Grades 11–12: List 6

Vocabulary is key to performing well on Common Core-aligned tests for English Language Arts as well as for building literacy in social studies, science, and technical subjects. This collection features common tier-2 words that are taught and tested in Grades 11 and 12. These words are used in a variety of contexts, exhibit different shades of meaning based on those contexts, and appear commonly in classroom instruction and on standardized assessments.

Here are links to our lists for the collection: List 1, List 2, List 3, List 4, List 5, List 6, List 7
26 words 4 learners

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Full list of words from this list:

  1. sensory
    involving or derived from the senses
    Mr. Martin said that his philosophy as a writer is to show and not tell, and doing so requires “vivid sensory detail.”New York Times (May 2, 2014)
  2. setting
    the context and environment in which something is situated
    The shack is like the setting for a horror movie.King and the Dragonflies
  3. shift
    change in quality
    Twig’s eyebrows pinched as she noticed my mood shift for the first time, but she stepped back and handed me the egg.The Science of Breakable Things
  4. narrator
    someone who tells a story
    He speaks for almost two minutes as the story’s narrator.Spooked!
  5. stanza
    a fixed number of lines of verse forming a unit of a poem
    I hummed a stanza of Areida’s favorite song, a sad one, about a farmer whose family is starving.Ella Enchanted
  6. summarize
    briefly present the main points of something
    “It’s simple reading comprehension. Read the paragraph and summarize, in a couple of sentences, what it was about. That’s it. It’s not rocket science.”A Very Large Expanse of Sea
  7. synonym
    a word that expresses the same or similar meaning
    There are appropriate synonyms for “president,” including “chief executive.”Washington Post (Jun 19, 2020)
  8. technique
    a practical method or art applied to some particular task
    And it wasn’t bad, except we had to keep notes about Steinbeck’s technique because we were going to be writing our own travel accounts—fictional or nonfictional—for the year’s final composition.Okay for Now
  9. exaggeration
    the act of making something more noticeable than usual
    Many of the headlines and articles contained dramatic language and exaggeration.Spooked!
  10. repetition
    the continued use of the same word or word pattern
    Instead, the book operates more like a poem, relying on “ repetition and rhythm and sound and association,” Yuknavitch said, which is closer to her own lived experience.New York Times (Jun 23, 2022)
  11. question
    an instance of querying
    You’ll all be researching your question, because research is fun, fun, fun!The Science of Breakable Things
  12. cause
    any entity that produces an effect
    Scientists are ultimately exploring cause and effect-how changes to one part of the world can cause other things to change.The Thing About Jellyfish
  13. effect
    a phenomenon that is caused by some previous phenomenon
    Whatever spell the witch had tried to cast apparently had no effect.Fablehaven
  14. problem
    a question raised for consideration or solution
    “Speaking of solving problems,” said Miss K, “do you think fighting is a good way to settle arguments?”Ralph S. Mouse
  15. solution
    the successful action of solving a problem
    I’m not ready to talk about my solution to the choir problem.Muffled
  16. pro
    an argument in favor of a proposal
    We threw a couple names around, discussed pros and cons, and our personal opinions started to emerge.Courage to Soar
  17. con
    an argument opposed to a proposal
    We threw a couple names around, discussed pros and cons, and our personal opinions started to emerge.Courage to Soar
  18. theme
    a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in literary work
    Reading 2: Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.Music and the Child
  19. thesis
    an unproved statement advanced as a premise in an argument
    “It depends on how you frame it. What's your angle, your thesis statement? What are you trying to say?”Pride
  20. tone
    a quality that reveals the attitudes of the author
    And in English, I raise my hand when Ms. Singh asks someone to explain the difference between mood and tone.How to Disappear Completely
  21. transition
    a passage or word that connects a topic to one that follows
    "I meant to say a transition word like 'however,' but used the Chinese version instead," she says. Wired
  22. sentence
    a string of words satisfying grammatical rules of a language
    I read the description and the first sentence or two.Muffled
  23. paragraph
    one of several distinct subdivisions of a text
    We take turns reading paragraphs out loud about the thirteen colonies, and then Mr. Fabian hands out worksheets.Muffled
  24. voice
    the distinctive way a writer uses language to express ideas
    I need a story that grabs me quickly, that’s told with a powerful narrative voice and powerful language, and that ideally is by an author new to me.New York Times (Aug 19, 2021)
  25. consistent
    marked by an orderly and coherent relation of parts
    He liked books, generally speaking, because they could be trusted to be consistent.Beasts of Prey
  26. verb
    a word denoting an action, occurrence, or state of existence
    One day we worked on verb tenses: “I surf the Net, I surfed the Net, I was surfing the Net.”Speak
Created on July 20, 2022 (updated August 30, 2022)

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