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Introduce Vocabulary: Cross a Bridge (Hunter)

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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: Cross a Bridge (Hunter), 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 Cross a Bridge.

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.


Bay means an area of water all surrounded by land. What’s the word?

The boat on the bay was safe from the rough water further out in the ocean. When you go to a bay, you’ll see lots of boats coming and going.

I’m going to name some activities. If you think people probably do the activity at an area of water surrounded by land, say bay. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Have a picnic
  • Fish
  • Swim
  • Watch TV
  • Dance


Concrete means a hard substance that is used to make buildings and sidewalks. What’s the word?

Concrete is very strong, but it can be cracked by an earthquake. Sometimes you use sidewalk chalk to draw pictures on the concrete.

I’m going to name some items. If you think the item is made of the hard substance used to make sidewalks, say concrete. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Statue
  • Bridges
  • Beds
  • Cups and plates
  • Highways


Gorge is a narrow, deep crack in the earth made by a stream or river. What’s the word?

A gorge may be dry, or may still have water running through it. You should be careful not to lose your balance and tumble into the gorge.

I’m going to name some words. If you think the word could be used to describe a crack in the earth made by a fast river, say gorge. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Flat
  • Deep
  • Large
  • Wide
  • High


Sturdy means something strong that can’t be destroyed easily. What’s the word?

A tree that won’t break in a windstorm is sturdy. You can’t snap a baseball bat because it’s too sturdy.

I’m going to name some items. If you think the item is strong and can’t be destroyed easily, say sturdy. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Dry noodles
  • A twig
  • A giant oak tree
  • A big concrete building
  • A pencil


Suspension means the state something is in when it is hung up or stopped in the middle of doing something. We say that hanging things are in suspension because whatever keeps them hanging up stops them from falling. What’s the word?

Suspension of laundry on a clothesline is a good way to dry it. If you shake sand and water in a bottle, you see the suspension of sand in the water.

I’m going to name some items. If you think the items are hanging up, say suspension. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A basketball net
  • An acrobat on a flying trapeze
  • Ripe fruit on a branch
  • A delicate antique chair
  • A snowman


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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