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Introduce Vocabulary: Jonathan and His Mommy (Smalls)

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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: Jonathan and His Mommy (Smalls), 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 Jonathan and His Mommy.

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.


Humongous is a word used to describe something really big and giant. What’s the word?

A whale is a humongous mammal. Would you call a tyrannosaurus rex a humongous dinosaur?

I’m going to name some things. If you think the thing is really big and giant, say humongous. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • The planet earth
  • The Empire State Building
  • A piece of salt
  • A speck of sand
  • A cruise ship


Pace means the speed that someone or something moves. What’s the word?

It was easy to keep up with the old dog; he was so tired, he walked at a slow pace. When you’re racing, you’re moving at a fast pace.

I’m going to name some words. If you think the word describes a speed that someone might move, say pace. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Orange
  • Pretty
  • Fast
  • Speedy
  • Slow


Leap means to make a big hop and jump. What’s the word?

Some animals leap, while others crawl or walk. What is the highest you can leap?

I’m going to name some animals. If you think the animal moves with a big hop or jump, say leap. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A frog
  • A kangaroo
  • A rabbit
  • A newborn puppy
  • A turtle


Zigzag means to move by turning sharply one way and then the other. What’s the word?

A rabbit often runs in a zigzag when a fox is chasing it. When you play tag, you might run in a zigzag to keep from getting caught.

I’m going to name some activities. If you think a person might move by turning sharply one way and then the other while doing the activity, say zigzag. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Studying
  • Skiing
  • Playing tag
  • Playing basketball
  • Walking a tightrope


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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