My P.S.S.A. Glossary


There are many vocabulary terms that you are expected to know as a fifth grader. Below is a glossary of terms as well as synonyms to assist you as a reader and writer. These terms may also be present on the P.S.S.A. this spring. 

Vocabulary Term: / Synonyms: / Definition:
Examples: non, tion / Prefix
suffix / A word part added to the beginning or end of a root word,cannot stand alone.
Examples: dewdrops dripped down daisies / none / The repetition of initial consonant sounds in neighboring words.
Examples: Get down from the fence, Billy!" the mother yelled at her child. "Remember what happened to Humpty Dumpty?" / Alludes / An implied or indirect reference in literature to a familiar person, place or event.
Analyze / Examine
Evaluate / To look at closely for multiple purposes and understandings.
Example: sharp and dull, hot and cold / opposite / A word that is the opposite of another word.
Author’s Purpose
Example: entertain, create mood, convince, persuade, inform, teach, argue, and describe. / Main purpose
The author wrote this article to. . . / The author's intent to inform or teach someone, to entertain people, or to persuade or convince their audience.
Example: not presenting both sides of an issue fairly / Inclination
Author’sinfluence / A judgment based on a personal point of view.
Example: How the narrator describes the character: mean, nervous, and confident. / Character traits
Character qualities / The method an author uses to reveal characters and their various personalities.
Claim / Point
reason / A point that is made by a writer that introduces their opinion or states the main idea of their writing
Climax / Turning point / It is a decisive moment or a turning point in a storyline at which the rising action turns around into a falling action.
Conflict / Problem / A struggle or clash between opposing characters, forces, or emotions.
Essay / Composition
thesis / A piece of writing that gives the author’s opinion or tells about a topic.
Evidence / Examples
details / Text that is used as a detail or example to support a claim.
Explanation / Thinking
proof / How an author states their thinking, details, or examples to further prove their claim.
Exposition / Beginning / Part of the plot that introduces the characters and setting.
Figurative language
Examples: simile, hyperbole, metaphor, alliteration, irony, onomatopoeia. / Figures of speech / Language that cannot be taken literally since it was written to create a special effect or feeling.
Examples: He is known as the president with the beard and the black top hat who led us through the Civil War.
You caninferthat the president being spoken of in the sentence is Abraham Lincoln. / Inference
Conclusion / Evidence-based guesses.They are the conclusions a reader draws about the unsaid based on what is actually said.Inferences drawn while reading are much like inferences drawn in everyday life.Making an inference is the same thing as drawing a conclusion or making a generalization.
Interpret / Explain
Understand / Explain and understand the meaning of something.
Example: “Don’t go overboard with gratitude.” / Ironic / The use of a word or phrase to mean the exact opposite of its literal or usual meaning; the actual result is different than the expected result.
Main Idea
Example: The Mississippi River is a significant river in the United States. / Central idea
Focus point / The author's central thought or what the selection is mostly about.
Examples: persuasive/argumentative, narrative, and informational / type / Types of writing
Examples:Humor, frustration, and sadness. / feeling / The emotions of the author in his or her creation of the work.
Passage / Selection
Excerpt / A piece of writing
Point of view
Examples: First person, second person, and third person. / perspective / The angle from which a story is told; dependent upon who is telling the story
Root Word / A word that prefixes and/or suffixes are attached to
Example: Certain parts of text are repeated to portray a certain meaning or message. / Refrain
repeat / A technique or persuasive tactic in which the reader is persuaded by a repeating a message over and over again
Fiction: Somebody, wanted, but, so, then
Nonfiction: Main idea of the text along with the title and author, three supporting details, and a concluding sentence / Gist
Main point / When youretell a passage in a much shorter way. It only tells the most important details or events in a passage.
Example: Dove=Peace,
Donkey = Democratic Party / representation / A device in literature where an object represents an idea.
Examples: sorrow, grief, sadness / Same / One of two or more words in a language that have similar meanings.
Text Structure
Examples: chronological order, compare and contrast, problem and solution, cause and effect, and description / Text organization / The way an author organizes a piece of text.
Example: sarcastic, unhappy, humorous, optimistic / Attitude
Manner / The attitude of the author toward the audience and characters.