The Stories of Words: TextProject’s Newest Texts and Vocabulary Product

    by Elfrieda H.Hiebert | January 9, 2017

    The word movies didn’t appear before the early 1900s in books or newspapers. A century later, the word appears frequently in newspapers and on websites. What happened in the interim? In 1897, a series of pictures of an event were presented in quick succession. People were fascinated with what they called moving pictures. Soon, that name was shortened to movies.

    The volume on Movies in the Stories of Words series, recently launched at, tells this story and numerous others about words used in the movie industry. Knowing the stories of words can increase students vocabularies and also their “meta-vocabulary”—that is, knowledge about how works enter the lexicon and, as importantly, how the meanings of words can change. The stories of words can create engagement and interest in language.

    There are 11 texts in our launch of the Stories of Words series (the final series will have 16 in all). Each book of the series explores the vocabulary of a different topic.  The topics come from one of four areas:

    1. Languages other than English
    2. Central themes in students’ lives (e.g., food, clothes)
    3. Words that have been reused or uniquely created (e.g., acronyms such as scuba), and
    4. Words created or reused for new inventions.

    The texts in the Stories of Words series use the TExT model—the same model that underlies all TextProject products (e.g., FYI for Kids) and also commercial products such as QuickReads.  That means that reading the texts also supports students’ exposure to the core vocabulary—the vocabulary that is foundational for reading facility.

    The texts in the Stories of Words series provide a great opportunity for students to expand their vocabularies, increase their background knowledge, and develop facility with the core vocabulary of written English.