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Introduce Vocabulary: Firefighters (Mitten)

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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: Firefighters (Mitten), board or chart paper.
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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 Firefighters.

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.


Department means a group of people who work together. What’s the word?

All the people in the meat department at the grocery store wear white aprons. Would you rather work in the police department or the fire department?

I’m going to name some jobs. If you think a lot of people work together at one time doing the job, say department. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Delivering newspapers
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Being a police officer
  • Building a huge skyscraper
  • Being a firefighter


Hydrant means a metal object that has water in it to fight fires. What’s the word?

Most hydrants are painted red so they can be easily seen. Have you ever seen an opened hydrant squirting water?

I’m going to name some words. If you think the word has to do with the object standing in the street to fight fires, say hydrant. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Dust
  • Water
  • Red
  • Hose
  • Soft


Modern means something that exists now and is up-to-date and not old-fashioned. What’s the word?

This car that runs on water instead of gasoline is very modern. I see you are wearing modern clothing that is comfortable and washable.

I’m going to name some items. If you think the item is up-to-date and not old-fashioned, say modern. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Cell phone
  • Computer
  • A horse and buggy to get around in
  • A scrubber to wash clothes by hand
  • Digital camera


Protect means to keep something or someone safe from harm. What’s the word?

It’s a policeman’s job to protect people. You probably would protect a smaller child if you saw him or her about to get hurt.

I’m going to name some items. If you think the item helps keep someone or something safe, say protect. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A warm light to keep baby chicks from freezing
  • Seatbelts in the car
  • Nails
  • An icy road
  • Work glasses to keep dust from getting in your eyes


Relax means to rest and not work or worry about anything. What’s the word?

When the student was upset about forgetting his homework, the teacher told him to relax and bring it the next day. If you want to relax, you should take a vacation.

I’m going to name some activities. If you think the activity would help you rest and not worry, say relax. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Taking a test
  • Sleeping in a beach chair
  • Taking a quiet walk
  • Listening to gentle music
  • Pulling weeds on a hot day


Siren means a loud horn that blows to warn people to get out of the way. What’s the word?

When the woman was driving her car, she heard a siren behind her, so she pulled off the road. Cover your ears when a siren goes off so they don’t get hurt.

I’m going to name some noises. If you think the noise sounds like a loud horn, say siren. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A kitten mewing
  • A car honking
  • A ship’s signal
  • A trumpet
  • A bee buzzing


Uniform means an outfit that people wear to show what kind of work they do. What’s the word?

Nurses used to wear white uniforms only, but now they can wear colored ones. If you are a scout, you wear a uniform to meetings.

I’m going to name some jobs. If you have seen someone in this job wearing the same outfit as other people in the job, say uniform. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A teacher
  • A dancer
  • A waitress
  • A policeman
  • A nurse


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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