Explanatory Writing: How-to Article Read Like a Writer

Unit 4 Writing Workshop
• Identify features of
explanatory writing
• Plan and organize ideas by
using a graphic organizer to
• Draft and revise a how-to
• Proofread, publish, and
present a how-to article
Read Like a Writer
Read the following excerpt from Me and Uncle Romie. Explain
that this excerpt comes from a how-to article that explains a
process or task. Ask students to listen for
an introduction that identifies the task that will be
explained; step-by-step directions;
specific details that clarify the steps;
time-order and spatial words.
• Unit Writing Transparencies
Features of
■ It
informs or explains how to
complete a certain task.
■ It gives step-by-step
directions in a logical order.
■ It provides clear details that
are easy to follow.
■ It uses time-order words,
such as first or next, or spatial
words, such as under or above,
to make the steps clear and
provide smooth transitions
between steps.
&-Use Illustrations to
Construct Meaning To
help students understand
the process explained
in the excerpt, invite a
student with good visual
abilities to illustrate the
steps as you read. Then
ask other students to take
turns retelling the steps in
their own words as they
look at the illustration.
Explanatory Writing:
How-to Article
Making a Collage
To begin your project, pick a story or theme for your
collage. . . .
Once you’ve settled on the story or theme, think about
images you can use in your collage to illustrate what you
want to say. . . .
Start by deciding whether or not it’s important to have
the images you’ll be using in any particular order. If it is,
you can lay them out to get an idea of how they will look
Next, paint or color the background on your paper or
board. Use colors you want to peek through in the finished
Discuss the Features
After reading, discuss the following questions with students.
What is the topic? (how to make a collage)
What is the first step in the process? (picking a story or
theme for the collage)
What details does the author give about making the
background for the collage? (Choose colors that you want
to peek through in the finished picture.)
What time-order words does the author use? (begin, once,
start, next) What spatial word? (on)
Set a Purpose Explain that one purpose of explanatory writing
is to inform the reader by explaining a task.
Know the Audience Tell students to think about the audience
for their explanatory writing. Ask, How can you explain this
process to someone who knows little about the subject?
Choose a Topic Tell students that they will be writing an
article that explains how to do a specific task. Ask the following
questions to help students brainstorm, then narrow the focus
of their ideas.
What do you like to do or make? Consider a game you play, a
food you make, or a project you’ve completed.
Would others be interested in learning to do this?
Could you explain the process in a few simple steps?
Encourage students to look back through their weekly writing
and other work in their portfolios. They may choose to develop
one of these pieces instead or self-select a different topic.
Writing Topic
Think of a task or
project to explain.
Narrow your choice
to one that you think
is easy to understand,
is interesting, and is
appealing to your
audience. Write a
how-to article that
explains how to do
this task or project.
Remember to use
details to clarify each
step in the process.
Display Transparency 19. Explain that together you will follow
Diana J.’s progress as she develops a how-to article. Point out
the following details in Diana J.’s sequence chart:
She gives step-by-step directions.
She puts the steps in order.
She explains how to make and use a code wheel.
Organize Ideas After discussing Diana J.’s sequence chart,
ask students to create their own sequence charts to plan their
how-to articles. Use Transparency 19 to demonstrate how to
organize ideas.
Transparency 19
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Think, Pair, Share Ask students to discuss their charts with partners
and identify details about each step that need to
be explained. Have students note these details
on their charts.
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Flexible Pairing Option Pair students with
similar topics so they can share ideas.
Unit Writing Transparency 19
Unit 4 Writing Workshop
&-Draw On separate index
cards, have students draw
pictures to show each step
they want to explain. Ask
students to put the cards
in the right order. Then
help them write a sentence
or two below each picture
to explain the step. Tell
students to refer to the
cards as they write their
Display Transparency 20 and read it with students. As you
discuss Diana J.’s draft, point out the following features:
When I read this draft, I notice that Diana J.’s opening
paragraph shows enthusiasm and tells the reader what she’s
going to explain.
She gives step-by-step directions. She explains each step in
its own paragraph.
She gives details that explain each step.
She uses time-order words and spatial words to provide
smooth transitions through the directions.
Note that Diana will have the chance to revise and proofread in
later stages.
Review Your Sequence Chart Have students review their
sequence charts. As they write, tell them to refer to their charts
to help keep their steps in order.
Write the Draft Remind students to concentrate on getting
their main ideas on paper. They will have plenty of time to
revise and correct their work later. Share the following tips as
students begin to write:
Transparency 20
Gain your audience’s attention from the start. Try opening
with a question or a bold statement.
Picture yourself doing the task. Then write what you see.
Give the steps in a logical order.
Provide details to explain the fine points.
Use precise adjectives and verbs, time-order words, and
spatial words to tell the reader exactly what to do.
Maintain a consistent tone throughout.
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Unit Writing Transparency 20
Writer’s Resources
Use Spell Check Tell students that when they use a wordprocessing program for their writing, the computer’s spell
checker can be a useful tool for catching spelling errors.
Emphasize, however, that a computer’s spell checker will not
catch all errors. For example, the spell checker
cannot tell when a writer is using the wrong
homophone, as in My parents drove there car to
the beach. Similarly, it cannot indicate that you
typed form instead of from. Writers still need to
proofread with a careful eye.
Display Transparency 21 and point out how Diana J. revises a
good how-to article to make it excellent.
She organizes a list of supplies in the first paragraph.
She adds more time-order words and rearranges steps to
clarify procedure. (Organization)
She replaces the vague verbs make and put with more
precise ones, punch and push. (Word Choice)
She adds a detail about how to write the secret message.
She deletes an unnecessary comment. (Ideas and Content)
&-Extend Vocabulary On
the board, draw a twocolumn chart with the
following labels: timeorder words, spatial words.
List appropriate words
under each category, such
as first, then, next, now,
after, and finally for timeorder words and over,
under, behind, through,
above, right, and left
for spatial words. Invite
students to offer sentences
using these words.
You may want to note that Diana J. will need to proofread her
writing to make final corrections. Guide students to think about
the following writing traits as they revise their articles.
Ideas and Content Do you explain all the steps and details
someone would need to carry out the task or project? Do you
anticipate readers’ questions and answer them?
Organization Do you start with a topic sentence, then present
the steps in a logical order? Should you move any paragraphs
or sentences?
Voice Is your enthusiasm and knowledge of the subject
obvious? Are your language and tone right for the audience?
Word Choice Do you use precise adjectives and verbs to paint
a clear picture of the process? Do you use spatial words and
time-order words to guide readers?
Transparency 21
How to Make a Code Wheel
by Diana J.
Its fun to send secret messages. Here’s how you
You need two paper plates, a scissors, a ruler, a pencil or pen, a paper fastener
can create a code wheel to write a coded message.
(also called a brad), and a sheet of paper.
Sentence Fluency Do you use a variety of sentence lengths
and types?
First, cut about two inches from the outside edge
of a paper plate. Trim all the way around the plate. Next,
Use the tip of a pencil or pen to make a whole in the
center of each plate. Be careful not to poke yourself!
Put the brad through the wholes to connect the plates.
Place the small plate over the large one and line up the
Use the ruler to divide the rim of the large wheel
into 26 equal spaces. In each space, write a letter of
the alphabet. Go from A to Z. Divide the small wheel in
Think, Pair, Share Have partners take turns reading their drafts aloud.
Ask listeners to describe which steps were easy to follow and which
were more difficult. In a collaborative drafting effort,
have pairs discuss revisions that would clarify
confusing steps. Then have students share how
their partners helped.
Flexible Pairing Option Consider pairing
two who are unfamiliar with each other’s topics.
the same way. This time write a number from 1 to 26 in
each space.
Your ready to use your code wheel. Turn the small
wheel so that a number is right under the letter A.
Let’s say you lined up the letter A with the number 10.
Write A=10 on a scrap of paper. This is the key to your
code. Look at the code wheel to tell what number to
write for each letter. As you write, put a dash between
Leave a space between words.
numbers to show that each stands for one letter. I’ve
made three code wheels.
Finally, have some fun! Send your secret message to
some friends. Share the key with him if he needs help.
Unit Writing Transparency 21
Unit 4 Writing Workshop
Display Transparency 22 to point out Diana J.’s proofreading
Have students read their
how-to pieces aloud and
present their visuals. Share
these strategies.
Practice speaking in a
loud, clear voice.
Watch the audience. Slow
down or repeat steps if
they look confused.
Organize visual aids so you
can find what you need.
