Vocabulary Lists

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  1. The IliadHomer
    Translated from the original Greek by Robert Fagles, this epic poem relates events from the Trojan War, including the...
  2. The Laramie ProjectMoisés Kaufman
    Drawing on real-life interviews, journals, and transcripts, this play reflects on the life and murder of college student...
  3. The Winter's TaleWilliam Shakespeare
    King Leontes of Sicily unjustly accuses his wife of being unfaithful and abandons his infant daughter. Years later, when...
  4. A Night DividedJennifer A. Nielsen
    Separated from her father and brother by the Berlin Wall, Gerta comes up with a dangerous plan to reunite her family.
  5. Mara, Daughter of the NileEloise Jarvis McGraw
    An enslaved woman in ancient Egypt works as a spy in order to gain her freedom.
  6. Ground ZeroA Novel of 9/11Alan Gratz
    A teen in New York City fights for his life during the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, while on...

"The Hill We Climb," by Amanda Gorman

22-year-old Amanda Gorman became the youngest inaugural poet in American history when she read her...
20 Words

"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
  1. The Grand EscapeThe Greatest Prison Breakout of the 20th CenturyNeal Bascomb
    This riveting book tells the true story of a group of prisoners of war who escaped from Germany during World War I.
  2. The Blind SideMichael Lewis
    This biography follows Michael Oher from his troubled childhood to his successful career as a professional football...
  3. You Call This Democracy?How to Fix Our Government and Deliver Power to the PeopleElizabeth Rusch
    This nonfiction book examines voting in the United States and identifies ways to make government more democratic and to...
  4. Reading Lolita in TehranA Memoir in BooksAzar Nafisi
    In this memoir, Azar Nafisi details her experiences running a secret reading group for women in Iran.
  5. Because They MarchedThe People's Campaign for Voting Rights that Changed AmericaRussell Freedman
    This nonfiction account of the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery is richly illustrated with archival...
  6. The Boy Who Invented TVThe Story of Philo FarnsworthKathleen Krull
    This biography recounts the work of Philo Farnsworth, the first person to transmit a television image.

"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

Essential Academic Vocabulary for Middle School Students, List 1

Whether you're hoping to improve your comprehension of reading assignments or simply looking to...
10 Words

Essential Academic Vocabulary for High School Students, List 1

Whether you're preparing for a standardized test, hoping to improve your comprehension of reading...
25 Words

ASVAB Word Knowledge

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

The 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

The 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 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

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

The Treaty of Paris (1783)

The Treaty of Paris officially concluded the American Revolutionary War against Great Britain....
30 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

President Biden's Inaugural Speech (January 2021)

On Wednesday, January 20, 2021, Joseph R. Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United...
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

Joyous Kwanzaa! Vocabulary Worth Celebrating

Kwanzaa was created by Maulana Karenga in 1966 by as a celebration of African-American culture. It...
14 Words

Celestial Words To Mark The Winter Solstice

The shortest day of the year, December 21, gives us an occasion to learn some vocabulary associated...
13 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

This Week In Words: Current Events Vocab for December 26, 2020—January 1, 2021

Stories about the Nashville bombing, Brexit becoming reality, and the discovery of a 2,000-year-old...
20 Words

This Week In Words: Current Events Vocab for December 19–25, 2020

Stories about astronomical events, a major hack attack, and one of soccer's biggest records falling...
18 Words

This Week In Words: Current Events Vocab for December 12–18, 2020

Stories about good and bad pandemic news, a couple of big spending bills in Congress, and the search...
18 Words

This Week In Words: November 28–December 4, 2020

Stories about a more normal 2021, the discovery of "a prehistoric Sistine Chapel," and exciting news...
20 Words

This Week In Words: November 21–27, 2020

A special Thanksgiving week edition comes to your table stuffed with words for cooking, eating,...
15 Words

This Week In Words: November 14–20, 2020

Bad news about the virus, good news about vaccines, a brilliant meteor shower, and a car made of...
20 Words

Alex Trebek (1940–2020) Tribute List

Alex Trebek, who hosted the hit TV quiz show Jeopardy! from 1984 until this year, died of pancreatic...
13 Words

This Week In Culture: Current Events Vocab for October 31–November 6, 2020

Stories about a struggle over soup, ancient female hunters, and a whale's weight training all...
10 Words

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