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Core Vocabulary

TPWP CoreVocab LTgreen 200

The core vocabulary consists of the 4,000 simple word families which account for 90% of the words in written English.  Function words (e.g., the, of) and general academic words (e.g., compare, relate) are prominent in the core vocabulary but there are also many concept words which can be pictured.  A goal of TextProject is to provide Word Pictures for many of the concept groups within the core vocabulary. 


There are lots of words that describe the way we move from place to place. We’ve sorted them into four groups.

Water, Water Everywhere!

Water is all around us. We have lots of words to describe water and the things we do with water.

Places and Dwellings

Every day we go to places and enter buildings. There is an abundance of words that describe the different places we go and the different types of dwellings we enter.

Machines and Tools

Everyday machines and tools make completing different tasks a little easier. There are lots of different kinds of tools and machines, from simple to complex tools.

Plants and Where Plants Grow

Plants grow all around the world. There are lots of words that describe the types of plants, parts of plants, where plants grow, and the types of land plants grow on.

Fashion and Design

The various types of clothing and accessories to choose from allow people to create their own sense of style that reflects their unique personality.

Health and the Human Body

There are lots of words used to describe humans as organisms, the parts of the body, the brain and the body’s senses, health and nutrition, and the injuries and illnesses the body may experience.

The Arts

Art is the creation of beauty through different types of materials. Anyone can be an artist. There are lots of core vocabulary words that describe the arts.

All About Money

Every day people use money to buy things that they need and want. There are lots of words that describe money, earning and spending money, and the economy in general.

The Food We Eat

Everyday we eat food in order to give our bodies energy to play, work, and do the things we need to do. There are lots of words to describe where our food comes from, what our food tastes like, and the different types of food that we eat.

Elements, Minerals, and Rocks

Earth is made of elements, minerals, and rocks. There are many words used to describe different elements and minerals. There are also many words to describe different kinds of rocks and their different sizes. 

All About Books and Other Written Texts

There are many types of written texts, and what you find inside of each one may be different.


All around the world there are big animals, small animals, and all sizes in between. Mammals, fish, birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians, and other critters are all animals living on Earth. Let’s take a look at some of the core vocabulary words describing the types and characteristics of animals.


To play is to do something fun. Adults and children all around the world play. Some people play a sport by themselves, like running a marathon. Others play sports on a team, like on a soccer or water polo team.


People who take care of us. People we encounter at schools. People we see working in businesses. People are all around us. Here are some words that describe the people we encounter.


Since the day you were born, you have been experiencing the passage of time. There are lots of words to describe how to track time, to tell how fast or slow time moves, and to measure time. We’ve sorted these words into three groups.