She added apostrophes in contractions.
She changed incorrect homophones to hole and holes.
She made pronouns agree with the antecedent and made
the verb agree with the plural pronoun.
Have students reread their articles to correct mistakes. Suggest
they check for one kind of error at a time. Have students
use the proofreading marks on Teacher’s Resource Book
page 152. Tell students that proofreading involves correcting
punctuation, spelling, paragraphing, capitalization, and
grammar. Review pronouns and antecedent agreement.
Prepare to listen. Predict if
the explanation will help
Focus on the speaker. Ask
for clarifications at the end.
Try to paraphrase
information. Analyze
where organization needs
Think, Pair, Share Ask students to proofread their
partners’ edited drafts. Urge them to look at
homophones carefully to make sure they are
correct. Have students share some of their
partners’ corrections.
As students finalize their articles, circulate and ask questions
to foster self-assessment: In what way did you inform your
audience? Could a reader perform the process based on your
explanation? Do you tell readers more than they need to know?
Transparency 22
How to Make a Code Wheel
by Diana J.
Its fun to send secret messages. Here’s how you
You need two paper plates, a scissors, a ruler, a pencil or pen, a paper fastener
can create a code wheel to write a coded message.
(also called a brad), and a sheet of paper.
First, cut about two inches from the outside edge
of a paper plate. Trim all the way around the plate.
center of each plate. Be careful not to poke yourself!
Put the brad through the wholes to connect the plates.
Place the small plate over the large one and line up the
Use the ruler to divide the rim of the large wheel
into 26 equal spaces. In each space, write a letter of
the alphabet. Go from A to Z. Divide the small wheel in
the same way. This time write a number from 1 to 26 in
each space.
Now you’re
Your ready to use your code wheel. Turn the small
wheel so that a number is right under the letter A.
Let’s say you lined up the letter A with the number 10.
Write A=10 on a scrap of paper. This is the key to your
code. Look at the code wheel to tell what number to
write for each letter. As you write, put a dash between
Leave a space between words.
numbers to show that each stands for one letter. I’ve
made three code wheels.
Finally, have some fun! Send your secret message to
Use the tip of a pencil or pen to make a whole in the
Ask students to write or type final copies of their how-to articles.
Remind them to correctly form letters and use appropriate
spacing between words, sentences, and paragraphs. Ask them to
use standard margins. Have students add visual aids and compile
a classroom “how-to” book. Display the book in the class library.
You may also wish to encourage students to publish weekly
writing pieces in a similar way.
Consider asking students to give “how-to” demonstrations, with
props and supplies, to teach classmates the tasks.
some friends. Share the key with him if he needs help.
Unit Writing Transparency 22
Author’s Chair Invite students with effective work to present
their how-to articles from the Author’s Chair.
Test Strategy
Raising Scores
Display Transparency 23 and tell students to follow along as you
or a volunteer reads the how-to article aloud. Then have students
use the student rubric on page 156 of the Teacher’s Resource
Book to assess the writing sample. Guide students to understand
that this how-to article is only a fair writing sample, which would
score only a 2, and that they will work together to improve it.
• Revise a how-to article to
raise the writing score from
a 2 to a 4
Point out the following shortfalls in the writing sample:
Ideas and Content The writer gives step-by-step directions for
making a puzzle card, but some information is missing. Some
details are incomplete or hard to follow.
Organization The writer introduces the topic in the first
paragraph, but the beginning isn’t very engaging. The essay
could use more transitions to link steps and details.
Word Choice The essay could use more time-order words and
spatial words. Vague verbs fail to create clear pictures.
Ask students to work in small groups to revise the how-to article
to raise the score. Remind them to refer to the student rubric
and to apply the writing skills they learned in this unit.
Have groups share their revised versions explaining how they
improved the writing. Then display Transparency 24 to show
the same article at an excellent level. Have each group compare
its revised version with the transparency in publishing successive
versions. Remind students that there is no single way to improve
a paper. Then have students review the how-to articles they
wrote and raise their scores.
Distribute copies of the blank
rubric form on page 159 or
160 in the Teacher’s Resource
Book. Remind students that
an explanatory writing rubric
should assess whether the howto article gives step-by-step
directions for carrying out a task,
provides details that explain
the steps, and uses time-order
words and spatial-words to guide
readers. Students should use the
following four levels to assess
writing: Excellent, Good, Fair, and
Transparency 24
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Unit Writing Transparency 24
Unit 4 Writing Workshop
4-Point Rubric
Use this four-point rubric to assess student writing.
Encourage students who
are pleased with their work
to add their published
explanatory writing pieces
to their portfolios. Allow
time for partners to share
portfolios, offer constructive
comments, and determine
the progress each writer is
making. Remind students
that portfolios should
include more than just
finished work. Have them
jot down ideas for future
writing assignments or tell
what they learned about
explanatory writing to
include in their portfolios.
4 Excellent
1 Unsatisfactory
Ideas and Content
Crafts a focused
explanation that shows
a reader how to carry
out a task; accurate
details clarify the steps
Ideas and Content
Presents a solid
explanation of a task;
includes details that
help clarify a step-bystep description
Ideas and Content
Attempts to explain
a task; some steps or
details may be unclear
Ideas and Content
Does not explain a
complete process;
writing may go off
in several directions
without purpose
Introduces the topic in
an engaging way; moves
the reader through a
logical sequence
Effectively introduces
the topic; presents steps
in logical sequence; ties
steps together
Organization Has
trouble putting steps in
order; some details are
inappropriately placed
Organization Does not
have a clear beginning;
steps are not given in an
order that makes sense
Voice Shows knowledge
of the task; matches
personal style to the
purpose and audience
Voice Shows knowledge
of the task; attempts
to convey a genuine
personal tone to reader
Voice Does not convey
enthusiasm; explanation
lacks a clear connection
to audience
Voice Shows little
knowledge of topic;
does not convey a
personal voice or style
Word Choice Uses
time-order and spatial
words that provide
smooth transitions
between steps; weaves
precise verbs into the
Word Choice Includes
some time-order and
spatial words to guide
the reader and provide
smooth transitions; uses
some precise verbs to
clarify meaning
Word Choice Includes
few time-order or spatial
words; some verbs do
not convey a precise
picture of the steps or
Word Choice Fails to
use time-order or spatial
words; uses words that
do not explain the
Sentence Fluency
Crafts fluid simple and
complex sentences that
facilitate understanding
and vary in length
Sentence Fluency
Crafts careful, easy-tofollow sentences with a
variety of lengths
Sentence Fluency
Sentences are readable
but lack variety in
length and patterns;
some rereading required
Sentence Fluency
Constructs incomplete,
rambling, or confusing
sentences; text is
difficult to understand
Conventions Is
skilled in most writing
conventions; needs little
Conventions Small
errors in spelling,
punctuation, and usage
do not interfere with
reading the text
Conventions Errors
interfere with a
smooth reading of the
explanation; needs
substantial editing
Conventions Makes
serious errors in
spelling, capitalization,
punctuation, and
usage; some parts not
Presentation Text
is easy to read,
whether handwritten
or word-processed;
formatting enhances the
Handwriting or wordprocessing is readable;
formatting supports the
Presentation Text is
somewhat difficult to
read; formatting or
spacing is erratic
Presentation Text
is difficult to follow
due to irregular or
inconsistently formed
letters; formatting
impedes the reader
Refer to Anchor Papers for explanatory writing on pages 204–207 in the Unit and
Benchmark Assessment for a sample of each writing level.
6-Point Rubric
Use this six-point rubric to assess student writing.
