- capable of, deserving of, giving to or that which can be.
- This suffix creates adjectives out of verbs and nouns. Here are some examples:
- enjoyable — something that gives enjoyment
- chewable — something that can be chewed
- desirable — something that deserves to be desired
- biodegradable — something that is capable of being degraded (or broken down) by nature
- employable — a person who is capable of holding down a job (i.e. being employed)
- observable — something that is capable of being observed
- unimaginable — something that cannot be imagined
- reusable — something that can be reused (i.e. used again)
- testable — something that can be tested
- If something is accessible, it is easy to travel to, reach, or get into — especially for people who have trouble walking due to an injury, illness or disability.
- This restaurant became accessible to many more people when its owners installed a wheelchair ramp.
- Did you know that most of Metro Vancouver's buses and trains are accessible to people who have trouble walking? They have low floors, ramps, elevators and other special equipment to make it possible for most everyone to get around!
- The word accessible has at least two other important meanings, too! Look up this word in a good dictionary!
- To achieve something — or reach a goal — in a way that requires effort, skill or courage.
- This summer, I'd like to accomplish something big — finishing a triathlon! I already walk and ride my bike a lot and I've been working hard to improve my swimming skills. Soon, I'll begin training for a 10k Run.
- To be accountable for something means that you are responsible for it being done correctly.
- When he suspended the boy for cheating, the principal said that we must all be held accountable for our actions.
- Even though the man had not planned the theft, a judge held him accountable for his role in carrying it out. He was sentenced to four years in jail and will have a criminal record for the rest of his life.
- As you move on through school, letter grades hold you accountable for the quality of the work you produce. You can be rewarded with high marks and good grades or penalized with low marks and poor grades.
- responsible, answerable, liable
- Do you see the word COUNT in the middle of this word? That gives a clue to its meaning! We count money or things. An accountant deals with our finances and taxes. When we put money in a bank account, we expect it to be kept safe. All of these things MUST be done correctly! The word accountable holds a lot of the same meaning!
The word accountable often follows the verb TO HOLD, as in these examples:
- If something is accurate, it is correct. In other words, it includes no mistakes.
- The information in his report was accurate.
part of speech
- An adjective is a word that describes a noun.
- In the phrase
The short, green elf, the words short and green are adjectives. (They describe the noun in the sentence — the elf!)
part of speech
- An adverb is a word that describes a verb.
- She completed her homework quickly.
- Adverbs tell how, when, where, how often or how much something happens.
- The student arrived late. (The word
lateis an adverb because it tells WHEN the student arrived!)
- Many adverbs end with the suffix -ly.
- It's generally best to keep adverbs close to the action they describe! In SHORT sentences, this is easy, but it can get a little harder in longer ones!
- ready, or likely, to attack
- Nootka School is home to some pretty aggressive seagulls!
- confrontational; combative; violent; quarrelsome; fiesty
- passive; gentle; mild; meek
- of, about or pertaining to
- Study these examples to get a sense of how this suffix works:
- musical — of or about music
- personal — it's about someone, a particular person
- alphabetical — of or about the alphabet, most often meaning in ABC order.
- accidental — of or about an accident
- educational — of or about education and learning (i.e.
That was an educational experience!)
- global — about the globe, or whole world.
- graphical — about something with lots of graphics or drawings
- colossal — from the Latin word kolossos, it describes something that is extremely large
- spinal — from the root word spine (i.e. backbone). If you hear that someone had a spinal injury, you know they are in serious trouble!
- normal — from the Math concept norm (i.e. standard or average). Therefore, something that is
normalis pretty average, or very much like most of the others!
- a lack of care, interest or feeling
- She showed apathy when she tossed her empty pop can into the garbage instead of taking the time to find a recycling bin for it.
- passion; commitment; dedication; enthusiasm
- what you say (and do!) to make things right when you've done something wrong
- I'm writing an apology to make up for the hurt my unkind words have caused.
My behavior at her house last night was pretty bad! I really got carried away,said the boy.
I'm going to call my aunt tonight to make an apology.
- having some knowledge or understanding of something (i.e. often a problem of some kind)
- Our Talking Trash film won an award for raising awareness about the environmental problems caused by all the garbage created in Metro Vancouver.
- something that's all of those things because it's embarrassing or socially inappropriate!
- How could you say that to him? You made us all feel very awkward!!!
- something that's difficult or hard to handle because it's big, bulky, or oddly-shaped
- Our old wheelbarrow has a flat tire and damaged wooden handles. It still kind of works but it can be awkward to maneuver!
- shy, uncomfortable, difficult
- something that stands in the way, or prevents access
- Those stairs may be a barrier to someone in a wheelchair.
- roadblock, impediment
- an advantage gained by some activity
- The main benefit of doing your homework at the same time every night is that you won't accidentally
forgetto do it later!
