West Virginia State Museum Education

Running Vocabulary List

Teacher Resources

K-1 Important Vocabulary

Tradition: The passing down of elements of a culture from generation to generation, especially by oral communication. A mode of thought or behavior followed by a people continuously from generation to generation; a custom or usage.

Appalachian: A native or resident of the Appalachian mountain area.

Culture: The beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place or time. A particular society that has its own beliefs, ways of life, art, etc.

Frontier: A region that forms the margin of settled or developed territory.

Scots-Irish: People who moved from the Irish Province of Ulster to the Appalachian Region.

Economics: The science that deals with the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services for human welfare.

Cornhusk: The leftover material when you shuck an ear of corn.

Chores: A small job that is done regularly.

Settlers: A person who moves to a new country or area where few or no people live.

Resources: A supply of something that someone has and can use when it is needed.

Whittle: To cut or shape a piece of wood by cutting small pieces from it.

2nd Grade Important Vocabulary

Immigration: To come into a country of which one is not a native for permanent residence.

Folk Tales: A characteristically anonymous, timeless, and placeless tale circulated orally among a people.

Pottery: Vases, pots, bowls, or plates, shaped from moist clay and hardened by heat.

Folk Music: Old songs, with no known composers; also, music that has been transmitted and evolved by a process of oral transmission or performed by custom over a long period of time.

Fiber Arts: Works of art whose material consists of natural or synthetic fiber and other components, such as fabric or yarn.

Glassmaking: The art of making glass or glassware by heating silica and other materials and molding them.

Folk Dancing: Dances performed at social functions by people with little or no professional training, often to traditional music.

3rd Grade Important Vocabulary

Panhandle: A narrow strip of territory projecting from the main territory into another state or states.

Valley: The area between two mountains.

Region: An area that has many common features.

Elevation: The distance above sea level.

Industries: A particular form or branch of economic or commercial activity.

Tourist: A person who is traveling or visiting a place for pleasure.

Geographic: Of or relating to the natural features, population, industries, etc., of a region or regions.

Survey: Examine and/or record an area's features so as to construct a map, plan or description.

Chief Logan: Native American Indian orator and war leader born to the Iroquois Confederacy, sometimes referred to as Mingo.

Highlands: A mountainous region.

Plateau: An elevated area of more or less level land.

Tributary: A stream or river that flows into a larger river.

County Seat: The town that is the government center of a county.

Urban: City or town living.

Grid: A network of regularly spaced lines on a map that cross one another at right angles and are numbered to enable the precise location of a place.

Boundary: A line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line.

Feud: A prolonged quarrel or conflict.

4th Grade Important Vocabulary

Industry: The process of making products by using machinery and factories.

Commercial: Related to or used in the buying and selling of goods and services.

Silica: A chemical that contains silicon that is found in sand and quartz and used to make glass.

Steel: A strong, hard metal made of iron and carbon.

Tourism: The business of providing hotels, restaurants, entertainment, etc., for people who are traveling.

Iron Ore: Rocks and minerals from which metallic iron can be extracted.

Hydroelectric: Electricity produced by waterpower.

5th Grade Important Vocabulary

Abolitionist: A person who favors the abolition of a practice or institution especially capital punishment or slavery.

Armory: A place where weapons are manufactured and/or stored.

Arsenal: A collection of weapons and military equipment stored by a country, person or group.

Barrage: A concentrated artillery bombardment over a wide area.

Brigades: A subdivision of an army, typically consisting of a small number of infantry battalions and/or other units and often forming part of a division.

Confederacy/Confederate States of America (CSA): The eleven southern states that seceded from the Union between 1861 and 1865. Confederacy may also refer to the military armed forces of the CSA. The eleven states were: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

Commonwealth: The formal title of four states in the United States: Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Contingent: A temporary military unit.

Culminated: Reach a climax or point of highest development.

Entrenchments: Establish a military force, camp, etc., in trenches or other fortified positions.

Historian: An expert in or student of history, especially that of a particular period, geographical region, or social phenomenon.

Pickets: A soldier or party of soldiers performing a particular duty.

Regiments: A permanent unit of army typically commanded by a colonel and divided into several companies, squadrons or batteries and often into two battalions.

Secessionist: A person who thinks that a nation, state, etc., should separate from another and become independent.

Turnpike: A road on which a toll was collected at a toll gate.

Definitions courtesy of Merriam-Webster Dictionary unless otherwise noted.