6 Exceptional
5 Excellent
1 Unsatisfactory
Ideas and Content
Provides accurate,
detailed step-by-step
directions for carrying
out a task
Ideas and Content
Crafts a cohesive,
focused explanation;
relevant, accurate
details clarify the stepby-step description
Ideas and Content
Presents a solid
explanation of a
task; provides details
that help clarify the
Ideas and Content
Attempts to explain
a task; some steps or
details may be unclear
Ideas and Content
Provides little
explanation of the
task; leaves significant
gaps in the directions
Ideas and Content
Steps are incomplete,
irrelevant, or
unfocused; writing
may go off in several
directions without a
sense of purpose
Organization Wellplanned, logical
sequence moves
the reader smoothly
through each step
Organization Guides
the reader through
the steps in a logical
sequence; effective
transitions link ideas
Organization Follows
a logical sequence
to present the steps;
steps and paragraphs
are tied together
Organization Tries
to introduce the topic
but may have trouble
putting steps in order
Organization Steps
are disorganized;
makes few explicit
connections between
steps or details
Organization Does
not have a clear
beginning; steps are
not given in an order
that makes sense
Voice Demonstrates
a strong sense of
audience; shows
expertise and an
active interest in the
Voice Shows
originality and
knowledge of the
task; carefully matches
personal style to the
purpose and audience
Voice Shows
knowledge of the
process; attempts
to convey a genuine
personal tone to the
Voice Demonstrates
familiarity with the
topic but may not show
enthusiasm; explanation
lacks a connection to
the audience
Voice Lacks knowledge
or involvement with
the topic and audience;
writing gives little
sense of who is behind
the words
Voice Shows little
knowledge or
involvement with the
topic; does not convey
a personal voice or
Word Choice Expertly
uses time-order and
spatial words; smooth
transitions between
steps; uses colorful
language and precise
Word Choice Capable
use of time-order and
spatial words guide
the reader through
the process; weaves
precise verbs into the
Word Choice Includes
some time-order and
spatial words; uses
some precise verbs to
clarify meaning
Word Choice Includes
few time-order or
spatial words; some
verbs do not convey a
precise picture of the
steps or details
Word Choice Uses
few if any time-order
or spatial words;
imprecise or inaccurate
language creates
confusion for the
Word Choice Fails
to use time-order or
spatial words; uses
words that do not
explain the task or that
confuse the reader
Sentence Fluency
Crafts varied and
creative simple and
complex sentences
that flow smoothly
and build meaning
Sentence Fluency
Crafts fluid simple and
complex sentences
that facilitate
understanding and
vary in length and
Sentence Fluency
Crafts careful, easy-tofollow sentences with
a variety of lengths,
beginnings, and
Sentence Fluency
Sentences are readable
but may be limited in
length and patterns;
some rereading may
be required
Sentence Fluency
Sentences may be
rambling, awkward, or
choppy; text may be
hard to follow or read
Sentence Fluency
Constructs incomplete,
rambling, or confusing
sentences; text is
difficult to follow or
read aloud
Conventions Is
skilled in most writing
conventions; needs
little editing
Conventions Is
skilled in most writing
conventions; needs
little editing
Conventions Small
errors in spelling,
punctuation, and
usage do not
interfere with reader
Conventions Errors
interfere with a
smooth reading of the
explanation; needs
significant editing
Conventions Frequent
errors in spelling,
punctuation, and
usage make the
explanation difficult to
read; needs extensive
Conventions Serious
errors in spelling,
punctuation, and
usage interfere
with reading; some
parts of text may be
Presentation Text
form, whether
handwritten or
enhances the reader’s
Presentation Neatly
handwritten or
word-processed text
enhances the message;
formatting supports
the explanation
Handwriting or wordprocessing is mostly
neat and consistent
Presentation Text is
somewhat difficult to
read; formatting or
spacing is not uniform
Handwriting or
is inconsistent or
incorrect; spacing or
other formatting is
Presentation Text
is difficult to follow
due to irregular or
inconsistently formed
letters; formatting
impedes the reader
Refer to Anchor Papers for explanatory writing on pages 204–207 in the Unit and
Benchmark Assessment for a sample of writing at different levels.
Unit 4 Computer Literacy
• Perform research on the
Internet to find data
• Create a database to collect,
organize, and display
• www.macmillanmh.com
• database application
research a careful study to find
and learn facts
database a collection of
information that can be stored,
organized, and changed with a
image a picture or other likeness
of a person or thing
Using Databases for
Discuss with students:
What are some of the ways we organize and store information?
(using graphic organizers, notebooks, address books, calendars)
What type of information can be stored on a computer?
Introduce the lesson vocabulary by writing each word on the board
and asking for a definition.
Tell students that when they find information through research, it
must be organized. Keep in mind that proper citations must be used.
Information can be saved on a computer by entering it into a
database. The database can then be searched by others.
■ Show students how to open a database application. This can be a
word processor or spreadsheet application, or anything else that
can be used to store data.
Show how to enter the information into a database and review
how to name and save a database record.
Image Searches
An image is a picture of someone or something.
Images can be stored, transmitted, and displayed on a
computer. A photograph or drawing can be scanned
into a computer to make it an electronic image.
Images can be found on the Internet. Some search
engines even allow you to perform a search for images
only. Once an image is found, it can be saved on a
computer. Some images are protected by copyright,
and should not be copied.
Remind students not
to save too many files
on a computer. Saving
information on a floppy
disk or compact disc can
save memory space on the
computer’s hard drive.
The online practice lesson is an excerpt from SRA TechKnowledge.
For more information about the full SRA TechKnowledge program, go
to www.sratechknowledge.com.
On Level
Beyond Level
Have students use the
Internet to do research on a
topic, such as the birthdays
of their favorite athletes.
Have students open a
database application and
create a database of student
birthdays. Have them enter
their birthdays and do
an image search on the
Internet to find a picture
they can copy and paste
next to their names in the
Have students create the
student birthday database
with images. Have them
expand the database to
include the birthday of a
favorite athlete that falls on
or near their birthday, and
an image of the athlete they
Unit 4 Computer Literacy
Have students connect to www.macmillanmh.com and go to Computer
Literacy Lesson Grade 4 Unit 4.
Unit 4 Closer
Making a Difference
Theme Project Wrap-Up
Research and Inquiry
After students complete Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, and Step 4 of
their project, have them work on the following.
Create the Presentation Have students present
what they learned by creating multimedia presentations on
the events or people they researched. Presentations should
emphasize viewpoints and may include photographs, videos,
newspaper articles, and computer images.
Review and Evaluate
Use these questions to help you and students reflect on
and evaluate their research and presentations.
Teacher Checklist
Assess the Research Process
Planning the Project
✔ Discussed viewpoints in a
✔ Identified a viewpoint to
Doing the Project
✔ Used personal criteria to
choose reading material.
✔ Skimmed and scanned reading
materials to narrow choices.
✔ Compared viewpoints from
different cultures and times.
Assess the Presentation
✔ Used compare and contrast to
convey information.
✔ Stayed focused on the topic.
✔ Expressed opinions and
respected others’ opinions.
✔ Used multimedia and
✔ Visuals explained the
✔ Compared and contrasted
media with a written story.
Assess the Listener
✔ Focused on the presenter.
✔ Asked relevant questions.
✔ Showed understanding of the ✔ Connected and related ideas
information presented.
to speaker’s.
Student Checklist
Research Process
✔ Did you identify a viewpoint you
could investigate?
✔ Did you use personal criteria for
✔ Used fiction and nonfiction?
✔ Compare viewpoints from other
times and places.
✔ Did you present clearly?
✔ Did you follow conversation rules?
✔ Could you answer questions?
✔ Could viewers understand the
Unit 4 Closer
1 Unsatisfactory
The student:
• Presents the
information in a clear
and interesting way.
• Uses words and
visuals that effectively
present important
• May offer
The student:
• Presents the
information in a fairly
clear way.
• Uses words and visuals
that present relevant
• May offer thoughtful
The student:
• Struggles to present
the information
• May use adequate
words and visuals.
• May offer irrelevant
The student:
• May not grasp the
• May present sketchy
information in a
disorganized way.
• May have extreme
difficulty with
Home-School Connection
Invite family members, other students, and members of the
community to attend students’ presentations of their projects.
■ Introduce each guest by name.
Have students introduce their relatives.
Respect the age, gender, social position and cultural traditions of
the speakers.
Videotape the presentations for family members to borrow or to
show at the parent/teacher conferences. Each presentation should
have a clear introduction, body, and conclusion.
Have students select an evaluated presentation for publication
and give a rationale for the selection.
Then have students decide where they might publish their
End-of-Unit Assessment
Using Multiple
Assessments for
Instructional Planning
Administer the Test
• Strategies: Analyze Text Structure, Generate
Questions, Evaluate
• Skills: Draw Conclusions, Persuasion,
Sequence, Compare and Contrast
To create instructional profiles for your students,
look for patterns in the results from any of the
following assessments.
Fluency Assessment
• Dictionary
• Context Clues
• Word Parts
Plan appropriate fluencybuilding activities and practice
to help all students achieve the
following fluency goal: 102–122
• Line Graphs
• Glossary
• Media Center
Running Records
• Pronouns: subject, object, reflexive, possessive
• Antecedents
• Homophones
• Pronoun-verb agreement
• Pronoun-antecedent agreement
• Contractions and possessives
Use the instructional reading
level determined by the
Running Record calculations for
regrouping decisions.
