Lesson plan

Is It the Same?

Students will enjoy this fast-paced lesson as they incorporate acting, reading, and detective work while learning how to use context clues in fiction.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the How Pictures Can Help Us Read pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
Grade Subject View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the How Pictures Can Help Us Read pre-lesson.

Students will be able to use context clues to identify and define unknown words in a text.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Show students two items that are opposites (such as a small ball and a large ball, or something tall and something short).
  • Tell students that opposites are pairs of words that have different meaning, such as short/tall and big/little.
  • Ask them to think of other opposites that they know and turn and talk with a classmate to share their thinking.
  • Play a short game where you do an action (arms up, crouch low, etc.) and ask students to do the opposite action
(5 minutes)
  • Introduce the read aloud by doing a picture walk of To & Fro, Fast & Slow by Durga Bernhard.
  • Ask students what they notice about the story from the illustrations during the picture walk.
(10 minutes)
  • Read aloud the story, pausing to explain that sometimes when we are reading we come across a new word that we aren’t sure what it means, demonstrate how you can use the context clues of the other words and the illustrations around the unknown word to understand the new word.
  • As you read, identify both opposite word pairs and new words and make a list of them on the board with the help of the students.
(10 minutes)
  • Pass out the Crazy New Words worksheet and have students choose one of the new words from the story and draw pictures to demonstrate their understanding of the new word.


  • Pair students together to identify the meaning of the new word from the text and encourage them to find the opposites.


  • Have students label their drawings and help them by allowing them to dictate and/or just write the first sound of the word.
  • Students can complete the Silly Opposites worksheet.
(5 minutes)
  • Check that student work reflects an understanding of the new words using context clues.
(10 minutes)
  • Pass out an index card to each student. Have students choose one of the opposite pairs from the story and draw pictures of each thing on their index card to demonstrate their understanding of opposites.
  • Invite 3–5 students to come up to the front and share their opposite pairs with the class.
  • Review how to use context clues within a story to find the meaning of an unknown word.

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