Step Aside for Vocabulary

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SWBAT listen to an unencumbered read of the expository text Seasons and Weather and engage in a conversation around vocabulary. SWBAT complete a weather identification page in their meteorologist logbook.

Big Idea

Weather within each season is predictable.

Prepare the Learner

15 minutes

Morning Message

This is the second lesson in this unit.

I like to integrate foundational skills and vocabulary skills in a morning message that highlights winter.  My second language learners struggle with positional words as well as the difference between he/she, so we review them often.  This is a fun way to do it while teaching a little about a season at the same time!

Before we do the morning message, I review position words with students as needed.  I have student place their hands under their chin, behind their head, over their head, etc.  My students have the most trouble with between, so I have the practice putting their head between their hands, placing their hands near each ear.  I vary the position words I review from day to day.


Write the following on chart paper or on the board:


The boy puts a scarf around his neck.

He puts a hat on his head.

He sleds on the snow.

The weather is freezing outside.

The season is winter.


We read each sentence and students interact with the message by underlining the position words (around, on).


I have students talk to partners to identify the capital letter at the beginning of the sentence, sight words and punctuation marks. (Suggestion: Underline the capital letters in green, circle the periods in red, and sight words may be highlighted in yellow.)


I ask students what information the morning message gave to show it was winter.

Interact with text

45 minutes

Unencumbered read: Seasons & Weather PowerPoint

The purpose of this read is for students to get the gist of the text.  I stop at the boldfaced words and do a quick step aside explanation of those words.  We will examine these words more in depth during the second and third reads of the text, so this is a quick discussion. 

Slide 3: season- I say: This is a three month period within the year.

Slide 4: pattern- I say: The same type of weather is generally seen within each season. revolving-  I circle my finger around the earth, following the arrows on slide 4 and say:Revolving means going around something in a circular motion.  Here the earth is revolving around the sun.

Slide 5: bloom- I say: This is what happens when flowers come or plants open up. hibernate-I say: The bear is hibernating in the log.  What do you think it means?  migrate- I say: When you go to another place you move.  That is what migrate means.

Slide 6: breezy- I say: Look at the laundry and the trees in the picture.  They are showing you the 'breeze.'  What is a breeze or what does it mean when the weather is breezy?

Slide 7: scorching-  I say:The word before scorching tells you what it means.  shade- I say: The umbrellas on the beach make shade and the trees make shade.  What do you think shade is?  ripe- I say: Ripe means that fruit is ready to eat.

Slide 8: harvested- When fruit and vegetables have been picked they have been they chilly-Chilly means a little cold, but not freezing.


I continue on each page in the same fashion. 


As students become aware of the repetitive phrase at the bottom of each page, I encourage them to join in. 


We will read the text more closely in our second read in the next lesson.

Extend Understanding

20 minutes

The Weather Song

This is the second lesson in the unit.  We sing The Weather Song many times throughout the unit to remind the kids of what each season brings.  It is a fun quick finish to any lesson on seasons and weather and can also help kids remember the seasons.

I almost always (sometimes there just isn't an action) give the students some TPR (Total Physical Response) to help them remember the song and the weather types.  It is a common strategy used with second language learners, but it can be used with any student!


Sing/ Chant “The Weather Song

 (Tune: Row, Row, Row your Boat).

     What is the weather  today,

       I can’t wait to see.

       Sunny, rainy, windy, cloudy,

       Which one will it be?


Song Motions 

For the first line we hold our hands up with palms up as if asking a question. 

For the second line we point to our eyes.  

For the third verse we hold up a finger for each type of weather.

For the last verse we hold our hands up with palms up as if asking a question.


 Here's how to sing the song!



Meteorologist Logbook

Because this is a unit on Seasons and weather, we will act as meteorologists throughout the unit, observing and recording the daily weather. We want the kids to make personal connections to their learning so they see it as meaningful learning, and this logbook does just that!

I ask:  What is the date today?  We write the date.

I ask: What is the weather like outside today?  We draw the weather, circle the word that names the weather.

I ask:  What sentence could we write to go with our weather picture?  What words can we use to describe or tell about our picture?  We write a simple sentence describing their daily observation (It is sunny.  We see rain.).   

I ask: How many boxes should we color in for our weather today? (one) Do we color from the bottom up or the top down? (bottom up)  Students will then record the daily weather on a bar graph in their log.