Vocabulary Lists

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  1. How I Became a GhostA Choctaw Trail of Tears StoryTim Tingle
    This novel is narrated by a ten-year-old boy who did not survive the Trail of Tears, the forced resettlement of Native...
  2. Stand TallJoan Bauer
    Twelve-year-old Tree tries to come to terms with his parents divorce by spending time with his grandfather, a war...
  3. TrashAndy Mulligan
    Three impoverished boys survive by picking through trash — until one of them comes across a mysterious find that will...
  4. Dark Water RisingMarian Hale
    In 1900, Seth and his family struggle to survive a massive storm.
  5. Our Only May AmeliaJennifer L. Holm
    May Amelia Jackson grows up on the American frontier at the end of the 19th century.
  6. Trowbridge RoadMarcella Pixley
    In 1983, neighbors June Bug and Ziggy create their own imaginative worlds in order to escape from the realities of...

"The Overcoat" by Nikolai Gogol

In this classic Russian short story, a low-level bureaucrat's life is upended when he attempts to...
35 Words

"St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves" by Karen Russell

In this short story, the narrator and other girls raised by wolves try to adapt to life in human...
45 Words

"The Palace Thief" by Ethan Canin

In this story, a classics teacher at an elite prep school must interrogate his own ethics when he...
45 Words

"The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus

Emma Lazarus, a poet and Jewish activist, wrote this poem to raise money for a pedestal for the...
10 Words
  1. The Family RomanovMurder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial RussiaCandace Fleming
    This award-winning book traces the history of the last royal family to rule Russia, the Romanovs.
  2. Written in BoneBuried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial MarylandSally M. Walker
    This engaging nonfiction book explores the work of scientists who analyze skeletal remains to learn more about early...
  3. The PrinceNiccolò Machiavelli
    In this classic treatise, Machiavelli outlines the traits and strategies of an effective ruler. Learn these words from...
  4. PeléThe King of SoccerEddy Simon and Vincent Brascaglia
    This biography, told in graphic form, explores the life of the famed Brazilian soccer player.
  5. AppleSkin to the CoreEric Gansworth
    In this memoir, Gansworth explores his experiences growing up on a Native American reservation.
  6. The Rise and Fall of Charles LindberghCandace Fleming
    This biography of the explores the famed aviator's childhood, flying career, and eventual attraction to eugenics and...

"The Origin of Species by Natural Selection" by Charles Darwin: Essential Words

Charles Darwin expounded his theories on evolution in "The Origin of Species by Natural Selection."...
13 Words

"Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell

George Orwell reflects on imperialism as he recounts an incident that occurred when he was a police...
30 Words

"Mother Tongue" by Amy Tan

In this essay, novelist Amy traces her development as a writer by reflecting on the ways she and her...
20 Words

"Nature" by Ralph Waldo Emerson

This 19th-century transcendentalist essay argues that spending time in nature helps people resist...
30 Words

Some Helpful Poetry Terms

One of the stumbling blocks when trying to study poetry is that it seems like a different world....
24 Words

The New SAT: Language of the Test - List #1

How can you perform well on the new reading section of the SAT if you don’t fully understand the...
25 Words

ASVAB Word Knowledge

The Word Knowledge subtest of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a vocabulary...
100 Words

The New SAT: Words to Capture Tone - List #1

On the New SAT, all of the Reading Test questions are multiple choice and are based on reading...
25 Words

The New SAT: Multiple-Meaning Words List #1

Context is king -- that’s the lesson you need to internalize as you begin preparing for the...
25 Words

PARCC: Language of the Test (Grade7)

Before you can answer a question on the PARCC English Language Arts/Literacy section, you first need...
45 Words

PARCC: Language of the Test (Grade 11)

Before you can answer a question on the PARCC English Language Arts/Literacy section, you first need...
70 Words

Tier 2 Words for the SBAC ELA Items

Here are 68 Tier 2 words that are likely to be found on the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium...
68 Words

In the Know: Cogn, Conn

Knowledge is power, so learn these words that derive from the Latin roots cogn and conn, meaning...
12 Words

Perfect Ten: Dec, Cent, Mille

These words derive from the Latin roots dec ("ten"), cent ("hundred"), and mille ("thousand"). Start...
14 Words

Power Suffix: -scope

Have a close look at this list of words that include the suffix -scope, meaning "an instrument for...
10 Words

English Words Derived from Arabic

All of the English words on this lists have Arabic origins. While some, like caliph and imam,...
22 Words

Power Suffix: -escence

Learn this list of words that include the suffix -escence, meaning the "process or state of being."
12 Words

