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This website offers three things:

  • An online English handbook (just click on the topic at the top to find grammar rules) broken down in simplified form.
  • Free handouts, tips, memory tricks, and ideas for teachers to use in their classrooms (click on “blog” during the months of September through May for these).
  • Writing and publishing advice from published author, Chelly Wood, whose Latina romance novel, will be published in 2016 (summer blog posts are usually tips for writers).

If you ever encounter a page where documents/ handouts aren’t downloading correctly or don’t show up where they should, just message me by leaving a comment on that page.

Please be specific, in your comment, about which document/ handout you want, because I don’t see the whole blog post from my comments page. I only see the words that you type.

Anyone who subscribes to this website will receive blog post announcements once a week.


75 responses »

  1. A ghost in My Room
    I woke up one night, and saw the image of a ghostly figure, standing over me. I just about wet the bed! I tried to scream, but my jaw hung open with no sound coming out. Then the ghost exclaimed “what’s up!”
    All I could do was stare back open mouthed in amazement.
    “So how’s it going?” the ghost asked.
    “Not bad, besides almost peeing myself. Why are you here anyway?” I snapped.
    “Oh, you know just scaring completely kids, the usual.” Replied the ghost.
    “Why do you do that? What’s your name? Why did you come here?”
    The ghost then replied, I’ve come to scare you.”
    I was shocked that a ghost had come into my room just to scare me. “Wait,” I said, “how did you get up here? We’re on the 2nd floor.”
    “I have a flying car,” the ghost replied.
    “But you’re floating right now! Why don’t you float everywhere?” I pointed out.
    “Huh, never thought about that.”
    “Well why you don’t go sell your car. Then let me go back to sleep.” I said.
    “Okay I will,” said the ghost.
    I never saw him again after that (thankfully).

  2. The McGraw Gang’s Hangin’

    I was the deputy sheriff in Flagstaff, Arizona. That durned McGraw Gang had shot poor Al Jorgan through the heart, stole all the money out of the Wells Fargo Bank, and run off into the hills. I saddled up ol’ Jackrabbit (my horse) and rode off after ‘em.

    Chasin’ ‘em was a darn hard thing to do, but ‘em slow pokes only went three miles before I hung ‘em up.

    “Hey you thieves! Ya’ll might be able to get out of jail before ya’ll die, if you’re lucky,” I told ‘em.

    I went to the jailhouse and put ‘em up against the wall with them chains. I just needed to figure out where the McGraw put that money.

    “Now where did ya’ll put that money,” I cried.

    “We didn’t steal any money,” the McGraw Gang claimed.

    “Ah you thieves are worthless, “I jeered.

    Right before I was about to give up one of them city folk came up to my office and proposed this.

    “As I was pasin’ by I found some thieves with a bunch of loot heading towards the border and I just knew somthin’ was up. I thought I would bring ‘em here and see if you knew any thin’ about a robbery of some kind that these fellows were up to.”

    “That McGraw Gang was tellin’the truth.” I mumbled. “ What’s you name sir,” I asked.

    “The names Eugene,” the man answered.

    “It turns out you just saved me a darn lot of investigatin’ to do,” I proclaimed.

    Eugene carried on with his travels and I was darn happy to find out that all the McGraw Gang did was kill Al Jorgan and was hanged for their act in murder.

    The ones that stole the money ended up bein’ some criminal thefts that were looking for their next easy target and almost got away with it. They ended up bein’ put in prison far from here and I never had to worry about ‘em again.

  3. Long John Silver because he was a pretty good kid and always did what the captian siad to, Silver wasent scard of anything or anybody .

  4. The Magic Forest
    Andy had walked home from school, through the forest every day for six years. He had never seen that tree before… boy, was he ever surprised, when that big, oak tree began to speak to him. Andy started to freak out because he knew that trees don’t talk.
    Andy told the tree, “How did you learn to speak?”
    “My momma tree taught me how to speak just like your momma taught you.” Said the tree.
    “Well trees don’t usually talk so I didn’t know, sorry if I hurt your feelings,” replied Andy.
    “It’s ok little one,” laughed the tree, “I guess you better get back to where you come from.”
    “Ok,” whispered Andy “I’ll see you some other day, good bye”
    “Good bye” waved the tree, “There go’s an amazing young man.” The tree said to himself.
    As the boy was walking back home he was wondering how the tree got there without making any damage.
    As the tree was standing there he was wondering what the boy doing there in the first place.
    So the boy came back and asks the tree how it got there and the tree said,
    “I been here all my life.”
    The boy was so shocked he felt bad that he didn’t know that tree was there. He came back to talk to the tree but the tree wasn’t there.
    “Where did he go?”
    And the tree never came back… what had happen to the tree is unknown…
    To be continued…
    The end

  5. Mrs.Sparhawk i might not be one of your students any more but can you give me a couple of words that would describe “explorers”, oh and they have to be nouns? Please.