• “How-to” Article
Administer tests three times a
year as an additional measure of
both student progress and the
effectiveness of the instructional
Benchmark Assessment
Assessment Tool
Administer the Unit Assessment electronically.
Score all tests electronically.
Available online or on CD-ROM.
End-of-Unit Assessment
Analyze the Data
Use information from a variety of informal and formal assessments, as well as your own judgment,
to assist in your instructional planning. Students who consistently score at the lowest end of each
range should be evaluated for Intervention. Use the Diagnostic Assessment in the Intervention
Teacher’s Edition.
0–23 questions
Reteach tested skills using the Additional
Lessons (pp. T1–T11).
98–101 WCPM
0–97 WCPM
Level 38 or below
C2 1
Oral Reading Fluency
Fluency Solutions
Evaluate for Intervention.
Reteach comprehension skills using the
Additional Lessons (pp. T1–T4).
Provide additional Fluency activities.
Introduce students to the Glossary by reading through the introduction and looking
over the pages with them. Encourage the class to talk about what they see.
Words in a glossary, like words in a dictionary, are listed in alphabetical order.
Point out the guide words at the top of each page that tell the first and last words
appearing on that page.
Point out examples of main entries, or entry words, and entries. Read through a
sample entry with the class, identifying each part. Have children note the order in
which information is given: entry word(s), syllable division, pronunciation respelling,
part of speech, definition(s), example sentence(s.
Note if more than one definition is given for a word, the definitions are numbered. Note
the format used for a word that is more than one part of speech.
Review the parts of speech by identifying each in a sentence:
Point out that some entries are for multiple-meaning words called homographs.
Homographs have the same spellings but have different origins and meanings, and,
in some cases, different pronunciations.
Explain that students should not confuse homographs with homophones or
homonyms. Homophones are words that have the same pronunciation but
have different spellings and meanings. Homonyms are words that have the same
pronunciation and spelling but have different meanings. Provide students with
Explain the use of the pronunciation key (either the short key, at the bottom of every
other page, or the long key, at the beginning of the Glossary). Demonstrate the
difference between primary stress and secondary stress by pronouncing a word with
both. Pronounce the words both correctly and incorrectly to give students a clearer
understanding of the proper pronunciations.
The Word History feature explains the etymology of select words. Explain that
etymology is the history of a word from its origin to its present form. A word’s etymology
explains which language it comes from and what changes have occurred in its spelling
and/or meaning. Many English words are derivatives of words from other languages, such
as Latin or Greek. Derivatives are formed from base or root words.
Guide Words
First word on the page
Last word on the page
What Is a Glossary?
Pronunciation Part of Speech
Main entry &
Syllable division
glossary can help you find the meanings of words in this
book that you may not know. The words in the glossary are
listed in alphabetical order. Guide words at the top of each
page tell you the first and last words on the page.
a•brupt•ly (ә brupt lē) adverb.
Happening without warning. Ben
abruptly dropped the hot potato
onto the floor.
Example sentence
Each word is divided into syllables. The way to pronounce
the word is given next. You can understand the pronunciation
respelling by using the pronunciation key at the right. A
shorter key appears at the bottom of every other page.
When a word has more than one syllable, a dark accent mark
(´) shows which syllable is stressed. In some words, a light
accent mark (´) shows which syllable has a less heavy stress.
Sometimes an entry includes a second meaning for the word.
Pronunciation Key
ac· ces · so · ries (ak ses´ә rēz) plural noun.
Extra parts or add-ons that are useful
but not essential. We bought several
accessories for our new car.
ac·com·plish·ments (ә kom´plish mәnts)
plural noun. Successes; actions of
which one can feel proud. The parents
stood and applauded their children’s
accomplishments at their elementary
school graduation.
ac· cuse (ә kūz´) verb. To say that a person
has done something wrong or illegal. I
will not accuse someone of something
unless I am sure.
ac· quaint · ance (ә kwān´tәns) noun. A
person one knows, but who is not a
close friend. Carole is an acquaintance
from camp.
ac· ti · vist (ak´tә vist) noun. A person who
believes in and actively supports a
cause. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,
was an activist for peace and social
al · ler · gies (al´әr jēz) plural noun.
Conditions that cause a person to
have an unpleasant reaction to certain
things that are harmless to most
people. My aunt has allergies in the
spring when plants bloom.
a · maze · ment (ә māz´mәnt) noun. Great
surprise or wonder. To the amazement
of the audience, the children played
some difficult music perfectly.
a·pol·o·gize (ә pol´ә jīz´) verb. To say
one is sorry or embarrassed; make
an apology. Aaron said, “I’d like to
apologize for being late.”
ap·plaud·ed (ә plôd´ә d) verb. Showed
approval for or enjoyment of
something by the clapping of hands.
The crowd applauded the soldiers as
they came off the ship.
an · ces · tors (an´ses tәrz) plural noun.
People in the past from whom one
comes. Your great-grandparents are
some of your ancestors.
an · cient (ān´shәnt) adjective. Very old.
An ancient castle sat on the edge of
a lake.
as·tro·naut (as´trә nôt´) noun. A person
trained to fly in a spacecraft. The
astronaut will walk on the moon.
Word History
Astronaut is made from the Greek
words astron for star and naute
for sailor (as in nautical).
as·tron·o·mer (ә stron´ә mә r) noun. A
person who works or specializes in
astronomy, the science that deals with
the sun, moon, stars, planets, and
other heavenly bodies. An astronomer
will speak at the next science fair.
am · bu · lance (am´byә lәns) noun. A
special vehicle that is used to carry
sick or injured people to a hospital.
My neighbor once had to call an
ambulance to take him to the hospital.
ap·pre·ci·at·ed (ә prē´shē āt´ә d) verb.
Understood the value of; was grateful
for something. The boss appreciated
how much his workers did for the
as·sign·ments (ә sīn´mә nts) plural noun.
Tasks that are given out or assigned.
The teacher gave us two math
assignments for homework.
ad · vanced (ad vanst´) adjective. Beyond
the beginning level; not elementary.
As a singer, Sheila was really advanced
for her age.
ag · ile (aj´әl) adjective. Able to move and
react quickly and easily. Bonita is an
agile softball player.
Sample Entry
as·sured (ә shurd´)
verb. Made certain
or sure. Our hard work assured the
success of the festival.
an·noyed (ә noid´) adjective. Bothered or
disturbed. Kevin looked annoyed when
his little sister came out to join the game.
au · di · tion (ô dish´әn) noun. A test or
try-out for an actor or other kind of
performer. Mariana was nervous about
her audition, but she played very well.
ba · yous (bī´ūz) plural noun. Slow-moving
or stagnant streams, rivers, or inlets,
especially in the southern United
States. We canoed through many quiet
bayous during our trip.
Word History
bor · der (bôr´dәr) noun. A line between
one country, state, county, or town
and another. A river runs along the
border between the two states.
Audition is formed from the Latin
auditio, which means “a hearing.”
awk·ward (ôk´wәrd) adjective. Lacking
grace in movement or behavior; clumsy
or uncomfortable. Until Julio learned
the steps, his dancing was awkward.
back· ground (bak´ground) noun. The part
of a picture that appears to be behind
the rest. I painted a bright figure
against a dark background.
cam · ou · flage (kam´ә fläzh´) verb. To hide
or conceal by using shapes or colors
that blend with the surroundings. The
chameleon is able to camouflage itself
by changing the color of its skin.
boy · cotts (boi´kots) plural noun. Protests
in which people refuse to buy from or
work for a person, nation, or business.
The community plans boycotts of all
the unfair businesses.
a · void · ed (ә void´әd) verb. Stayed away
from. Butch avoided doing hard work.
bluf · fing (bluf´ing) verb. Trying to
fool people with a false show of
confidence, courage, or knowledge.
Rory said he could fly, but I knew he
was bluffing.
Word History
bliz·zard (bliz´әrd) noun. A strong
windstorm marked by intense cold and
blowing snow. No one should try to
drive in a blizzard.
Boycotts comes from Charles
Boycott who was shunned by
Irish farmers for his harsh actions
against them.
brit · tle (brit´әl) adjective. Likely to break
or snap. Susan’s fingernails became
brittle and started to break.
bar · be · cue (bär´bi kū´) noun. A meal,
usually meat, cooked outdoors over an
open fire. We had a great barbecue in
the park.
bum·bling (bum´bling or bum´bәl ing) adjective.