Power Suffix: -acy

Derived from Latin, the English suffix -acy in English means "the state of" or "the quality or...
18 Words

More English Words Derived from Yiddish

English has borrowed many words from Yiddish, which is itself an amalgam of German, Russian, Hebrew...
15 Words

Body Parts: Neur ("Nerve")

You've got a lot of nerve — so learn this list of words that derive the Latin word neuron, meaning...
12 Words

Preamble to the U.S. Constitution (1787)

This introduction to the United States Constitution lays out the foundational principles of the...
15 Words

Declaration of the Rights of Woman (1791)

The full title of this declaration includes a focus on citizenship, and it was published two years...
35 Words

"The Declaration of Sentiments" (1848)

The Declaration of Sentiments was presented in July 1848 at the first Women's Rights Convention in...
30 Words

Marbury v. Madison (1803)

Shortly before the inauguration of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams appointed many judges and justices....
40 Words

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954)

In 1951, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) recruited 13 parents...
35 Words

The Constitution of the United States

The Constitution is, quite simply, the basis of American democracy. The document details what the...
40 Words

The Federalist Papers, No. 70 by Alexander Hamilton

Published on March 18, 1788, this essay argues that the executive office should be led by a strong...
40 Words

The Federalist Papers, No. 41 by James Madison

This essay was published on January 19, 1788. In it, Madison weighs the pros and cons of the...
40 Words

"Ideas Live On" by Benazir Bhutto (2007)

In this speech, Bhutto, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, argues for the importance of...
25 Words

Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" (1863)

At just 272 words long, Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" is widely considered to be one of the...
14 Words

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "Beyond Vietnam" (1967)

In this speech, delivered at Riverside Church in New York City, King expresses his opposition to the...
45 Words

"What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" by Frederick Douglass

In this powerful speech delivered on July 5, 1852, abolitionist Frederick Douglass argued that the...
50 Words

Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I A Woman?" (1863)

Sojourner Truth's speech at the 1851 Women's Rights Convention in Ohio asked a question that could...
20 Words

President Trump's Second State of the Union Address (2019)

President Trump delivered his second State of the Union Address on February 5, 2019. The President...
25 Words

Figurative Language in King's "I Have a Dream" Speech (1963)

Learn the vocabulary that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. used to inspire a generation to break free...
30 Words

Richard Nixon's "Checkers Speech" (1952)

In September, 1952, Richard Nixon, a young senator from California, was nominated to run for Vice...
36 Words

Punctuation Matters

These punctuation terms are good to know, period. Learn what an apostrophe’s purpose is; find out...
15 Words

Words Every Pirate Should Know

International Talk Like A Pirate Day is celebrated on September 19. In the swashbuckling spirit,...
15 Words

Like A Boss: Words for the Person in Charge

Coming up with just the right word to describe the person in charge won't be a boss battle if you...
10 Words

Can I Work It? Words for "Job"

Whether you're talking about a one-time gig or a lifetime spent advancing in your career, the words...
14 Words

Did You Planet? Words With Surprisingly Spacey Origins

The stars and planets have given us lots of words, but some of them are unexpected. How many of...
10 Words

Over The Moon: Planetary Vocabulary

Planets and their moons have complex relationships as they spin through space around the sun. These...
21 Words

An "August" Assortment: Words Worthy of Honor

The month of August was named after Augustus Caesar, the first emperor of Rome, who lived from 63...
13 Words

Book Words for Book Worms

From amanuensis to author, foreword to frontispiece, there's more to books than just reading them....
12 Words

This Week In Words: October 17–23, 2020

Stories about the Pope, President Obama, and Google all contributed words to this week's list of...
10 Words

This Week In Culture: October 17–23, 2020

Quibi folds, Bennu coughs up some dust, and the Flaming Lips take "Covid bubble" to a new level:...
10 Words

Words From the Final 2020 Presidential Debate

The final presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Biden took place in...
20 Words

This Week In Culture: Current Events Vocab for October 10–16, 2020

Stories about a couple of major sports victories, some upcoming TV shows, and bee B.O. all...
10 Words

This Week In Words: Current Events Vocab for October 10–16, 2020

Stories about unrest in former Soviet republics, developments in the legal world, and early voting...
10 Words

This Week In Culture: Current Events Vocab for October 3–9, 2020

Instagram turns ten, a legend crosses over, and Fat Bear Week crowns another winner — these stories...
10 Words

This Week In Words: Current Events Vocab for October 3–9, 2020

Stories about the VP debate, Covid-19 in the White House, and a possible reckoning for big tech all...
10 Words

Words from the 2020 Vice Presidential Debate

The vice-presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris took place...
20 Words

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