Vocabulary Words-Open Court Stories



Ant and the Three Little Figs

1. figs: fruit that is shaped like a small pear and grows on a tree

2. quickly: with speed

3. finally: coming or happening at the end

4. chance: possibility of something happening

5. anytime: at any time

Come Back, Jack!

1. boring: not interesting

2. adventure: an experience that is interesting or dangerous

3. exciting: stirring up strong feelings; thrilling

4. searched: looked for

5. steep: having a very sharp slope or slant

6. nimble: moving quickly and lightly

The Library

1. nearsighted: able to see things that are close by better than those things that are faraway

2. incredible: amazing; astonishing

3. manufactured: to have made something

4. tutoring: to teach privately

5. donations: gifts, contributions

6. library: a room or building that has a collection of books, magazines, and newspapers

7. vacuum: to pick up dirt from carpets, furniture, etc.

Story Hour ~ Starring Megan!

1. librarian: a person who works in a library

2. assistant: a person who helps

3. calm: to make quiet and still

4. patient: willing to wait

5. amazement: great surprise

6. mistake: something that is not done right

Tomas and the Library Lady

1. midnight: twelve o’clock at night

2. howling: making a loud, wailing cry

3. chattered: clicked together quickly

4. thorny: covered with sharp points

5. glaring: staring angrily

6. eager: wanting very much to do something


Mushroom in the Rain

1. clearing: a spot in a forest where no trees are growing

2. barely: hardly, not quite able

3. drenched: soaked; very wet

4. huddled: crowded; close together

5. flicked: gave a quick, light snap

The Elves and the Shoemaker

1. leather: material made from animal skin

2. polished: made smooth and shiny

3. handsome: good looking

4. cobbler: someone who makes and repairs shoes

The Paper Crane

1. serve: help others

2. guests: people who are visiting in another house, restaurant, or hotel

3. stranger: someone you don’t know

4. manner: the way something is done

5. unusual: something that is different; not seen every day

6. overjoyed: really excited about something

Butterfly House

1. larva: the baby or young form of some insects (A caterpillar is the larva of a butterfly.)

2. nectar: the sweet liquid in flowers

3. chrysalis: the protective covering around the caterpillar when it is in a sleeping stage while changing into a butterfly

4. transformed: to change how something looks

5. drift: to move because of wind or water


1. department: section or part of a store that sells one kind of merchandise

2. escalator: moving stairs

3. toppled: fell over

4. enormous: gigantic; very big

5. fastened: closed; buttoned

The Story of Three Whales

1. lurk: to hide in or about a place

2. surface: to rise to the top of any liquid

3. trudged: walked or marched steadily with great effort

4. plight: a bad condition or situation

5. invincible: impossible to defeat

6. ordeal: something that is difficult to do


1. beautiful: pleasant to look at

2. cellar: basement

3. diamonds: highly valued precious stones

4. kingdom: a country that is ruled by a king or a queen

5. shimmering: shining with a soft light


I See Animals Hiding

1. natural: not learned or taught, but something one is born with

2. unaware: not watchful or mindful

3. camouflage: animal coloration; disguise

4. wariest: most cautious and alert

5. slithering: sliding, gliding, or creeping

6. invisible: not able to be seen

They Thought They Saw Him

1. glistened: sparkled

2. wakeful: restless, not able to sleep

3. gripped: held onto tightly

4. swooped: rushed down suddenly

5. ridge: the edge of something

Hungry Little Hare

1. disguise: something that changes or hides the way one looks

2. scent: a smell

3. disappear: not able to be seen

4. sneaky: moving or acting secretly or slyly

5. avoid: to keep away from

How to Hide an Octopus and Other Sea Creatures

1. creatures: live people or animals

2. fade: to lose or cause to lose color or brightness

3. designed: planned or made, as in an arrangement of shapes, parts, or colors and patterns

4. enemies: things or creatures that are dangerous or harmful to another

5. drab: not cheerful or bright; dull

How the Guinea Fowl Got Her Spots

1. glossy: bright and shiny

2. delicious: pleasing to the taste or smell

3. slinking: moving slowly or secretively

4. scrambled: moved or climbed quickly

5. cautiously: carefully

Animal Camouflage

1. costume: clothes you wear in order to look like someone or something else

2. surroundings: area or things that are around a person or thing

3. blends: fades into something else

4. mimicry: to imitate or pretend to be something

5. pretenders: those who make believe they are something else

6. marsh: swamp


Fossils Tell of Long Ago

1. amber: a yellowish sap from plants that hardens and becomes a fossil

2. fossil: a plant, animal, or imprint that has turned to stone

3. extinct: not alive today; all members of the group or species have died out

4. peat: swampy forest soil

5. mammoth: a kind of elephant that lived millions of years ago

6. preserved: has not rotted

7. seeps: leaks slowly

Dinosaur Who Lived in My Backyard

1. hatched: broke out of an egg

2. neighborhood: the area around your home

3. swamp: an area of wet land

4. rescue: to save someone who is in danger of harm

5. sprinkler: something used for watering the lawn

Dinosaur Fossils

1. fossils: hardened remains of an animal or plant that lived long ago

2. hardened: became solid

3. scientists: people who study things in nature

4. difficult: not easy

5. extinct: no longer living

6. chance: luck

Why Did The Dinosaurs Disappear?