Making clumsy mistakes. The bumbling
detective would never solve the mystery.
card · board (kärd´bôrd´) noun. A heavy,
stiff paper used to make boxes and
posters. I like to store my small toys in
shoe boxes made of cardboard.
ca · reer (kә´rîr´) noun. A job or occupation
pursued for all or part of someone’s
life. My grandmother’s career as a
research biologist lasted for many
cas · ting (kas´ting) noun. The process of
choosing people for the different parts
in a play or movie. Casting for the new
movie went on for weeks.
cau · tious · ly (kô´shәs lē) adverb. In a
careful way. Because so many cars
were coming, we crossed the street
coax· ing (kōks´ing) verb. Persuading
or influencing by mild arguing.
The instructor was coaxing young
swimmers into the water.
cir · cu · lar (sûr´kyә lәr) adjective. Having
or making the shape of a circle. The
referee’s arm made a circular motion
as he blew the whistle.
col · lage (kә läzh´) noun. A picture made
by pasting paper, cloth, metal, and
other things in an arrangement on a
surface. Once I made a collage of my
day, and it was full of bright colors and
cotton balls.
cit · i ·zen (sit´ә zәn) noun. A person who
was born in a country or who chooses
to live in and become a member of
that country. Carmine is an Italian
citizen but often visits the United
cli · mate (klī´mit) noun. The average
weather conditions of a place or
region through the year. Most deserts
have a hot, dry climate.
clut · tered (klut´әrd) verb. Filled with
a messy collection of things. Val’s
bedroom was cluttered with all of her
sports equipment.
Word History
Collage comes from the French
word collage, from colle, meaning
glue or paste.
col · o · ny (kol´ә nē) noun. A group of
animals living together in the same
place. The noise from the penguin
colony was deafening.
com · mo · tion (kә mō´shәn) noun. A noisy
disturbance; confusion. We ran out
into the hall to see what was causing
the commotion.
com · mu · ni· ca ·tion (kә mū´ni kā´shәn) noun.
An exchanging or sharing of feelings,
thoughts, or information. Some forms of
communication do not require speech.
con · sid · er · a · tion (kәn sid´әr ā´shәn) noun.
Thoughtfulness for other people and
their feelings; something carefully
thought about. Leroy showed great
consideration for his grandmother.
con · sis· ted (kәn sis´tәd) verb. Contained;
was made up. The batter consisted of a
cup of flour, one egg, and a cup of milk.
crank· y (krang´kē) adjective. Cross or in a
bad temper; grouchy. Roni is always
cranky before she’s had breakfast.
craters (krā´tәrz) plural noun. Bowl-shaped
pits or holes made by the impact of a
meteorite. Craters are easier to spot in
the desert.
con·sume (kәn süm´) verb. To eat or drink.
Growing children can consume a lot of
con · vinced (kәn vinst´) verb. Caused a
person to believe or do something.
The coach convinced the team they
could win, and they did.
cor · al (kôr´әl) adjective. Made of coral, a
hard substance like stone made up of
the skeletons of tiny animals. We went
snorkeling on the coral reef.
criss · crossed (kris´krôst) verb. Went
across, back and forth. Grandma
crisscrossed lengths of dough to make
a pretty pie top.
cur · rent (kûr´әnt) noun. A portion of
a body of water or of air flowing
continuously in a definite direction.
The lifeguard blew his whistle when he
noticed that the current was taking the
boys out too far.
com · ple · ted (kәm plēt´әd) verb. Done,
finished. I could hardly wait until my
brother completed his Thanksgiving
project and we could all go to the
de · cayed (dē kād´) adjective. Having
undergone the process of
decomposition; rotted. We walked
past decayed stumps in the woods.
di · rec· tor (di rek´tәr) noun. The person
in charge of a play, movie, or TV
show. The director called for a dress
rehearsal over the weekend.
doc·u·ment·ing (dok´yә ment ing) verb.
Making a record or collecting
information. The scientists took notes
documenting their findings.
dove1 (dōv) verb. Plunged head first into
water. We watched as the woman dove
perfectly off the board and into the
deep pool.
dove2 (duv) noun. A medium-size bird
of the pigeon family. The dove cooed
quietly on the window ledge.
de · mon · stra · ted (de´mәn strā´tәd) verb.
Showed by actions or experiment. The
performer demonstrated great skill
with both the piano and the drums.
de · scen · dants (di send´әnts) plural
noun. People who come from a
particular ancestor. My neighbors are
descendants of a French explorer.
des · per · ate (des´pәr it) adjective. Very bad
or hopeless. I needed money, but I was
not desperate for it.
dis · guised (dis gīzd´) verb. Changed the
way something or someone looks
to hide it or to look like something
else. The king disguised himself as
a peasant and walked through the
de · vi · c-es (di vīs´әz) plural noun. Things
used or made for specific purposes.
You can choose from several kinds of
devices for help in opening a can.
dis · gus · ted (dis gus´tid) adjective. Having a
strong feeling of dislike. I felt disgusted
by the way the bully was treating others.
di· ges·ted (dī jest´әd) verb. Broke down and
absorbed food. The snake rested while it
digested the rat it had swallowed.
diz·zy (diz´ē) adjective. Having the feeling
of spinning and being about to fall.
Riding the Ferris wheel makes me dizzy.
eaves·drop·ping (ēvz´drop´ing) noun.
Listening to other people talking
without letting them know you are
listening. Eavesdropping is not a polite
thing to do.
ech·o·lo·ca·tion (ek ō lō kā´shә n) noun. A
way to find out where objects are
by making sounds and interpreting
the echo that returns. Bats rely on
echolocation when they hunt for insects.
ee·rie (îr´ē) adjective. Strange in a scary
way. We heard an owl’s eerie hooting
as we walked home in the dark.
dis · ap · point · ment (dis´ә point´mәnt) noun.
A feeling of being disappointed or
let down. Losing the match was a
disappointment, but I still like tennis.
dis · ease (di zēz´) noun. An illness.
Smallpox is the one serious disease
that has been wiped out.
down·stream (doun´strēm´) adverb. Moving
in the same direction as the current of
a stream. On a raft, it is easier to float
downstream than to push upstream.
dy·nas·ties (dī´nә stēz´) plural noun.
Periods of time during which a line
of rulers from the same family is in
power. Construction of the Great Wall
of China took place from the Han to
the Yuan dynasties.
e·lec·tri·cal (i lek´tri kә l) adjective. Relating to
the form of energy carried in wires for
use to drive motors or as light or heat.
Dad carefully connected the electrical
cables to the positive and negative
terminals on his car’s battery.
Word History
Electrical comes from the Latin
electrum, meaning “amber,”
because of amber’s property
of attracting other substances
when rubbed.
end · less (end´lis) adjective. Having no
limit or end. The line of people seemed
endless, and not everyone would get a
en · dured (en durd´or
en dyurd´)
Survived or put up with. The workers
endured the hot sun all day.
en·ter·pri·sing (en´tәr prī´zing) adjective.
Showing energy and initiative; willing
or inclined to take risks. Brian, an
enterprising young man, ran for class
president and won.
en ·vi · ron · ment (en vī´rәn mәnt) noun.
Everything that surrounds an animal
and affects it. Polar bears have adapted
very well to their cold environment.
e · va · po · rate (i vap´ә rāt´ ) verb. To change
from a liquid or solid into a gas. When
heat makes water evaporate, the water
seems to disappear.
Word History
Evaporate comes from the Latin
evaporatus, “to disperse in vapor,”
from ex, “out,” and vapor,
e · ven · tu · al · ly (i ven´chü ә lē) adverb. In the
end; finally. We eventually got a DVD
player because the good movies were
not being released on video.
ev·i· dence (ev´i dәns) noun. Proof of
something. People thought the
knave stole the tarts, but they had no
ex· as · per · at · ed (eg zas´pә rāt´әd) verb.
Annoyed greatly; made angry. My dad
got so exasperated helping with my
math that my mom took over.
es·ti·mat· ed (es´tә mā´tәd) verb. Judged or
calculated, as of the value, quality, extent,
size, or cost of something. It is estimated
that there are only 30,000 to 50,000
Asian elephants left in the world.
eth · nic (eth´nik) adjective. Being part
of a group of people with religion,
language, national origin, or some
other background in common. We
went to World Food Day and sampled
many ethnic foods.
ex· plo · ra · tion (ek´splә rā´shәn) noun. The
act of traveling through unfamiliar
areas in order to learn about them.
