Lesson Plan

Understanding Academic Vocabulary in a Nonfiction Text

This lesson will provide students with an opportunity to become more comfortable with identifying and defining academic vocabulary words in a nonfiction text about a chicken's life cycle to support comprehension.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Using a Dictionary to Clarify the Meaning of Unknown Words pre-lesson.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Using a Dictionary to Clarify the Meaning of Unknown Words pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to define academic vocabulary in a grade level text.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments

Introduction

(5 minutes)
Life Cycle of a BirdA Chicken's Life Cycle
  • Ask a student volunteer to briefly explain nonfiction and choose a nonfiction text from the classroom library. Clarify that a nonfiction text or book is about a real topic.
  • Skim through the pages until you find a word that most students wouldn't know without using tools, such as an online dictionary, to figure out the meaning.
  • Write the word on the whiteboard and model a think-aloud. Say, "Hmm...I'm not sure what ________ means. What tools could I use to figure out the meaning of this word?"
  • Allow a few students to share out responses and record accurate responses on the board under the heading "Tools for Tricky Words."
  • Explain that today students will be learning about tools they can use to figure out tricky vocabulary words in a nonfiction text.

Beginning: Provide students with a pre-made copy of a worksheet titled "Tools for Tricky Words" and include the following tools on the worksheet: context clues, dictionary, online dictionary, picture.

Intermediate:

  • Encourage students to show an example of a nonfiction book.
  • Allow the students to explain what nonfiction is, using their own words.
  • Clarify the meaning of tricky, explaining that tricky words or hard to figure out or challenging.