7th Grade Academic Vocabulary Language Arts Compiled by Beth Price Spring City Middle School Spring 2009 analogy An analogy is a comparison of similar objects. An analogy suggests that since the objects are alike in some ways, they will probably be alike in other ways. He looked down the street toward his house and saw his mother standing there, just like a lighthouse. Always waiting for him to arrive home safely. Always there to guide him home from his wanderings. anecdote An anecdote is a little story used to illustrate or make a point. Anecdote from Roald Dahl’s autobiography, Boy: Tales of Childhood, which illustrates differences in medical treatments now and in 1924: (You need to be aware that the doctor has explained nothing to him and has given him no medicine. He only tells him to open his mouth.) “The tiny blade flashed in the bright light and disappeared into my mouth. It went high up into the roof of my mouth, and the hand that held the blade gave four or five very quick little twists and the next moment, out of my mouth into the basin came tumbling a whole mass of flesh and blood. I was too shocked and outraged to do anything but yelp. I was horrified by the huge red lumps that had fallen out of my mouth into the white basin and my first thought was that the doctor had cut out the whole of the middle of my head. . .” assumption / assume In a syllogism (logic), an assumption is a minor premise, a statement that is assumed to be true and from which a conclusion can be drawn. If I do not wake up, then I cannot go to work. If I cannot go to work, then I will not get paid. Therefore, if I do not wake up, then I will not get paid. autobiography An autobiography is a biography of yourself written by yourself—your history in your own words. Autobiography is from the Greek roots: auto self bio life graph to write to write self life clarify When you clarify, you make your idea or statement easier and clearer to understand by removing, rewriting, or explaining a confusing part. Confusing: The book was about insects that we read. (Confusion: Did you read the insects?) Clarified: The book that we read was about insects. clause You’re in the Seventh Grade and don’t know a clause? Santa and the Missus clause A clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a verb and is used as part of a sentence. kinds of clauses: • Dependent Does the clause express a complete • Independent thought? • Adverb How or where • Adjective is the clause being used in the • Noun sentence? • Introductory Independent (main) clause An independent (main) clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a verb, and it can stand alone as a sentence. (It expresses a complete thought). subject The capital city of the Aztec verb empire was in central Mexico. dependent (subordinate) clause A dependent clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a verb, however it cannot stand alone as a sentence because it doesn’t express a complete thought. Adverb (subordinate) clause An adverb clause is a dependent (or subordinate) clause that is being used to modify a verb, an adjective, or an adverb. Adverb clauses tell: how when where why to what extent under what condition Adverb clauses are introduced by a subordinating conjunction—a word that shows the relationship between the adverb clause and the word or words that the clause modifies. Common subordinating conjunctions are: after as though since as although because as if so that whenever when before where how though unless until whenever whether while in order that as long as than examples of adverb clauses You may sit wherever you wish. (modifies the verb, sit) Gabe can type faster than I can. (modifies adverb, faster) Happy because he had made an A, Tony hurried home to show the grade card to his mom. (modifies an adjective, happy) introductory adverb clause When winter sets in, many animals hibernate. After you wash the dishes, I’ll dry them and put them away. adjective clause An adjective clause is a dependent (or subordinate) clause that modifies a noun or pronoun. Most adjective clauses begin with a relative pronoun: that which who whom whose 1. The boy that won the contest is from my school. 2. That documentary, which will be broadcast in the fall, was filmed in several countries. noun clause A noun clause is a subordinate (dependent) clause that is used as a noun in a sentence. It can be used as a subject, direct or indirect object, object of preposition, or predicate nominative. subject How she won the race is an amazing story! predicate nominative Three dollars is what Daniel offered for the notebook. direct object David and Megan remembered who he was. indirect object The hostess gives whoever enters a menu. object of a preposition Eager to please the speaker, we listened to whatever she said. compile When you compile, you gather materials and put them together somehow. For example, you could go to the library and compile a shelf of books that are about Christmas. If you are doing a research paper, you could compile a list of the Internet sites, books, and magazine articles you used to find your information. (That list would be called a bibliography.) convention A convention is an established technique, practice, or device that is used, for example, in literature or in the theatre. For example, read the following poem, and then discuss the conventions of grammar that are being used (or NOT being used) in the poem. Additionally, you could discuss the conventions of poetry that are being / not being used. i remember some weeks ago meeting a middle aged spider she was weeping what is