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100 Vocabulary Words Kids Should Know

I admit when I was a high school student I didn’t know all the vocabulary words kids should know. I didn’t take vocabulary as seriously as I should and I didn’t think about how important it would be to me years later.

Fast forward to my twenties when I was a teacher for the Princeton Review. I learned then that there was a core 500 vocabulary words kids should know for the SAT. Yes, it’s true. Turns out the College Board has this list of words that they regularly use in the verbal and reading sections of the SAT. Knowing those words can mean the difference between the minimum score or one a hundred points or more higher. Over the course of a 6-week SAT prep course we would work to help students memorize these words. Fifty words a week, it’s a lot, but it’s what happens if you wait till right before the SAT to prep for it.

What if though, instead of waiting till the SATs, we started working with our kids now on their vocabulary skills? Wouldn’t it be easier to study and learn 5 words a week of the vocabulary words kids should know than waiting till they are in high school?

After all, vocabulary shows up EVERYWHERE! It’s not just on the SAT your child will take in high school. Vocabulary plays a role in nearly every standardized test students take from grade school through post college. When it comes to essay writing, using impressive vocabulary words and using them correctly can make the difference between an average grade and the best grade possible.

Your understanding of what you read and hear is, to a very large degree, determined by your vocabulary, so improve your vocabulary daily.

Zig Ziglar

With that in mind, as part of our Jersey Classroom, I have reviewed the latest recommended lists of vocabulary words kids should know and combined that with my love of New Jersey and experience as a teacher. I have developed 20 lists of vocabulary words, 5 words each and I have grouped them around themes such as places kids like to visit and things they like to do in New Jersey such as Medieval Times, Historic Cold Spring Village, Six Flags Great Adventure, the Tuckerton Seaport, Wild West City, Jersey Shore Pirates, and more. Because when kids can associate vocabulary words with things that are relevant to them they are more likely to retain what those words mean.

100 Vocabulary Words Kids Should Know

Beginning September 1, 2020, I will begin sharing vocabulary words kids should know centered around themes that will make it easier for kids to remember. There will be a different vocabularly list for each school week, until December 21, 2020. From December 19, 2020 till January 1, 2021 no new lists will be posted. We’ll be taking a winter break and encourage you all to do so as well. The vocabulary lists will be back on January 4, Mondays through Fridays, until January 29, 2021. That will make for 20 weeks of vocabulary lists of 5 words each. Depending on what is happening with our schools and the popularity of our vocabulary lists, we may continue on beyond that.

This week’s 5 Vocabulary Words Kids Should Know

We’ll define each of this week’s vocabulary words below BUT we encourage you to download and print out our vocabulary worksheet and have your children use a dictionary to look up each word themselves, as that is part of the requirement for the learning standard. The link to download and print is below the list of words. Then, you can use our list below to check their work.

This week’s vocabulary theme is Words from boardwalk games.


Part of speech – noun

Definition – a natural ability, talent


Part of speech – noun

Definition – viewing the future with anxiety or alarm : feeling or showing fear or worry about the future


Part of speech – noun

Definition – the remains of something broken down or destroyed -balloon dart


Part of speech – verb

Definition – to destroy or damage (something) deliberately so that it does not work correctly, to cause the failure of (something) deliberately


Part of speech – verb

Definition – to fill or build up again

These worksheets were created with Canva software. It’s easy to use. If you need to create your own printable items check out Canva with my affiliate link.  

Come back to this post on Friday

On Fridays, we’ll share a printable you can use to test your child on how well they learned this week’s vocabulary words.

random word blocks of vocabulary words kids should know.

What New Jersey Learning Standards are met by developing vocabulary skills?

The following New Jersey Learning Standards are tied to vocabulary skills:


For grades fourth through sixth, these progress indicators are tied to vocabulary:

  • L.4.4
  • L.4.6
  • L.5.4
  • L.5.6
  • L.6.4
  • L.6.6
100 Vocabulary Words Kids Should Know square image

5 Ways to help kids study 100 vocabulary words kids should know

Join the Jersey Classroom

Every school day members of the Jersey Classroom Head of the Class plan get a different printable to help their children build their vocabulary skills.

If you’ve missed our previous week(s)’ vocabulary lists or don’t want to have to visit our site each week for the latest vocabulary list for kids take a look at our Jersey Classroom options. By choosing one of three plans, you’ll be able to have access to past and future vocabulary lists by either visiting a closed Facebook group OR having access to your own online classroom where lists and vocabulary worksheets will be uploaded and stored for your use. I’m creating and uploading new vocabulary lists each week and practice worksheets and printables each school day.

Play Games

Play a board game or other family game that builds vocabulary skills. Some of my favorites include Blurt, Read My List, Pictionary and Noodle Speedoodle. All are available on Amazon with my affiliate link.

Educational Insights Blurt Game

Make Flash Cards

I know it may sound boring, but writing out vocabulary words with their definitions activates other parts of your child’s brain and really does help them remember. It’s as simple as using index cards and writing the word on one side and the definition on the other. If you don’t have index cards cut down a regular sheet of paper into smaller squares. If you want to make it a little more fun, buy some colored index cards to use.

Use it!

The more your kids use the vocabulary words, the more they will remember it. Challenge yourself and your kids to see who can use this week’s vocabulary words the most. If you’ve got the coins start a reward jar. Every time your child uses one of this week’s vocabulary words, from the list of 100 vocabulary words kids should know, correctly add a coin to the jar. At the end of the week, you can decide if they automatically get the money in the jar or if it goes to the child who used the most vocabulary words that week.

Write it out!

If you’ve been using our Writing Prompts for Kids, task your child with weaving the vocabulary words into their writing. Have them write a letter to a friend or family member using the words. Writing not their thing? They can illustrate a picture or create a comic book strip that shows they know what the words mean.

a list of m words in a dictionary with their meanings.
Your kids don’t need to memorize the dictionary.

Other Vocabulary Resources

More resources for homeschooling and virtual learning in New Jersey

If you are new or have been homeschooling for years or are trying out virtual learning for the first time, we’re here to help. Click over to learn more about the Jersey Classroom, our way of providing free printables and educational worksheets for New Jersey students. Not in New Jersey? While these printables and worksheets are themed for kids in New Jersey they can be a great resource for any kids who like to have fun.

Jersey Classroom Logo- Transparent

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Katherine Axtell

Sunday 28th of February 2021

Did you finish the list of 100? I can't find any others.


Tuesday 22nd of September 2020

Thank you so much! This is such a fantastic idea and I can’t wait to follow along this Fall!

Jennifer Auer

Tuesday 22nd of September 2020

You are so welcome. - Jenn

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