  6. This adorable couple met because of some friends.There was a man who was wanted for killing a man that his friend had killed.There was silly little angel named Sara

  7. I nominate # 12 There were three little boys named Josh Homes who was ten, Jake Homes who was eight, and Owen Homes who was four.

    I nominate # 15 My name is Tomas, I am in the military.

    I nominate # 17 Once upon a time me and my dad were in the woods.

  8. I nominate
    1. There was a man who was wanted for killing a man that his friend had killed.
    2. I was about to face my biggest fear in all my life.
    3. This adorable couple met because of some friends.

  9. I nominate
    1.There was a man who was wanted for killing a man that his friend had killed.
    2.I was about to face my biggest fear in all my life.
    3.This adorable couple met because of some friends.

  10. Mrs.Sparhawk i have practiced my speech over and over again but even if i add time from my visual aid, i can’t seem to get even 3 mins. for my whole speech! my speech is really only 5 paragraphs long and i even used my outline to add more i was gone two days ago from school because i had the stomach flu and i have memorized my speech and it’s too short even with the visual aid what can i do?

    • Some students added a little more to their speeches. You could try that. I won’t mind if you embellish the original essay with a few extra sentences of information. A lot of kids had three minute speeches, and then used their visual aid to help fill time. If you have plenty of images on the visual aid, that helps. The less you’ve got on the visual aid, the less helpful it is for filler. The more you’ve got on your visual aid, the more helpful it is to fill time.

  11. Mrs.Sparhawk,

    I don’t know what to do for my speech I wasn’t there and I tried finding it, but I can’t find the right place can you help me, please?

  12. Mrs. Sparhawk I can’t express how sorry I am to tell you this what could I do to make up my spelling and parent letter I am going to go crazy as much as iI can on ex-credit to get my grade please help it’s very much needed……………… 🙂

    • Spelling in the world of grown-ups counts all the time, even when you don’t realize people are going to notice it (like when you post something on Facebook or when you make a yard sale sign). So I try to make my spelling “tests” just as random. The trick to doing well on spelling tests in my class is simple… STUDY for them. If you know how to spell the words, then every time you use them –whether it’s an odd test like the parent letter or a paper-and-pencil test like kids get in elementary school–you’ll spell them right.

      That’s the trick. It’s simple. STUDY.

  13. Esther Sparhawk I lost my vocabulary for this week and the last two week i was wondering if you can sugest something because it seem I am haveing trouble please help……


    • If you go to my sister website,, and click on the “Vocabulary” page, it will show you all the vocabulary words we’ve had all year. Just click on the link in the right side bar. It looks like a clipboard. It will take you to the right site.

  14. The Spiderwick Chronicles The Field Guide
    By Tony DiTerlizzi Holly Black
    1. Why did they move to that wierd house?
    2. Why could’nt they see the goblins without the cirle thing or the little guys spit?
    3. Why did the little guy calm himself with the honey?
    4. What was the little guys name?
    5. Why was the book so important to the goblins?

  15. 1. Who is Phillip?
    2. What is Phillip’s dads name?
    3. Who is Timothy?
    4. What is the cats name?
    5. Who is the jumbi?

  16. I think Edgar Allen Poe was a great writer. He wrote a great poem called the Raven. You should have your students read this and do some work on this. This would help them learn about poetry. This was a very great poem. They should study this. This is the greatest poem. Thank you. I love your blog posts so far. They are very intresting.

    • Well Phillip, thanks for your comment. I agree that Poe is a fantastic poet, and I also enjoy reading The Raven. However, my students have been reading Poe in their language arts class. Since I’m their reading teacher, I’m trying not to overlap with their language arts teacher. I don’t want to tread on her curriculum, you see. But again, thanks for your comment. Anyone who loves poetry/literature is welcome to add their ideas and opinions on englishemporium!

  17. the miserable mill By: lemony snicket
    #1 Why does the baulridares guardian send them to the mill.
    #2what do u think would happen if the balridares werent in the book and it was a different family of kids.
    #3 what would happen if the boss of the mill was about to be cut by the saw not the baulridares.
    #4 what do u think the boss would look like if he was taller and didnt smoke any cigars at all.
    #5what would happen if the baulridares werent at the mill in the first place and went to a different guardians place and never went to the mill how would the story go then.

    • John, please note: if your questions don’t start with a capital letter and your questions don’t end with a question mark, then I can’t use them. In that case, they’re not worth points. Sorry.

  18. Brothers Of The Heart
    #1 How old was shem?
    #2 In what period did this story happen?
    #3 Who was shem realated to?
    #4 Who was shem left behind by?

  19. Maximum Ride: The Final Warning
    By: James Patterson
    1. How can Iggy see?
    He touches the thing he wants to see.
    2. Can Total fly?