- These days, there are many benefits for cities that encourage more people to live on the same land. Vancouver is seen by many as a real leader amongst cities for its efforts to maintain old residential neighborhoods — and to develop new ones! — close to the Downtown area. The same sort of thinking is behind the building of
laneway housing,a new form of development that allows small houses to be built in the back of typical single-family homes!
These sorts of strategies allow more people to live (and work) in much the same area, a fact that can help them to reduce their need to travel by car! In addition, the increased property taxes that result from these practices enable cities to provide better services — such as extra schools, buses or bike lanes — to the residents of those neighbourhoods. Interestingly, the City of Vancouver has even invented the word
EcoDensityto highlight the environmental benefits of these kinds of activities!
- advantage; pro
- disadvantage; con
- showing favoritism and/or telling mainly one side of a story
- You can tell that some people are biased towards the Winter Olympics being held in Vancouver. They only point out the negatives!
- one-sided; unfair; partial; prejudiced
- unbiased; fair; impartial
noun or adjective
- (noun) a thousand million.
- There are now more than seven billion people living on this planet!
- A million is written with 6 zeroes: 1,000,000
A billion is written with 9 zeroes: 1,000,000,000
A trillion is written with 12 zeroes: 1,000,000,000,000
- How big is a billion? If a billion kids made a human tower, they would stand up past the moon! If you sat down to count from one to one billion, you would be counting for 95 years! If you found a goldfish bowl large enough to hold a billion goldfish, it would be as big as a stadium!
from How Much Is A Million by David M. Schwartz
- (noun) a very large, but not exact, number
You can't make me go out there! There must be a billion mosquitoes right outside the door!she yelled.
- (adjective) being one billion in number
- Each new plane costs more than a billion dollars.
- A word that begins with the prefix
biohas something to do with life and/or living things.
- Here are some good examples:
- Biology is the scientific study of life.
- A biography is the story of someone's life. (Along the same lines, an autobiography is your own story of your life!)
- Something that is biodegradable can be easily broken down by bacteria or other living organisms.
- The concept of biodiversity refers to the ecological importance of the natural mix of plant and animal species in different parts of the world.
- It is important to protect what remains of the Earth's natural biodiversity.
- The biodiversity of an area is reduced by actions such as the logging of Old Growth Forests and the replanting of only a limited variety of new tree species. When this kind of thing happens, we can be almost certain that serious ecological problems will develop! For example, the resulting forest will be very different than what was originally there and many plants and animals species may be unable to survive in that area any longer. Similar problems can occur due to things like over-fishing, the uncontrolled growth of cities, the widespread use of toxic chemicals, acid rain, and industrial farming methods.
- When you see the letters bio- at (or near) the beginning of a word, you should recognize it as a prefix. That word has something to do with the concept of LIFE!
- See also our definition of the word biologist.
- A biologist is a scientist who specializes in the study of life and living things.
- Dr. Peterson is a biologist who studies leaf-cutter bees. He has worked with us on several of THRIVE's films.
- Sofi Hindmarch is a wildlife biologist studying the effect of rat poison on owls and other kinds of urban wildlife.
- See also our definition of the prefix bio-.
- to brag, talk proudly or exaggerate about one's own achievements, talents or possessions
EVERYONE knows that I'm the fastest runner in the school,Alex boasted.
- in a busy, or fully-engaged, manner
- Mrs. Thompson is busily trying to save the world for kids with dyslexia!
- lazily; carelessly; disinterestedly; slothfully
- a set of planned actions carried out in order to make something happen
- The campaign to prevent bullying must continue.
- BC is in the middle of an election campaign that will end with a province-wide vote on May 14th. The candidates for election have been debating their plans for the province, seeking the support of voters. Political parties have run many ads on TV, radio and the Internet.
This word can also be used as a verb, as in the following:
- to work in a determined way towards a goal
- William Wilberforce spent decades campaigning for the abolition of slavery in the British Empire in the early part of the nineteenth century. The effort nearly killed him but the goal was achieved just days before his death in 1833. A remarkable man, he was also a founding member of the SPCA. His story is told in the 2006 movie Amazing Grace.
- Rooted in Latin, the prefix
centmeans one hundred.
- Here are some good examples:
- A centimeter is one hundredth of a meter (i.e. a meter is one hundred centimeters).
- A century is one hundred years.
- A centennial is the one hundredth anniversary of something.
- A centipede is a small bug with a whole bunch of legs — not necessarily 100, but close!
- A centurion was an officer in the Roman army who was in command of 100 soldiers.
verb OR noun
- (verb) to invite — or even dare! — someone to do something
- I challenge you to another game of ping pong!
- (noun) an interesting or difficult problem or skill.
- Completing the puzzle proved to be a real challenge!
- a substance that is created by the interaction of different kinds of atoms or molecules
- A chemical such as aspartame can be used to make pop taste sweet without sugar.