the trouble i asked her it is these cursed fly swatters she replied they kill of all the flies and my family and i are starving to death it struck me as so pathetic that i made a little song about it as follows to wit ( from “pity the poor spiders” by Don Marquis) culture Culture is the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group. For example, as you look at the picture of the Indian on the next slide, what do you know about the Indian culture? documentary A documentary is a film or TV program that interprets actual events. It usually includes interviews or footage of actual events taking place. A documentary’s primary purpose may be to inform, to persuade, to entertain, or to make money. Sometimes a documentary may have more than one purpose. For example, a documentary about endangered animals in the rain forest may have the purposes of: 1) informing us of the problem 2) persuading us to react by supporting laws to protect the animals 3) raising money to protect the animals Can you think of a recent documentary that has been on television? exposition (literary) An exposition is an essay or writing that explains something. Read the first few paragraphs of the following exposition. What is it explaining? “The method of embalming, or treating the dead body, that the ancient Egyptians used is called mummification. Using special processes, the Egyptians removed all moisture from the body, leaving only a dried form that would not easily decay. It was important in their religion to preserve the dead body in as lifelike a manner as possible. . . . The first step in the process was the removal of all internal parts that might decay rapidly. The brain was removed by carefully inserting special hooked instruments up through the nostrils in order to pull out bits of brain tissue. Next, the embalmers removed all moisture from the body. They did this by covering the body with natron, a type of salt which has great drying properties, and by placing additional natron packets inside the body.” expository writing The word expository is related to the word expose, a verb that means “to allow to be seen, or to reveal.” When writing an expository, the writer tries to reveal information about a subject. He / she may include facts, show cause & effect, compare or contrast, or explain instructions. “Some early American settlements were in poor locations. Roanoke, for example, was on an island that proved hard to reach. Rough ocean currents and storms made the voyage difficult for ships to bring much-needed supplies. The site for a later colony, Jamestown, also had problems. Jamestown sat on a marshy, disease-ridden piece of land. Because of its location, Jamestown’s settlers had to endure increased incidents of illness as well as a salty water supply. However, despite the negatives, Roanoke and Jamestown shared one important advantage: The semi-hidden location of both colonies aided against surprise attacks.” expression in oral language The expressive qualities of your voice can enhance communication with your audience. Verbal elements you may want to consider are: diction Enunciate, or pronounce words clearly, when you speak to help your listeners understand you. emphasis or stress Your voice naturally stresses some words and phrases when you speak. Emphasize words that are important in your message. mood or tone Your speech should make your listeners feel certain emotions. pause Pauses are the small silences in your speech. They can help to emphasize a point you are making. They also can help listeners catch up with your speech. pitch Your voice naturally changes pitch—or modulates—when you speak. Saying some words higher and others lower gives listeners cues about your meaning. For example, you might raise your pitch to connect two related ideas. rate Your rate, or tempo, of speaking is normally faster than the speed you will need to use when giving a formal speech. Talking more slowly during a speech helps listeners hear and understand more easily. volume Although you may normally speak quietly, you need to speak fairly loudly when you give a speech. Be loud enough to be heard by all of your listeners. Consider speaking more loudly or softly to emphasize certain points. fluency According to Tim Rasinski (an expert on the topic), fluency is the ability to read with accuracy, with expression, and at a good pace. accuracy Recognizing words and reading words correctly without any hesitation rate or pace Reading at a natural, conversational pace, or as appropriate for the text structural expression Reading smoothly. appropriate phrasing and pausing. Adjusting your pitch and volume to the circumstances (according to the type of text or the audience). interpretive expression Recognizing that there are different purposes for reading. Conveying the appropriate mood and emotion. Distinguishing word meanings in context. generalization A generalization is a general statement that gives an overall, general view, rather than focusing on specific details. Generalization: Your room is a mess. Specific: Your clothes are not hung up and are lying all over your room. imagery A good writer will use imagery, or create images or pictures in writing, by providing vivid, detailed descriptions. “Our home was one room, about eighteen by twenty feet, the size of a living room. There was one small window in the wall opposite the one door. It was bare except for a a small, tiny wood-burning stove that was crouching in the center. The flooring consisted of two- by-fours laid directly on the earth, and dandelions were already pushing their way up through