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Introduce Vocabulary: Smoky Night (Bunting)

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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: Smoky Night (Bunting), 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 Smoky Night.

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.


Amazed means really surprised. What’s the word?

I was amazed by that fireworks show. Were you amazed by how high those dancers jumped?

I’m going to name some things. If you think the thing would make you really surprised, say amazed. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A monkey on a bicycle
  • A monkey in a tree
  • A bear on a high wire
  • A bear in the wilderness
  • Seventeen clowns in a car


Hazy means when the air is full of smoke or dust. What’s the word?

The woman finds it hard to breathe when it’s hazy. Do you like a hazy day, or do you prefer to see the sunshine?

I’m going to name some places. If you think the place may have lots of smoke or dust in the air, say hazy. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A very busy city like Los Angeles
  • The middle of a lake on a beautiful day
  • On a windy mountain top
  • The forest when there’s a fire
  • A field when the farmer is driving his tractor trough the dirt


Rioting means when a large group of people break things and shout because they are angry. What’s the word?

It’s sad when people get so mad that they begin rioting. You should never go somewhere where there’s rioting because it could be dangerous.

I’m going to name some places. If you think the place has ever had a large group of people breaking things and shouting because they’re angry, say rioting. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Your school
  • Los Angeles
  • New York City
  • Your classroom
  • Your home


Shelter means a place to go that’s safe. What’s the word?

Animals will look for shelter in a snowstorm. Your parents will make sure you get to shelter if there’s any danger.

I’m going to name some places. If you think you could go to the place to be safe, say shelter. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • The middle of the street
  • A busy city where you don’t know anyone
  • Your school
  • Your home
  • Outside in a blizzard


Staggering means walking unevenly and about to stumble or fall. What’s the word?

Was the man staggering because he was carrying a heavy load? Were you staggering because you were dizzy?

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

  • Swaying
  • Marching
  • Stomping
  • Wobbling
  • Stumbling


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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