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Introduce Vocabulary: Christopher Columbus (Weinberger)

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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: Christopher Columbus (Weinberger), 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 Christopher Columbus.

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.


Cloth means a piece of material made from cotton, wool, or polyester. What’s the word?

A sail on a ship is made from heavy cloth. Some of your clothes are made from cotton cloth, and some of your clothes are made from polyester cloth.

I’m going to name some things in your bedroom. If you think they’re made from cotton or wool, say cloth. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Bedspread
  • Curtains
  • Toy box
  • Light bulb
  • Pajamas


Faraway means not nearby. What’s the word?

The faraway moon only looks close. I would like to visit a faraway place like Egypt some day.

I’m going to name some places. If you think the place would take more than one day to travel to, say faraway. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • The bathroom
  • Jupiter
  • A town 3000 miles from here
  • The playground
  • India


Honor means honesty and truthfulness. What’s the word?

Because he is a man of honor, you know he’s telling the truth. If someone says you have honor, that’s a good thing.

I’m going to name some actions. If you think the action shows honesty and truthfulness, say honor. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

Giving money back if the cashier gives you too much change

  • Telling a friend you won’t cheat on a test
  • Taking the teacher’s pencil
  • Shoplifting
  • Pretending you have extra points when you’re playing a game


Natives means people who lived somewhere first. What’s the word?

The natives of the island had never seen an airplane before. When you travel to another country you should try to meet some of the natives.

I’m going to name some things people do. If you think the people who lived on this continent before Columbus came had done these things, say natives. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Planted crops
  • Sailed ships to other continents
  • Lived in homes with their families
  • Raised animals
  • Used compasses


Possible means something can be done. What’s the word?

It’s possible to change water into steam. Is it possible for you to fly with your arms?

I’m going to name some events. If you think the event could be done, say possible. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Dogs growing wings
  • The earth turning flat
  • People traveling to the moon
  • Melting glass
  • Building a house out of jelly


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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