  20. the outsiders
    1. What would happen if Ponyboy and Johnny got caught by the police?
    2. What if Johnny did not jump into the church and save those kids?
    3. How did Johnny kill the soc and where?
    4. If Ponyboy didn’t walk home from the movie house what would happen?
    5. If Darrey didn’t die at the end of the story how would this affect Ponyboy?

  21. The Ugly Truth
    #1 Who is the main character?
    #2 Whos Gregs bestfriend?
    #3 What did greg get for his birthday from his grandma?
    #4 What grade is Greg in?
    #5 What happens at the end of the story?

  22. The Notebook
    #1 What was Noahs last name?
    #2 How old is Allie?
    #3 How did Allie and Noah first meet?
    #4 What was Allie really good at?
    #5 Who was sick in the hospital?

  23. The Notebook
    #1 Who is the main characters?
    #2 Were did they first meet at?
    #3 Who was sick in the hospital?
    #4 What was Allie really good at?
    #5 What happened at the end of the story?

  24. Lightning Thief
    #1 what is Grover
    #2 who is percys dad
    #3 where is mount olympus located
    #4 who is mr. Brunner
    #5 who is annabeths mom

  25. eldest
    1. What do you think would’ve happened if rhoran and the villagers hadnt come to help the varden in the battle?
    2. Do you think this book is a copy of star wars
    3.What do you think Eragon would’ve done if rhoran had been captured?
    4.Do you think Eragon will ever find his mother if so where and how?
    5.What do you think the dwarves will do now that there leader is dead?

  26. city of bones
    #1 what is the shadowhunters job?
    #2 who is clarys mother married to?
    #3 what is luke’s real name?
    #4 what species is luke?
    #5 who is clarys brother?

    • Ethan: I’m sorry. None of your questions begins with a capital letter, therefore, you earned no points. Try again, only this time, make sure your sentences are written correctly. Thanks! 🙂

      p.s. I’m a fencer too. BYKT

  27. #1 What happen to the ship?
    #2 How does Philip gotten blind?
    #3 How does Timothy die?
    #4 Who finds the island that Philip is stuck on?
    #5 Does Philip get his eye site back?

  28. Keeping The Moon Sarah dessen

    1.What do you like most about this book?
    2.Why do you think she wrote about this book?
    3.How much do you know about this author?
    4.What is you favorite book she wrote?
    5.Why do you think she picked this title?

  29. Bonjour Mme Sparhawk. Pensez-vous que je devrais lire la série Hunger Games? S’il vous plaît donner quelques informations sur les livres et ce qu’ils font. Je vous remercie beaucoup.

    • I’ve read them–all three books–and I think you might like them. But let me say this: the ending disappointed me. They’re real page-turners, but I will not be re-reading them, as they gave me nightmares. BAD nightmares.

  30. Mrs. Sparhawk, I know that you are going to be assigning classic literature for your students next semester, however, there is one slight query I have;

    What makes a book a classic, and what seperates it from other genres?

    Perhaps you could use this question as a journal for next semester, as the students own interpretation of a classic. But please do answer my question!


    • What makes a book a classic? Old fart professors who work at fancy universities decide they’re the classics. Then librarians classify them as such.

      What makes a book a classic? It’s not just good, it’s DANG good.

      What seperates it from other genres? Nothing does. Classics fall into all the genres. Sherlock Holmes is a classic that would fall under the genre of mysteries. Alice in Wonderland is a classic that’s considered fantasy. Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth is a classic science fiction novel, etc… So classics aren’t seperated from other genres; they fall into other genres, just like all other books.

      • Time and taste separate the classics from the dross. I don’t think you can predict it in advance, or even the initial print run. Something just clicks and the book takes off, never to go out of print.

        A best-seller in one age might disappear in another. Ben-Hur, by Lew Wallace, was a huge deal in its time. Now, it’s forgotten. But other books have stayed around, books that are perhaps not as well-written, because they have a deeper story and richer characters. (Yes, I’m looking at you, Alexandre Dumas pere et fils.)

        Books that are classics can fall into a category or genre, but that’s not the distinguishing mark. Huckleberry Finn is perhaps a YA novel and perhaps mainstream – who can tell? – but what makes it a classic is its depiction of characters as well as the journey through and down America.

      • Well, perhaps this might seem a bit cliche, but I do think after all the Twilight craze, it will be a classic in say, eighty years. (: OOOH and the Harry Potter series are also quite popular; I definitely think they’ll be considered classics!!

      • I hope The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins becomes a classic. Their REALLY good books! I just finished the first one and it’s probably the best book I’ve ever read!(:

      • That is a good one, but I was a little disappointed by the way Katniss totally gives Pita the cold shoulder. I was even more disappointed by the ending of the third book in the series, Mockingjay. But I won’t go there. Don’t want to spoil it for you.

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