1. climate: the average, or normal weather conditions of a place

2. protection: the keeping of someone or something from harm

3. moisture: water or other liquid in the air or on a surface

4. erupt: to break out suddenly with force

5. discovery: something that is seen or found out for the first time

6. starve: to not have enough food

Monster Tracks

1. clues: hints that help solve a mystery or a problem

2. prehistoric: belonging to a time before people started writing history

3. imprint: to mark by applying pressure

4. mold: a hollow form that material is poured into to make a shape

5. instructions: directions

Let’s Go Dinosaur Tracking!

1. analyze: to look at very carefully

2. clue: hint

3. paleontologist: a scientist who studies fossils and the past

4. limestone: a rock that often contains fossil prints

5. tracks: footprints

6. canteen: like a bottle


Molly the Brave and Me

1. guts: courage

2. homesick: wanting to be home with family

3. wimp: a weak, helpless person

4. swatted: hit or slapped at something

5. creepy: makes you feel like something is crawling over your skin

Dragons and Giants

1. puffing: breathing in short breaths

2. avalanche: stones or snow falling down a mountain

3. trembling: shaking

4. cried: yelled out (“I am not afraid,” Toad cried.)

5. leaping: jumping

6. fell: to cover something (“The shadow of a hawk fell over Frog and Toad.”

A Hole in the Dike

1. gurgling: making a sound like a bubbling liquid

2. trickling: like a liquid that is falling or flowing drop by drop

3. gushing: pouring out suddenly and in large amounts

4. numb: having no feeling, as if asleep

5. rumbling: making a heavy, deep, rolling sound

6. hero: a person who is honored because of brave or courageous acts

A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr.

1. protests: acts of complaint or objections against something

2. demanding: to ask for urgently or forcefully

3. fair: not favoring one more than another

4. riots: a noisy and violent disorder caused by a group of people

5. prejudice: unfair treatment of a particular group of people

6. violence: doing something that hurts people or property

7. powerful: strong

The Empty Pot

1. successor: a person who comes next

2. swarmed: to move in a large group

3. ashamed: to feel upset of guilty because one has done something wrong or has failed

4. worthy: deserving

5. admire: to approve or respect

6. courage: the strength to overcome fear

7. proclamation: an announcement

Brave as a Mountain Lion

1. reservation: land set aside by the government for Native Americans to live on

2. drifted: piled up because of the wind

3. dreaded: looked forward to with fear

4. qualified: fit or able to do a job or task

5. gymnasium: a room or building that has equipment for physical exercise of indoor sports

6. swirling: moving around in a twisting motion


The First Americans

1. wampum: small, polished beads made from shells and strung together or woven into belts, collars, and necklaces; Used by some Native Americans as money

2. tundra: a huge plain with no trees that lies in arctic regions

3. tepees: a tent shaped like a cone; A tepee is made from animal skins stretched over poles

4. warriors: people who fight or are experienced in fighting battles

5. herd: group

6. cleared: cut down

New Hope

1. recycling: using throw-away items for another purpose

2. ferried: carried across a body of water

3. brisk: quick and lively

4. bustling: busy

5. invitation: a written request to do something

6. citizens: people who live in a town or city

A Place Called Freedom

1. plantation: a large farm worked by people who live there

2. fretted: to become worried

3. settlement: a small village or group of houses

4. celebrate: to give a party

5. weary: tired

6. sturdy: strong

The Story of the Statue of Liberty

1. harbor: a protected area of water along a coast

2. ferry: a boat used to carry people and things across a narrow body of water

3. monuments: a structure made to honor a person or an event

4. symbol: something that represents something else

5. voyage: a long trip, usually by ship

6. independence: freedom

The Butterfly Seeds

1. tossed: moved up and down on a ship because of the waves

2. passengers: people who travel in a vehicle

3. inspectors: people who look at things closely

4. alley: a narrow street between buildings

5. vendor: a person who sells things

6. harmonica: a musical instrument

A Piece of Home

1. journey: a long trip

2. treasure: money, jewels, or other things that are valuable

3. strange: not familiar

4. passport: a document given to a person to show what country the person is a citizen of

5. Russian: relating to Russia, its people, or their language

6. settled: decided (Gregor finally chooses his blanket as his treasure. Then Papa says, “At least it is


Jalapeno Bagels

1. jalapeno: a small hot pepper

2. ingredients: parts that go into a mixture

3. dough: a mixture of flour, liquid, and other things that is usually baked

4. knead: to mix and press dough together with the hands

5. recipe: a list of ingredients and directions for making something to eat or drink

6. mixture: something made up of different things that are put together