Vocabulary Words for Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl

My friend and respected colleague, Bill Younglove, an Anne Frank scholar, offers these ideas for incorporating more intentional vocabulary study in your lessons as you explore with your students, this canonical memoir.

(based upon Trans. B. M. Mooyaart- Doubleday. NY: Doubleday, 1952/the 1947 Dutch Contact Publisher Otto Frank- compiled “c” version)

Considerations: The following ( circa 415) words, as indicated above, are from the 1952 English, 268- page, paperback version of the diary. Pagination, as well as translation verbiage, will obviously vary with other editions.

Anne’ s vocabulary usage is not only key to understanding her (nearly) twenty- five month Annex captivity, but also her physical, mental, including psychological, and social growth as a human being, in a time when Jewish humanity itself was being denied and destroyed.

Anne Frank from Getty Images

Any vocabulary selected for lessons with students should include the following considerations:

  • Anne’ s contextual use
  • presumed synonymic familiarity,
  • the students’ ages
  • the academic level of the students
  • students’ linguistic backgrounds/origins
  • previous familiarity with the diary
  • previous Holocaust studies
  • previous knowledge about World War II
  • purpose for and methodology used

 (e. g., cognate emphases, derivation exploration, roots/prefix/suffix analyses, etc.).

See “Lessons and Legacy…” Chapter, in Critical Insights: Anne Frank series, Salem/Grey Press, 2017, for a dozen specific wordsmithery considerations.

Some fairly basic words have been included simply because their context provides them with less familiar usage ( e. g., row or minute).

To the extent possible, definitions tend toward

 1) succinctness
 2) part of speech similarity, and
 3) historical usage “correctness” ( i. e., 1930s/40s world). As always, classroom time constraints as well as overall purpose

 ( e. g., extending Tier levels 1, 2, 3 Academic Vocabulary), will determine word study inclusion.

“What did Anne, likely, mean to say—to communicate?” is the basis for examining her extensive vocabulary. This, to me, is the ultimate “close reading,” not to mention any citation of specific words as textual evidence.

Bill Younglove

wyoungl@aol. com

Vocabulary Words are available at this link.

Vocabulary with definitions from ANNE FRANK – Diary of a Young Girl

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