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Introduce Vocabulary: Blueberries for Sal (McCloskey)

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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: Blueberries for Sal (McCloskey), 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 Blueberries for Sal.

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.


Hustled means to have moved fast. What's the word?

She hustled through her chores so she could play outside. When you get in line quickly, it was because you hustled.

I'm going to name some ways of moving. If you think the way of moving is fast, say hustled. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Crawl
  • Skip
  • Run
  • Skate
  • Walk


Struggle means to do something that's very hard. What's the word?

Trying to win a video game can be a real struggle. It's no fun to do work that makes you struggle.

I'm going to name some activities. If the activity is hard to do, say struggle. Otherwise, keep quiet. Ready?

  • Swimming a really long way
  • Playing hopscotch
  • Listening to the radio
  • Carrying your bicycle home
  • Digging holes deep enough to plant trees


Tremendous means something is very big. What's the word?

The explorers crossed a tremendous ocean in a little boat. If you do a big favor for someone, they might say you were a tremendous help.

I'm going to name some things you could see outside. If the thing is very big, say tremendous. Otherwise, just sit quietly. Ready?

  • A mountain
  • The moon
  • An ant
  • A whale
  • A squirrel


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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