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Introduce Vocabulary: How Do Dinosaurs Go To School? (Yolen)

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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: How Do Dinosaurs Go To School? (Yolen & Teague), 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 How Do Dinosaurs Go To School?.

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.


Fidget means to move a lot with little movements. What’s the word?

A bored child will fidget and wiggle. When you just can’t sit still, your parents will tell you not to fidget so much.

I’m going to name some words. If you think the word means to move a lot with little movements, say fidget. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Be still
  • Squirm
  • Chill
  • Wiggle
  • Twitch


Fuss means to whine and make a big deal about something. What’s the word?

It wears a mom out when the baby fusses all the time. You should try to get along and not fuss about little things.

I’m going to name some words. If you think the word means to whine and make a big deal about something, say fuss. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Smile
  • Laugh
  • Throw a fit
  • Cry
  • Carry on


Growl is a deep rumbling noise that happens in someone’s throat, or a sound a scary animal makes. What’s the word?

I tried to growl like a lion, but it sounded more like a kitten. You should never go near a dog that is growling.

I’m going to name some animals. If you think the animal can make a deep rumble in its throat, say growl. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A giraffe
  • A chicken
  • A bear
  • A tiger
  • A wolf


Interrupt means to stop someone from talking or finishing what he or she was doing. What’s the word?

It’s really rude to interrupt the speaker with noises in the audience. You should raise your hand and say “Excuse me” instead of interrupting.

I’m going to name some events. If you think the event makes it all right to stop someone from finishing what he or she is doing, say interrupt. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • The house is flooding.
  • The baby is crawling toward the stairs.
  • You are listening to a person giving directions.
  • The dog is about to run into traffic.
  • Your dad is telling you about his day.


Roughhouse means to play roughly and not carefully. What’s the word?

Children will roughhouse and wrestle in the soft grass. Be careful when you roughhouse so no one gets hurt.

I’m going to name some places. If you think it’s all right to play roughly in the place, say roughhouse. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Swimming pool
  • Playground
  • Sandbox
  • Library
  • School


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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