School Improvement in Maryland

Reading State Curriculum Glossary

Alliteration:

The repetition of the same consonant sound at the beginning of two or more words (i.e., Waves want to be wheels…)

Analyze:

To examine, closely study, and evaluate a text by breaking down and examining its elements to comprehend its meaning.

Antithesis:

The opposite of (i.e., Good is the antithesis of evil.)

Antonym:

A word that means the opposite of another word (i.e., happy/sad)

Base word:

A word to which affixes may be added to create related words (i.e., hemisphere, coauthor)

Bias:

A general tendency or leaning in one direction; a partiality toward one view over another

Character:

A person, animal, or an imaginary being in a narrative

Characterization:

The techniques an author uses to develop a character: description of physical appearance, thoughts and feelings, speech, and behavior

Cognate:

A word related to one in another language, such as theater (English) and theatre (French)

Colloquialism:

Language that is familiar, informal everyday talk. Movies is an informal term for the more formal term cinema

Compound word:

A combination of two or more words that function as a single unit of meaning, such as barefoot

Connotation:

An idea or feeling associated with a word in addition to its literal meaning. Hysterical has a stronger connotation than laughable

Consonant blend:

A combination of two or three consecutive consonants each representing a distinct sound (i.e., thr, br)

Context clue:

Information surrounding a word or phrase (i.e., words, phrases, sentences, or syntax) that gives clues to its meaning

Contraction:

The shortening of a written or spoken word or expression by omission of one or more letters or sounds, such as can't

Culture:

The ideas, activities (art, foods, businesses), and ways of behaving that are special to a country, people, or region

Decode:

To pronounce a word by applying knowledge of letter/sound correspondences and phonetic generalizations

Denotation:

A literal dictionary meaning of a word

Diction:

A choice of words to express an idea accurately

Digraph:

Two letters that represent one speech sound (i.e., autumn, snow)

Diphthong:

A vowel sound produced by two adjacent vowels in the same syllable whose sounds blend together (i.e., oy, ow)

Drama:

A form of literature to be acted out before an audience

Ethnicities:

The characteristics, language, and customs of a race, or country of people

Etymology:

The origin or history of words

Fable:

A brief tale that teaches lessons about human nature

Figurative language:

Language enriched by word meanings and figures of speech (i.e., similes, metaphors, personification, hyperbole)

Figures of speech:

Words or groups of words the writer doesn't mean literally, such as similes (thin as a reed), metaphors (…traffic is a high energy current jumping constantly between the poles of Brooklyn and New Jersey), and personification (…the very skins of the drums are singing with pleasure…)

Flashback:

An event in a narrative presented out of sequence from an earlier time

Fluency:

The ability to easily speak, read, or write a language; automatic word recognition, rapid decoding, and checking for meaning

Folk tale:

Stories passed by word of mouth from generation to generation

Folklore:

Traditions, customs, and stories passes down within a culture

Foreshadow:

Hints or clues in a text that suggests what may occur later in a narrative

Genre:

A category used to define literary works, usually by form, technique, or content (i.e., poetry, realistic fiction, historical fiction, play, and folklore)

Glossed words:

Words which are defined within the text

Graphic organizer:

Visual representations of information used for constructing meaning in reading, writing, and speaking

Haiku:

A form of Japanese poetry which has three lines focused on a single element

Homograph:

One of two or more words alike in spelling but different in meaning, derivation, or pronunciation; for example, the noun conduct and the verb conduct are homographs

Homophone/homonym:

One of two or more words alike in pronunciation but different in meaning, derivation, or spelling (i.e., to, two, too)

Hyperbole:

A statement where truth is exaggerated for effect

Hypertext:

Online highlighted or underlined text that take a user to another website which has related information

Idiom/Idiomatic expression:

A phrase whose meaning cannot be understood from the literal meaning of the words in it

Illustration:

Artwork, photography, or other pictures

Imagery:

Words and phrases that appeal to the five senses

Independent level text:

Text that is relatively easy for the reader, with no more than approximately 1 in 20 words that are difficult for the reader (95% accuracy); Source: Put Reading First by the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievment (CIERA), September 2001

Inference:

A logical guess based on text evidence I made an inference about the child's height when I saw his tall parents.

