Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Vocabulary Place

Knowing vocabulary words is an important part of understanding a story.  Unfortunately, most of us don't have time to stop and look up a word every time we find one we don't know.  Preparing students for difficult words can help them better understand the story.    In this section I have words that appear in various stories and their definitions.  I also have a page of ideas for helping students better retain their vocabulary.

Home | Suggested Units | Short Stories | Vocabulary Place

There are many activities that can help students better remember their vocabulary words.  There are a few guidelines that can help a teacher plan for vocabulary instruction.  The guidelines are a) instruction should help relate new words to words the student already knows b) Instruction should help students learn more about words in general c) Instruction should include active participation from students and d) Instruction should teach students strategies for learning new words on their own.
 
These are just guidelines, and many different vocabulary techniques can be effective.  Here are several examples:
 
  1. Show videos with captioning that can help reinforce terms.
  2. Have students make a video where they illustrate the definition of a word.
  3. Have students create vocabulary quizzes for one another using a computer
  4. Have students bring in words that they would like to study.
  5. Word Walls--recently learned words are recorded on sheets of paper that are affixed to the classroom wall.  While daydreaming, they're also staring at vocab words!
  6. Pictographs--have students draw a symbol or small picture to represent a word's definition.
  7. Graphic organizers--the word goes in the center with webs that cover defintion, synonyms, antonyms, examples, etc.
  8. Categories--students are given several vocabulary words that fit into various categories.  They look up the definition of the word and then place it in the correct category.
  9. Vocabulary charades--students pick a vocabulary word at random from a bowl.  They act it out for other students to guess.
  10. Word origins--organize a group of vocabulary words that come from a certain area, for example, farming.  Write all the words that apply and then work with students to understand their origin. 

References

Ainslie, D. (2000/2001). Word detectives. The Reading Teacher, 54(4), 360-2.

Anderson, R.C. & Nagy, W.E. (1991). Word meanings. In R. Barr, M.L. Kamil,

P.B. Mosenthal, & P.D. Pearson (Eds.), Handbook of reading research (Vol.II pp. 690-724) New York: Longman.
Bazeli, M. & Olle, R. (1995).Using visuals to develop reading vocabulary. Eyes on the

Future: Converging Images, Ideas, and Instruction. Selected Reading for the

Annual Conference of the International Visual Literacy Association. Chicago, IL.

Boling, C., Martin S., & Martin, M. (2002). The effects of computer-assisted instruction

on first grade students’ vocabulary development. Reading Improvement, 39(2),

79-88.

Bromley, K. (2002). Stretching students' vocabulary. New York: Scholastic.

Foil, C. & Alber, S. (2002). Fun and effective ways to build your students’ vocabulary.

Intervention in School and Clinic, 37(3), 131-139.

Monroe, E. E. (1997). Using graphic organizers to teach vocabulary. Information

analyses from: ERIC Document Reproduction Service: ERIC Item: ED 414 256.

Nilen, A. & Nilsen, D. (2003). A new spin on teaching vocabulary. The Reading Teacher,

56(5), 434-6.

Pryle, M.B. (2000). Peek, peak, pique. Voices From the Middle, 7(4), 38-43.

Robb, L. (1997). Stretch your students’ reading vocabulary. Instructor, 107(8), 34.

Rosenbaum, C. (2001). A word map for middle school. Journal of Adolescent and Adult

Literacy, 45(1), 44.

Ruddell, M.H. & Shearer, B. (2002). The vocabulary self-collection strategy. Journal of

Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 45(5), 352-63.

Wagstaff, J.M. (1999). Word walls that work. Instructor, 110(5), 32-3.

Winters, R. (2001). Vocabulary anchors. The Reading Teacher, 54(7), 659-62.

Yaworski, J. & Ibrahim, N. (2001). Teaching 1000 vocabulary words using the internet.

Journal of College Learning and Reading, 31(2), 133.

Zumwalt, M. (2003). Words of fortune. The Reading Teacher, 54(7), 439.


