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Home > Reading Comprehension > Word Parts > arch



arch is the first in a series of words frequently used in social studies content.

Arch: By itself this word means "a typically curved structural member spanning an opening and serving as a support." It would look like this:
When arch is found in longer words it usually has one of these meanings:
1. ruler or leader --- "a "monarch" is one leader -- a king or queen.
2. the most fully embodying the qualities of the kind -- an "arch-enemy" is the biggest enemy, that you would constantly have to be on the lookout for.

(Arch can also mean ancient or very old, as in archaeology and archaic.)


1. Write the word

2. Write what it means

3. Draw a picture to go with it

4. Answer the question about it.


meaning and example

what to draw

question to answer

(you may draw your answer, too)


the original model or a perfect example of something, of which all things of that same type are based on.
Knights from the days of King Arthur are considered an archetype of the male hero. Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings is an archetype of a "wise old man." Many characters in the Harry Potter series are archetypes.

an archetype of a hero (or superhero, like Superman), with at least three specific details that make what you draw the "perfect example" of a hero.

Question: How would you describe the archetype of a good teacher? A good student?


the worst or main enemy (usually in a story). In The Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch of the West is Dorothy's archenemy.

Someone (maybe your archetype superhero) and that person's archenemy. Label or explain how it shows who the archenemy is.

What is another example of an archenemy?


-- a bishop of the highest rank, in charge of an archdiocese (which is an important diocese or group of churches)
Website: (about Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury)

an archbishop

What are three things a traveling Archbishop would have in his suitcase that would be clues to his job as archbishop?


one person who rules a state, territory, or country; a king or queen, or
A kind of butterfly
Example: Queen Elizabeth is a monarch; King Arthur was, too. Websites:

a monarch

What are three things a traveling monarch might have in his or her suitcase that would be clues that he or she was a monarch?


- government by one person, usually inherited. (Mono -- one, archy -- government) Example: Romania is a monarchy.

a monarch, ruling over his or her monarchy.

If you were the monarch of your own country, what are three things you would do with your power to rule the whole monarchy?


No formal government at all, or nobody being in charge or enforcing laws. (an -- not, archy -- government). Example: If all adults left a school, there would be anarchy unless someone took charge and made rules.

-- --

What would be one good thing, and one bad thing, about an anarchy?


a person who believes there should be no government or laws; that people should be free to make their own rules. Historically, anarchist groups have been associated with riots and violence.
Example: An anarchist would not want to pay taxes.
Websites: (Most online information about anarchists is on anarchists' websites.) : Biographies and writings of well-known anarchists

An anarchist doing something you'd expect an anarchist to do.

What are three things that anarchists think we could do without? (Any three things -- including laws -- that come from the government, or that taxes pay for).


When a small group controls a state or territory, especially a corrupt group that benefits themselves.
Example: In an oligarchy, if you were not in the "in group," you would not have any say in what goes on. If you were in the "in" group, you could get things done your way (so a highway would be built where it was convenient for you, or the laws would be changed to make life easier for you).

The leaders of an oligarchy having a meeting. Label (or explain orally) three details that tell you this is an oligarchy.

What are two things one of the leaders in an oligarchy might say?


chief angel, (also a certain kind of angel or order of angel - groups of religious people or things are sometimes called "orders")

an archangel

Where would someone go to find an angel?

Complete these sentences with the arch word from the list:

1. Many Christmas songs include angels and ___________________________.

2. Queen Elizabeth is a ______________________________.

3. We went to church and saw the ______________________________ there!

4. Dan would not vote because he was an ________________________ and didn't want to participate in the government.

5.Those four girls think they are an ________________________ and want to rule the class!

6. There were no rules, no laws. It was pure __________________________ .

7. Superman's ______________________________ is always trying to destroy him.

8. Cinderella is an ________________________ of a fairy tale.


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