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Gateway English


Gateway - English II

Sites to help students practice skills needed for the English Gateway exam

Links verified 1/1/2016

Writing | Reading | Viewing and Representing | Speaking and Listening

Tennessee item sampler | Tennessee Practice Test This is an Adobe Acrobat .pdf document Indiana Item Sampler | Indiana Writing Prompts

Released tests - Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) Spring 2002 | Spring 2001 | Spring 2000

FCAT Sample Reading Test
- [ 2008 ] sample questions and test taking tips This is an Adobe Acrobat document FCAT Sample Answer Book - [ 2008 ] This is an Adobe Acrobat document

FCAT Sample Writing Test - [ 2008 ] sample questions and test taking tips This is an Adobe Acrobat document FCAT Sample Answer Book - [ 2008 ] This is an Adobe Acrobat document

a site for teachers | a PowerPoint show | This is an Adobe Acrobat document Adobe Acrobat document | a Word document
sound | video format | interactive lesson | a quiz | lesson plan | to print

Standard 1 - Writing
The student will develop the structural and creative skills necessary to produce written language that can be read and interpreted by various audiences.
Paradigm - the Online Writing Assistant
Level 1
combine sentences using a comma and coordinating conjunction or correct a run-on sentence within a writing sample
  1. Using Commas with Introductory Phrases - A sentence containing a comma splice will appear in a text-area. Repair the sentence.
  2. Avoiding Comma Splices - A sentence containing a comma splice will appear in a text-area. Repair the sentence.
  3. Avoiding Comma Splices II - A sentence containing a comma splice will appear in a text-area. Repair the sentence.
  4. Repairing Run-On Sentences - After each run-on sentence select the remedy that would best repair that sentence
  5. Fragments and Run-On's - After each sentence, select the option which best describes that sentence.
  6. Avoiding Comma Splices, Fused Sentences, and Run-On's - Interesting visual effects are used to make the point.
  7. A test of the Emergency Grammar System - It is only a test. Actually, it isn't even a test ... and it contains more than grammar. Oh, never mind... give it a try
distinguish fact from opinion from a passage or writing sample
  1. Fact or Opinion? A Quia Game - [ This link opens in a new window ] Read the statements and determine if they are facts or opinions. Select your answer from the popup menu. There are a total of 30 statements to evaluate
  2. Fact or Opinion ? (Another Quia Quiz) - [ This link opens in a new window ] Read the statements given and determine if they are facts or opinions
  3. WebAware has tips about misinformation on he web
  4. Fact or Opinion Quiz - ten questions
  5. Simple Present Tense - Fact, Habit, Opinion or Schedule
  6. Fact or Fiction: Truth, Opinion, and the Web - a WebQuest designed to help you sort "good" information from bad."
choose the sentence that relates the writer's purpose (e.g. to persuade, to inform) in a selected passage
  1. The writer's purpose and voice - from a site on preparing for the GRE
  2. Finding the purpose of each paragraph - from a site on preparing for the GRE
  3. Writing to Persuade - Persuasion means making someone with a different point of view from your own change their mind to your way of thinking.
  4. Sample assignment - Invent an X-ray satellite, name it, draw a picture of it. Write a one- to two-page persuasion letter addressed to your Congressperson or essay for your local newspaper in order to obtain funding for your X-ray astronomy mission.
  5. Writing to Persuade Rubric - Perhaps your students can understand writing to persuade better by seeing this rubric.
recognize the proper use of the comparative and superlative form of adjectives
  1. Curriculum Suggestion - Draw a Descriptive/Comparative/Superlative Picture (Pick one of the sets and then draw how you think each character in the set should look)
  2. Find Comparatives and Superlatives in Your World - interesting writing prompts
  3. Comparative & Superlative Quiz I - Quiz II - Quiz III - Click the answer buttons to see the answers.
  4. Comparative and Superlative Forms of Adjectives -
  5. Comparatives - a matching activity
  6. Comparatives - another quiz
select the correct word for the sense of the sentence (your and you're; where and were; it's and its; their, they're and there; to and too)
  1. Common Errors in English - Find out about: your or you're; where or were; it's or its; their, they're or there; to or too. You will also find out about much, much more.