Inflectional ending:

The change of form that words undergo to mark distinctions such as number and tense (i.e., ing, s, es)

Informational text:

Text that conveys or explains information

Instructional level text:

Text that is challenging but manageable for the reader, with no more than approximately 1 in 10 words that are difficult for the reader (90% accuracy); Source: Put Reading First by the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA), September 2001

Internalize:

To make vocabulary and concepts a part of one's learning

Irony:

The contrast between what is said and what is meant or the contrast between what appears to be and what actually is

Literary text:

A wide range of texts that tell a story to make a point, express a personal opinion, or provide an enjoyable experience

Message:

The author's thoughts about a topic in informational text

Metaphor:

A stated comparison of two things that have some quality in common not using the words like or as

Mood:

The feeling a text creates within a reader

Narrative text:

A text that tells a story

Novella:

A short novel

Onomatopoeia:

The use of words that sound like the natural noises they name

Onset:

The initial consonant (i.e., the onset of bag is b and the onset of swim is sw)

Organizational structure/pattern:

The way facts and details are arranged in a text that help the reader understand the text (i.e., sequential order, time order, location order, cause/effect, comparison/contrast, similarities/differences)

Paraphrase:

A restatement of a text in a reader's own words

Peripheral information:

Information in a text that is not of central importance

Personification:

A statement that an inanimate object has lifelike characteristics

Perspective:

A reference to an author's beliefs and attitudes

Phonemes:

A minimal sound unit of speech, such as single letters

Phonemic awareness:

The ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken words

Plausibility:

An appearance of reality in a literary text

Plot:

The action or sequence of events in a story

Point of view:

The perspective from which an author tells a story. The two major points of view are first and third person

Prefix:

A word part added to the beginning of a root or base word to create a new meaning (i.e., regain, incomplete)

Primary source:

An original source, such as someone's diary or journal, a survey or interview, letters, autobiographies, and observations

Print feature:

Type of text feature that relates to print such as font style, color, and size

R-controlled vowel:

The modified sound of a vowel immediately preceding /r/ in the same syllable, such as car, birth, curl

Rhetorical question:

A question that is asked for effect where no answer is expected

Rimes:

Part of a syllable that contains the vowel and all that follows it (i.e., the rime of bag is ag and the rime of swim is im)

Secondary source:

A source that contains information that other people have gathered and interpreted, extended, analyzed, or evaluated, such as newspaper articles, a documentary on television, a website, a science text, and an encyclopedia entry

Setting:

The place and time when a story occurs

Sight word:

A word that is immediately recognized as a whole word and does not require word analysis for identification

Simile:

A stated comparison of two things that have some quality in common using the words like or as

Stanza:

A group of two or more lines of poetry

Strategy:

A systematic plan, consciously adapted and monitored, to improve one's performance in learning

Style:

The way an author uses language to express ideas including word choice, sentence structure, figurative language, repetition, symbols, dialogue, imagery, etc…

Suffix:

A word part that is added to the end of a root word (i.e., darkness)

Summarize:

A recounting of the important ideas of a text

Symbolism:

The use of a person, place, item, etc…that represents an abstract idea

Synonym:

A word that has a meaning identical with, or very similar to, another word in the same language (i.e., right/correct)

Syntax:

The way in which the words and phrases of a sentence are ordered that shows how they relate to each other

Synthesize:

To examine, closely study, and evaluate how individual text elements work together as a whole by combining the knowledge of one text element to the analysis of an additional element.

Text feature:

An important feature of literary and informational text that facilitates understanding for the reader (i.e., title, illustrations, diagrams, labels, bulleted lists, captions, etc.)

Theme:

The author's message about a topic within a text

Tone:

An author's attitude toward a subject

Trade books:

Books published for a general readership rather than specifically for the classroom

Transition words and phrases:

Words or phrases that signal a change from one idea to another

URL:

Uniform Resource Locator is the address of a website

Vignette:

A short, descriptive, literary sketch

Word root:

The main part of a word to which a prefix and/or suffix may be added to make another word, such as actor