Serling Vocabulary Carousel

4 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


Students will be able to clarify the meaning of unfamiliar words by creating a class list, shrinking dictionary definitions, and presenting the definitions to the class.

Big Idea

Students create their own vocabulary list to help understand an author's motivation for writing.

Daily Grammar

15 minutes


Direct Vocabulary Instruction

30 minutes

I did today's lesson in two different ways for my two different classes.  I did a vocabulary carousel first hour and presentations during fourth hour.  Here's how I did it.  The end result was the same, however.  Students had a list of vocabulary words, parts of speech, and shrunken definitions.

First we set up our papers.  I asked students to do something crazy right away.  I asked them to write their names on their papers.  They labeled the assignment Serling Vocabulary, because these words came from the Rod Serling biography.

I gave them two options. They could set their paper up as a Vocabulary Table with Four Columns or as a Vocabulary Modified Table.  Either one was fine. When I do this with my co-taught classes, I'll use the Vocabulary Tabs.

Vocabulary Carousel

On Friday, students had written their words, part of speech, and shrunken definition on white boards.  I asked one person from every group to go get their board and place it at their table.  Most tables had two boards, although one group did have three boards.

Since they already had their papers set up, they could immediately get to work. They copied the words that were currently at their table, which may or may not have been the word they did originally.  I tried to tell them that they needed to write their own word down, but something went wrong in the communication.  I gave them about four minutes, and then asked the students to switch tables.  The boards stayed in the same place, the students were the ones that moved.

This strategy worked out okay. I wasn't one hundred percent happy, which is why I switched approaches for fourth hour.



For fourth hour, we worked on our speaking and listening skills in addition to vocabulary skills!  I had each group come up to present their word. They had to read the word and part of speech and explain the definition. Each group had about three to four minutes, and of course, some groups had two words.

There was certainly less socializing with the presentation method.  We got all the words done fourth hour, and we didn't get done first hour.  True, fourth hour has fewer students than first hour, but the presentation method felt better.  And students were able to practice speaking in front of their peers. That's not a bad thing.  The groups were able to clarify information for both me and the other students.


Lesson Resources