Social Studies Academic Vocabulary


Social Studies
Academic Vocabulary Words

Research demonstrates that the ability to use the particular language of any discipline is a strong predictor of how well students will learn the subject when they come to school. Students who have "advantaged" academic vocabulary generally do better in school. Students with "disadvantaged" academic vocabulary generally struggle.

The more students understand the academic terms in content standards, the easier it is for them to understand information they may read or hear about the topic. Teaching specific terms in a consistently effective way to all students is one of the strongest actions a teacher can take to ensure that students have the academic background knowledge they need to understand the content they encounter in school.

Building academic vocabulary works in all classrooms and subject areas. Specific techniques for teaching academic vocabulary include this six-step process:

1) Provide a description, explanation, or example of the new term.

2) Ask students to restate the description, explanation, or example in their own words.

3) Ask students to construct a picture, symbol, or graphic representing the term or phrase.

4) Engage students periodically in activities that help them add to their knowledge of the terms.

5) Periodically ask students to discuss the terms with one another.

6) Involve students periodically in games that allow them to play with terms.

Click on the Grade level below to be linked to the appropriate Social Studies Academic Vocabulary Words.

Grade 1

Grade 6

Grade 2

Grade 7

Grade 3

Grade 8

Grade 4

Grade 9

Grade 5

Grade 10