Contemporary United States: Vocabulary

Social Studies American History Contemporary United States Contemporary United States: Vocabulary
Students interact with vocabulary words that they will encounter throughout Unit 8: Contemporary United States.

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In this experience, students interact with vocabulary words that they will encounter throughout Unit 8: Contemporary United States.

Estimated duration: 30 minutes

Vocabulary words:

  • competition
  • consumer
  • contemporary
  • dependence
  • diversity
  • enterprise
  • entrepreneur
  • homeland
  • profit
  • property
  • role model
  • scarce
  • terrorism


  • Learn vocabulary related to the contemporary United States.

Unit Vocabulary

You have covered hundreds of years of American history in this course. Now, you have reached a unit that teaches about things that have happened in recent times, maybe since you were born and you remember them.

  • Learn vocabulary related to the contemporary United States.

students wearing face masks in front of a school bus

The year 2020 will always be remembered as the year of the COVID pandemic.

This lesson builds your vocabulary of words you will use in this unit. The words are:

  • competition: the activities of people or companies that want to be the best or get something that others also want
  • consumer: someone who buy goods or services for personal use; in a food chain, an organism that eats another organism
  • contemporary: relating to the present time
  • dependence: needing someone or something in order to live or succeed
  • diversity: the state of having very different people or things within a group
  • enterprise: a business organization
  • entrepreneur: someone who uses money to start a new business or make deals
  • homeland: one’s native country
  • profit: money gained by selling something, after all expenses are paid
  • property: things that are owned by someone, especially valuable things like land and buildings
  • role model: a person who serves as a positive example for others to copy
  • scarce: hard to find, not enough of an item or resource
  • terrorism: the use of force and fear against an enemy to obtain a goal

Let’s start with a word from the name of the unit: contemporary. It comes from the prefix con– meaning “with,” and the root tempo or tempor meaning “time.”

Post another word that starts with the prefix con—.

Post your answer

Sample answers: conjunction, congregation, conclude, convince, connect.

Ask students: Can you think of a word related to music that shares a root with the word contemporary? [tempo is the speed at which the music is played, or its rate in time.]

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