  2. Confusing Words - Your or You're - take a quiz
  3. Common Mistakes and Tricky Choices
describe appropriate details of his/her surroundings
  1. Writing Skills lesson from the Apple Learning Interchange
write a letter to the editor and submit it to the school/local newspaper
  1. How to Write a Letter to the Editor - Letters that are intended for publication should usually be drafted more carefully. Here you will find some tips to keep in mind.
use prewriting techniques as a springboard for writing (e.g. clustering, journals, directed response, brainstorming)
  1. Prewriting - Hatching New Ideas
  2. Step-by-step Guide to Brainstorming - an effective way to generate lots of ideas and then determine which idea(s) best solves the problem
  3. Prewriting Techniques from Friends University Writing Center This is an Adobe Acrobat .pdf document
  4. Focused prewriting - Steps to take while prewriting
  5. Prewriting - Methods and Tips
  6. Prewriting Strategies - Prewriting techniques
  7. Prewriting Practices - An article by Alice L. Trupe
  8. Six Prewriting Steps
Level 2
combine or correct sentence fragments using a subordinate conjunction within a writing sample
  1. Conjunctions - Conjunctions are words used as joiners. Different kinds of conjunctions join different kinds of grammatical structures.
  2. Repairing Run-On Sentences
  3. Avoiding Comma Splices, Fused Sentences, and Run-On's from LEO: Literacy Education Online
recognize correct subject/verb agreement with confusing intervening prepositional phrases within a writing sample
  1. Subject/verb agreement - Basic Principle: Singular subjects need singular verbs; plural subjects need plural verbs.
  2. Subject and Verb Agreement from LEO : Literacy Education Online
  3. Subject Verb Agreement Quiz
  4. There is or there are?
  5. Tag Questions 1 - Present Tense/To Be Verb/Affirmative
  6. The CopyCat Game 1 from English-Zone
  7. Making Subjects and Verbs Agree - Brought to you by the Purdue University Online Writing Lab
  8. Subject-Verb Agreement - from The Writer's Handbook
  9. Subject Verb Agreement from Big Dog's Grammar
  10. The grammar outlaw : Disagreeing Subject and Verb, AKA The Disagreeable Sentence
  11. Quiz on Subject-Verb Agreement
  12. Quiz 2 on Subject-Verb Agreement
  13. Quiz 3 on Subject-Verb Agreement
select sentences to strengthen an argument within either a writing sample or a passage
  1. Effective Academic Writing : The Argument
select correct pronoun/antecedent agreement within a writing sample
  1. Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement - LEO: Literacy Education Online
  2. Agreement: pronoun antecedent from Big Dog's Grammar. After reviewing this material take an interactive quiz .
  3. Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement - This tutorial will help you accomplish the following learning objectives: define and understand pronoun agreement, choose pronouns that agree with their antecedents in number, person, and gender and check and apply your skills.
select the appropriate transitional word for a given sentence within a paragraph
  1. A list of transition words
  2. Another list of transition words [ from a UK site ]
  3. Transitions indicate relations , whether from sentence to sentence, or from paragraph to paragraph. This is a list of "relationships" that supporting ideas may have, followed by a list of "transitional" words and phrases that can connect those ideas:
  4. Transitional Words and Phrases - a menu to help you find transition words that fit your purpose [scroll down a bit to find the entire list ]
  5. Writing Research Papers : Transition Words and Phrases
select the most effective method of combining three sentences to improve the structure within a passage
  1. Combining Sentences for Variety and Clarity - several methods and examples are given, however this page only combines two sentences.
  2. The Need to Combine Sentences - Sentences have to be combined to avoid the monotony that would surely result if all sentences were brief and of equal length. This lesson is followed by three quizzes. First Quiz on Sentence Combining | Second Quiz on Sentence Combining | Third Quiz on Sentence Combining
select vivid words to strengthen a description (adjective or adverb) within a writing sample or a passage
  1. Pointers on Writing Descriptively
choose the correct pronoun case in a sentence in which the pronoun follows "than" within a writing sample or a passage
  1. Pronoun Case - The case of some pronouns depends on their function in sentences or clauses. This lesson is followed by an interactive quiz .
