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ELA G3:M1:U2:L4

Vocabulary: Finding the Meaning of Words in Context in The Boy Who Loved Words

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The Foundational Reading and Language Standards Resources Package for Grades 3–5

Use this guide to build additional literacy blocks alongside the module lessons.

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can answer questions using specific details from the text. (RL.3.1) 
  • I can explain what I understand about the topic being discussed. (SL.3.1)
  • I can use what the sentence says to help me determine what a word or phrase means. (L.3.4)

Supporting Targets

Learning TargetsOngoing Assessments
  • I can answer questions using details from The Boy Who Loved Words.
  • I can explain why I chose specific details to answer questions about the text.
  • I can determine the meaning of a word using clues in the text around it. 
  • In advance: Pull two sentences from the book The Boy Who Loved Words, each with a new vocabulary word in it. Use sentences other than those on the Using Context Clues handout. Cut the sentence up, so each individual word is on its own piece of paper. Either write the new vocabulary word in a different color or highlight it to stand out.
  • This lesson includes a kinesthetic activity that allows students to physically move and manipulate words in order to think about how to understand vocabulary in context.  Read through the work time notes carefully in order to visualize the activity and the necessary preparation.

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

A.  Engaging the Reader (15 minutes)

2.  Work Time

A.  Answering Text-Dependent Questions (10 minutes)

B.  Share (10 minutes)

C.  Vocabulary (20 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

A.  Debrief (5 minutes)

4.  Homework

A.  Review the many words you have learned this year. Choose your 10 favorites to share with a partner tomorrow.

  • Because The Boy Who Loved Words is a more complex text, students need access to excerpts from the book to complete the close reading cycle. See supporting materials for a list of appropriate excerpts.

Vocabulary

VocabularyMaterials

juicy (as in rich or vivid word choice); periphery, rucksack, dusk, slumber, tremulously

 

  • Excerpts from The Boy Who Loved Words (from Lesson 3)
  • The Boy Who Loved Words: Questions from the Text (one per student)
  • Sentence strips (prepared in advance by teacher; see teaching note above)
  • Using Context Clues: The Boy Who Loved Words (one per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Reader (15 minutes)

  • Distribute student excerpts from The Boy Who Loved Words used in Lesson 3 as well as The Boy Who Loved Words: Questions from the Text. Review with students the process they went through to answer questions. First, they read the questions. Then, they read the entire text, keeping those questions in mind. When they encountered details that could be used as evidence to answer a question, they jotted down the evidence from the text. Review the word evidence with the class: “Evidence is something we use to prove an idea we have.”
  • Tell them that they are going to do the exact same process for The Boy Who Loved Words. However, right now they are not going to write out full answers to the questions. Instead, they should just read with the questions in mind, looking for important details that can be used as evidence in their answers. When they write down the evidence on a sticky note, they should write the corresponding question number in the margin to make the next part of the activity move more efficiently.
  • Model briefly as needed. When it is clear students understand the instructions, release them to independent work.
  • Give students the remaining time to work on finding important details for each question. Circulate and support students as needed.
  • Allow ELL students to use their L1 as a basis for word/phrase choice. Encourage them to offer a simple translation of the word/phrase in English.
  • Consider charting some of the words students share. Having a visual often helps ELL students’ comprehension.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Answering Text-Dependent Questions  (10 minutes)

  • Explain that now students are going to use the numbered sticky notes to answer the questions on their The Boy Who Loved Words: Questions from the Text.
  • Model briefly as needed. When it is clear students understand how to do this, release them to independent work.
  • Give students the next 15 minutes to work on finding important details for each question. Circulate and support students as needed.
  • Provide sentence stems if needed.

 

B. Share (10 minutes)

  • Once students have worked for 15 minutes independently finding evidence and answering questions, have them work in groups to discuss and compare their reading work.

C. Vocabulary (20 minutes)

  • Gather students back in a circle. Tell them that they are going to work with that really juicy vocabulary from The Boy Who Loved Words, but that student volunteers are needed to act this out.
  • Distribute the sentence strips from The Boy Who Loved Words (see Teaching Note at the beginning of the lesson). Ask for student volunteers, so each volunteer is holding one word from the cut-up sentences.
  • Have students stand in the order of the words in the sentence, so the rest of the class can read the sentence in correct word order. Ask students to identify the new vocabulary word (in bold or highlighted in a different color). Tell students that this is the word they will focus on. Tell them that many, but not all, of the other words they are holding are also important. Their job right now is to figure out which words in the surrounding text are important clues in determining the meaning of the unfamiliar vocabulary. 
  • Invite students to work as a class to determine which words surrounding the bold word are not important. They should ask their peer holding that word to “sit down.” They must justify why. For example, a student could say something such as: “I think Jean should sit down, because she has the word ‘the’ and that word is everywhere and doesn’t mean anything that could be helpful.” Then other students can agree or disagree with this decision. After discussion, have students weigh in with a thumbs-up, thumbs-sideways, or thumbs-down on whether the word is an important clue. Students may also advocate for a student to stand back up if they have decided that the word she or he holds actually ends up being important.
  • Once students are satisfied that only important clue words remain, they should Think-Pair-Share what the unfamiliar word might mean. Invite individual shares on thinking. Repeat this game once more with a new sentence. 
  • Tell students that they will practice this process again, on paper. Distribute Using Context Clues: The Boy Who Loved Words to each student. Tell them that instead of having someone sit down, they should simply cross out any words they think are not helpful. Then they will write a couple of possibilities for what the unfamiliar vocabulary might mean. Finally, they will explain their thinking, showing how the clues brought them to that meaning. 

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Debrief (5 minutes)

  • Select two or three questions that students answered and invite them to Think-Pair-Share their responses and text evidence.
  • Debrief the vocabulary by inviting a few students to share words from their vocabulary activity and how they thought about their meanings.
  • Note to teacher: Review students’ responses to the questions about The Boy Who Loved Words to assess their progress toward the day’s targets.

Assessment

None

Homework

Homework
  • Review the many words you have learned this year. Choose your 10 favorites to share with a partner tomorrow.

Supporting Materials

None

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