Remote-controlled vehicles are
carrying out an exploration of the
surface of Mars.
ex·po·sure (ek spō´zhәr) noun. The
condition of being presented to view.
Each time the dog saw a new toy was
counted as one exposure.
fade (fād) verb. To become gradually
weaker, fainter, or dimmer. When a
song ends, sometimes it will fade out.
faint (fānt) adjective. Not clear or strong;
weak. A faint noise came from outside,
but I couldn’t see anyone.
fluke2 (flük) noun. The flat part of a
whale’s tail. The whale smacked the
water with its fluke.
fool · ish · ness (fü´lish nәs) noun. The act of
not showing good sense. I wanted to
race across the street, but my mom
will not allow that foolishness.
fos·sil (fos´әl) noun. The hardened remains
or traces of an animal or plant that
lived long ago. The fossil we found had
imprints of ancient seashells in rock.
fam · ished (fam´isht) adjective. Very
hungry; starving. After a long day of
running and swimming, the children
were famished.
flicked (flikt) verb. Hit or moved with a
quick, light snap. Fred flicked the fly
off his face.
flinched (flincht) verb. To draw back or
away, as from something painful or
unpleasant; wince. When the door
suddenly slammed, Myra flinched.
fluke1 (flük) noun. A chance happening;
an accidental turn. The substitute
player’s touchdown pass must have
been a fluke.
frag · ile (fraj´әl) adjective. Easily broken;
delicate. My toothpick ship is too
fragile to take to show and tell.
fu · els (fū´әlz) plural noun. Substances
burned as a source of heat and power,
such as coal, wood, or oil. When the
world runs out of fossil fuels, we
will be forced to use alternate energy
gaped (gāpt) verb. Stared with the mouth
open, as in wonder or surprise. The
audience gaped at the acrobats.
gen · u · ine (jen´ū in) adjective. Sincere;
honest. My friends and I made a
genuine effort to help kids new to the
gli · der (glī´dәr) noun. An aircraft that flies
without a motor. Riding in a glider can
be exciting.
glo · ri · ous (glôr´ē әs) adjective. Having
or deserving praise or honor;
magnificent. The autumn colors were
just glorious.
head · lines (hed´līnz) plural noun. Words
printed at the top of a newspaper or
magazine article. The most important
news has the biggest headlines.
hoist · ing (hoist´ing) verb. Lifting or pulling
up. Hoisting logs out of the water, the
men soon grew tired.
guard · i · an (gär´dē әn) noun. A person or
thing that guards or watches over. My
older brother sometimes acts like my
he · ri · tage (her´i tij) noun. Something
that is handed down from previous
generations or from the past; tradition.
Jazz is now a part of our country’s
cultural heritage.
guide (gīd) noun. Someone who shows
the way, such as on a tour or trip. We
followed the guide carefully along the
narrow trails.
hi · ber · nate (hī´bәr nāt´) verb. To sleep or
stay inactive during the winter. Bears
eat a lot to get ready to hibernate.
im · ag · es (im´ij әz) plural noun. Pictures
of people or things. The artist had
painted large images of the people
and animals she saw every day.
hab · i · tat (hab´i tat´) noun. The place
where an animal or plant naturally lives
and grows. A pond is a good habitat
for frogs.
im · mi · grants (im´i grәnts) plural
noun. People who come to live in
one country from another. Many
immigrants come to the United States
every year.
Word History
glin ·ted (glin´tәd) verb. Sparkled or flashed.
Rays of sunshine glinted on the water.
hi · lar · i · ous (hi lâr´ē әs) adjective. Very
funny. Kendra tells hilarious jokes.
im · pres · sive (im pres´iv) adjective.
Deserving admiration; making a
strong impression. The track team
won five races, which was their most
impressive result all year.
his · to · ri · ans (hi stôr´ē әnz) plural noun.
People who study or write about
history. Historians can help us to
understand the past.
in · de · pen · dence (in´di pen´dәns) noun.
Freedom from the control of another
or others. America gained its
independence from Great Britain.
Habitat comes from the Latin
habitare, meaning “to dwell.”
glis · ten · ing (glis´әn ing) adjective. Shining
or sparkling with reflected light. The
glistening eyes of the children looked
out from the stage.
han · dy (han´dē) adjective. Within reach,
nearby; easy to use. • come in handy.
Be useful. It’s amazing how many times
a dictionary can come in handy.
globe (glōb) noun. The Earth (as a
shape). Our globe is the home of
billions of people.
harm · less (härm´les) adjective. Not able
to do damage or hurt. My dog looks
mean, but really she is harmless.
i · den · ti · fied (ī´den´tә fīd´) verb. Proved
that someone or something is a
particular person or thing. The
fingerprints on the gold watch
identified the butler as the thief.
in · jus · tice (in jus´tis) noun. Lack of justice;
unfairness. There are many tools to
fight injustice, and everyone should
know them.
in · ves · ti · gates (in ves´ti gāts´) verb. Looks
into carefully in order to find facts
and get information. A detective
investigates mysteries for a living.
in · sec· ti · cides (in sek´ti sīdz) plural noun.
Chemicals used to kill insects and
other pests. Some insecticides can
reduce the number of mosquitoes.
in · spec· ted (in speck´tәd) verb. Looked
at closely and carefully. The official
inspected our car and declared that it
was safe to drive.
jeal · ous · y (jel´ә sē) noun. A feeling of envy
of what a person has or can do. Ken
felt some jealousy when he saw Lin’s
new bike, but he got over it.
in · spire (in spīr´) verb. To stir the mind,
feelings, or imagination. Nature can
inspire some people to write poetry.
in · sult (in´sult´) noun. A remark or action
that hurts someone’s feelings or pride.
Not to invite Marta to the party would
be an insult.
in · tel · li · gent (in tel´i jәnt) adjective. Able to
understand and to think especially well.
Mr. Lee asked an intelligent question.
in · ter · fere (in´tәr fîr´) verb. To take part in
the affairs of others when not asked;
meddle. My mom hates to interfere,
but she often gives me good advice.
log · i · cal (loj´i kәl) adjective. Sensible;
being the action or result one expects.
When it rains, I do the logical thing
and put my bicycle in the garage.
loos · ened (lü´sәnd) verb. Made looser; set
free or released. Brad loosened his
necktie when the ceremony was over.
lum · ber · ing (lum´bәr ing) adjective.
Moving in a slow, clumsy way. Put a
lumbering hippo in the water and it
becomes a graceful swimmer.
lurk (lûrk) verb. To lie hidden. Many
animals lurk in their dens to escape the
heat of the day.
jour · ney (jûr´nē) noun. A trip, especially
one over a considerable distance
or taking considerable time. Ping
made a journey to China to meet his
jum·ble (jum´bәl) noun. A confused
mixture or condition; mess. My room is
a jumble of toys and books, so I have
to clean it.
mag · ni · fy (mag´nә fī´) verb. To make
something look bigger than it really is.
Devices such as microscopes help to
magnify small things.
leg · en · dary (lej´әn der´ē) adjective.
Relating to a legend, or a story that
has been handed down for many years
and has some basis in fact. Johnny
Appleseed’s efforts to spread the
apple tree have become legendary.
mas · sive (mas´iv) adjective. Of great size
or extent; large and solid. The pro
wrestler had a massive chest.
mi · cro · phone (mī´krә fōn´) noun. A
device that converts soundwaves into
electrical signals, which can then be
recorded, broadcast, or amplified.
We couldn’t hear the principal in the
back of the auditorium because her
microphone was broken.
Word History
Microphone comes from the
Greek words mikros, meaning
“very small,” and phone, meaning
mi · cro · scope (mī´krә skōp´) noun. A device
for looking at things that are too small
to be seen with the naked eye. To see
small cells in the body one needs to
use a microscope.
Word History
Microscope comes from the
Greek words mikros meaning
“very small,” and skopein,
meaning “to view or
lim · it · ed (lim´i tid) adjective. Restricted, or
kept within boundaries. The menu had
only a limited number of choices.
mis· chief (mis´chif) noun. Conduct that
may seem playful but causes harm or
trouble. The kittens were always getting
into mischief when we weren’t home.
ne · ga · tives (neg´ә tivz) plural noun.