  2. Pronoun Case - Brought to you by the Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL)
recognize a shift in any of the following: verb tense, point of view, tone, or pronoun usage within a writing sample
  1. Controlling Shifts in Verb Tense - General guideline: Do not shift from one tense to another if the time frame for each action or state is the same.
  2. Whose Point of View is That? - a workshop lecture by the writer Beth Anderson
recognize the correct use of quotation marks in a direct quote
  1. Quotation Marks - Place commas and periods inside, not outside, quotation marks. Place all other punctuation outside quotation marks unless it was contained in the original source.
  2. The Gallery Of "Misused" Quotation Marks
  3. Quotation Marks
  4. Single Quotation Marks - Use single quotation marks for a quotation or title using quotation marks inside another quotation or title which uses quotation marks.
recognize the correct use of a semicolon in a compound sentence within a writing sample or a passage
  1. Commas vs. Semicolons in Compound Sentences - Brought to you by the Purdue University Online Writing Lab
  2. Semicolon
  3. Grammar and Style: Semicolons - from the Writer's Handbook
choose the thesis that is more effective than the underlined thesis statement (given an introductory paragraph of a student essay)
  1. How To Write a Thesis Statement
  2. Compose a Thesis Statement - Now that you have decided, at least tentatively, what information you plan to present in your essay, you are ready to write your thesis statement.
recognize the correct use of the comma to set off nonessential elements in a sentence
  1. Using Commas - Brought to you by the Purdue University Online Writing Lab
  2. Review: The Comma - Using a separate sheet of paper, rewrite each sentence to correct the comma usage. (answers provided)
  3. A Brief, No-Nonsense Guide to Comma Usage (plus a great cartoon)
write a letter to a major national publication in response to its position/coverage of a subject
  1. How to Write a Letter to the Editor - Letters that are intended for publication should usually be drafted more carefully. Here you will find some tips to keep in mind.
rewrite a prose passage in dialogue
  1. Writing Dialogue - "Personally, I think dialogue can make or break a story. Here are some tips I've discovered that may help you with yours," said Elizabeth Rose.
  2. Writing Dialogue - This is a dialogue sheet which can be used to teach students to include the basic characteristics of good dialogue in their own writing. The form may be modified to include whatever characteristics the instructor desires.
  3. Narrative and Dialogue - A Contrast In Writing Styles
Level 3
revise sentences using effective parallelism within a writing sample
  1. Focusing Sentences Through Parallelism - Parallel structures include word or phrase patterns that are similar. When ideas in a sentence or paragraph are similar, you can reinforce these similarities in meaning through creating parallel structures.
  2. Focusing Sentences Through Parallelism from a mirror site
choose the transitional device that appropriately connects paragraphs (e.g. transitional adverbs, verbal phrases, unambiguous pronoun references) within a writing sample
  1. A chart of the transitional devices - also called conjunctive adverbs or adverbial conjunctions
  2. Transitional Devices - transitional guides are connectives (symbols,words, phrases; sometimes whole sentences and paragraphs) that make possible a smooth "passingover" from one idea to the next.
persuade others to realize a point
  1. A Handbook of Rhetorical Devices - definitions and examples of more than sixty traditional rhetorical devices, all of which can still be useful today to improve the effectiveness, clarity, and enjoyment of your writing
  2. Creating an Argument - This exercise will guide you through the prewriting, organizing and writing stages of producing a philosophy.
  3. Critical Reasoning Warm-ups - ( Scroll down, they are there! ) These are warm-ups for people who are somewhat familiar with critical reasoning questions. These questions are a good way to start your brain thinking before you answer the real questions.
research a controversial issue and present a report in which a position is effectively communicated
rewrite a story from a different cultural perspective
  1. Cinderella: New Twist on an Old Tale - Examine the Cinderella story from three different cultures and create a new one applicable to Ancient Greece.

