[Words Matter cover]

Words Matter

1st edition, 2005, now available

Houghton Mifflin Company
222 Berkeley Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116-3764

ISBN: 0-618-25662-8

Order examination copy

Like its sister text, Words Count, Words Matter takes a contextual approach to teaching word meaning. Each chapter introduces ten words linked by a common theme like humor, light, heat, or friendship. This thematic approach makes it easy for students to compare and contrast words related in meaning or structure.

It thus gives them several ways to mentally link and learn the 240 words introduced in the text. In particular, it gives them multiple ways to anchor both words and meanings in long-term memory. Like Words Count, Words Matter also offers a specific strategy for learning and remembering each new word.


  • Pre- and Post-Tests: Tests at the beginning and end of a chapter help students chart their progress.
  • Advanced Mastery Tests: In addition to the post-test, each chapter ends with another, more advanced test that indicates how well students can recall, and not just recognize, correct word meanings.
  • Abundant Practice: Every chapter offers six different types of exercises ranging from multiple choice to true or false and sentence completion.
  • Carefully Controlled Sequence of Exercises: The exercises are sequenced so that students move from cognitively simple exercises like multiple choice and matching to exercises that require more critical thinking and more recall of word meaning.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Setting the Stage
Chapter 2: From Beginning to End
Chapter 3: More Beginnings and Endings
Chapter 4: All Well and Good
Chapter 5: Light and Dark
Chapter 6: High and Low
Chapter 7: Getting Mad, Making Up
Chapter 8: Words on Wit and Humor
Chapter 9: Speaking of Appearances
Chapter 10: In a Manner of Speaking
Chapter 11: Focusing on Language and Literature
Chapter 12: Character Comments
Chapter 13: More Character Comments
Chapter 14: Bad Behavior
Chapter 15: The Language of Praise and Blame
Chapter 16: More on Praise and Blame
Chapter 17: Food Chat
Chapter 18: Following the Rules
Chapter 19: Moral and Immoral
Chapter 20: Getting Emotional
Chapter 21: In Sickness and in Health
Chapter 22: Living With the Animals
Chapter 23: Clearing the Way
Chapter 24: Analyzing Arguments
Chapter 25: Building Vocabulary

Last update of this page: December 8, 2003

Back to homepage