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Introduce Vocabulary: Countdown to Kindergarten (McGhee)

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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: Countdown to Kindergarten (McGhee), 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 Countdown to Kindergarten.

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.


Allow means to let something happen. What's the word?

The teacher will allow us to draw while she reads. If you clean your room, you are allowed to go outside to play.

I'm going to name some things to do. If you can do this thing in your classroom, say allow. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Read
  • Play drums
  • Help another student
  • Clean up your desk
  • Roller skate


Doomed means to be in bad trouble, with no hope. What's the word?

The child felt doomed when the dog ate his homework. You won't be doomed because your parents or teacher will always help you.

I'm going to name some animals. If you think it is in big trouble, say doomed. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A fish on a hook
  • A fly with a swatter coming down on it
  • A bird in a tree
  • A pig in the mud
  • A cow in the field


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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