Cluster 3: Vocabulary Acquisition and UseArchived

General Information
Number: LAFS.8.L.3
Title: Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
Type: Cluster
Subject: English Language Arts - Archived
Grade: 8
Strand: Language Standards

Related Standards

This cluster includes the following benchmarks.

Related Access Points

This cluster includes the following access points.

Access Points

LAFS.8.L.3.AP.4a
Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence, paragraph or text; a word’s position in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a grade-appropriate word or phrase.
LAFS.8.L.3.AP.4b
Verify the prediction of the meaning of a new word or phrase.
LAFS.8.L.3.AP.4c
Find the pronunciation of a word.
LAFS.8.L.3.AP.4d
Find the synonym for a word.
LAFS.8.L.3.AP.4e
Find the precise meaning of a word.
LAFS.8.L.3.AP.5a
Use literacy devices (e.g., similes, metaphors, hyperbole, personification, imagery) in narrative writing.
LAFS.8.L.3.AP.5b
Distinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with similar denotations (definitions) (e.g., bullheaded, willful, firm, persistent, resolute).
LAFS.8.L.3.AP.5c
Use the relationship between particular words to better understand each of the words.
LAFS.8.L.3.AP.5d
Identify irony within a text or media.
LAFS.8.L.3.AP.5e
Identify a pun within a text or media.
LAFS.8.L.3.AP.5f
Interpret figures of speech (e.g., allusions, verbal irony, puns) in context.
LAFS.8.L.3.AP.6a
Use grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases accurately within writing.
LAFS.8.L.3.AP.6b
Use general academic and domain-specific words and phrases accurately.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this topic.

Lesson Plans

Picturing Shakespeare’s Sonnets:

In this lesson, students select and read a Shakespearean Sonnet. They will de-code the sonnet to further understand the meaning of the sonnet and be able to express the meaning through aural and visual presentations.

Type: Lesson Plan

One for All? Or Not. A Close Read of Distresses of a Frontier Man:

This lesson is based on Letter XII: Distresses of a Frontier Man by J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur. This "letter" is one of a collection of essays in an epistolary format from the collection, Letters from an American Farmer (1782). In this lesson, students will focus on using various vocabulary strategies to decode challenging vocabulary words from the text. To assist in comprehension, students will read and analyze the text through a chunking strategy where they will participate in text-marking, summarizing, and answering text-dependent questions. The culminating assignment will allow students to develop an argumentative written response that is supported by the text.

Type: Lesson Plan

Be Careful What You Wish For: A Close Reading Lesson:

In this lesson, students will conduct a close reading of the short story "The Monkey's Paw" by W. W. Jacobs. Students will work to determine the meanings of selected vocabulary words from the story, answer text-dependent questions, and examine a moral of the story, "Be careful what you wish for." In the summative assessment students will write their own narrative that shares the same moral. This lesson includes a vocabulary graphic organizer and key, text-dependent questions and key, a story planning graphic organizer, and a rubric for the narrative.

Type: Lesson Plan

Remembering D-Day: A Close Reading Lesson:

This is a close reading lesson based on the article "Remembering the D-Day Invasion with Salutes, Tears and Friendship." This article focuses on the anniversary of D-Day and the effect it had on soldiers and civilians who experienced the attack. This lesson provides an opportunity for close reading, vocabulary acquisition, and writing a summary. A vocabulary organizer and key, text-dependent questions and keys, and a writing rubric have been included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Pygmalion: A Mythological Inspiration:

In this unit, students will discover the relevance of Greek mythology as they unravel the story of Pygmalion, the lonely sculptor who carved out of ivory his true love, just like Professor Higgins "carved" out of the slums of London his ideal mate in the stage play Pygmalion. Students will conduct three close readings of Thomas Bulfinch's Pygmalion to answer text-dependent questions, work with vocabulary from the text, and construct a plot diagram of the myth. Students will also work as a class to read an abridged excerpt from Act II of George Bernard Shaw's award winning play, Pygmalion. The plot of the play is augmented with songs from the filmed musical My Fair Lady. Students will compare and contrast key characters and their traits from both texts. In the end of unit assessment, students will create their own narrative version of the Pygmalion myth.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading of Echo and Narcissus:

In this lesson, students will conduct three close readings of the highly entertaining myth "Echo and Narcissus" as retold by Thomas Bulfinch. Through these readings, students will answer text-dependent questions about the myth, work to determine the meanings of selected vocabulary and sort them into different categories, analyze character motivation, and determine the settings used in the story. For the end of lesson assessment, students will determine a theme for the myth and write about that theme in an extended response paragraph.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading of a Greek Myth: Apollo and Daphne:

Students will conduct a close reading of the myth "Apollo and Daphne" as told by Thomas Bulfinch. Students will use a variety of strategies to learn new vocabulary from the myth, paraphrase complex sentences, and analyze lines in the story that propel action, reveal details about a character, or provoke a decision. As the summative assessment for the lesson, students will work in groups to create a short dramatization of an assigned section of the myth. Also as part of this lesson, students will view some wonderful artwork inspired by this myth and explore why myths are still relevant in our culture.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading Exemplar: Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution:

The goal of this one to two day exemplar from Student Achievement Partner web resources is to give students the opportunity to observe the dynamic nature of the Constitution through the practice of close reading and writing habits. By reading and re-reading the passage closely, and focusing their reading through a series of questions and discussion about the text, students will explore the questions Monk raises and perhaps even pursue additional avenues of inquiry. When combined with writing about the passage, not only will students form a deeper appreciation of Monk’s argument and the value of struggling with complex text, but of the Preamble of the Constitution itself.

Type: Lesson Plan

Prereading Strategy:Using Vocabulary, Language, Prediction (VLP) Approach:

Students can use this Vocabulary - Language - Prediction (VLP) approach to understand new vocabulary prior to reading any text. The VLP approach helps in structural analysis, parts of speech, semantics, and the rhyming of words. Although the example used here is for nonfiction, the strategy could be used for all types of texts.

Type: Lesson Plan

What is Normal? Exploring Connotations and Denotations:

The goal of this lesson is to give students the opportunity to explore the connotations and denotations of the word "normal" and its various meanings. Through the use of "Us and Them," a personal essay by David Sedaris, students will explore the various beliefs and points of view of "normal" based on the picture painted by Sedaris. Students will need to consider the emotional context of words and how diction reveals an author's tone and message, as well as how the use of irony can impact the tone of a piece. Students will also read and analyze a Time article, "An In-Depth View of America by the Numbers," by Nancy Gibbs. For the summative assessment, students will write an explanatory essay (several prompts are provided) about normality using evidence from the texts studied in the lesson for support.

Type: Lesson Plan

Florida: Feast of Figurative Language:

In this lesson (part two of a two-part unit), students will read the poem "Florida" by Elizabeth Bishop and label her use of figurative language. Students will then determine how word choice and figurative language enhance and convey author's meaning and tone. Using Bishop's poem as a model, students then write their own Florida poem brimming with figurative language and vivid vocabulary.

Type: Lesson Plan

To the Heart of Human Expression: Form and Theme in Poetry (Part 2 of 3):

In this second lesson of a three-part unit, students will explore how to identify and explain theme in poetry. Small group and full class discussions will be included as will a review of poetic and sound devices. Using Shakespeare's "Sonnet 71" and poetry of the Holocaust, students will analyze two poems and write theme analysis paragraphs for one of them with the help of a graphic organizer and rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Paths We Take: A Poetic Comparison:

Students will study two poems in this lesson: Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" and Dale Wimbrow's "The Guy in the Glass." Students will identify and explain the use of metaphor in each poem, and they will also examine the imagery and personification used in each one. Students will also determine a theme of each poem and explain the similarities and differences in their related themes.