Standard 2 - Reading
The student will develop the reading skills necessary for word recognition, comprehension, interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and appreciation of the written text.
Level 1
discern an implied main idea from a passage
  1. Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure - Challenge your students by letting them practice using a reading comprehension test designed for prospective teachers. ( This site recommends that you use a printed copy of the page )
  2. Finding the Main Idea
interpret an author's point of view
  1. Point of View - Two Heads Aren't Always Better Than One . suggestions regarding choosing a point of view for your writing
identify the simile, metaphor, onomatopoeia, alliteration, or personification in a given portion of a poem
  1. A one-page handout giving examples of each poetic device This is an Adobe Acrobat .pdf document
  2. Poetry writing practice web - a one-page handout This is an Adobe Acrobat .pdf document
  3. A ten-question quiz on Literary Terms - Choose whether the line from a poem is an example of alliteration, metaphor, onomatopoeia, personification, or simile.
identify how the author reveals character (physical characteristics, dialogue, what other characters say about them, character's own actions)
Level 2
differentiate between verbal and situational irony
  1. Critical Concepts - Verbal Irony
  2. Critical Concepts - Dramatic Irony
pinpoint a cause/effect relationship in a given passage
  1. Making The Relationship Explicit Between Your Ideas - from UniLearning - Academic Writing
  2. Cause-and-Effect Writing Challenges Students - The cause-and-effect relationship is both a way of thinking and a format for writing. Teachers who emphasize cause-and-effect writing say that they are helping students learn to think critically as well as write cogently. Read what three experienced teachers have to say about this teaching approach, which can be used with students of all ages. This is an article from Education World magazine .
Standard 3 - Viewing and Representing
The student will use, read, and view media/technology and analyze content and concepts accurately.
Level 2
select the appropriate persuasive device in a given ad
  1. Persuasive Writing
  2. The Five Paragraph Essay Wizard - Persuasive Essay and prompts
  3. The Power of Persuasive Writing is a three week communication skills and interdisciplinary middle school Internet project. (a WebQuest)
infer the mood or tone in a photograph
  1. Looking for Light - This activity is a starting point for an exploration of a photography exhibition (links to photos included). Questions in this discussion are designed to provoke thought and encourage observation.
distinguish a persuasive device in an advertisement or a portion of a speech
  1. Affluenza: A PBS Program - Lessons such as "Be an Adbuster!" and "What are Advertisers Selling?" are based on Affluenza, a one-hour television special that explores the high social and environmental costs of materialism and overconsumption. The lessons can be used without the video.
  2. Campaign 2004 - USA Today article about political ads
  3. Independent Group Says Political Ads Don't Contain Facts - from the About network
analyze the impact of media on daily life.
  1. Media Research Center - This site bills themselves as "The Leader in Documenting, Exposing and Neutralizing Liberal Media Bias." Caution: Be aware of the bias of this site as well.
  2. Study offers early look at how Internet is changing daily life - Major preliminary results of a new study that is the first assessment of the social consequences of Internet use based on a large, representative sample of American households
analyze the validity and effectiveness of resources.
  1. Evaluating Online Resources Notebook - Four basic principles and a list of links on the topic "evaluating web sites"
  2. Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators - Critical Evaluation Surveys and Resources
  3. The ABC's of Web Site Evaluation (presented by Kathy Schrock) - Evaluation of Web sites is an important skill to learn in this age of digital and information literacy. Students and teachers need practice in critically examining sites to determine authority, authenticity, and applicability to purpose. This site provides that practice.
  4. ABC's of Web Site Evaluation - in .pdf format This is an Adobe Acrobat document
  5. Critical Evaluation of Resources - In the research process you will encounter many types of resources including books, articles and web sites. But not everything you find on your topic will be suitable. How do you make sense of what is out there and evaluate its authority and appropriateness for your research?
  6. Critically Analyzing Information Sources - the emphasis here is on print sources
  7. Evaluation of information sources - This page contains pointers to criteria for evaluating information resources, particularly those on the Internet.
  8. Evaluating Information Found on the Internet - a thoughtful guide to evaluating web and other Internet resources
  9. Evaluating Web Pages - Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask
  10. Evaluating Web Pages - Duke University
  11. The Good, The Bad & The Ugly - or, Why It's a Good Idea to Evaluate Web Sources
  12. Quality Information Check List -a resource to help young people evaluate the information they find on the Internet.
Standard 4 - Speaking and Listening
The student will express ideas clearly and effectively in a variety of oral contexts and apply active listening skills in the analysis and evaluation of spoken ideas.
Level 1
give and receive directions accurately and succinctly
prepare and give oral presentations to specified audiences
  1. The Parachute Debate - You are a passenger on a plane that is in difficulty high above the ocean. There is only one parachute available. Imagine someone or something you think deserves the parachute before anyone else on the plane.
  2. Voice and Tone in Reading a Memoir Aloud - In a memoir, there are a minimum of two voices - and, quite often, more. The essential two voices are the author's then voice and the author's now voice.
Level 3
analyze and select effective delivery techniques in both the roles of presenter and audience
  1. Debating - Constructive debating is an art, with this in mind, suggestions are offered.

Internet4classrooms is a collaborative effort by Susan Brooks and Bill Byles.




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