Vocabulary Study for Rigorous Texts

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SWBAT read and comprehend literature with scaffolding by writing annotations to define difficult vocabulary.

Big Idea

This is where the rubber meets the road in vocabulary instruction.


5 minutes

To start class today, have students take out their vocabulary graphic organizers.  This is a good time to have a teacher-led conversation about why we are working with these 14 words.  Since it has been two days since they heard the first three paragraphs of "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," this conversation is a good way to make sure everyone remembers that the goal of our focus on these vocabulary words is to understand a difficult text.


Getting Down to Business

20 minutes

For today's lesson, students will use the "Introduction with Annotations" resource.  As you can see from the video, I equated our process today with the footnotes my students find in our literature text. 

Allow students approximately 10-15 minutes to create their annotations.  Circulate while they're working to make sure everyone is on task and understands the assignment.


Did They Get It?

25 minutes

Once the students have created their annotated copies of the introduction to the story, they will follow along as you reread the text aloud.

Before you begin reading, 

When you are done reading, have the students take out their Think, Pair, Share sheet that they started on Day 1 of this lesson.  My students now write a second summary of the text.  As you can see from the student whose paper I filmed, the second attempt at summarizing the text is much easier for the students.

As a final step to this assessment, have the students write a reflection paragraph on the difference between their first summary and today's summary.  Have them think about understanding the definitions of the words and how those definitions help them comprehend the text.

As the students finish reflecting, have them talk to their elbow partner about their experience with this activity.  They can read their reflections to each other or simply discuss how the strategies used in this text can be applied to other reading in the future.

Collect the "Think, Pair, Share" papers as evidence of student engagement.