Wondrous Words

A large and wide-ranging vocabulary is key to deep comprehension when listening and reading as well as to effective communication when speaking and writing. To help students develop such vocabularies, students are introduced to several new words each week. Most words are connected to literature being read in class. Often, the words have multiple meanings. Students listen and look for these words throughout the day, eventually making the words their own.

These words are intended to become part of students’ listening and speaking vocabularies in first grade. Families can help students by incorporating these words into conversation at home! Look for new words along with student-friendly definitions each week.

Clara Barton by Francis E. Ruffin
rafter: long pieces of cut wood used to hold up a roof

Abraham Lincoln by Caroline Crosson Gilpin
civil war: a war between people from the same country
politician: a person who helps run a town, city, state, or country

Abe Lincoln: The Boy who Loved Books by Kay Winters and Nancy Carpenter
corn husks: the leaves from a cob of corn, which can be used to stuff a mattress
buckskins: pants made from deer leather
spun a yarn: an idiom meaning told a story

Loudmouth George and the Big Race by Nancy Carlson
a walk in the park: an idiom meaning easy

The Toll Bridge Troll by Patricia Wolff
toll: money you pay to use a road or a bridge
rickety: falling apart; not safe

George and Martha by James Marshall
loafers: shoes that do not have shoelaces; people who are lazy
fond: to like something

The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania of Jordan
swap: to trade one thing for another
hummus: a thick paste made out of chickpeas

Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman
frugal: careful not to waste anything
unsightly: does not look nice

The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf by Mark Teague
somewhat: a little bit
mortar: the cement that holds bricks together
jammed: stuck; very crowded; played music with others
reluctantly: without much excitement

Grandma Lena’s Big Ol’ Turnip by Delia Lewis Hester
perch: to sit on the edge of a chair or on a pole or branch; the pole or branch itself; a kind of fish
chuckle: to laugh a little bit
onomatopoeia: a word that sounds like a sound; an example from the text: “Pop! Out came that big ol’ turnip!”

The Giant Carrot by Jan Peck
idiom: an expression that uses words that usually have one meaning and gives them a different meaning; an example from The Giant Carrot: Mama Bess wants to “park her lips” on a big bowl of carrot stew
simile: a comparison using the word “like” or “as”; one of the two things being compared can’t really be true and is usually exaggerated; an example from The Giant Carrot: the carrot pudding “was as sweet as sweet Little Isabel”
saunter: to walk slowly
relish: to enjoy something a lot; a spicy sauce often made with chopped vegetables

The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza by Philemon E. Sturgis
evidence: facts used to support a claim
claim: to say something is true
urban: in the city
knead: to mix dough with your hands
delicatessen: a store that sells ready-to-eat food like meats or sandwiches; often shortened to deli

The Little Red Hen retold by Heather Forest
rummage: old stuff that you can sell at a garage sale; to look through a pile of something or a drawer or a cupboard to find something
loaf: bread that is shaped like a rectangle; to act in a lazy way
industrious: hard-working
frisky: playful and full of energy
analyze: to look at the parts of something to understand the whole thing better
folktale: an old, old story that wasn’t written down at first, that was told out loud for people to hear and remember, and that was told to entertain and instruct

Monkey: A Trickster Tale from India by Gerald McDermott
trickster: a person or a character in a story who plays tricks
nuisance: something that is annoying
chatter: to talk fast; to make fast noises that sound like talking; to make clicking sounds like chattering teeth when you are cold
splendid: wonderful or amazing

Wake Up, World! by Beatrice Hollyer
compound: a group of houses where a big family lives, including parents, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins
fetch: to go and get something and bring it back

Nonfiction text features from various texts
glossary: a dictionary that tells what words in the text mean; it is usually at the back of the book
table of contents: lists the names of the chapters and tells the pages they start on
title: names the text and tells what it is about
comparison: a photo or drawing of a familiar thing that is used to help the reader understand the size of an unfamiliar thing
close-up: a photo that shows something that is far away or very small in detail
inset: a small photo or drawing set into a larger photo or drawing to show an important detail
map: shows where something is or can be found
feature: an important or interesting part of something
photograph: shows exactly how something looks
detailed drawing: shows almost exactly how something looks
diagram: a photo or drawing that has labels on it that names the parts
caption: a sentence that tells what is in the photo or drawing

Words from The Night of the Veggie Monster by George McClements
finicky: to be picky or fussy
transform: to change into something new
slightest: the smallest amount possible
performance: an act or presentation shown to other people
squirm: to wiggle
gulp: to swallow a big amount of food or drink; to make a sound when you are afraid
dramatic: to show big emotions

Words from A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
tip: Money that you give a server at a restaurant for taking your order and making sure you like your food; a suggestion or good advice
bargain: to pay less than usual for something; a deal or agreement that people make together
persevere: to keep trying, even if it is hard
boost: to pick someone up so they can reach something that is up high; saying words to make someone feel better

Words from One by Kathryn Otoshi
sunny: no clouds in the sky; cheerful
regal: looking and acting like a king or a queen
outgoing: friendly; likes to meet new people
hot-head: gets angry easily, even over little things

Words from Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
confident: believing you can do something; believing that something is going to happen
glee: a feeling of great happiness; a song
stack: to put one thing on top of another until you make a pile