Monday, September 26, 2011

My Teaching Materials: Xanth

One of the things I rather enjoy is making pertinent materials for my writing classes. Yes, I probably do way too much myself, and should save energy by finding or buying and using pre-made stuff, but I like it. So, I thought I would share a few of those with you.

This first one I usually give out the first week, and they mostly get credit for trying. However, it's a fun way to judge how well they edit, their "wordsmith" level, and give them a peek at what is in store for them. I didn't write this one, I borrowed the passage from Piers Anthony's Xanth series, credited at the bottom.

Let's see how many errors you can find! Leave your count in the comments. ;)

Name: ________________

Dor is a student in a land called Xanth, which is next door to a place called Mundania. His teacher asked him to write an essay about Xanth. Dor isn’t a good speller, so he got a “spelling bee” to help him. Thanks to the bee, nothing in his essay is misspelled, but he still didn’t get a very good grade. Can you do better than Dor? Find and correct all of Dor’s spelling mistakes. Here’s a hint: there are 52 of them!

The Land of Xanth
buy Door

Eye live inn the Land of Xanth, witch is dis-stinked from Mundania inn that their is magic inn Xanth and nun inn Mundania. Every won inn Xanth has his own magic talent; know to are the same. Sum khan conjure things, and others khan make a whole ore illusions ore khan sore threw the heir. Butt inn Mundania know won does magic, sew its very dull. They’re are knot any dragons their. Instead their are bare and hoarse and a grate many other monsters. Hour ruler is King Trent, whoo has rained four seventeen years. He transforms people two other creatures. Know won gets chaste hear; oui fair inn peace. My tail is dun.

From Centaur Aisle by Piers Anthony, p. 14


  1. LOL; I had to open a word document to help with this one. Not as good as a “spelling bee”, but we Mundanians have to make do. And if I remember my Xanth geneology, Dor had his father Bink’s luck for misadventure; though it was less a talent for Dor, and more of a fortuitous outcome. His first adventure was about getting away from his sister, Ivy?

    Rather than “list” all the mistakes, how about if I rewrite it properly:

    The Land of Xanth
    by Dor

    I live in the Land of Xanth, which is distinct from Mundania in that there is magic in Xanth and none in Mundania. Everyone in Xanth has his own magic talent; no two are the same. Some can conjure things, and others can make a hole or illusions or can soar through the air. But in Mundania no one does magic, so it’s very dull. There are not (should be aren’t?) any dragons there. Instead there are bears and horses and a great many other monsters. Our ruler is King Trent, who has reigned for seventeen years. He transforms people to other creatures. No one gets chased here; we fare in peace. My tale is done.

    From Centaur Aisle by Piers Anthony, p. 14

  2. Well done, Donna! Grade of 104 and a sticker.

  3. Though come to think of it, using Microsoft Word may be cheating...