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Introduce Vocabulary: Ruby the Copycat (Rathmann)

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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: Ruby the Copycat (Rathmann), 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 Ruby the Copycat.

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.


Recite means to say words from memory in front of a group of people. What’s the word?

Ruby stood in front of the class and recited a poem she wrote. If you wrote a really great story, I might ask you to memorize it for homework and recite it in front of the class the next day.

I’m going to name some situations. If you think these are situations in which you might recite something, say recite. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Acting in a play
  • Taking a shower
  • Watching television
  • Sharing a poem you wrote with the class
  • Saying the words of a song you memorized


Murmur means to speak in a very low voice. What's the word?

A murmur is a little bit louder than a whisper. Sometimes when I am working with a small group on the other side of the room, you might hear my murmur.

I’m going to name some sounds. If you think the sound I’m describing is a murmur, say murmur. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • The sound in the yard at recess
  • The sound of the television when you are in a different room
  • The sound of the cafeteria at lunch
  • The sound of your parents talking when they don't want you to hear the conversation
  • The sound of your classmates when they are speaking softly across the room


Plop is a word used to describe the way that a water droplet sounds when it hits the water or another surface. It can also describe the way something else sounds when it falls into water. A plop is soft and quiet. It is not a loud sound like a splash.

Raindrops plopped against the window. A pebble plopped into the pond.

I’m going to name some sounds. If you think the sound or situation I’m describing is a plop, say plop. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • The sound of ocean waves at the beach
  • The sound of raindrops falling into a puddle
  • The sound of your big brother and his friend jumping into a swimming pool
  • The sound of water dripping out of a faucet
  • The sound of a little frog jumping into a pond


Coincidence means that the same thing happens on separate occasions without anyone having planned this on purpose. You would usually say something is a coincidence if it's something unusual and it's surprising that it should happen more than once.

In the story, when Ruby said she was the flower girl at her sister's wedding too, Miss Hart says "What a coincidence!" If two classmates are the same age, that isn't surprising, but if they find out they have the same birthday, that's a coincidence.

I’m going to name some situations. If you think the situation I’m describing is a coincidence, say coincidence. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Two people have the same score on their math test because one of them cheated by copying the other
  • You have the same score on your math test as your neighbor, but neither of you cheated
  • You meet someone new and you find out you both have a pet with the same name
  • Both your socks are the same color because you picked matching socks
  • When you come to school you find out your best friend is wearing the same color sweater as you


For Advanced Students:

If time permits, have students create more examples of 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 to help students learn the words.

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