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Introduce Vocabulary: Icky Bug Colors (Pallotta)

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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: Icky Bug Colors (Pallotta), 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 Icky Bug Colors.

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.


Colony means a place where a lot of the same kind of animals, bugs, or people live. What’s the word?

Not all animals live in colonies, but bees do. Is your family somewhat like a colony?

I’m going to name some animals. If you think the animal lives in a group with lots of similar animals, say colony. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Spider
  • Iguana
  • Gophers
  • Ants
  • Deer


Explore means to look around and discover new areas that you’ve never seen before. What’s the word?

It’s so fun to travel to a new city and walk around and explore. Do you like to pretend you’re exploring new worlds that no one has ever been to?

I’m going to name some actions. If you think you’d do the action as you look around and discover, say explore. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Close your eyes
  • Watch carefully
  • Take notes
  • Search
  • Stand still


Graceful means able to move in an easy and beautiful way. What’s the word?

A deer jumping over a fence is graceful. If you are in a three-legged race, you will not look graceful.

I’m going to name some animals. If you think the animal moves in an easy and beautiful way, say graceful. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A fish on the beach
  • A fish in water
  • A monkey in the trees
  • A monkey in water
  • An eagle flying


Identify means to see something or someone and be able to name who or what it is. What’s the word?

Most people can identify George Washington, but only a few can identify Warren Harding. Can you identify all the kids in your school, or do you only know some of them?

I’m going to name some people. If you think you’d be able to name them when you see them, say identify. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • The man who drives the garbage truck
  • Your teacher
  • Your grandma
  • The person who cleans the library at night
  • A picture of the 12th president of the U.S.


Metallic means something that is made out of metal, or that looks like it’s made out of metal. What’s the word?

Coins are metallic, but dollar bills are not. Can you name some metallic-looking rocks?

I’m going to name some items. If you think the item is made of metal, or looks like it’s made of metal, say metallic. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A gold ring
  • The highway
  • Your mom’s car
  • The slide on the playground
  • Your jacket


Primary means something that’s first, or something that’s most important. What’s the word?

Red, yellow, and blue are called primary colors because all other colors are made from combining red, yellow, and blue. Sometimes your school is called an elementary school, and sometimes it’s called a primary school.

I’m going to name some things you might do. If you think the thing is one of the first or most important things for you to do in the morning before school, say primary. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Brush your teeth
  • Wake up
  • Play music and dance
  • Get dressed
  • Eat breakfast


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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