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Introduce Vocabulary: Puff, the Magic Dragon (Yarrow and Lipton)

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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: Puff, the Magic Dragon (Yarrow and Lipton), 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 Puff, the Magic Dragon.

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.


Billow means to swell with air and move in big puffs. What’s the word?

The wind caused the sheets on the clothesline to billow. Fill up your lungs and blow until you make the sail on the small, toy boat billow.

I’m going to name some materials. If you think the wind could cause the material to swell with air, say billow. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Steel
  • A flag
  • Brick
  • Wood
  • Newspaper


Cease means to stop. What’s the word?

I order you to cease that mischief at once! We were lucky because as soon as we arrived at the campsite the rain ceased.

I’m going to name some words. If you think the word means to stop, say cease. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Quit
  • End
  • Start
  • Begin
  • Finish


Fearless means not afraid or showing no fear. What’s the word?

A tiger is fearless because it’s stronger than most other animals. You’d have to be fearless to walk through the woods at night.

I’m going to name some words. If you think the word means not afraid, say fearless. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Scared
  • Timid
  • Unafraid
  • Courageous
  • Brave


Frolic means to play, run, and romp. What’s the word?

It’s fun to frolic in the sun on a warm spring day. Do you frolic in the ocean?

I’m going to name some animals. If you’ve ever seen the animal play and romp, say frolic. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Snakes
  • Kittens
  • Puppies
  • Colts
  • Earthworms


Gigantic means really big. What’s the word?

A giant is tall, wide, and gigantic. What do you do if your mom says she has a gigantic headache?

I’m going to name some words. If you think the word means really big, say gigantic. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Little
  • Huge
  • Miniature
  • Humongous
  • Enormous


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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