Before diving into a unit of study, I want to ensure the students have the vocabulary necessary to complete the work. I will give the students the Vocabulary Handout and ask them to categorize the following words as either they know the word/definition well, know it a little, or are not familiar with it at all.
I will allow them about five minutes to do this before sharing with the class. This is a good way for me to assess their vocabulary knowledge.
Next, using the handout, I will have the students take the words they know and think they know and record the definitions. I am sure at this point, a lot of the "I know" and the "I think I know" will have to be looked up. I expect the students to realize that hearing the word doesn't mean they know it. In order to "know" a word, you must be able to define it and use it in context.
Then, I will take a few minutes to review how we look up words in a dictionary. Most students probably use their phones or computers to look up the definition of a word, but I still think it is important to understand how we consult a dictionary.
I will first use the Dictionary Skills power point and go through the slides. This will help the students gain an understanding for how to look up words in a dictionary as well as help them gain an understanding for what all the "Stuff" around the word is and what it means to defining the word.
I will model the steps I take when I am looking up a word and have the students practice looking up the words with me. I think it is important to discuss all the pieces to a definition and what the letters (parts of speech) mean as well as any etymology that is listed. This could just be a great teachable moment in many different ways.
Now, I want the students to use the dictionaries to first check the definitions of the words they said they knew or knew a little bit about. They can make revisions to their definitions if necessary.
Then, I will have the students look up the words they didn't know to compile a reference of vocabulary terms for this unit. They will be responsible for learning, knowing, and using these words throughout the unit.
Finally, to demonstrate understanding, I will have the students use all of the words in two brief paragraphs. In the first paragraph, they have to write about a conflict that has a positive result. In the second, discuss a conflict that has a negative result. Here is a Student Work Sample.
To wrap up the lesson, I will have the students answer the questions on the Closure Slip. This will help me assess their understanding of the terms. I am asking the students to describe to me what was difficult and easy about today's lesson. My goal is for the students to really assess the skills they used today and to evaluate how they did.