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Introduce Vocabulary: Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse (Lionni)

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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 and the Wind-Up Mouse (Lionni), chart paper

What to Do


Select three Tier Two vocabulary words to teach your students. Some 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 and the Wind-Up Mouse.

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.


Envy means jealousy or bad feelings if someone has something you want. What's the word?

The girl felt envy when her neighbor went on a trip to the beach. You might experience envy if you've always wanted a dog and then your friend gets one.

I'm going to name some things your friend gets to do. If you might feel envy at these times, say envy. Otherwise, don't say anything. Just sit quietly. Ready?

  • Goes out for ice cream
  • Gets a shot in basketball
  • Finishes a lot of homework
  • Cleans her room
  • Goes to the zoo


Mysteriously means something happens in an unknown way or with a secret attached. What's the word?

The sandwich I made mysteriously disappeared; I don’t know who took it. If you have a secret, others might think you're behaving mysteriously.

I'm going to list some events. If you think they tell about things that are mysterious, say mysterious. Otherwise, don't say anything. Just sit quietly. Ready?

  • A strange package shows up in the living room.
  • Your bed is unmade when you get home, even though you made it this morning.
  • Your mom is making supper.
  • The mailman brings you a letter.
  • The red roses have turned white overnight.


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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