Type: Lesson Plan

To the Heart of Human Expression: Tools of the Poet's Trade (Part 1 of 3):

The three-part unit, of which this lesson is the first, examines the poet's ability to marry form and theme using poetic devices in order to create verse that cuts to the heart of some of humanity's most profound experiences. This first lesson is an exploration of a broad range of poetic and sound devices, and a detailed analysis of how these devices are at work in Shakespeare's Sonnet 71. The lesson culminates in small group review sessions where students apply their learning about poetic terms to revising their own written musings on what distinguishes poetry from prose.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading Exemplar: The Long Night of Little Boats:

In this lesson, students will analyze a rich literary nonfiction text illustrating the rescue of British soldiers at Dunkirk in 1940. Through use of repeated readings, text dependent questions, class discussion, and two writing tasks, students will examine the miraculous nature of what happened at Dunkirk and how shared human values played a part in the outcome of this event. This lesson was designed originally for use in a middle school Social Studies curriculum, where teaching students to go beneath a surface understanding of historical events is at a premium. Although this exemplar was designed to be used in a middle school Social Studies curriculum, it is appropriate for use in an ELA class as well.

Type: Lesson Plan

Poetry and Meaning: "Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight" :

In this lesson, students will study the poem "Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight" by Vachel Lindsay. Students will identify the examples of imagery within the poem and determine how the use of imagery contributes to the poem's meaning. Students will also practice making connections between the poem and its background information (President Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War) as well as its historical context (World War I). During the lesson, students will also practice determining the meaning of unfamiliar words in the poem.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorials

Bridging Figurative Language:

Learn how figurative language contributes to the meaning of an informational text. In this interactive tutorial, you'll examine excerpts from President Obama's 50th Anniversary Speech of the March on Selma. You'll specifically analyze his use of imagery and metaphors and how they add to the meaning of his speech.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Words Take Root: Learning New Vocabulary:

Learn about Greek and Latin roots (anti, capit, bene, bon, and mal) and 12 modern words that feature those roots. In this interactive tutorial, you'll practice using these words and hopefully add them to your vocabulary!

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Rooting Out Words: Learning New Vocabulary:

Learn about ancient Latin roots — Ante, Post, Scrib, and Script — and practice using twelve modern words connected with these roots to build your vocabulary in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Getting at the Roots of Language: Learning New Vocabulary:

Learn about three roots from ancient Latin and Greek — Per, Seque, and Mis — and practice using twelve modern words connected with these roots to build your vocabulary in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Word Scholar: Using Context Clues:

Identify and apply context clues, including synonyms, antonyms, and inferences, to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words in passages about the life of Frederick Douglass with this interactive tutorial. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Root of the Matter: Learning New Vocabulary:

Learn about five roots from ancient Latin and Greek—frag, fract, cret, syn, and sym—and practice using twelve modern words connected with these roots to build your vocabulary in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Know Your Roots: Learning New Vocabulary:

Learn about 3 Latin roots (Am, Ab, and Ad) and 12 new words that feature those roots. In this interactive tutorial, you'll make some interesting language connections and hopefully add some new words to your vocabulary!  

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Vocabulary Unleashed:

Learn 12 new academic vocabulary words in this interactive tutorial! You'll practice the words' synonyms, antonyms, parts of speech, and context clues in order to add them to your vocabulary.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Vocabulary Mastery:

Learn 12 new academic vocabulary words, identify their parts of speech, synonyms, and antonyms, and use them in context with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Vocabulary in Action:

Learn 12 new academic vocabulary words in this interactive tutorial!  You'll practice the words' synonyms, antonyms, parts of speech, and context clues in order to add them to your vocabulary.  

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Vocabulary Power:

Learn 12 new academic vocabulary words in this interactive tutorial!  You'll practice the words' synonyms, antonyms, parts of speech, and context clues in order to add them to your vocabulary.  

