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Introduce Vocabulary: Animal Tracks (Dorros)

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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: Animal Tracks (Dorros), board or chart paper.
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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 Animal Tracks.

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.


Bother means to pester or annoy someone. What’s the word?

Ants at a picnic bother people. It’s important not to bother your parents when they are working.

I’m going to name some things. If you think the thing would pester or annoy you, say bother. Otherwise stay quiet. Ready?

  • A kitten purring on your lap
  • A yummy treat
  • A fly that keeps landing on you
  • Wind that blows your papers away
  • A bug bite that really itches


Dam means twigs and mud built across a stream to stop the water. What’s the word?

Beavers build more dams than any other animal. If you place mud and twigs in a stream, you can swim in the pool that forms.

I’m going to name some things. If you think a beaver might place the thing across a stream to stop the water, say dam. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Little branches
  • Logs
  • Fallen trees
  • Legos
  • Steel pipe


Reed means a thin plant that grows in the water. What’s the word?

A reed can bend in the wind without breaking. Don’t try to hold onto the reeds when you cross the stream, because they are not strong enough to help you keep your balance.

I’m going to name some items. If you think the item bends like a plant that grows in the water, say reed. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Fence post
  • Tetherball post
  • A drinking straw
  • A piece of grass
  • A tree


Reflection means what you see when you look in a mirror, in still water, or in glass. What’s the word?

Most people keep a mirror in the bathroom so they can see their reflection in order to shave or wash their face. You should wear sunglasses so the reflection of the sun on the snow doesn’t hurt your eyes.

I’m going to name some surfaces. If you think you’d be able to see yourself in the surface, say reflection. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Grass
  • Glass
  • Still water
  • Sand
  • Shiny metal


Tracks means the prints left behind when an animal or person walks in snow or soft dirt. What’s the word?

The monkey swung through the trees instead of walking on the ground, so he left no tracks. Do you think it’s fun to make tracks in the snow?

I’m going to name some animals. If you think the animal might make prints when it walks, say tracks. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A fish in a river
  • A bird in the sky
  • An elephant in soft dirt
  • A mouse in the dust
  • A dog running in snow


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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