- Rat poison is a chemical that has been designed to prevent the body from producing Vitamin K — a substance that's necessary to stop bleeding when injured.
- The distance all around the edge of a circle.
- Using a measuring tape, the children figured out that the circumference of the tin can was 26 cm.
- If you know the radius or diameter of a circle, you can use a mathematical formula to find its circumference and area:
c = d x π OR c = 2(r) x π
a = r² x π OR a = (r x r) x π
Remember that π = the value of pi (i.e. 3.14159 …).
- To try hard to beat others in some kind of task, race or contest.
- That in-your-heart-and-head knowledge of what is right and wrong. In cartoons and commercials, your conscience is often pictured as an angel and a devil whispering into your ears, one after the other.
- If you'd only listened to your conscience, you'd never have taken it in the first place!
- to conserve means to save, use carefully, ration and/or avoid wasting something
- When we went camping last summer, we had to conserve the water we brought because there were no safe streams or rivers to drink from.
- a link (or connection) between two different things
- There is a strong correlation between smoking and many forms of cancer.
- Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring details the correlation between the use of the pesticide DDT and the death of birds.
- Vaccines are used to prevent diseases. On the whole, they have proven to be very effective and safe. Nevertheless, some people continue to believe that the use of some vaccines causes Autism — a disorder that affects about one percent of the population. For this reason, it must be stated that our very best science tells us there is absolutely no correlation between the use of vaccines in children and Autism! Parents should not be afraid to have their children immunized!
- A coward is afraid to stand up for themselves, for others, or what they know is right and true. They back down instead of being brave and having courage.
- The coward could not admit that he had done it! He chose to run away and hide instead!
- the ability to come up with new and interesting ideas
- The student's creativity was demonstrated in her ability to create believable characters and situations for her stories.
- Famous American film director Frank Capra once said, "A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something."
- This word usually refers to an amount of money that someone has borrowed from a bank or credit card company.
- Using a credit card can quickly put someone in debt.
- To avoid getting into debt, it's important to pay your bills on time.
- to use words to tell about or create a mental picture of someone or something
I'd like you to describe exactly what you saw that night,said the lawyer to the witness.
- explain, tell, characterize
- to create, plan for, or develop the look and function of something
- I'm designing a new website for THRIVE! Our existing site gets a lot of
hitsbut I'm still working to make the new one even better!
- Someone that is determined has made a firm decision to do something.
- After getting some poor grades on her last report card, Samantha was determined to do better in school. She started taking notes in class, putting more effort into her homework and reading for at least 30 minutes every night.
- A straight line from one side of a circle to the other side that passes through the center.
- The diameter of a circle is DOUBLE the length of any radius of that circle. In the same way, a radius is HALF of the length of the diameter! So there is a strong relationship between the two concepts! If you know one, you can easily figure out the other!
- These concepts also apply to spheres!
- control over the way that you — or other people — act, perform or behave
- That kid is sure acting crazy! He needs some discipline!
- Ann Bancroft, the first woman to reach both the North and South Poles on walking, skiing and dogsled, has written:
Having a learning difference has given me the discipline I need to do these expeditions!
- to give things out
- Organizations like the Red Cross and World Vision distribute emergency supplies to people affected by natural disasters.
- Any naturally-occurring substance that is made entirely of one type of atom.
- There are more than one hundred different elements.
- Elements cannot be separated into simpler substances. The most common elements in our galaxy are:
- the ability to understand someone else's feelings as if they were your own.
- If people showed a little more empathy, our world would be a better place!
- Most of the racism and prejudice we see stems from a lack of empathy.
- Jack showed empathy when he ate lunch with the lonely new kid.
- at-risk, threatened, or likely-to-disappear in the near future
- The Northern Spotted Owl and Oregon Spotted Frog are two of BC's most endangered species.
- Biologists tell us that there are many endangered species in the world these days. While the reasons they are threatened are complicated, one of the biggest problems facing most at-risk creatures is habitat loss. People are paving over, building on, polluting and using up the places where they have traditionally made their homes! Human activity must be carried out more carefully if these species are to have any chance at survival!
- There is LOTS of additional information about this topic on the endangered species project page of our website!
- equal; about the same; approximately
- There is an equivalent decimal and percentage for every fraction.
- to grow, increase, or intensify
- Small troubles can escalate into big problems if they are not handled properly!
- Here's one example of an escalating pattern: AB AABB AAABBB
- to make a careful guess about the amount, size or value of something
- Can you estimate the number of marbles in the jar?
- Information and facts that help prove something — or make you believe that it is true.
- Police officers must gather enough evidence of a crime to convince a judge (or jury) that an accused person is guilty — or that person will be declared innocent and set free. Eyewitness testimony, fingerprints, DNA analysis and bank records are all used in this way on a regular basis.
- a lack of success
- It is usually — but not always! — true that failure in school leads to problems throughout a person's life. Therefore, it is very important to do YOUR best in school every day!
