Reflection: Complex Tasks Vocabulary Development: Teach Students to Generate Synonyms - Section 1: Mini-lesson


I'm wondering after teaching this lesson, if the NPR transcript was maybe a bit out of most students ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) even with scaffolding.

I picked too many words from the passage for them to create synonyms.  The first sentence alone contained five words for them to define.  Also, problematic was the fact that some of the words were not easily defined with a synonym.  The concept "social structure" for instance  is a complex thought process that is not defined easily by two other words.  Some of the words I chose were perfect for this activity.  Words like giant, hairless, incisors, burrows, or critters were good choices for this task.

Next time I do a lesson on synonym generation- I will be more thoughtful about the words and phrases that I select. 

After seeing that students were struggling with the activity, I picked up their papers and put them away for a couple weeks.

I came back to this lesson today and presented the worksheets differently.  First, I ran them off 2-sided.  I let students work alone, in partners and in groups of three.  I sandwiched this activity after watching 20 mins of an episode of Animal planet.  I stopped the video we were watching and taking notes on, and told the students I was interested in how their vocabularies are growing and that I wanted them to redo the Naked Mole Rat synonym task.  The students were eager to show me that they could finish both sides in 10 minutes.  The energy was great in the class and students got straight to work.  I circulated throughout the class and helped with the concepts of social structure, and adaptations, and evolved. The students did not have much trouble with any of the other words.

  Complex Tasks: Experience of Learning
Loading resource...

Vocabulary Development: Teach Students to Generate Synonyms

Unit 1: Revving Up to Read Informational Text
Lesson 5 of 10

Objective: SWBAT generate a synonym for bolded words in a passage.

Big Idea: Support and Scaffold Comprehension of Content Specific Vocabulary

  Print Lesson
10 teachers like this lesson
Similar Lessons
Remembering the Sinking of the Titanic
5th Grade ELA » Similarities and Differences in Points of View on the Titanic
Big Idea: Visualizing the story structure helps readers to build pictures of the story ideas.
Stockton, CA
Environment: Suburban
Rose Ortiz
Cluster-up Archaeologist Style
5th Grade ELA » Archaeology Adventures
Big Idea: Ditching the routine to participate in a mini-excavation on the playground will please most students....let the search begin!
Scottsdale, AZ
Environment: Suburban
Heather Robinson
Creating to Scale Planet 2D Models
5th Grade Math » Measurement
Big Idea: Student astronauts explore science and math that is out of this world!
Scottsdale, AZ
Environment: Urban
Cathy Skinner
Something went wrong. See details for more info
Nothing to upload