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NYCCLS: Vocabulary Acquisition

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

This lesson provides teachers with the knowledge they need to understand and implement NYCCLS (New York Common Core Learning Standards) vocabulary acquisition for grades 5 through 9 and how these standards prepare students for college and career readiness.

NYCCLS - What is it?

The NYCCLS (New York Common Core Learning Standards) are designed to ensure that student are well prepared for study beyond 12th grade as well as providing a basis for students who enter the workforce directly after high school. The English vocabulary skills that are developed from 5th grade through 9th grade serve as an important foundation for study in a variety of areas including history, social studies, science, and technical subjects.

This lesson will break down the required vocabulary by grade level and highlight the specific uses and expected vocabulary acquisition standards.

Grade 5

Students at this grade level are expected to have a good understanding of the craft and structure of English writing contained in both literary and informational texts. In addition to these types of texts, there is also an emphasis placed on foundational skills.

  • Literary Texts
    • Students should be able to identify and describe word definitions and how these words are used in a text. Figurative language and the use of metaphors and similes are common literary tools that need to be understood.
  • Informational Texts
    • Students need to be able to identify the meanings of academic and subject specific vocabulary and phrases.
  • Foundational Skills
    • Students should have a strong knowledge of roots and affixes and be able to read multisyllabic words that may be unfamiliar.

Grades 6-8

The NYCCLS standards for grades 6-8 are fairly consistent. The changes that do occur between these grade levels are related to the complexity of the topics being studied and the vocabulary being used.

  • Literary Texts
    • Students should be able to identify the figurative and connotative use of vocabulary and be able to interpret how word choice is used to affect meaning and tone.
  • Informational Texts
    • Students are expected to identify vocabulary that includes figurative, connotative and technical usage.

Grade 6-8 learners should be able to:

  • use context to determine the meaning of a word or phrase.
  • understand common roots and affixes (anti, co, aud, etc.) as a means of identifying the meanings of unfamiliar words.
  • be comfortable using vocabulary reference materials including dictionaries, glossaries and thesauruses.
  • know the correct pronunciation and use of new vocabulary words.
  • identify and understand figures of speech, the relationships between words, and connotations.
  • use grade-appropriate academic and subject-specific vocabulary.

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