attenuate the slog of the work and create something beautiful.

Good writing is more than crossing your t's and correctly placing your commas. It's about being well-organized, and that's where I start with my students. I often notice that students struggle with organizing their writing, so I created a simple worksheet to help them.

It's similar to following a recipe when cooking. You need to follow the steps in the right sequence, or else you won't be able to bake a cake. I've had my share of experience with this, so trust me when I say that mixing up the order of adding wet and dry ingredients can ruin a perfectly good cake.

Writing, however, is more complex than following a sequence of events. Sometimes what happens last is written first, and what happens first is written last. You'll know what I mean if you've seen the movie Memento. However, with practice and guidance, you can learn to organize your writing in a way that makes sense and is enjoyable to read.

The key to good writing is practicing good habits. When I teach writing, I focus on these habits that can help students develop their writing skills and make their work stand out:

  1. Start with a plan: Before you start writing, it's essential to have a plan. Think about what you want to say, and organize your thoughts into a clear structure.
  2. Be clear and concise: Good writing is not about using complicated language. It's about being clear and concise. Choose your words carefully and avoid unnecessary details.
  3. Edit and revise: It has yet to get it right the first time. Editing and revising are essential steps in the writing process. Take the time to review your work and make changes where necessary.
  4. Practice, practice, practice: Writing is a skill that gets better with practice. Set aside time daily to write, whether in a journal or a blog post. The more you write, the better you'll get.
  5. Read and learn from others: Reading is one of the best ways to improve your writing. Read widely and learn from the work of others. Pay attention to how they structure their writing and use language.
  6. By practicing these habits, you can develop your writing skills and create well-organized and enjoyable work to read. Remember, good writing takes time and effort, but you can achieve great things with the right approach.
In conclusion, writing is a skill that can be learned and improved with practice. Good writing requires concrete skills and good habits, like being organized, clear and concise, and practicing regularly. By following these tips, you'll be on your way to creating writing that stands out and gets noticed. So, keep at it, and happy writing!

Here's a straightforward worksheet for sale on my TpT store that I designed to help students think about how ideas are organized in a piece of writing. Use it today as an enrichment part of your middle or high school English Language Arts and Writing class!


Meme: Ross Matthews and Otho Share an Uncanny Resemblance

Do Ross Matthews of Ru Paul’s Drag Race fame and the character Otho from the 1988 movie Beetlejuice (played by Glenn Shadix) share an uncanny resemblance? I think so. Share if you agree. 
Ross Matthews and Otho are in the image against a purple background with Ru Paul and the sand snake from Beetlejuice
Memes We'd Love to See: © 2023 Stones of Erasmus
If we take a closer look at Ross Matthews and Otho's appearance, it's hard not to see the resemblance. Both have a similar facial structure, a prominent chin, and an expressive gaze that instantly draws you in. Ross Matthews is famous for his role as a judge on Ru Paul's Drag Race, where he has become a fan favorite for his endearing personality and quick wit. Meanwhile, Otho, portrayed by the late Glenn Shadix, is a character in the 1988 Tim Burton-directed film Beetlejuice. Otho is an interior designer who helps the ghostly couple who haunts a house to scare off the new living inhabitants.

While Ross Matthews is a real person and Otho is a fictional character, the idea that they could exist in the same movie universe is more plausible than it seems. Both Tim Burton-directed movies and Ru Paul's Drag Race are known for their campy, colorful, and often outrageous aesthetics. In fact, the idea of a drag queen and a flamboyantly styled interior designer crossing paths in a fantastical cinematic universe would make for an entertaining and hilarious movie.

Whether or not Ross Matthews' and Otho's similarities are intentional or coincidental, it's still fun to imagine the two coexisting in a shared universe. As pop culture enthusiasts, we can't help but look for hidden connections between our favorite shows and movies. And who knows, maybe we'll see Ross Matthews and Otho team up for an unforgettable adventure that will leave us laughing and cheering from start to finish.


Clip Art: A Griffin Plays Basketball

A griffin plays basketball. Improbable? Probably. But we like it anyway. 

Source: Created by Stones of Erasmus, block print (with digital elements added by open-source artificial intelligence). This image is created and made with love by Stones of Erasmus (stonesoferasmus.com).

Clip Art: Classical Sculpture Depicting Poseidon (Neptune)

The image is of the Greek God (in Roman myth known as Neptune) holding his legendary trident and standing on a craggy precipice overlooking the sea, his domain.

Source note: From Bilderbuch für Kinder : enthaltend eine angenehme Sammlung von Thieren, Pflanzen, Blumen, Fruchten, Mineralien, Trachten und allerhand andern unterrichtenden Gegenstanden aus dem Reiche der natur, der Kunste und Wissenschaften. (Weimar, Germany : Industrie-Comptoir, 1792-1843) Bertuch, Friedrich Justin (1747-1822), Author. Content: Written on border: "1. Neptune ; 2. Ceres ; 3-5 Apollo ; Drawn 1801s." Originally scanned by the New York Public Library (Digital Collections). The image is in the public domain.


Throwback Thursday: Pictures from Senior Year in High School (And Others)

With nostalgia in my heart, I look fondly upon the photos of me as a child  more specifically as a senior in high school. With joyful memories and contentment, I reflect on how far I have come. How much would I give to go back and speak encouraging words to my younger self? To remind them it's okay to be who they are; that their uniqueness is something to be celebrated with pride! Remind them not to worry about what other people think  they're just jealous. And if you're going to grow into an amazing adult one day, make sure you own it! Don't forget your retainer either — no matter how annoying it may seem now — because straight teeth don't stay that way forever without proper maintenance.