Ch 4: Understanding Vocabulary: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.4

About This Chapter

With the help of the videos in this chapter, you can work toward meeting the Common Core requirements and guide your high school students' reading comprehension by studying vocabulary context. You'll also find additional ideas on how the lessons might be used in the classroom.

Standard: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.4)

About This Chapter

Help your high school students develop their toolbox of skills to be accessed when dealing with unfamiliar vocabulary in their history and social studies readings. This handy set of lessons can aid your students' understanding of the following topics:

  • Context clues
  • Word relationships
  • Choosing the best words to fit intended messages

You can be sure that your students have a solid understanding of this standard when they're able to decipher unfamiliar words when reading and have transferred use of those words to their own written or oral vocabularies. Mastery of the skills noted in the standard and lessons can help students throughout their high school studies, in their pursuit of higher education and in later careers where strong reading, listening and writing abilities are necessary.

How to Use These Lessons in Your Classroom

Following are a few ideas you might want to incorporate into your normal curriculum to help meet the Common Core standards.

Post-Its Galore

Share the lessons pertaining to context and word relationships. Pass out packets of small, brightly colored Post-It notes to each student. To small groups, assign unfamiliar reading selections in the areas of history and social studies. Ask them to begin by reading individually and marking unknown or problematic vocabulary with the sticky notes. When finished, groups will talk about the words encountered and marked, brainstorming ways to decipher the meanings without the use of outside sources.

No Word is an Island

Share the vocabulary lessons in the classroom or assign for homework. In preparation, compile a selection of vocabulary that has many different meanings, depending upon the context of the sentences and subject matter. Share a trio of text examples using the similar lexicons with students. Individually or in a group, students could highlight or otherwise mark those reused words and then discuss how the context and relationships in the readings cast altered meanings on the vocabulary.

The Joke's on You

Using the vocabulary list from the previous lesson, or coming up with additional words on their own, each student could be tasked with fashioning a joke based on the misunderstanding of vocabulary due to a lack of consideration for the context. A class book might be compiled, or jokes might be posted in the classroom or hallway.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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