LAFS.8.L.3.4Archived Standard

Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words or phrases based on grade 8 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
  1. Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
  2. Use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., precede, recede, secede).
  3. Consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning or its part of speech.
  4. Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).
General Information
Subject Area: English Language Arts
Grade: 8
Strand: Language Standards
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Date Adopted or Revised: 12/10
Date of Last Rating: 02/14
Status: State Board Approved - Archived
Assessed: Yes
Test Item Specifications
  • Item Type(s): This benchmark may be assessed using: EBSR , MS , MC , OR , SHT , DDHT item(s)
  • Assessed with: LAFS.8.RL.2.4 and LAFS.8.L.3.5
  • Assessment Limits :
    Items should focus on grade-appropriate words. Items should not focus on dictionary word meanings but should focus on how the words and phrases function within the context of the passage. Items should focus on words and phrases that have figurative or allusive meanings central to the meaning of the text rather than isolated, incidental vocabulary. Items may ask about words with discrete context clues in close proximity or words whose meaning is conveyed more implicitly throughout the passage. Items may ask students to employ various strategies to explore word meaning, including the application of context clues, roots, or affixes. Items may require students to make connections between words and to delve into figurative or connotative meanings. Items should not include obscure analogies or allusions
  • Text Types :
    Items assessing these standards may be used with one or more grade-appropriate literary texts. Texts may vary in complexity.
  • Response Mechanisms :
    The Technology-Enhanced Item Descriptions section on pages 3 and 4 provides a list of Response Mechanisms that may be used to assess these standards (excluding the Editing Task Choice and Editing Task item types). The Sample Response Mechanisms may include, but are not limited to, the examples below.
  • Task Demand and Sample Response Mechanisms :

    Task Demand

    Determine the meaning of words or phrases, using context as a clue.

    Sample Response Mechanisms

    Multiple Choice

    • Requires the student to select the meaning of a word or phrase from the passage. 

    Multiselect

    • Requires the student to select multiple correct meanings of a word or phrase from the passage.

    EBSR

    • Requires the student to select a word’s or phrase’s meaning and then to select context clues from the text to support the meaning.

    Selectable Hot Text

    • Requires the student to select a word’s or phrase’s meaning and then to select context clues from the text to support the meaning.

    Task Demand

    Analyze the impact of word choice on the text’s meaning or tone.

    Sample Response Mechanisms

    Selectable Hot Text

    • Requires the student to interpret the meaning of words or phrases and then to select the impact they have on the text.
    • Requires the student to select the tone or meaning of the text and then select words or phrases that helped create that tone or meaning. 

    Multiple Choice

    • Requires the student to select the impact of word choice on a certain section of the text. 

    Multiselect

    • Requires the student to select multiple ways in which words or phrases affect a certain section of the text. 

    EBSR

    • Requires the student to select the text’s meaning or tone and then to select words from the text that support that meaning or tone. 

    Open Response

    • Requires the student to explain in one or two sentences how the impact of word choice affects the text’s meaning or tone.

    Task Demand

    Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words or phrases, using grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots.

    Sample Response Mechanisms

    Multiple Choice

    • Requires the student to determine how common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots may provide clues to the meaning of a word.

    Task Demand

    Interpret figures of speech in context.

    Sample Response Mechanisms

    Multiple Choice

    • Requires the student to select the meaning of figurative language from the passage. 

    EBSR

    • Requires the student to select the meaning of figurative language and then to select context clues from the text to support the meaning. 

    Selectable Hot Text

    • Requires the student to select the meaning of figurative language and then to select context clues from the text to support the meaning. 

    Multiselect

    • Requires the student to select multiple pieces of textual evidence that act as context clues when determining the meaning of figurative language.

    Task Demand

    Use the relationship between particular words to better understand each of the words.

    Sample Response Mechanisms

    Multiple Choice 

    • Requires the student to select how a relationship between two words serves as a context clue for the meaning of one of the words. 

    Drag-and-Drop Hot Text

    • Requires the student to move words into a graphic organizer to demonstrate their relationship with one another.

    Task Demand

    Distinguish among the connotations of words with similar denotations.

    Sample Response Mechanisms

    Multiple Choice

    • Requires the student to select the reason an author chose a particular word or phrase instead of a word or phrase with a similar denotation.
    • Requires the student to select a different word or phrase that would maintain the connotation of a word or phrase in the text. 

    Multiselect

    • Requires the student to select multiple ways a different word choice might change the tone or meaning of the text. 

    Drag-and-Drop Hot Text

    • Requires the student to match words with similar denotations with the change in connotation each word has to the original word.

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
1000000: M/J Intensive Language Arts (MC) (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
1000010: M/J Intensive Reading 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2021, 2021 and beyond (current))
1000020: M/J Intensive Reading and Career Planning (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2019, 2019 - 2021, 2021 and beyond (current))
1001070: M/J Language Arts 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1001080: M/J Language Arts 3 Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1002020: M/J Language Arts 3 Through ESOL (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1002180: M/J English Language Development (MC) (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1007020: M/J Speech and Debate 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2019, 2019 - 2021, 2021 and beyond (current))
1008070: M/J Reading 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2021 (course terminated))
1008080: M/J Reading 3, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2021 (course terminated))
7810013: Access M/J Language Arts 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 - 2022, 2022 - 2023 (current), 2023 and beyond)
1002181: M/J Developmental Language Arts Through ESOL (Reading) (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1009050: M/J Writing 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1006020: M/J Journalism 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1010000: M/J Literacy through Film & Literature (Specifically in versions: 2016 and beyond)
1010010: M/J Literacy through World Literature (Specifically in versions: 2016 and beyond)
1010020: M/J Literacy through Philosophy (Specifically in versions: 2016 and beyond)

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.

Related Resources

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

Lesson Plans

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.

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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.

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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 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

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.

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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

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

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

Original Student Tutorials for Language Arts - Grades 6-12

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.

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!  

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!  

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.

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.

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.  

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.

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.  

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.

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.

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. 

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!

Student Resources

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

Original Student Tutorials

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

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 benchmark.