- Thomas Edison experienced a lot of failure as a scientist before invented the light bulb! Hundreds of his experiments were unsuccessful! How might today's world be different if he'd become discouraged — or just given up????
If kindergarteners who share [the well-known characteristics of a child at-risk for learning difficulties] could be identified BEFORE they receive formal instruction in reading, and be given the appropriate individualized reading instruction they need, then they might be relieved of the fear that comes with failure. They will not have had ingrained in their minds that most devastating of all lessons — that failure can follow earnest effort.
— Quote from The Gillingham Manual by Anna Gillingham & Bessie Stillman, 1997.
- to sift or sort through something
- Google often provides thousands of links to follow-up after even a simple search — and many of those websites may not agree with each other! Learning to effectively filter those results is a critical skill these days!
- There are several other useful definitions and ways to use this word! Look it up in a dictionary and try to learn about them, too!
- Something that is
frustratingprevents (or makes it difficult) for you to do what you want.
- Computer problems can be so frustrating!
- annoying, bothersome, challenging, discouraging
- willing to share your time and money with others
- Jack was generous when he shared his food with a classmate who had forgotten his own lunch.
- It is strange but true: many of the most generous people I've ever met were actually quite poor! Similarly, a lot of most hard-hearted, stingy people I've met have way more than they could ever use! Have you noticed this kind of thing, too?
- giving, open-handed, kind, unselfish
- selfish, unkind, cheap, hard-hearted, stingy, miserly
- a give-away, offer, promise, trick or scheme used to attract people's attention or get them to buy something. Gimmicks often have little or nothing to do with the product or service being sold!
- One gimmick that seems to work really well for McDonalds is to add cheap plastic toys to their
Happy Meals.For some reason, millions of kids (and their parents) fall for this scheme every year — even though those toys rarely work as promised or last more than a short while. It's kind of sad, don't you think?
Many web pages use flashy ads and other gimmicks to attract attention. It's best to completely ignore them! When someone offers you something that sounds
too good to be true,it almost certainly is.
- ruse, trick
- to successfully complete one level of schooling
- There are certain courses, including English 12 and Math 11, that you must pass in order to graduate from high school.
- Many young adults face a difficult decision as the end of high school approaches! They are ready to graduate but they don't yet know what they want to do with their lives!
Should I get a job, go to college, or spend some time traveling?they wonder. It's a common problem!
- the natural environment of a plant or animal
- Many plants and animals suffer if they are removed from their habitat.
- The degradation (deg-ra-day-shun) of habitat threatens many species of plants and animals in our world.
- In artwork and photographs, the horizon is the line where the earth and sky appear to meet.
- The horizon is an important element in the paintings and prints of the wonderful artist Roy Henry Vickers.
- A way of describing a person's long term potential and prospects for the future.
- Education broadens our horizons.
- This suffix is used to create the plural form of many nouns that end with the letter y! It's easy to apply this idea if you remember this short phrase:
Change the y to an i and add es.
- Study these examples:
- baby → babies
- cherry → cherries
- country → countries
- dictionary → dictionaries
- injury → injuries
- opportunity → opportunities
- party → parties
- strategy → strategies
- a lack of knowledge, education, understanding or sensitivity
- People who dislike others on the basis of the color of their skin, or some other visible difference, demonstrate ignorance.
- "There is no darkness but ignorance." (William Shakespeare)
- "Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear." (Mahatma Ghandi)
- against the law; not legal
- It is illegal to text or talk on a phone while driving.
- While it is illegal to ride a bicycle without a helmet in British Columbia, you'll still see people doing it! They may say that helmets mess up their hair, that they can't afford a helmet, or even that they don't think they'll ever get caught. Yet the truth is that all of these reasons are foolish and weak! The law was created in the hope of reducing the number of terrible injuries suffered by cyclists who get into accidents. Put simply, helmets prevent injuries and save lives and you should never ride a bike without one!
- When added to a word, the prefix il (or ill-) adds a negative tone to words:
- the part of your mind that can think in pictures.
- Your imagination allows you to
seepeople, places and things you've only heard about.
- the ability to create new, interesting or original ideas
- It took great imagination to write the script for that play.
- Someone that is impatient has a very hard time waiting.
- The little boy became impatient when dinner was late.
- a clear idea, feeling or sense about someone (or something).
- I had the impression that she didn't like me.
- When you meet someone for the first time, they'll get a sense of who you are — and how they feel about you. We call this
making a first impression.