the cracks.” inconsistency If something is consistent, it is marked by harmony, regularity, and steady continuity. It is free from variation and free from contradiction. If you have been inconsistent in your writing, you may have done one of the following: changed verb tense in your essay At my grandparents house, I wake up before anyone else and quietly had grabbed the fishing pole and will be heading for the pond. “I was so excited,” I say to myself. “I was going to catch a fish.” changed your point of view I have always felt that hang- gliding was invented just for me. You feel so free, floating through the air, as I watch the Lego farm houses and people that are no larger than ants. have statements that contradict The disappearance of Amelia Earhart remains a mystery. Earhart, who was the first woman pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, crashed into the Pacific Ocean while attempting to fly around the world. Everybody knows what happened to her. changed your topic “Although living with a disability can be difficult, many disabled people lead independent lives. Jenna is one of those people. Left legally blind and deaf at age nine from an operation to remove a brain tumor, Jenna had to learn to overcome her disabilities. With the help of a cane, a hearing aid, and a magnifying glass to help her read, Jenna is able to be self- sufficient. I wouldn’t want to be blind. It would scare me to death. I would be as scared as I saw when I saw the horror movie, The Texas Chain-Saw Massacre. Let me tell you. I was scared to death, and I screamed and screamed and screamed. I screamed so much, I almost threw up all over my little brother who was as calm as a cucumber. I don’t like cucumbers. I think they taste gross in a salad. Don’t you?” infinitive An infinitive is a verb form, usually preceded by “to,” that is used as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. Example-to go, to leave, to fly examples of infinitives 1. I want to go home with you. 2. I need someone to help me with my homework. 3. To be kind is sometimes very difficult. infinitive phrase An infinitive phrase consists of an infinitive and its modifiers and complements. infinitive phrase as adverb 1. The crowd grew quiet to hear the speaker. (modifies grew) 2. The camel knelt at at the pool to drink. (modifies knelt) infinitive phrase as adjective 1. The best time to visit Florida is December through April. (modifies time) 2. If you want information about computers, that is the magazine to read. (modifies magazine) infinitive used as noun subject: To install the ceiling fan took two hours. predicate nominative Isabella’s ambition is to become a doctor. Direct object After school, David and I like to walk home together. interpretation An interpretation is an explanation of something. It can also be how you perform a piece of literature (reading a poem, acting a part in a play, etc.) For example, after reading A Christmas Carol, your teacher could ask you: “What is your interpretation of the Spirits?” What he/she is asking you is: What is your explanation (the purpose) of the Spirits? OR. . .You could act the part of Ebenezer Scrooge in a play. When you get on stage and act like Ebenezer, you are doing an interpretation, or explanation, of how your think he acted, looked, and talked. People who came to the play would critique your interpretation of the character of Ebenezer Scrooge. OR. . . If you memorize a poem and recite it to the class, they could critique your interpretation. In other words, they would watch your facial expressions and body language, and they would listen to your voice, and then they would tell you how well your expressed the meaning of the poem when your read it. irony Irony is a contrast between expectation and reality. There are three common types of irony: verbal, situational, and dramatic. verbal irony Verbal irony involves a contrast between what is said or written and what is really meant. For example, if a baseball player just struck out, and you called him “slugger,” you would be using verbal irony. situational irony Situational irony occurs when what happens is very different from what we expected would happen. For example, in “Casey at the Bat,” when Casey strikes out after we’ve been led to believe he will save the day, the poet is using situational irony. BEAN: The Movie, is a movie that contains much situational irony. You may want to view the first 10 minutes or so of the film and see how many instances you can find. dramatic irony Dramatic irony occurs when the audience or the reader knows something a character does not know. In “The Highwayman,” the reader realizes that King George’s soldiers have Bess tied up and that there is a trap set for the highwayman; however, the highwayman is not aware of either of these situations. mood Mood is the overall emotion created by a work of literature--its emotional atmosphere. Some adjectives that describe mood: sad scary hopeful exiting negative optimistic suspenseful depressing Think of several selections you have read this year. What was the mood in each selection? flashback A flashback is an interruption in the action of a plot in order to tell what happened at an earlier time. The plot “flashes back” in time. Not every short story or novel will have flashbacks. Can you think of one that has flashbacks? foreshadowing Foreshadowing is the use of clues to suggest events that will happen later in the plot. “Three Skeleton Key” In “Three Skeleton Key,” the story of the three convicts who perished on the key foreshadows the danger the three lighthouse keepers will