I begin by putting the words we are working with from the first two chapters onto the board. I explain that these are the words they will be working with. To further explain, I tell them that they will be trying to find these words within the first two chapters of our books. With a partner they will create a definition that fits with how the author used the word in context. They will do this for the list of words. When they have come up with their own definitions, they will now have to grade their work. They will do this by finding the words in the dictionary. Once they find the words, they can write that definition underneath the one they created.
I model the steps that I have just explained. I start with the first word and model how I find it in the book. I write the word on my paper and then the page number I found the word on. I then read the paragraph the word was a part of. I read this aloud to them and reread it if I need to. I then do a think aloud, and model how I would use context clues to create my definition. I then write my definition next to the page number. I finally model how to use the dictionary to find the word. I find it and write the dictionary definition on the next line.
It is now the class' turn to find and define words. To help all of my students succeed, I split them into pairs. I then ask one member of the group to get a piece of paper and the other to get a dictionary. I then remind them that the list of six words is on the board and they can get started right away. They only need to turn in one paper with both of their names.
While they work, I walk around and help whoever might need it. I am listening to the conversations the students are having. If they are off track on their thinking I will stop and prompt them to think about the context the word is used in.