Common Core Standards: ELA - Literacy
ELA - Literacy.CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.4
RH.9-10.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.
It happens all the time, in the car, in an elevator, even on a boat. It’s always at the most inconvenient time. Often it can happen multiple times in one day, and it always makes you angry. The infuriating and habitual dropped call…it happens to the best of us, even fanatical iPhone users occasionally have to deal with it. I know, a lot of people don’t actually talk, but when you do, and the call drops, you don’t just get angry, you get hulk angry. Once you pick up the shreds of your shirt and dignity after the dropped call tantrum, you start to piece together info you missed when the call was lost. If you don’t get all the info, you have to spend more time trying to piece together the point of the conversation. This is the exact same result when you don’t understand, or bother to contextually infer, technical words or domain-specific vocabulary in a text. It’s as if your convo was scattered and sketchy; you only get half the words, so you only get half the meaning.
Once Upon a Passage
When reading history texts, you’ll need to understand fun terms like Antebellum (not a country-pop cross over band), Free Market Economy (not a huge BOGO sale), Women’s Suffrage (not about harming women), and Manifest Destiny (the answer is obvious if you’re fortunate). This stuff isn’t just to be glossed over when reading; if you can’t understand half of the words in the text, how are you supposed to know the point of the reading, and for that matter, how could you discuss it intelligently? Here are some helpful hints:
- When you get to a word you don’t know and you are reading a textbook, generally there will be a footnote or a dictionary of specific vocabulary in the back.
- The buzzword of the day: context clues! Many times when you are reading a passage, the sentence, paragraph, or entire passage (context) may give you an idea (clue) of what an unfamiliar word means. A careful reading will help you understand domain-specific vocabulary. This will be the last line of defense if you get in front of an exam and you don’t know what something means.
- Google that stuff: Research, it never hurts to do a little outside reading on your own. If you know you’re having a hard time with a section of history, read up! Find some reliable electronic sources that may aid your understanding. When all else fails, just look up the word or words in a dictionary for a start!
You never want to fall victim to misunderstandings via cell phone texts OR class texts. A poorly read passage, skipping unfamiliar words because you don’t know them, is like the auto correct feature on your phone; instead of reading “my parents got me a laptop,” you could end up reading “my pterodactyls got me a lap dance” …enough said.
Quiz QuestionsHere's an example of a quiz that could be used to test this standard.
Read each sentence given carefully. Choose the answer that gives the best definition or synonym for the bold word or words.