face. tone Tone is the attitude that a writer takes toward the audience, a subject, or a character. Tone is conveyed through the writer’s choice of words and details. For example. . . The poem “maggie and mily and molly and may” is light and playful in tone. By contrast, the poem “Annabel Lee” is serious in tone. You may think of other examples. symbolism A symbol is a person, place, thing, or event that has its own meaning and stand for something beyond itself as well. Symbolism is the condition or state of being a symbol. Common symbols: The dove is a symbol for peace. The skull and crossbones is a symbol of danger. Think of other symbols that you know. parallel structure If a sentence has parallel structure, the compound elements match in form. In other words, you will use the same kind of word or phrase in each of the compound elements. Example: Not parallel: Julie likes fishing and to swim in a cool mountain stream. Parallel: Julie likes fishing and swimming in a cool mountain stream. projection Projection means to control the volume, clarity, and distinctness of a voice to gain greater audibility (to make people hear you better). prose Prose is writing or speaking in the usual sentence form. Prose becomes poetry when it takes on rhyme and rhythm. revision Making changes in a piece of writing to improve its completeness and clarity is called revision. Another word for revise is edit. You revise your essay by: correcting grammar errors deleting ideas or words adding words or sentences re-arranging ideas or sentences re-writing a passage adding transitional words dividing it into paragraphs sentence structure The structure of a sentence refers to the kinds and the number of clauses it contains. The four kinds of sentences are: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex. simple subject subject subject My dad, my brother, and I verb prepositional phrase drove out to the nearby woods prepositional phrase to gather pine cones. compound My brother picked up all the little cones, and my dad and I threw medium and big ones into the trunk of the car. complex When mom and Grandma saw how many we had, they laughed and said that we had enough to decorate ten houses. complex dependent clause When Mom and Grandma saw how many we had, independent clause they laughed and said we had enough to decorate ten houses. compound-complex We had forgotten to ask what size pine cones to get, and since Dad had never made decorations, he didn’t know. compound-complex We had forgotten to ask what size pine cones to get, and since Dad had never made decorations, he didn’t know. stereotype Stereotypes are beliefs about all the members of a particular group. Stereotypes are usually based on too little evidence or on false or misleading information. “dumb blonde” jokes all Black people can sing and dance well strategy A strategy is a detailed plan of action (scheme or plan) to accomplish a specific goal. For example, if a student has to sell 100 boxes of candy, he could adopt the strategy of selling at least 10 boxes per day, and in 10 days, he would have reached his goal. If you have trouble memorizing definitions of new vocabulary words, you could use index cards. Put the definition on one side; put the word on the other. Use the cards as flash cards to practice learning the meanings. (strategy at school) limerick A limerick is a five-line humorous poem. The rhyme pattern is a a b b a. Lines 1, 2 and 5 contain 3 beats (7 to 10 syllables) and rhyme, and lines 3 and 4 have two beats (5 to 7 syllables) and rhyme. There was an Old Person of Dover, Who rushed through a field of blue clover; But some very large bees, Stung his nose and his knees, So he very soon went back to Dover. lyric A lyric poem is a poem that expresses the feelings or thoughts of a speaker rather than telling a story. “Dreams” Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams For when dreams go Life is a barren field Frozen with snow. Langston Hughes narrative A narrative poem is a poem that tells a story. It may have any of the elements that a short story has, including: plot (intro, climax, etc.) character setting foreshadowing irony point of view flashback mood Think of a narrative poem that you have studied this year—or perhaps last year. Can you find the elements of a short story in it? They should be there for you to find. haiku Haiku is a Japanese style of poetry. It has three lines, 17 syllables does not rhyme, is about nature, and has a specific number of syllables in each line: 5, 7, 5 The crow has flown away: swaying in the evening sun, a leafless tree. Note: When translated from Japanese to English, often the haiku syllables are not “perfect.” viewpoint Viewpoint is another word for point of view or standpoint. Another synonym might be opinion. For example, if a news reporter walked up to you and asked, “What is your viewpoint of smoking in public?” he would be wanting to know your opinion about public smoking. Do you agree with people smoking in public? Why? Do you disagree? Why? Does it bother you? Why or why not? What are the good things about it? What are the bad things about it? Bibliography Most clip art is taken from Microsoft Office Online. Most definitions and some examples are taken from Holt’s Elements of Language, 2004 edition. Some examples are my personal writings; some pictures were snatched from the Internet, various places. Some definitions are taken from Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition. Some definitions and examples were taken from Holt’s Elements of Literature, 2007 edition, both First Course and Second Course.