- The prefix in means "not" or "the opposite of ... "
- Here are a few examples:
- incomplete — not complete; unfinished
- inappropriate — the opposite of appropriate; rude; insulting
- inaccurate — not accurate; not correct
- insensitive — not sensitive; unkind; rude; cold; mean
- inconvenient — not convenient; bothersome; difficult
- independent — not dependent on others; free; unhindered
- indestructible — not breakable; extremely strong
- inexplicable — not explainable; hard to understand
- infrequently — not frequently; rarely; uncommonly
- informal — not formal; casual
- insecure — the opposite of secure; not confident
- injustice — the opposite of justice; wrong; criminal
- insincere — the opposite of sincere; phony
- not predictable; continually changing; not following a regular pattern
- "Your inconsistent behavior makes it hard for me to understand you," complained his mother. "It's hard to predict what you will do one day to the next!"
- There's no doubt that Roberto Luongo is a talented goalie. Yet his performance is inconsistent! While he makes lots of AMAZING saves, he also lets in too many "bad" goals.
- variable, changeable, erratic, uneven
- consistent, predictable
- freedom from the control of others
- It is a parent's job to guide their children towards independence.
- India gained independence from Britain in 1947.
- The United States celebrates
Independence Dayon July 4th each year. It is a holiday for most Americans. Parties are held all over the country and fireworks light up the night sky in many places. It is a day when many Americans feel proud of their country.
- Something that's described as industrial is connected to large businesses, factories and/or the making of the products or services our society uses.
- Not many people want to live near factories and workyards, so the industrial areas of a city tend to be busy during the day and quieter at night.
- Industrial activity often causes problems with pollution.
- without concern for the feelings of others
- Paul made an insensitive comment about the new kid's clothing.
- unkind, thoughtless, uncaring, inconsiderate
- kind, thoughtful, caring, considerate
- The prefix inter- means among or between. It usually indicates some kind of
a connection between things.
- Here are a few examples:
- The internet is the worldwide connection between separate computer networks.
- The word international indicates something that happens between different nations (i.e. countries).
- If you read that something is interconnected, you know that it is made up of several different things working together.
- Your interpersonal skills refer to your ability to communicate and/or get along with other people!
- The intertidal zone is that part of a beach which is covered by water much of the time — but NOT a low-tide.
- when the total opposite of what was expected happens, often in a mildly amusing way
- It was ironic how the clumsiest kid in Kindergarten went on to become a star basketball player in high school!
The weather forecast said it would be sunny today!said the lady standing at the bus stop in the pouring rain without an umbrella.
- learning gained through practice, experience or education
- Spending time reading will increase your understanding about the world — and that knowledge will make you a better reader!
- The Wordsmyth entry for this word is very helpful! Check it out!
- a small, defined amount
- We have only a limited amount of time to get this project done!
- The suffix ly changes many adjectives and nouns into adverbs!
- Study these examples to get a sense of how this suffix works:
- The adjective bad becomes the adverb badly.
- The food had a bad taste.
- My team played badly today!
- The concert was so loud, it hurt my ears.
- She banged loudly on the door!
- She was cheerful when she called!
- She cheerfully said hello to everyone she met that day!
- Many scientists feel that global warming is a major threat to the planet!
- Act locally, think globally.
- What a beast!
- That was a beastly thing to do!
- She has been my friend since Grade Two.
- She winked in a friendly way.
milli+(mil-li or mil-lē)
- The prefix milli means "thousand."
- Here are some good examples:
- There are 1000 millimeters (mm) in one meter! To prove this, consider how our rulers show that there are 10 mm in each centimeter. Knowing that there are 100 centimeters in a meter, we can say that:
10 mm x 100 = 1000 mm (or 1 meter)!
We can also say that one millimeter is equal to one-thousandth of one meter (i.e. 1 mm = 1/1000 m).
- 1000 milliseconds (ms) equals one second of time! Your time spent on many activities in the Academy of Reading is measured in milliseconds. If the program says your average time per question is 2300 ms, you know that you've spent approximately 2.3 seconds on each one!
- 1000 milliliters (ml) equals one liter! A regular can of pop contains 355 ml. A 2-litre bottle of pop contains 2000 ml — or about five and a half cans of pop!
- A million is one thousand, thousands (i.e. 1000 x 1000 = 1,000,000).
- A millipede is an insect with an incredible number of tiny legs — way more than a centipede!!! In this case, the exact number isn't important! It's only an estimate!
- The prefix mis means wrong or bad.
- Here are some examples:
- The word misconduct means bad conduct.
- To misbehave is to behave badly.
- A misunderstanding is a wrong — and often hurtful (i.e. bad) understanding of a situation.
- To misinterpret is to give the wrong interpretation of an event.
- A miscalculation is exactly that — an error based on wrong thinking (or bad math!).
- Something that is misshapen is badly formed (i.e. a lumpy clay bowl that doesn't hold water).
- Used as a noun, the word
moralrefers to the lesson, or meaning, of a story such as a fairy tale.
- The moral of the tale The Boy Who Cried Wolf might be stated like this:
If you tell lies, people won't be able to trust you!
- spurred on towards a goal by a deep desire to achieve it
- The boy was motivated to learn about the next generation of space travel after watching the final landing of the Space Shuttle on TV.
