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Introduce Vocabulary: Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday (Viorst)

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Lesson Type: Introduce
Grade: K, 1, 2, 3
Group Size: Small Group, Whole Class
Length: 20 minutes
Goal: After listening to a fiction read-aloud, students will know the meaning of three Tier Two vocabulary words.

Materials: Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday (Viorst), board or chart paper

What to Do


Select three Tier Two vocabulary words to teach your students. A list of suggested words appears below. Write the vocabulary words on the board or on chart paper.


1. Introduce the story.

Today we are going to read a story entitled Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday.

2. Introduce the three vocabulary words you have chosen.

Before we read the story, I want to introduce some new words that we will come across. Please repeat each word after I say it.

3. Read the story.

Let’s read the story. Make sure to listen for today’s vocabulary words and to think about how they are used in the story. If you hear a vocabulary word while I am reading, raise your hand.

4. Define key vocabulary words. See definitions below.

Let’s think about our vocabulary words. The word ______________ means ____________. Does anyone remember how this word was used in the text?

Call on students to answer the question. Then refer to the text to show how the word was used in context. Repeat this process for each vocabulary word.


Now let’s practice what we’ve learned.


Absolutely means for sure, with no doubt. What's the word?

I absolutely love peaches; I eat three peaches every day. Are you absolutely sure of your address and phone number?

I'm going to make some statements. If these things are true for sure, say absolutely. Otherwise, don't say anything. Just sit quietly. Ready?

  • The moon is made of cheese.
  • Swimming on a hot day is fun.
  • Kittens and puppies are cute.
  • Broccoli is delicious for breakfast.
  • Listening to lively music makes me want to dance.


Positively also means surely or without a doubt. What's the word?

This was positively the best meal he's ever made. You feel positively relaxed lying on your bed.

I'm going to say some sentences. If these things are true, say positively. Otherwise, don't say anything. Just sit quietly. Ready?

  • Chickens lay eggs.
  • The earth is round.
  • The sun is close enough to touch.
  • Snow is cold.
  • Trees are good to eat.


Rescue means to save someone or something. What's the word?

Would you rescue a bird with a broken wing? It's brave to rescue someone who's in danger of drowning.

I'm going to name some situations. If you think someone or something needs to be rescued in them, say rescue. Otherwise, don't say anything. Just sit quietly. Ready?

  • A fish in the stream.
  • A bee in a flower.
  • A baby who has fallen into the river.
  • An animal in the middle of the highway.
  • A duck stuck in the mud.


For Advanced Students:

If time permits, have students create more examples for the vocabulary words.

For Struggling Students:

If time permits, have students record the words on a Vocabulary Discovery Chart or in a Word Journal.

For ELL Students:

In order to help ELL students learn the words, it may be helpful to use realia and/or to teach cognates.

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