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Alien Invasion! Or Not?:

Learn about puns--a type of figurative language--in Philip K. Dick's science fiction short story "The Eyes Have It." In this interactive tutorial, you'll identify puns, interpret their various meanings, and explain how the author’s use of puns adds humor to the story.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

VSI: Vocabulary Scene Investigation:

Learn how to determine the meaning of "mystery words" using several different strategies in this interactive crime-themed tutorial. You'll learn how to recognize a word's job or function in a sentence to help determine its meaning. You'll also practice identifying key words and word parts to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Putting Down Roots: Learning New Vocabulary:

Learn about 3 Greek and Latin roots (spect, path, and omni) and 12 modern words that feature those roots. In this interactive tutorial, you'll practice using these words and hopefully add them to your vocabulary!  

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Teaching Idea

ABC Vocabulary Books:

This series of lessons guides students through the process of creating their own ABC book. This lesson can be used with any unit of study. This would be a great cross-curriculum activity.

Type: Teaching Idea

Video/Audio/Animation

What is Verbal Irony?:

In this animated video from TEDed, students will learn how to detect verbal irony and sarcasm. They will also examine subtle differences between verbal irony and sarcasm by closely examining situation and attitude.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Original Student Tutorials

Bridging Figurative Language:

Learn how figurative language contributes to the meaning of an informational text. In this interactive tutorial, you'll examine excerpts from President Obama's 50th Anniversary Speech of the March on Selma. You'll specifically analyze his use of imagery and metaphors and how they add to the meaning of his speech.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Words Take Root: Learning New Vocabulary:

Learn about Greek and Latin roots (anti, capit, bene, bon, and mal) and 12 modern words that feature those roots. In this interactive tutorial, you'll practice using these words and hopefully add them to your vocabulary!

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Rooting Out Words: Learning New Vocabulary:

Learn about ancient Latin roots — Ante, Post, Scrib, and Script — and practice using twelve modern words connected with these roots to build your vocabulary in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Getting at the Roots of Language: Learning New Vocabulary:

Learn about three roots from ancient Latin and Greek — Per, Seque, and Mis — and practice using twelve modern words connected with these roots to build your vocabulary in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Word Scholar: Using Context Clues:

Identify and apply context clues, including synonyms, antonyms, and inferences, to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words in passages about the life of Frederick Douglass with this interactive tutorial. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Root of the Matter: Learning New Vocabulary:

Learn about five roots from ancient Latin and Greek—frag, fract, cret, syn, and sym—and practice using twelve modern words connected with these roots to build your vocabulary in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Know Your Roots: Learning New Vocabulary:

Learn about 3 Latin roots (Am, Ab, and Ad) and 12 new words that feature those roots. In this interactive tutorial, you'll make some interesting language connections and hopefully add some new words to your vocabulary!  

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Vocabulary Unleashed:

Learn 12 new academic vocabulary words in this interactive tutorial! You'll practice the words' synonyms, antonyms, parts of speech, and context clues in order to add them to your vocabulary.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Vocabulary Mastery:

Learn 12 new academic vocabulary words, identify their parts of speech, synonyms, and antonyms, and use them in context with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Vocabulary in Action:

Learn 12 new academic vocabulary words in this interactive tutorial!  You'll practice the words' synonyms, antonyms, parts of speech, and context clues in order to add them to your vocabulary.  

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Vocabulary Power:

Learn 12 new academic vocabulary words in this interactive tutorial!  You'll practice the words' synonyms, antonyms, parts of speech, and context clues in order to add them to your vocabulary.  

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Alien Invasion! Or Not?:

Learn about puns--a type of figurative language--in Philip K. Dick's science fiction short story "The Eyes Have It." In this interactive tutorial, you'll identify puns, interpret their various meanings, and explain how the author’s use of puns adds humor to the story.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

VSI: Vocabulary Scene Investigation:

Learn how to determine the meaning of "mystery words" using several different strategies in this interactive crime-themed tutorial. You'll learn how to recognize a word's job or function in a sentence to help determine its meaning. You'll also practice identifying key words and word parts to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Putting Down Roots: Learning New Vocabulary:

Learn about 3 Greek and Latin roots (spect, path, and omni) and 12 modern words that feature those roots. In this interactive tutorial, you'll practice using these words and hopefully add them to your vocabulary!  

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this topic.