- If someone or something is nocturnal, it stays up all night and sleeps through the day.
- When I got my first hamster, I didn't know that it was a noctural animal. I was sure in for a surprise that night!
- SOME OTHER NOCTURNAL CREATURES: kinkachus, owls, kiwi birds, tarantulas, bats, wolves, racoons, skunks, badgers, coyotes
part of speech
- A word that names a person, place, thing or idea.
- The words kangaroo, Canada, and happiness and democracy are all nouns.
- easy to see; crystal clear
- It's obvious that those two kids don't get along!
- The fact that they'd known each other for years was obvious!
- plain to see; unmistakable; apparent
- disguised, veiled
- The Olympics is an international celebration of summer and winter sports that sees thousands of athletes compete in a wide variety of events. An Olympic Games is held every two years — with the Summer Games and Winter Games alternating.
- The Winter Olympics will be held in Vancouver, BC in February 2010.
- chances to do something neat, useful or important
- Canadian kids have a wide range of opportunities that children born in other countries may not have.
- This suffix can be added to many nouns to create an adjective with that quality. For example, a famous "spacious area," means "an area full of space." You can think of the "ous" as meaning full of, or having the qualities like and/or abounding in.
- The meaning of words using this suffix is often clear if you look at the root of the word:
- adventurous = full of adventure
- anxious = full of anxiety
- courageous = abounding in courage
- curious = full of curiosity
- dangerous = abounding in danger
- famous = full of fame
- gaseous = having the qualities of a gas
- glamorous = abounding in glamor
- gracious = full of grace
- hazardous = full of hazards
- joyous = abounding in joy
- miraculous = having the qualities of a miracle
- monstrous = having the qualities of a monster
- poisonous = full of poison
- scandalous = having the qualities of a scandal
- a deep, heart-felt desire to see something different happen in the world — and to be part of making it happen!
- Her passion for the environment led to her participation in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup every September.
- Craig Kielburger was a regular 12-year-old kid growing up in Toronto, Canada when, one day in 1995, he read a newspaper article that changed his life! The story was about a twelve year old child who had been murdered in India for trying to stop child labor (i.e. the practice of making children work in factories, often in terrible conditions and for little pay). Craig's eyes were opened to the suffering that exists in our world and a passion was born!
Craig (along with his brother Mark) went on to start Free The Children, a movement working to educate other young people about these kinds of issues and to bring about positive change in the world. Spurred on by the Kielburger's boundless energy, the organization has grown tremendously! It now helps more than a million kids in 45 countries each year.
- This is another word with many other great meanings! Look them up!
- insightful, thoughtful, able to see things from a unique point-of-view
- That kid often makes perceptive comments in class! He's got the potential to do great things with his life!
adjective OR past tense verb
- Something that has been personalized has been altered, tweaked or redesigned so that it suits a particular person better.
- The team's personalized uniforms had each players' name and number sewn onto them. (adjective)
- Good teachers offers personalized assistance when one of their students gets stuck! (adjective)
- She personalized her bedroom by painting it her favorite colors and hanging pictures of her family and friends. (past tense verb)
- The Government of BC is talking a lot about
personalized learningthese days! The hope is to make our schools work better for a variety of students who don't do well in our current system. George Abbott, the BC Minister of Education, says that
Personalized learning is an opportunity for every child, every student, every learner to do their very best in education.It's seems like a good goal in many ways but it's not going to be easy to achieve! And it certainly won't come cheap! (adjective)
- Click here to take a look at some more of what the BC Ministry of Education says about personalized learning!
- a substance that can kill or seriously harm living things if it is swallowed, breathed, or otherwise taken into the body
- Scientific studies have shown that many of the poisons we use to keep rodents under control actually ends up killing many larger birds and animals, too. As a result, creatures like owls, eagles, coyotes and foxes are threatened.
- The prefix post– means after. Words that begin with it usually relate to the ending or completion of something.
- Here are some good examples:
- Many teachers give post-tests at the end of a unit to see how much their students have learned. (Tests given before a unit are called pre-tests!)
- If you watch sports on TV, you'll know that the broadcasters often run a post-game show to review the important goals and saves.
- On the news or in a documentary, you may hear about what life was like in the post-war period (i.e. the years after the war).
- In sports, the word post-season is another way of referring to
- The letters
PSstand for post-script — a quick and easy way to add extra information to an email or note!
- Not too many years ago, if you wanted to rent an apartment, the landlord might have asked you for post-dated cheques! To make him happy, you would have given him a bunch of cheques, each one dated for the first day of a coming month (i.e. January 1st, February 1st, March 1st). The owner could then cash each cheque at the bank when its date arrived. These days, the use of post-dated cheques is pretty rare — but it's still a good concept to know about!
part of speech
- a syllable (or group of letters) that can be added to the beginning of a word so as to change the meaning of that word
- Here are some good examples:
- un- means
notas in unhappy
- pre- means
beforeas in prewriting
- re- means
againas in reuse
- the appearance of something (i.e. how it looks to others)
- It's true! The presentation of your work influences the marks that you get! If you hand in papers that are crumpled, torn, messily written or doodled upon, you'll probably get lower marks! On the other hand, if you make the effort to present your work neatly, you'll almost certainly do better in school!
