Vocabulary of the Common Core

According to Marilee Sprenger, these 55 critical words from the Common Core State Standards can "make or break student understanding."
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Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. analyze
    break down into components or essential features
    Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text. (College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading, 6-12)
  2. articulate
    express or state clearly
    "[Students] build on others’ ideas, articulate their own ideas, and confirm they have been understood." (Introduction to the Common Core Standards)
  3. cite
    make reference to
    Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text. (College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading, 6-12)
  4. compare
    examine and note the similarities or differences of
    Compare and contrast the structure of two or more texts and analyze how the differing structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style. (Reading Standards for Literature 6-12)
  5. contrast
    the opposition or dissimilarity of things that are compared
    Compare and contrast the structure of two or more texts and analyze how the differing structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style. (Reading Standards for Literature 6-12)
  6. comprehend
    get the meaning of something
    Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently. (College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading, 6-12)
  7. delineate
    represented accurately or precisely
    Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence. (College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading, 6-12)
  8. demonstrate
    give an exhibition of to an interested audience
    Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics. (Reading Standards for Literature 6-12)
  9. describe
    give a statement representing something
    Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution. (Reading Standards for Literature 6-12)
  10. determine
    find out or learn with certainty, as by making an inquiry
    Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas. (College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading, 6-12)
  11. develop
    progress or evolve through a process of natural growth
    Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text. (College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading, 6-12)
  12. distinguish
    mark as different
    Analyze a case in which grasping point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement). (Reading Standards for Literature 6-12)
  13. draw
    cause to move by pulling
    Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or religious works such as the Bible, including describing how the material is rendered new. (Reading Standards for Literature 6-12)
  14. evaluate
    estimate the nature, quality, ability or significance of
    Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words. (College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading, 6-12)
  15. explain
    make plain and comprehensible
    Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text. (Reading Standards for Literature 6-12)
  16. identify
    recognize as being
    Analyze a case in which two or more texts provide conflicting information on the same topic and identify where the texts disagree on matters of fact or interpretation. (Reading Standards for Informational Text, 6-12)
  17. infer
    conclude by reasoning
    Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text. (College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading, 6-12)
  18. integrate
    make into a whole or make part of a whole
    Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words. (College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading, 6-12)
  19. interpret
    make sense of; assign a meaning to
    Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone. (College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading, 6-12)
  20. locate
    determine the place of by searching or examining
    Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently. (Reading Standards for Informational Text K-5)
  21. organize
    arrange by systematic planning and united effort
    Introduce claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically. (Writing Standards 6-12)
  22. refer
    make a remark that calls attention to
    Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text. (Reading Standards for Literature K-5)
  23. retell
    to say, state, or perform again
    Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson. (Reading Standards for Literature K-5)
  24. suggest
    make a proposal; declare a plan for something
    Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses. (Reading Standards for Literature K-5)
  25. summarize
    present the main points in a concise form
    Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas. (College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading, 6-12)
  26. paraphrase
    express the same message in different words
    Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources. (Writing Standards 6-12)
  27. support
    the act of bearing the weight of or strengthening
    Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. (Reading Standards for Literature 6-12)
  28. synthesize
    combine and form a complex whole
    Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. (Writing Standards 6-12)
  29. trace
    an indication that something has been present
    Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not. (Reading Standards for Informational Text 6-12)
  30. alliteration
    use of the same consonant at the beginning of each word
    Analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama. (Reading Standards for Literature 6-12)
  31. analogy
    drawing a comparison in order to show a similarity
    Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., synonym/antonym, analogy) to better understand each of the words. (Language Standards 6-12)
  32. argument
    a dispute where there is strong disagreement
    Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence. (College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading, 6-12)
  33. central
    in or near an inner area
    Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas. (College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading, 6-12)
  34. main
    most important element
    Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study. (Speaking and Listening Standards 6-12)
  35. conclusion
    a position or opinion reached after consideration
    Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text. (College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading, 6-12)
  36. connection
    a relation between things or events
    Analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories). (Reading Standards for Informational Text 6-12)
  37. connotative
    having the power of implying or suggesting something in addition to what is explicit
    Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone. (College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading)
  38. figurative
    not literal
    Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone. (College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading)
  39. details
    true confidential information
    Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas. (College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading)
  40. evidence
    knowledge on which to base belief
    Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text. (College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading, 6-12)
  41. illustration
    a visual representation to make a subject easy to understand
    Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot. (Reading Standards for Literature K-5)
  42. metaphor
    a figure of speech that suggests a non-literal similarity
    Use precise language, domain-specific vocabulary, and techniques such as metaphor, simile, and analogy to manage the complexity of the topic. (Writing Standards 6-12)
  43. simile
    a figure of speech expressing a resemblance between things
    Use precise language, domain-specific vocabulary, and techniques such as metaphor, simile, and analogy to manage the complexity of the topic. (Writing Standards 6-12)
  44. point of view
    a mental position from which things are perceived
    Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text. (Reading Standards for Literature 6-12)
  45. rhetoric
    study of the technique for using language effectively
    Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose. (Reading Standards for Informational Text 6-12)
  46. stanza
    a fixed number of lines of verse forming a unit of a poem
    Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot. (Reading Standards for Literature 6-12)
  47. structure
    a complex entity made of many parts
    Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole. (College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading, 6-12)
  48. theme
    the subject matter of a conversation or discussion
    Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas. (College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading, 6-12)
  49. tone
    the distinctive property of a complex sound
    Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone. (College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading, 6-12)
  50. mood
    a characteristic state of feeling
    Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb voice and mood. (Language Standards 6-12)
  51. classify
    arrange or order by categories
    Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources. (Writing Standards K-5).
    "Classify" is a synonym of "categorize."
  52. categorize
    place into or assign to a class
    Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources. (Writing Standards K-5)
  53. explicitly
    in a clearly expressed manner
    Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text. (College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading, 6-12)
  54. recognize
    perceive to be the same
    Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced. (Reading Standards for Informational Text 6-12)
  55. recount
    narrate or give a detailed account of
    Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text. (Reading Standards for Literature K-5)

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