Blind children compete in Braille Challenge

Fingers fly over the raised dots, doing the work that eyes cannot. Eleven children in yellow T-shirts are reading one of three passages — “Rainy Day Fun,” “Two Great Vacation Ideas” and “Velveteen Rabbit.” Then they turn to their Perkins Braillers, which look like a manual typewriter with just nine keys, and stamp out answers to questions that test their reading comprehension. Continue reading

Help! Save these paragraphs!

Save This Paragraph 1

Find and fix: the “buried” topic-sentence, the incomplete sentences, the unnecessary sentence, the misplaced concluding sentence, the line break.

A low-level samurai from Tosa, he became involved in national politics and helped lead the way to the Meiji Restoration. So he is a beloved figure in Japan and there have been several books, films and TV shows about him. Sakamoto Ryoma played an important role in the making of modern Japan. In Kochi, you can have a “Ryoma Holiday.” Because it is likely the Sakamoto Ryoma will continue to inspire future generations of Japanese young people.

He was not handsome, but he was a  very charismatic and natural leader.

Save this paragraph 2

This paragraph has so many problems!  (No hints) Can you help it?

Because it has special products from Kochi that make great souvenirs. You can hear “Tosa-ben” spoken by the older shopkeepers. Every tourist to Kochi City should be sure to visit Sunday Market. Sakamoto Ryoma was from Kochi. It’s always lively, and right next to Hirome-ichiba and Kochi castle.

You can get a real feel of Kochi there.

Check for understanding #1

No grade! Just a check for me!

In the reply  below, answer these two questions:

1) Which is the best “Topic Sentence”? Why?

  1. Cats are usually smaller than dogs.
  2. Cats make better pets than dogs.
  3. Cats and dogs are common pets.

2) Write a topic sentence for this paragraph

________________________________. First, a bicycle doesn’t create pollution every time you go somewhere. In contrast, cars create pollution even when idling. Also, riding a bicycle is an easy and fun way to get a bit of exercise, whereas in a car, you’re just sitting there. It’s true that cars are more comfortable in the rain, but usually you can park closer to where you are going if you are riding a bicycle. The real problem with bicycles is all the car drivers who don’t see bicycles. However, if everyone rode a bicycle, then this would not be a problem at all!

Titles vs. Topic Sentences

A topic sentence must have a topic + a claim about the topic. This almost always means a SUBJECT (noun or noun phrase) plus a VERB (or verb phrase). If it lacks a verb or verb phrase, it might be a good title, but certainly will not be a good topic sentence, or even a full sentence! (Remember S + V?) Continue reading

Paragraphs #1: Topic Sentences

Summer in Kochi can be both terrible and wonderful. It can feel like Hell to visitors who are not prepared for how hot and humid it can be. But summer is also the season where Kochi is the most beautiful and full of life. If you know how to dress, where to go, and how to keep yourself cool, summer in Kochi can be Paradise.

A paragraph is a collection of sentences that describe, discuss, or explain one central idea. The three main parts of a paragraph are:
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