The Word Within the Word I: Student Book

By Michael Clay Thompson, Thomas Milton Kemnitz, D.Phil.

Order Code: 9279
Class sets 25 or more paperback books: $38.00 each
Class set order code: 9279S

This is the vocabulary book in Level 5 of the MCT language arts curriculum.


The Word Within the Word I is a rigorous vocabulary text that contains thirty lessons filled with readings and activities to illustrate the important role of Latin and Greek stems in academic English. The first twenty lessons offer a list of twenty-five stems, along with several example words that contain each stem, and the last ten lessons provide twenty-five words that students will need to be familiar with to navigate through advanced academic endeavors.

Each lesson contains discussions and illustrations that offer students a greater understanding of the classical roots of the English language. Much of the text is meant only to be read, with exercises interspersed that students or instructors can choose from to help solidify the knowledge through manipulation of the vocabulary.

In addition, the book contains an extensive discussion of the history of Greece in the Classical Period from 490 to 323 B.C.E. Each lesson features an essay, written by Dr. Thomas Kemnitz, about the ancient Greeks. These essays introduce students to some of the most significant figures during that period and include descriptions of how the Spartans lived, the strategies of various battles, the functioning of democracy and the jury system in Athens, the practice of ostracism, the importance of the navy in Athens, the Spartan system of education, and the building of the glorious Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens. Interspersed among the activity pages are vignettes of aspects of life in ancient Greece as depicted in vases, statuettes, and artifacts so that students learn not only about helmets and shields but also about hairstyles, musical instruments, sports, and more. The writings are enhanced with maps, timelines, and scores of photographs taken by Dr. Kemnitz of Greek buildings, sculptures, and artifacts.

Dr. Kemnitz, who is also the publisher, says:

“Our intention is to give students enough of a picture of ancient Greece so that they can understand what occurred and why. So much of history written for students is little more than a story devoid of meaningful context. It is the context that helps to explain why people acted as they did and that helps us to understand that history is not a story of actions but rather a series of reactions. The history is enrichment; the purpose of the book remains to help students learn English vocabulary, specifically the academic English of learned discourse.”

This book is printed in black and white, but there is a full-color edition available. (See below.)


MCT Language Arts Curriculum
Level 5
12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
MCT Language Arts
Order Code