Skill 2: Vocabulary Strategies

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SWBAT to use context as a clue to the meaning of words or phrases by working collaboratively to define unknown words in "By Any Other Name."

Big Idea

How do you comprehend a text when unknown vocabulary gets in the way? Using context clues is a good place to start.


10 minutes

We will start class with ten minutes of reading time. I will read with my students during this time. 

Reviewing the Rules (of grammar) Round 2

15 minutes

Similar to yesterday, we will move from SSR to do a brief grammar drill. This drill will focus on making effective choices so that our meaning is clear (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.3) and demonstrating a command of standard English usage when writing sentences (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.1). I chose these specific foci because these are things that students can fix easily by spending a little time proofreading. 

You may notice that I restructured the slides today so that we will have the chance to review the rules before we practiced with the sentences. Logic would tell you that I should have thought of this yesterday, but logic does not always rule. Thankfully, I have another chance today to (hopefully) make this drill a little less confusing for my students. 

Throughout these drills, I will have students write their responses in their notes. For the "complete sentences" slide, I will ask three students to come up to the front and write their corrected sentences on the board for their peers to review. 

Review and Practice of Skills: Vocabulary in Context

25 minutes

Once we've finished our grammar drill, we will move on to a brief review of the very specific vocabulary skill: Using context clues to help clarify meaning of words and/or phrases (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.4a). This, to me, is the most important vocabulary skill to have as it is the one most of us use, even when we don't know that we are using it. I want to make sure that, if nothing else, students are reminded about how to do this so they can use this skill when interpreting question stems and/or the texts in next week's test. 

To do this, I will pull a few lines from the text they read yesterday and finished as homework last night, Santha Rama Rau's memoir "By Any Other Name" (originally published in The New Yorker magazine, March 1951). I will ask the class to help me use context clues to define the italicized word in each sentence I project in a slide deck. I will then ask them to review how they came to that definition. 

Once we've practiced a little together, I will allow them to work with a partner of their choosing to define the remaining words in the piece.

In addition, I will ask each pair to write a brief paragraph that provides an objective summary of her ideas about imperialism (RI.9-10.2) of the text and a brief analysis of why Rama Rau chooses to write about this topic in this way (RI.9-10.6)

We will use these definitions and summaries for a brief discussion of the themes of the text tomorrow, so I will ask the students to hold on to their work until then. 

Wrap Up and Next Steps

5 minutes

I will end class today by asking kids to help me with a few organizational things. I need to check out their choice novels, which I handed out yesterday at the end of class and I need to have them clean out their class files (file folders filled with graded work). These things always take more time than I anticipate, so I am going to stop them in their vocabulary work, asking them to finish what they haven't finished for homework, so that they can accomplish these tasks before the bell rings.