Table groups get to work immediately when entering class to categorize the vocabulary I have selected from the story. Each table group has an envelope with each word listed on a small slip of paper. The expectation is that the students work together to put the words into a minimum of three specific categories. I do not offer advice or feedback in any way to the students as they work for 5-6 minutes to complete this task. I simply move about the room and listen in on their discussions. This activity naturally differentiates itself as groups will certainly do this in different groupings, based on the ability level and knowledge of the terms. In fact, a couple groups had a category for words they knew nothing about.
Once each group has completed the task, I have a representative from each group share the categories the group selected, and which words they placed in each. This allows groups to hear different approaches, and perhaps find confirmation from others as well. It is a good way to get the students thinking about the different ways to make connections between the terms provided. This is another strategy from the book The Core Six (which I have attached this, an overview of the book's content".
After the groups have all shared their categories, we move to a process of application. I ask the students to read The Story of An Hour independently. As they read, I ask that they highlight the vocabulary words in the text. When they complete the reading, I ask them to write down a user friendly definition for each term on the Vocab Practice worksheet provided. I do this so the students are connecting the first activity to the actual context of each word as it is used in the text. I say that this portion of the lesson, altogether, takes about 20 minutes, but this time is loose and can be changed depending on the progress of your students. Some classes take more time to get through the reading, while others are able to jet right through.
When the vast majority of the students, if not all of them, are finished with the task, it is important to again review with them by having the students share the definitions they wrote down for each of the terms. This allows the students to monitor and adjust together with any necessary guidance coming from me. This allows me to make sure they all have an accurate definition, but without me having to do all the thinking and the work. After each student shares a definition, I ask the class whether they agree or disagree. When a student disagrees, they are expected to share what they feel is the appropriate and accurate definition. Finally, I share Vocab Practice with Definitions so we can ensure each student has the correct information. This allows students to choose the wording that is most effective for them, but to be exposed to my wording.
After we have worked through our definitions of the vocabulary words, I have the students work in their table groups to write a brief 1-2 paragraph story using at least five of the words. The only caveats are that the story has to be different from the text, "Story of an Hour", and it must be school appropriate. depending on the number of groups, the amount of time provided for writing will vary. It is important to save enough time for each of the groups to be able to read their stories aloud to the rest of the class. Since I have 9 groups, I save 10 minutes for reading, which means the groups have 10 minutes to complete the writing portion.
This process allows students to take the vocabulary and create more connections between the terms and uses. This ensures a greater level of understanding and retention. It is also a fun way for the students to communicate with one another, collaborate, create, and connect.