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Introduce Vocabulary: From Tadpole to Frog (Pfeffer)

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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: From Tadpole to Frog (Pfeffer), 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 From Tadpole to Frog.

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.


Fertilize means to give something nutrients so it can grow. What’s the word?

A good gardener will fertilize the lawn only when it needs extra nutrients. Did you know that bees help flowers become fertilized?

I’m going to name some things. If you think the thing needs nutrients to help it grow, say fertilize. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Ducklings
  • Snowbank
  • Cereal
  • Moose
  • Grass


Gills means an opening on a fish or other sea animal that help it get oxygen from the water. What’s the word?

Gills are on the outside of an animal’s body, while lungs are on the inside. You are a mammal, so you don’t have gills.

I’m going to name some animals. If you think the animal has an opening on the outside of its body to get oxygen, say gills. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Gorilla
  • Zebra
  • Fish
  • Toad
  • Snake


Hatch means when an egg breaks open and the baby comes out. What’s the word?

Most eggs hatch in the springtime when the weather is getting warm. You can’t hatch the eggs you buy in the grocery store.

I’m going to name some living things. If you think the thing comes from an egg, say hatch. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Hamster
  • People
  • Flower
  • Sparrow
  • Fish


Hibernate means to spend a long time sleeping, as some animals do during the winter. What’s the word?

Animals hibernate in the winter when it’s very cold outside. Do you feel like hibernating when the snow gets very deep?

I’m going to name some animals. If you think the animal spends months sleeping in the winter, say hibernate. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Humans
  • Geese
  • Turtles
  • Bears
  • Mice


Mate means the animal’s husband or wife. What’s the word?

Some animals only have one mate their whole life. You can also say that things that come in pairs, like shoes, have a mate.

I’m going to name some items. If you think the thing usually comes in twos, say mate. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Jacket
  • Gloves
  • Parents
  • Twins
  • Cakes


Tadpole means a baby frog. What’s the word?

A tadpole has a long tail instead of back legs. If you are a really good swimmer, someone might say you’re a tadpole.

I’m going to name some places. If you think you might find a baby frog in the place, say tadpole. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • The shoe store
  • An escalator
  • A pond
  • The mud
  • A stream


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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