A

Accentuate-draw attention to

Accretion-to increase in size, addition

Accrue—gather together, increase

Acquisitive—eager to own things, quick to learn

Adroit--skillful

Amateur—someone who does things for pleasure, not money; someone who hasn’t done something before

Amiable—friendly and pleasant

Anecdote—a short personal story

Arcane—difficult or hard to understand

Ascend—move upward, climb

Assiduous—very careful

Audacity—boldness or daring; lack of respect

B

Barren—bare, not able to grow things; unable to have children

Blight—something that spoils or damages things

Buoy—to keep something up (v); an object that floats in the water (n)

Burgeon—grow quickly, flourish

Burnish--polish

C

Cavernous—very large and empty, like a cavern

Celestial--heavenly

Cipher—written in code

Clamor—to demand noisily; shout

Clandestine--secret

Commodity—a traded item; useful thing

Condescend—to act better than someone else; to do something that normally you feel too important to do

Conjecture—guess; something based on a guess

Conjunction—combining several things, things happening at the same time

Contagious—able to be passed to others through contact; likely to affect others

Contemplate—consider; think about

Contempt—hatred or disgust

Conspirator—member of a group planning something (usually illegal)

Convivial—pleasant, sociable

Cryptic—mysterious, secret

Curt—rudely brief, terse

D

Debase—to make something lower in quality

Delineate—describe, draw, portray visually

Demeanor—someone’s manner or appearance

Dexterous—good with your hands

Diminish—to make smaller

Discreet—careful not to offend people; good at keeping secrets; subtle

Dormant—not actively growing; not active; sleeping

Dumbfounded—make speechless

E

Elude—avoid; escape

Entreat—plead, beg

Excruciating—very painful, hard to bear

Exploit—to take advantage of someone or something

F

Fastidious—concerned with details, exacting

Feign—pretend; copy

Fetid—something with a rotten or offensive smell

Fissure--crack

Fjord—narrow dips into a coast

Flabbergasted—shock someone completely

Futile—with no useful result

G

Gastritis—inflammation of the stomach lining

Gingerly—very cautiously

Gracious—kind and polity; elegant and comfortable

H

Hiatus—pause, break

I

Impromptu—done without preparation

Inconsequential—not important

Indignity--humiliation

Inebriated--drunk

Inextricable—impossible to escape from; unable to untangle

Ingenuous—innocent; honest

Ingratiate—to try to please someone; kiss up

Initiate—to start something; to someone about something new

K

Kosher—pure; lawful or proper; real

L

Lenient—not harsh

Limber--flexible

Luminous—brightly lit; emitting or reflecting light

Luscious—sweet and juicy; desirable; romantic and emotional

M

Malleable—easily influenced; able to shaped and bent

Mallow—flowering plant

Mandatory--required

Marvel—be amazed

Mausoleum--tomb

Mimic—copy something; imitate somebody

Minuscule--tiny

Modulate—alter something, change sound

Mortician—funeral director

Mundane--ordinary

O

Oratorio—religious, classical music

Ostentatious—rich and showy

Ostracized—removed from society, excluded; banish

P

Penchant—strong liking or tendency toward something

Petulant--sulky

Perpetual—lasting forever; occurring repeatedly; blooming throughout

Pilfer—steal small items of little value

Pilgrimage—religious journey; trip to a special place

Placate—make someone less angry

Posterity—people in the future; descendants

Premonition—warning about the future

Preoccupy—fill someone’s thoughts

Prospective—likely to happen

Provincial—narrow-minded, unsophisticated

R

Raucous—unpleasantly loud

Recalcitrant—hard to do or handle; resisting control

Regime—form of government; controlling group; established system

Rescind—cancel something

Resurrect—raise someone from the dead; bring something back

Ricochet--rebound

Ruinous—damaging, decayed

Rustic—plain and simple; country-like; made of rough branches

S

Serration—notches like saw teeth

Servitude—state of slavery, work to be done as a punishment

Sheepish—embarrassed, timid

Simultaneously—at the same time

Sodden—very wet, drunk

Solace—relief from emotional stress; source of comfort

Speculate—guess; consider something

Staccato—in quick, separate notes

Subjugation—putting one person under the control of another

Sully—spoil, make dirty

Symposium—formal meeting, published collection of opinions

Synapse—gap between nerve endings

T

Taunt—make fun of someone

Teem--full of; rain heavily

Temporal—relating to time

Tenuous—weak; extremely delicate

Tenure—permanent status (usually for a university professor)

Thwarted—prevent something from being successful

Timpani—drums in an orchestra

Transmute--change

U

Unbidden—not wished for; not asked for or invited

V

Vicinity—surrounding area; near

Vigil—night watch; religious services at night

Vigilant—watchful, alert

Viscous—thick and sticky