Try It

Now that you have explored a process for determining the meaning of general academic and domain-specific vocabulary, you will practice your new learning by reading the following text about mummies. 

 As you read and uncover the meaning of unfamiliar words in the text, remember to ask yourself:

  • What is the text about?  What is the central idea?
  • What context clues surround the highlighted words?
  • Are there any synonyms or antonyms for the highlighted word?
  • Are there any prefixes or suffixes that you recognize?  How can these prefixes or suffixes help you determine the meaning of the unknown words?

Now, read the first section of the text in order to practice the strategies you have learned and unpack the meaning of some general academic words. Read the following excerpt from the Newsela article "Unwrapped mummies reveal effects of climate change"opens in new window, and complete the follow-up activities.

Unwrapped mummies reveal effects of climate change

1 About 7,000 or so years ago, a group of people called the Chinchorro lived along the coasts of northern Chile and southern Peru. Their lives revolved around fishing from the Pacific Ocean. Yet, just behind them, away from the coast, was an incredibly dry desert — the Atacama.

2 The Chinchorro were unique in many ways, but perhaps most of all in their burial practices. They created the oldest-known mummies on Earth, beating the Egyptians by several thousand years. The Chinchorro's mummies were first discovered in the Atacama Desert in 1917.

3 Unlike the Egyptians, the Chinchorro mummified everyone. While "the Egyptians considered only kings and other exalted citizens worthy of mummification, the Chinchorro accorded everyone in the community, regardless of age or status, this sacred rite," wrote Bernardo Arriaza. He is an expert on the mummies.

Newselaopens in new window, March 18, 2015