What is the Newsela Academic Word List?

Newsela’s Academic Word List (AWL) consists of Tier II academic vocabulary words, organized by grade level. We use the Newsela AWL to determine which words are highlighted, defined, and practiced in our articles as part of our new vocabulary tool.

Newsela has created lists of Power Words and activities targeted for each grade level. Students who master these words will be well prepared to read complex texts across a variety of subjects.

Grade 2

Grade 5

Grade 8

Grade 3

Grade 6

Grades 9-10

Grade 4

Grade 7

Grades 11-12


How do “word families” work in the Newsela AWL?

Words on the Newsela AWL are organized into families. Each family consists of a headword (e.g. assume) and corresponding subwords (e.g. assumes, assuming, assumption).

It is important that our list includes families, not just single words. This is because our articles may include any variation of an academic word (e.g. approach, approaches, approaching) based on the sentence structure and context of the article.

We want our list to be comprehensive, so that students may be tested on multiple variations of a word. We also hope that by including word families, we will encourage students to draw connections between words in the same family.

Let’s Talk

Please provide your information below, and a member of our team will call you right back. Available during the business hours of 8am–7pm ET