Increase student comprehension by teaching your students strategies to figure out the meaning of unknown words. This lesson can be used as a stand alone activity or a support lesson for the Be a Nonfiction Detective lesson.
Students will be able to use various strategies to understand nonfiction text.
Students will be able to figure out unknown words with sentence level context using a Frayer model.
Project a copy of the Madam C.J. Walker worksheet using a document camera or projector. Explain to the students that today they will be learning a strategy that can help them understand what they read. Say, "Today we will figure out the meanings of some tricky words from a story. Good readers look for words that they don't know while they are reading. This helps us understand what we read better. Once we figure out what the words mean, we can re-read the story again!"
Read the Madam C.J. Walker worksheet aloud. As you read, stop and circle each of the unknown vocabulary words.
Explain to the students that finding out the unknown words will help you understand the main idea, or the most important point the author is trying to tell us about the story. Say, "The main idea is sometimes in the story as a sentence or phrase. But sometimes, it's not so clear, and we have to think about what the author wants us to learn from reading the story."
Call on a few students to offer ideas about what they think the main idea of the story is, prior to learning what the unknown words mean.