1. Photographic images made when
film is developed. The photographer
looked at the negatives through the
magnifier. 2. Words or phrases that
mean “no.” We heard nothing but
negatives in the report.
mis· un · der · stood (mis´un dәr stud´)
Understood someone incorrectly; got
the wrong idea. I misunderstood the
directions and did the wrong page for
o · be · di · ence (ō bē´dē әns) noun. The
willingness to obey, or to carry out
orders, wishes, or instructions. It is
important to show obedience to
safety rules.
mys · te · ri · ous (mi stîr´ē әs) adjective. Very
hard or impossible to understand; full
of mystery. The fact that the cookies
were missing was mysterious.
nat · u · ral (nach´әr әl) adjective.
1. Unchanged by people. We hiked
through natural surroundings of
woods, streams, and meadows.
2. Expected or normal. The natural
home of the dolphin is the open ocean.
nu ·tri· ents (nü´trē әnts or nū´trē әnts) plural
noun. Substances needed by the bodies
of people, animals, or plants to live and
grow. Sometimes we get ill because we
are not getting the proper nutrients.
or · bits (ôr´bits) plural noun. The path in
space of one heavenly body revolving
around another. When we studied
orbits I learned it takes Pluto 248.53
years to go around the sun.
nuz·zle (nuz´әl) verb. To touch or rub with
the nose. My dog will nuzzle me when
he wants attention.
mut · tered (mut´әrd) verb. Spoke in a low,
unclear way with the mouth closed.
I saw he was mad by the way he
muttered to himself.
nu · mer · ous (nü´mәr әs or nū´mәr әs) adjective.
Forming a large number; many. The
mountain climbers faced numerous
problems, but they still had fun.
midst (midst) noun. A position in the
middle of a group of people or things.
“There is a poet in our midst,” said the
principal, “and we need to clap for her.”
ne · glec· ted (ni glekt´әd) verb. Failed to give
proper attention or care to; failed to do.
I neglected to finish my science project
and could not present it at the fair.
non · vi · o · lence (non vī´ә lәns) noun. The
philosophy or practice of opposing
the use of all physical force or
violence. The demonstrators practiced
nonviolence during the march on
Word History
Obedience comes from the Latin
word oboedire, meaning “to
hearken, yield, or serve.”
op · por · tu · ni · ties (op´әr tü´ni tēz) plural
noun. Good chances or favorable
times. School offers many
opportunities to be involved in clubs.
or · phan · age (ôr´fәn ij) noun. An institution
that takes in and cares for children
whose natural parents are absent
or dead. Martina had to travel to the
Chinese orphanage to adopt her son.
out · stretched (out´strecht´) adjective.
Stretched out; extended. His
outstretched palm held the quarter
I had dropped.
o · ver · come (ō´vәr kum´) verb. To get the
better of; beat or conquer. The team
was able to overcome losing the lead
to go on to win the game.
now · a · days (nou´ә dāz´) adverb. In the
present time. People hardly ever write
with typewriters nowadays.
o · ver · crowd · ed (ō´vәr kroud´id) adjective.
Having too many people or things. The
small apartment was overcrowded
with furniture.
o·ver·heard (ō´vәr hûrd´) verb. Heard
something one was not supposed to
hear. I overheard my brother planning
a surprise party for me.
o · ver · joyed (ō´vәr joid´) adjective. Very
happy. The whole team felt overjoyed
when we won the soccer game.
pa · le · on · tol · o · gist (pā’ lē әn tol´ә jist) noun.
A scientist who deals with fossils of
prehistoric animal and plant life. The
paleontologist spoke to the class
about the history of dinosaurs.
par · a · lyzed (par´ә līzd´) adjective. 1. Having
lost movement or sensation in a part
of the body. 2. Made powerless or
helpless. The actress felt paralyzed by
stage fright.
part · ner · ship (pärt´nәr ship´) noun. A
kind of business in which two or
more people share the work and
profits. Janell, Pat, and Erik formed a
gardening partnership.
patch · work (pach´wûrk´) noun. Something
put together out of many uneven or
varied parts. From the air, the land
looked like a patchwork of green and
brown fabrics.
pe · cul · iar (pi kūl´yәr) adjective. Strange;
not usual. I had the peculiar feeling
that I was being watched.
pe · ri · od (pîr´ē әd) noun. 1. A length of
historical time. The 19th century
was a period of railroad building.
2. A mark of punctuation (.) at the
end of a declarative sentence or an
per · sis · tence (pәr sis´tәns) noun. The
ability to keep trying in spite of
difficulties or obstacles. Running a
business requires persistence.
pol · i · ti · cians (pol´i tish´әnz) plural noun.
People who hold or seek elected
offices. Four politicians were running
for the one seat in Congress.
pos · i · tive (poz´i tiv) adjective. Certain;
sure. I was positive I left that cookie
right here on the counter.
pow · wow (pou´wou´) noun. A North
American Indian ceremony
characterized by feasting and dancing.
People were selling wild rice and fry
bread at the powwow.
pre · cious (presh´әs) adjective. 1. Having
great cost or value. 2. Held in high
esteem; cherished. Gold is a precious
pre · his · tor · ic (prē´his tôr´ik) adjective.
Belonging to a time before people
started recording history. Prehistoric
artists sometimes made cave paintings
to tell a story.
pre · serve (pri zûrv´) verb. To keep safe for
the future. My parents preserve some
of my school papers every year.
pro · claimed (prә klāmd´) verb. Announced
publicly. The principal proclaimed May
20 as the day for our annual class trips.
pro · fes · sion · als (prә fesh´ә nәlz) plural
noun. People who have an occupation
that requires special training.
Engineers and architects are
pros · pec· tors (pros´pek tәrz) plural noun.
People who explore an area for
minerals, such as gold. California was
full of prospectors during the Gold
Rush of 1849.
pro · tes · ted (prō test´әd) verb. Complained
against something. When the workers
lost their jobs, they protested to the
raft (raft) noun. A kind of flat boat made
of logs or boards fastened together.
Floating down the river on a raft is a
nice way to spend a summer’s day.
phras· es (frāz´iz) plural noun. Groups of
words expressing a single thought
but not containing both a subject and
predicate. When I proofread my report, I
made phrases into complete sentences.
re · al · is · tic (rē´ә lis´tik) adjective. Seeing
things as they are; practical. I dream of
being a famous rock star, but I should
also be realistic and stay in school.
reef (rēf) noun. A ridge of sand, rock,
or coral at or near the surface of the
ocean. Boaters have to be careful not
to scrape against the reef below.
re · gion (rē´jәn) noun. A geographic area
whose characteristics are different
from the others. Nine of the original
thirteen colonies can be found in the
Northeast region.
re · hearse (ri hûrs´) verb. To practice a
song or play in preparation for public
performances. We have two weeks to
rehearse before opening night!
rep · tiles (rep´tīlz) plural noun. Coldblooded vertebrates of the group
Reptilia, which includes lizards, snakes,
alligators, crocodiles, and turtles. Most
reptiles lay eggs, although some give
birth to live young.
rum · bling (rum´bling) noun. A heavy,
deep, rolling sound. The rumbling of
thunder woke me up.
sa · cred (sā´krid) adjective. Dedicated
to or set apart for a religious use or
purpose. In ancient Greece, olive trees
were sacred to Athena.
sanc· tu · ar · y (sangk´chü er´ē) noun. A
refuge for wildlife where predators are
controlled and hunting is not allowed.
My friend runs a sanctuary for injured
hawks and owls.
re · spon · si · bil · i · ty (ri spon´sә bil´i tē) noun.
The quality or condition of having a
job, duty, or concern. Taking care of
the dog was my responsibility.
risks (risks) plural noun. Chances of loss or
harm. Explorers were willing to take risks
in the hope of discovering new lands.
ref · er · ence (ref´әr әns or ref´rens) noun.
A statement that calls or directs
attention to something. The speech
makes a reference to a play by
re · fresh · es (ri fresh´iz) verb. Restores
strength and vitality to, as through
food or rest. Lemonade refreshes on a
hot summer day.
scat · tered (skat´әrd) verb. Spread or
thrown about here and there. Practice
balls were scattered all over the
tennis court.
roamed (rōmd) verb. Moved around in a
large area. The grizzly bear roamed
over a wide valley and the nearby
sci· en·ti·fic meth· od (sī´әn tif´ik meth´әd) noun.
The process used by scientists,
in which a problem is stated, a
hypothesis is formed, data are
collected through observation or
experimentation, and the hypothesis
is proved or disproved by analyzing
the data. The crime lab is an essential
ingredient in the detective’s application
of scientific method.
scorn · ful · ly (skôrn´fәl ē) adverb. In a
way that shows that something or
someone is looked down upon and
considered bad or worthless. The critic
spoke scornfully about the new artist’s
roles (rōlz) plural noun. Characters or parts
played by an actor. Indira got one of
the leading roles in the class play.
ro · tate (rō´tāt) verb. To turn or cause to
turn around on or as on an axis. I had
to rotate the image because the photo
was upside down.
scuf · fling (skuf´әl ing or skuf´ling) noun.