- There are some other good definitions of this word, too! It would be a good idea to learn them!
- Probability is the measure of how likely it is for an event to occur.
- When flipping a coin, the probability of getting a "heads" is 1 out of 2 — or 50%.
When rolling a 6-sided dice, the probability of rolling a number you "want" (i.e. a 4) is 1 in 6 — or just a little less than 17%.
- The governments and corporations run lotteries in order to make money! Don't kid yourself or get sucked in by advertising that implies you might win! For the truth of the matter is that the probability of winning the top prize in a lottery (such as Lotto 6/49 or LottoMax) are greater than ten million to one! These "games" are DESIGNED to make you lose!
- The phrase "in all probability" is often used to indicate that something appears to be a sure thing! "In all probability, the Toronto Maple Leafs will NOT win the Stanley Cup this year."
- chance; odds; likelihood
- the chances of something happening
- It's probable that the Canucks will make the playoffs again this year.
- likely; predictable
- improbable; unlikely
- to put off something you should do — because you don't want to do it
- Deep down, I think it's the fear of failure that often causes people to procrastinate! They don't really think they can succeed, so they don't even try!
- dawdle; stall; delay
- A pupil is the round, central part of an eyeball.
- Owls can open their pupils very wide to let in all available light. This fact allows them to hunt for small animals at night!
The pupil is the opening in the centre of the eye. Light enters the eye through the pupil and passes through the lens, which focuses the image on the retina. The size of the pupil is controlled by muscles. When in a dark place, the pupil dilates (i.e. grows larger) to take in as much light as possible. In brightly lit places, the pupil contracts to prevent too much light from entering the eye.(Adapted from Wikipedia's Simple English site.)
- a person who is learning in a school — or being taught something by someone
- My piano teacher would like a few additional pupils.
- student; learner
- Click here to take a look at a graphic we made!
- in a very short time
Get over her quickly,called the science teacher,
or you'll miss it!
- rapidly, fast
- Many people misspell this word!
- A straight line from the center of a circle to its edge.
- The radius of this circle is six centimeters.
- The radius is HALF the length of the diameter (i.e. d x ½)
- happening only once in a while, or not very often
My family rarely goes anywhere in the summer!complained the teenager.
- To bring food from the stomach back into the mouth.
- Many birds regurgitate some of the food they've eaten — and then feed THAT to their young!
Owls swallow much of their prey whole. The owl's digestive system removes nutrients from the flesh and other body parts that it can digest. Yet it cannot break down things like bones, hair or feathers! These indigestible parts are squeezed into small balls that can then be regurgitated. (By studying the contents of these
owl pellets,we can determine what an owl has eaten.) This process is much safer for the owl than if this waste, including sharp bones, had to pass through their intestines as excrement. (Adapted from this Answers.com web page.)
an important idea in vocabulary
- Many of the words we use today started out as words in another language! For example, more than 50% of today's English words began as Latin words used throughout the Roman Empire! Many more come from Greek, French, Spanish and German — although the way we spell them now may well have changed a bit.
- Root words often give us a strong hint of their meaning! Since these roots are found in many, many English words, learning what they mean can help you to understand what you read much better!
- (noun) one of the small, hard plates that cover the bodies of fish, snakes and reptiles
- Scientists believe that most dinosaurs, like modern snakes and lizards, were covered with scales.
- (verb) to climb up something
- She scaled a steep cliff.
- climb, ascend
- (noun) a series of musical notes going up or down in order
- The notes in the C Major Scale are C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C
- (noun) a device used for weighing, or finding the weight of, something
- (noun) a series of ordered steps or degrees
- Many schools and universities use a 4-point grading scale — as in this one from the University of Alberta.
- (noun) a set of ordered marks, numbers or unit on a ruler, thermometer or other system used for measuring something
- The Richter Scale is used to tell the strength of earthquakes.
- (noun) the ratio of between the measurements on a map or model and the actual size of the thing
- That map has a scale of one centimeter to ten kilometers.
- (noun) anything that rises in a step-by-step (or "incremental") manner, such as the pay-scale for the workers of a big company
- Our company's pay scale starts at $8/hour per hour for new employees and goes all the way up to $16/hour for managers.
- (verb) to change the size of something — or the scope of one's plans.
- Using the graphics program Intaglio, you can use the Scale Tool to reduce or enlarge the size of an object.
- They scaled back their travel plans once they figured out how much it would all cost.
- (noun) to remove the scales from a fish before cooking
- The prefix self means about me or you or it.
