Vocabulary Lists

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  1. Pay Attention, Carter JonesGary D. Schmidt
    When Mr. Bowles-Fitzpatrick, a traditional English butler, comes to live with the Jones family, he helps twelve-year-old...
  2. SlayBrittney Morris
    No one knows that seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is the developer behind a popular online role-playing game called...
  3. Brian's WinterGary Paulsen
    This sequel to Hatchet and The River imagines that 13-year-old Brian Robeson wasn't rescued the summer after he survived...
  4. The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. JamesAshley Herring Blake
    After a heart transplant, Sunny St. James resolves to reinvent herself — but she must navigate complicated relationships...
  5. Waiting for GodotA Tragicomedy in Two ActsSamuel Beckett
    In this classic absurdist play, Vladimir and Estragon discuss their strangely monotonous lives while they wait for...
  6. The Grace YearKim Liggett
    Tierney James and the other sixteen-year-old girls who live in Garner County must venture into the dangerous woods for...

"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

"Easter, 1916" by W.B. Yeats

In this poem by William Butler Yeats, the speaker reflects on the failed Irish uprising against the...
16 Words

"Death of a Naturalist" by Seamus Heaney

The speaker of this poem remembers collecting frog's eggs as a child, but is repulsed by watching...
12 Words

"The Second Coming" by W.B. Yeats

In this modernist poem, Yeats uses apocalyptic imagery to characterize the state of the world after...
10 Words
  1. Killers of the Flower MoonThe Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBIDavid Grann
    In this true crime book, David Grann investigates the murders of members of Osage Nation in the 1920s.
  2. Tracking TrashFlotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean MotionLoree Griffin Burns
    This installment of the Scientists in the Field series explores how trash circulates and accumulates in the world's...
  3. Civil DisobedienceHenry David Thoreau
    Originally published as "On the Duty of Disobedience" and based on an 1848 lecture, Thoreau's work is a civil...
  4. Brain on FireMy Month of MadnessSusannah Cahalan
    In this memoir, journalist Susannah Cahalan recounts her battle with a mysterious and terrifying neurological illness at...
  5. Free LunchRex Ogle
    In this memoir, Rex Ogle recounts his family's struggles with poverty, hunger, and violence.
  6. Ordinary HazardsA MemoirNikki Grimes
    In this memoir, told in verse, poet Nikki Grimes explores her traumatic childhood and the development of her love of...

"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

"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

The Federalist Papers, No. 23 by Alexander Hamilton

In this essay, published on December 18, 1787, Hamilton argues that the federal government must be...
40 Words

The Federalist Papers, No. 9 by Alexander Hamilton

This essay was published on November 21, 1787 in response to objectors who did not think that 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

There's No Word Like Home

Shelter is a basic human need, as essential as food and water. As a result, there are many words to...
16 Words

Built To Last: Architectural Parlance

The right words are the foundation for understanding a subject. These architectural terms will help...
31 Words

The Ottoman Empire: Furniture Words

Words like "desk" and "chair" are so drab and commonplace that we pay them no mind. Give your...
18 Words

May the 4th Be With You: Star Wars Words

Rejoice, Star Wars fans! May the 4th is National Star Wars Day! The epic film series launched plenty...
25 Words

Motherlode: A Mother's Day Lexicon

Mothers do so many things, which is why a good nap may be the best gift you can give your own mom on...
13 Words

On a Pedestal: Marble-ous Words for Sculpture

Sculpture is likely the most ancient of all arts, possibly going back half a million years to the...
12 Words

Words of a Feather: Unflappable Avian Vocabulary

Do some bird-related words fly over your head? Don’t wing it — take a quack at this emu-sing list of...
13 Words

Something's Fishy: A Fresh Catch of Aquatic Words

Are you angling for a bigger vocabulary to tell your next fish story? Let this list lure you under...
24 Words

This Week In Culture: May 10–16, 2020

Quarantine is pushing more and more culture online. Stories about music, theater, and even art...
10 Words

This Week In Words: May 10–16, 2020

Stories about court orders, face shields, and million-mile batteries all contributed words to this...
10 Words

Little Richard (1932–2020): Tribute List

It's impossible to overstate the importance of Little Richard, born Richard Penniman, in the history...
15 Words

This Week In Culture, April 26–May 2, 2020

Stories about dancers flocking to TikTok, dogs sniffing out sick people, and the NCAA on the verge...
10 Words

This Week In Words: April 26–May 2, 2020

Stories covering good news about some homemade masks, a promising treatment, and the origins of the...
10 Words

This Week In Words: April 19–25, 2020

Stories about record low oil prices, a blockbuster Senate report, and Kim Jong-Un's health all...
10 Words

This Week In Culture: April 19–25, 2020

Tom Brady busts into some guy's house, lots of music is still being released, and Zoom calls are...
10 Words

This Week In Culture: April 12–18, 2020

Stories about relevant reading, artists and amateurs alike getting creative in quarantine, and some...
10 Words

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