The sound of feet shuffling. When we
heard scuffling from upstairs, we knew
Grandpa had finished his nap.
se · cure (si kyur´)
adjective. Not likely to
be taken away; certain or guaranteed.
verb. To take possession of for
safekeeping. The police will secure the
birdcage to use as evidence at the trial.
silk· en (sil´kәn) adjective. 1. Made of silk.
2. Like silk in appearance. Antonio wrote
a poem about the girl’s long silken hair.
sky · scrap · ers (skī´skrā´ pәrz) plural noun.
Very tall buildings. The city has many
skyscrapers, and some of them are 50
stories high!
self · ish (sel´fish) adjective. Thinking only
of oneself; putting one’s own interests
and desires before those of others. A
second piece of cake sounded good,
but I didn’t want to be selfish.
sen · si · ble (sen´sә bәl) adjective. Having or
showing sound judgment; wise. If you
make a mistake, the sensible thing to
do is apologize.
shim · mer (shim´әr) verb. To shine with
a faint, wavering light; glimmer. The
walls of the canyon began to shimmer
in the rays of the setting sun.
Word History
Solitary comes from the Latin
solitarius, meaning “alone,” lonely.
sores (sôrz) plural noun. Places where the
skin has been broken and hurts. My
hands had sores after raking leaves all
morning with no gloves on.
seg · re · ga · tion (seg´ri gā´shәn) noun. The
practice of setting one racial group
apart from another. There are laws
against segregation in public schools.
se · lec· ting (si lek´ting) verb. Picking out
among many; choosing. I spend a long
time selecting the right gift.
sol · i · tar · y (sol´i ter´ē) adjective. Living,
being, or going alone. For trying to
escape, the prisoner was placed in
solitary confinement.
slith · ered (slith´әrd) verb. To slide or glide
like a snake. When the snakes slithered
across the ground, they hardly made a
snick· er · ing (snik´әr ing) verb. Laughing
in a mean or disrespectful manner.
The children stopped snickering when
their mother told them to be kinder.
snor · ing (snôr´ing) verb. Making harsh or
noisy sounds while sleeping. The dog
was snoring on the porch when I came
snuf · fled (snuf´әld) verb. Breathed noisily
because of partly stopped-up nasal
passages. Because of a bad cold, I
snuffled all day.
spe · cial · ty (spesh´әl tē) noun. A special
thing that a person knows a great deal
about or can make very well. Making
quilts is my Aunt Lisa’s specialty.
strikes (strīks) plural noun. 1. The stopping
of work to protest something.
The workers threatened strikes if
conditions did not improve. 2. Pitched
balls in the strike zone or that a batter
swings at and misses.
strut· ting (strut´ing) verb. Walking in a selfimportant way. Marilyn went strutting
around in her new boots from Italy.
stum · bled (stum´bәld) verb. To lose one’s
balance, as by missing one’s footing,
stubbing one’s toe, or tripping over an
obstacle. • stum · bled up · on verb. To
come upon something unexpectedly
or by chance. We stumbled upon the
clues that would lead us to the treasure.
sub · urbs (sub´ûrbz) plural noun. The areas
around a city where people live. Many
people commute from the suburbs into
the city.
Word History
Suburbs come from the Latin
suburbium—from sub— “under”
and urbs, meaning “city.”
sur · vey (sәr vā´) verb. To view or
examine as a whole. (sûr´vә) noun. A
comprehensive view. A survey of the
crime scene revealed three possible
points of entry.
sus · pi · cious (sәs pish´әs) adjective.
Causing doubt and mistrust; causing
the feeling that something is wrong.
When my mom saw me by the cookie
jar, I could tell she was suspicious.
swarms (swôrmz) plural noun. Large
groups of insects flying or moving
together. When the hive fell, swarms of
angry bees flew out.
tem·ples (tem´pә lz) plural noun. Buildings
used for the worship of a god or gods.
Visitors to Athens can tour many
temples of the ancient Greeks.
ter·ri·to·ry (ter´i tôr´ē) noun. Any large area
of land; region. My brother’s territory
for selling office supplies is in North
Word History
Swallows comes from the Old
English word swelgan with the
same meaning.
tes·ti·fy (tes´tә fī´) verb. To give evidence
under oath in a court of law. The
woman took her place on the witness
stand to testify.
swal · lows2 (swol´ōz) plural noun. Several
groups of small birds having a slender
body and a forked tail.
swamp (swomp) noun. A kind of wetland
in which grasses and shrubs grow on
land almost permanently covered by
shallow water. Many endangered birds,
such as the snowy egret, can be found
in this swamp.
Word History
un·con·sti·tu·tion·al (un´ kon sti tü´
shә nә l) adjective. Not in keeping
with the constitution of the United
States. Segregation was declared
unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
un·ions (ūn´yә nz) plural noun. Groups of
workers joined together to protect their
jobs and improve working conditions.
Labor unions fight to get workers the
safety equipment they need.
tan · gles (tang´gәlz) plural noun. Knotted,
twisted, confused masses. The garden
hose had not been rolled back up and
was full of tangles.
tech · nique (tek nēk´) noun. A method or
way of bringing about a desired result
in a science, art, sport, or profession.
Part of Allison’s technique in running
is to breathe in and out on counts of
un·fair (un fâr´) adjective. Not fair or just.
Punishing all of us for the actions of my
little sister seemed unfair.
Word History
Swallows comes from the Old
English word swealwe, meaning
“this bird.”
tra·di·tions (trә dish´ә nz) plural noun.
Knowledge, beliefs, or customs
handed down from one generation
to another. People of many cultural
traditions live in the United States.
threat·ened (thret´ә nd) adjective. Having
a sense of harm or danger. The dark
storm clouds made the players feel
threatened with a rain-out.
tot·tered (tô´tә rd) verb. Walked or moved
with unsteady steps; rocked or swayed
as if about to fall. The baby tottered as
she first tried to walk.
swal · lows1 (swol´ōz) verb. Causes food
or other substances to pass from the
mouth into the stomach. Kathy’s sore
throat hurts every time she swallows.
u·nique (ū nēk´) adjective. Having no
equal; the only one of its kind. In many
ways, the Everglades is unique.
u·ni·verse (ū´nә vûrs´) noun. Everything
that exists, including Earth, the
planets, the stars, and all of space.
Many scientists spend their lives
studying the wonders of the universe.
Technique comes from the Greek
word tekhnikos, meaning “relating
to an art or craft.”
un·sta·ble (un stā´bә l) adjective. Not
settled or steady; easily moved or put
off balance. Although the raft looked
unstable, it floated very well.
un·sus·pect·ing (un´sә spek´ting) adjective.
Having no suspicions. The unsuspecting
girls did not realize they were about to
get sprayed by the hose.
whirl·wind (whûrl´wind´, wûrl´wind´) noun. 1.
A whirling current of air that moves
forward with great force. 2. Anything
resembling a whirlwind. She moved
about the apartment, packing like a
wild·life (wīld´līf´) noun. Living things,
especially the animals that live
naturally in an area. We saw lots of
wildlife on our hike in the woods.
val·u·a·ble (val´ū ә bә l) adjective. Of
great use, worth, or importance. The
excavation gave us some valuable new
information about the settlers.
ven·ture (ven´chә r) noun. A business or
some other undertaking that involves
risk. Rea’s new venture was a carpetcleaning service.
ves·sels (ves´ә lz) plural noun. Ships or
large boats used to transport or carry
over water. The ocean liner known as
the Titanic was larger than all other
oceangoing vessels of the time.
week·days (wēk´dāz´) plural noun. The days
of the week except Saturday and Sunday.
We only go to school on weekdays.
wing·span (wing´span´) noun. The distance
between the tips of the wings of a
bird, insect, or airplane. The wingspan
of some hawks is five feet.
wis·dom (wiz´dә m) noun. Good judgment
and intelligence in knowing what is right,
good, and true. When I’m not sure what
to do, I look to my grandpa’s wisdom.
Word History
Wisdom comes from the Old
English word wisdom, from wis,
meaning “having sound judgment,
wist·ful·ly (wist´fә l ē) adverb. In a sadly
longing way; yearningly. My grandma
looked at her wedding pictures wistfully.