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Introduce Vocabulary: Clouds (Bauer)

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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: Clouds (Bauer), 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 Clouds.

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.


Cirrus is a type of cloud that looks flat and thin and is found very high in the sky. What’s the word?

If the sky only has cirrus clouds, there probably won’t be rain. Do you think cirrus clouds look like lace?

I’m going to name some things. If you think the thing is flat and thin and might look like a cirrus cloud, say cirrus. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A basketball
  • A pumpkin
  • A few pieces of white hair on an old man’s head
  • A lace handkerchief
  • Smoke


Cumulus is a type of cloud that looks big and fluffy in the sky. What’s the word?

Cumulus clouds are the roundest clouds. Cumulus clouds can be white or dark.

I’m going to name some items. If you think the item looks fluffy like a cumulus cloud in the sky, say cumulus. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Cauliflower
  • Cotton balls
  • A little poodle
  • A baking pan
  • A dish cloth


Fog means that clouds are close to the ground, making it hard to see. What’s the word?

When fog happens at night, it makes the night seem spooky. Have you ever driven through fog?

I’m going to name some places. If you think clouds could lie close to the ground in the place, say fog. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • In a valley
  • In your bedroom
  • Over a river
  • On the highway
  • In an elevator


Stratus is a type of cloud that looks like a fluffy blanket. What’s the word?

Thick stratus clouds usually bring rain or snow. Can you imagine riding on top of a stratus cloud?

I’m going to name some things. If you think the thing has ever been in the sky and touched a cloud that looks like a fluffy blanket, say stratus. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A submarine
  • An earthworm
  • A helium balloon that got loose
  • An airplane
  • A bird


Vapor means when water is not liquid, but is like steam. What’s the word?

When tiny drops of water hang in the air, it’s called vapor. When you breathe out, you leave vapor in the air.

I’m going to name some things in your kitchen. If you think the thing may give off steam, say vapor. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A cold piece of cheese
  • A hot piece of pizza
  • A bowl of ice cream
  • Boiling water on the stove
  • A cup of hot tea


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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