- Here are some examples showing how we use it:
- The phrase a sense of self-esteem — or self-worth — refers to HOW you feel about yourself (i.e. what you believe you're good at and/or the value of your life to others).
- A self-evaluation is meant to be an honest review of your own work or performance. Thinking about what you did (or didn't!) DO WELL can help you to improve for the next time you have a similar opportunity!
- It's been shown that positive self-talk can help people to do better in all kinds of ways! For example, cancer patients who tell themselves that they're going to recover tend to do much better than those who just give up!
- Self-monitoring demands paying attention to HOW you're doing something while you're doing it!
- People who seem self-centered seem to care (and talk!) mostly about themselves. To be honest, it seems to me that — deep down — most people of this sort seem to have a very low sense of self-worth, too.
- work that helps others
- In Canada, the service that doctors provide is paid for by the government with tax dollars.
- The word service has MANY different meanings! Be sure to learn about the others in a good dictionary!
- living alone or away from others
- Dr. Peterson used the word solitary to describe the life of leafcutter bees.
- Prisons sometimes use solitary confinement to punish (or protect) their worst prisoners.
- lonesome; singular; secluded
- social; communal
- a plan, method, or series of actions intended to accomplish something specific or reach a certain goal
- The Vancouver Canucks' strategy for trying to beat the Boston Bruins in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals ended in failure.
- During World War II, the Allied strategy for defeating Nazi Germany (and freeing Europe) depended on the success of the invasion of Normandy (in France) that began on June 6th, 1944.
- A great deal of scientific research stands behind our claim that kids who make an effort to learn about (and use!) the strategies that we describe as The Writing Process end up doing better in school than those who don't!
- something that is stressful makes you feel worried, anxious or pressured
- The whole class found the news that there would be a major math test on Friday to be very stressful!
- difficult; demanding your own way; hard to manage
- My dog can be very stubborn at times! Although he is perfectly capable of jumping into the car, he usually refuses to get in on his own! We have to lift him up and place him in! No kidding!
- headstrong, inflexible, obstinate, ornery, willful
part of speech
- a syllable (or group of letters) that, when added to the END of a word, often changes the word significantly
- Example suffixes: -less means
without(as in thoughtless and careless); -able means
can be(as in comfortable and climbable)
- something that amazes, astonishes or happens unexpectedly
- There was a nasty surprise waiting for us when we got home! To protest being left alone for the first time, our puppy had peed all over the house!
- This word can be used both as a verb &mdash
I surprised you on your birthday!&mdash and, with a slightly different spelling, as an adjective (i.e. a
- able to be maintained, or preserved, or kept going — especially related to environmental issues
- With our planet facing so many problems with pollution, the concept of
sustainable developmentoffers real hope for the future!
noun or verb
- (noun) the movement from one stage of life to another
- We put a lot of effort into helping our Grade 7s make a successful transition from elementary to high school.
- (noun) a movie-making technique that systematically blends one scene with another
- In iMovie, you can add a transition between scenes by clicking on the button that looks like this: .
- (verb) to move from one stage of life to another
- After working hard throughout high school, he transitioned easily into college.
- not showing (or feeling) a sense of thankfulness, gratitude or appreciation for the efforts of other people
- The fact that she rarely says
thank youmakes her seem ungrateful!
- thankful; gracious; appreciative
- not done on purpose
I unintentionally bumped into the table and broke your beautiful vase, Mom.
- accidentally, inadvertently
- deliberately, intentionally, purposefully
- Although this is almost certainly the longest word ever added to the THRIVE Word Wall, it is actually quite easy to spell if you break it down into syllables!
- Something that is
unpredictableis unplanned, not expected or not able to be known in advance.
- The teachers were very concerned about the child's unpredictable behaviour.
- The weather was unpredictable last week. It was constantly changing! I was working in the sun in my garden at one point and then, less than half an hour later, it is was pouring rain!
- not showing reason, good judgement or sound thinking
- It is unreasonable to insist on getting your way in every situation. People who act that way end up friendless and lonely because no one will want to be around them!
- foolish, illogical, absurd
- reasonable, sensible
- a number of different kinds (or ways)
- You'll probably find that your brain can memorize hard-to-remember things more effectively when you use a variety of strategies to study them!
- a place where special events are held (i.e. an ice rink, a speed skating oval, a swimming pool)
- I'm going to watch speed skating at a venue built for the Olympics.
part of speech
- In sentences, verbs show action or
the state of beingof someone (or something).
- The words do, run, be, have and think are verbs.
- a person who gives their time freely or helps to accomplish something without being paid
- Every year, thousands of volunteers participate in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. They pick up litter and debris from beaches in their neighbourhoods!
- the act of complaining about something in an annoying way
- April learned that whining about a teacher can lead to some rather unpleasant results! ;-)
- complaining, griping
- to twist and turn, as if in great pain
- Samantha writhed in agony after breaking her ankle.