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ELA Add-on Academic Vocabulary

ELA Add-on Academic Vocabulary

4th Grade Common Core ELA Add-ons


  1.  Academic vocabulary – specialized words used by people who study a certain subject or work in a particular field
  2. Adage – an old familiar saying that expresses wisdom or a truth about human nature
  3. Affix – a prefix or a suffix that is added to a root word
  4. Allusion – a reference to a well-known person, place, event, or piece of literature
  5. Ask and answer questions – to ask and answer questions about key details in a passage and use the text to find the answers that will help you better understand what you are reading
  6. Cause – a reason that something happens
  7. Characters – people or animals that take part in the action of a story
  8. Chart – a graphic organizer that uses columns and rows to organize information; a title and headings tell what the chart is about and what type of information it includes
  9. Chronological order – the order in which things happen
  10. Compare – to show the similarities between two objects, ideas, people, places, events, or passages
  11. Contrast – to show the differences between two objects, ideas, people, places, events, or passages
  12. Dependent clause – a group of words that includes a noun and a verb but does not make sense on its own as a sentence
  13. Diagram – a drawing with labels that shows the different parts of an object or how something works
  14. Dialogue – the words that characters say to each other
  15. Domain specific vocabulary words – words that have a specific meaning in a particular kind of work or field of study, such as science, history, or technology
  16. Effect – result of a cause
  17. Fictional narrative – a story that the author makes up
  18. Firsthand account – a description of an experience or event that is told by someone who participated in the event described
  19. Formal language – language used in school or business settings; words are usually carefully and accurately chosen
  20. Future progressive – a verb tense that indicates an ongoing action that will take place in the future, such as will be talking
  21. Historical nonfiction – nonfiction text that tells about real events or people from the past
  22. Informal language – language used in everyday conversation
  23. Informative text – nonfiction text in which the author presents information about a specific subject
  24. Linking words/phrases – words or phrases that connect ideas to make writing flow better
  25. Map – a picture that shows features such as rivers, mountains, or streets in an area; labels and a key tell about the information shown on the map
  26. Meter – the pattern of rhythm in a poem
  27. Mood – the overall feeling created by a text
  28. Myth – a story that explains something about the world; myths often involve gods or superheroes
  29. Opinion piece – a type of writing in which the author states a personal belief and tries to persuade others to agree
  30. Past progressive – a verb tense that indicates a past action that was happening while another action was taking place, such as was talking
  31. Personal narrative – a type of writing in which the author describes a personal experience
  32. Precise language – words or phrases that are clear and exact
  33. Present progressive – a verb tense that indicates an ongoing action in the present such as am talking
  34. Problem and solution – a text organization in which the information describes a problem and then discusses a solution or solutions
  35. Progressive verb – a verb form used to express and ongoing action that doesn’t have a specific end time
  36. Prose – a form of writing in which one sentence follows another, with sentences arranged in groups called paragraphs
  37. Proverb – an old familiar saying that expresses wisdom or gives advice
  38. Relative adverb – an adverb that introduces a relative clause, such as when, where and why
  39. Relative clause – a group of words that tells more about a noun
  40. Relative pronoun – a pronoun that is used in a relative clause, such as which, that, who, whom and whose
  41. Rhyme – a sound device in which words end with the same sound; rhyme is often used in poetry
  42. Rhythm – the beat, or pattern of sounds, in a poem
  43. Run-on – one or more sentences run together without proper punctuation
  44. Science vocabulary – words that a scientific meaning in a particular area of scientific study
  45. Scientific nonfiction – nonfiction text that provides factual information and explains scientific events, procedures, ideas, or concepts
  46. Secondhand account – a description of an experience or event told by someone who did not directly participate in the events
  47. Sensory language – words that appeal to the five senses; hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch
  48. Sequence of events – the order in which events in text happen
  49. Short story – a made-up tale with characters, a setting, and a plot that is usually short enough to read in one sitting
  50. Stage directions – the words in a drama that tell actors what to do instead of what to say
  51. Summarize – to restate what the most important ideas or information in a passage in your own words
  52. Supporting reasons – the details that support an opinion
  53. Technical texts – informative texts that explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts; these texts explain what happens, why something happens, or how something works
  54. Text features – items such as time lines, graphs, and captions that support the ideas stated in an informative text
  55. Theme – the message about life or people that the author wants the reader to understand
  56. Time line – a graphic that shows the dates when important things happened in a certain time period
  57. Transitional words/phrases – words or phrases that connect ideas to make writing flow better