This is the first lesson in a unit focusing on comprehension strategies. The shift to the new common core has inspired us to create more independent readers who can tackle complex text, prove the answers to questions with evidence from the text, and use comprehension strategies to aid in understanding complex text. This unit is meant to explicitly teach comprehension strategies to give the students tools they can use when independently trying to comprehend a complex text.
We will be reading the novel, "The Whipping Boy," by Sid Fleischman. This novel is complex in nature not because of its lexile reading level, but because of the difficult language and vocabulary components of the book.
I would like to start the students out with a good start on the difficult vocabulary in the story. I will use a PowerPoint to introduce the words and definitions to the students. I will let them know that they will want to pay close attention because we will be playing a game with the words later on in the lesson. I have included a copy of the PowerPoint in the resources.
After reviewing the new vocabulary word to the students, I will ask the students: "If you ran across unfamiliar words while reading, what are some strategies you could use to figure out the meanings of the unfamiliar words?"
Fleischman, S. (2003). The Whipping Boy. New York, NY : Greenwillow Books
I love to give the kids fun and engaging opportunities to practice vocabulary words and sentences. In this lesson, we will play a game. I will use the vocabulary word and definition cards included in the resources. I will also use a small soft ball shaped like a round penguin. Any soft ball or object will do. I will divide the class in half into two teams. I will then throw the penguin to one team. Whoever catches the penguin gets to answer the question. If the student answers the question correctly without help, their team will receive two points. If the student answers the question correctly with help from their teammates, their team receives one point. I mix up the word and definition cards. If I draw a word card, the student must define the word. If I draw a definition card, the student must state the correct word that matched the definition. Once the student has answered the question, he or she must throw the penguin to the other team. The person who catches it must answer the next question. If a player who has already answered a question catches the penguin, they must pass it to someone on the team who has not answered yet.
For some individual practice with the vocabulary words and for a formative assessment to see how the students are doing with the vocabulary words, I will have them complete the vocabulary independent activity. I have included the form in the resources. I copy this form on both sides of a sheet of paper so that the students can complete the task for all the vocabulary words. The students will write each word, define each word, write a sentence using each word, and draw a small picture to represent each word.