EL Support Lesson

Vocabulary Focus

Use this lesson to explicitly teach unknown vocabulary words to students using structured language practice strategies. This can be used a stand alone activity or a support lesson.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Human Dictionary lesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Human Dictionary lesson plan.

Students will be able to figure out the meaning of unknown words using various strategies and clues.


Students will be able to identify the characteristics of a compound word with grade level words and phrases using structured language practice strategies and a graphic organizer.

(2 minutes)
  • Explain to students that today they will be learning new strategies to help them understand and use compound words in their everyday reading, conversations, and writing.
  • Ask students if they have ever heard of compound words before. Allow a few students to answer and ask students who have heard of compound words to provide a few examples.
(10 minutes)
  • Post the Background Knowledge Checklist on the board and review the scale with students.
  • Write the word "everywhere" on the board. Pass out a copy of the Frayer Model worksheet to each student.
  • Say to the students, "I have a new word for you to learn today! Everywhere. Repeat after me: everywhere, eve-ry-where (clap the syllables), everywhere. Let's hear the students in the back of the room say 'everywhere' (pause for students to say word), now the front of the room (pause for students to say word), and let's whisper the word together. Using the Background Knowledge Checklist on the board, please show me on your fingers what your knowledge level is of the word everywhere."
  • Call on one or two students who gave the word a four and allow them to briefly explain the word to the rest of the group. Next, define the word in student-friendly terms by writing the following definition on the board:
    • everywhere: Everywhere means in all places.
  • Model how to fill out the word and definition portion of the Frayer Model and ask students to fill out theirs.
  • Explain to students that everywhere is a compound word. Have them write the word "compound" in the characteristics section of their Frayer Model. Say, "A compound word just means that two smaller words are put together to make one larger word. Something important to remember is that this does not mean that all smaller words can be joined together to make compound words. Can anyone help me figure out what the two smaller words of everywhere are?"
  • Give the students time to do a brief think-pair-share with a neighbor, and call on a few students to share out.
  • Clarify that the word everywhere is made up of the words every and where. Next, write the following student-friendly definitions underneath everywhere on the board:
    • every: The word every can be used to include each person or thing in a group or describe a repeated activity.
    • where: The word where is used to describe a place or location.
  • Provide students with an example of the word every in a sentence. Next, have the students pair up and ask the students to come up with a few sentences using the word every with their partner. Examples include:
    • Every day, I walk to school.
    • I heard every word you said.
  • Next, provide one or two example sentences using the word where because the word can be confusing. Some example sentences include:
    • Where are you?
    • Please stay where you are.
    • He doesn't know where he is going.
    • She didn't know where to go.
  • Have the students orally share another sentence with their partner using the word where.
  • Ask students to come up with a movement or visual to represent the word everywhere. Encourage one or two students to share their ideas with the class. Visuals can be recorded under the characteristics section on the Frayer Model worksheet.
(10 minutes)
  • Split the students up into small groups and pass out whiteboards and whiteboard markers to each group. Write the following sentence frames on the board and read through them as a choral chant:
    • The word ____ is a compound word made up of the smaller words ____ and ____.
    • I can use the smaller word ____ in this sentence: ____.
    • I can use the smaller word ____ in this sentence: ____.
    • I travel ____ with my family.
    • ____ I go, I am kind to others.
    • I see flowers ____ around my yard.
  • Create a word bank on the board with the following words: every, where, everywhere.
  • Explain to the students that they will use the word bank to finish the sentences on the board. Encourage students to use their knowledge of word meanings and the Frayer Models to help them complete the sentences.
  • Give students about five minutes to complete the sentences, and then ask a group of students to share their answers. Record answers on the board, finishing the sentence frames.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students finish their Frayer Models in small groups. Encourage them to use the sentences they finished to think of examples and non-examples of the word everywhere. Ideas for non-examples include nowhere and not many places.
  • Write the following paragraph frame on the board:
    • The word ____ means ____. An example of the word ____ is ____. A non-example of the word ____ is ____. I can use the word ____ in the following sentence: ____.
  • Explain to students that you are going to model how to finish the paragraph frame using a different compound word: bedroom. Say, "The word bedroom means the place where I play and sleep. An example of the word bedroom is a safe place that I go to when I'm tired. A non-example of the word bedroom is the garage. I can use the word bedroom in the following sentence: I walked to my bedroom to get my book."
  • Ask students to get up and disperse through the room. Say, "When I say 'go,' find your first partner. Use the paragraph frame written on the board to guide your discussion. Finish the paragraph frame based on what you learned about the compound word everywhere. When I say 'stop,' stop what you are doing. When I say 'go' again, find a second partner to share your ideas with."


  • Define the word everywhere in English and student's L1.
  • Provide students with a partially filled out Frayer Model.
  • Allow students to work in a teacher-led small group during the sentence level activity and the beginning activity in the discourse section.
  • Simplify expectations during the discussion and allow students to use the following sentence frame instead: The word ____ means ____.


  • Have students repeat back definitions to a partner using their own words.
  • Encourage students to explain why they chose their visual or movement using the following sentence frame: I chose the drawing/movement ____ because ____.
(4 minutes)
  • Rotate around the room, listening to students as they orally share their ideas. Pay attention to body language, comfort level when speaking, and accuracy of the finished paragraph.
(4 minutes)
  • Gather students together and have them refer back to the Background Knowledge Checklist on the board.
  • Ask them to rate themselves on their understanding of the compound word everywhere and think-pair-share their rating with an elbow partner.
  • Explain that recognizing and learning about compound words will help them become better readers, speakers, and writers.
  • Use student feedback on understanding to plan for future lessons on explicitly teaching grade level compound words.

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