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Introduce Vocabulary: The Circus is Coming (Knight)

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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: The Circus is Coming (Knight), 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 The Circus is Coming.

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.


Adore means to really love someone or something. What’s the word?

The mama adored her kids. Do you have a pet you adore?

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

  • Worship
  • Be crazy about
  • Dislike
  • Can’t stand
  • Pity


Exotic means wild and unusual. What’s the word?

In Montana, a monkey is an exotic animal. What types of exotic animals did you see at the zoo?

I’m going to name some animals. If you think the animal is wild and unusual, say exotic. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Cow
  • Pig
  • Chicken
  • Cheetah
  • Zebra


Fabulous means really great or neat. What’s the word?

I saw a fabulous acrobatics show at the circus. You have done a fabulous job on your schoolwork.

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

  • Wonderful
  • Marvelous
  • So-so
  • OK
  • Disappointing


Outrageous means bad or unbelievable enough to shock people or make people angry. What’s the word?

It was outrageous for that man to crash into someone else’s car and then leave without taking responsibility. Your outrageous behavior of breaking toys is not nice.

I’m going to name some behaviors. If you think the behavior is bad enough to make someone angry, say outrageous. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Keeping your room neat
  • Taking other people’s lunches
  • Taking a bath every morning
  • Making your bed
  • Eating food in the grocery store without paying for it


Spectacle means something so unusual you can hardly believe it when you see it. What’s the word?

To see elephants marching down the city street was certainly a spectacle. It’s OK to perform in front of people on a stage, but doing so on the street might make you a spectacle.

I’m going to name some things. If you think the thing is so unusual you can hardly believe it, say spectacle. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A spiderweb
  • A spiderweb big enough to capture a person
  • A horse
  • A horse walking on its hind legs
  • A cartoon on TV


Untamed means wild. What’s the word?

Pets are friendly animals, but the tigers at the zoo were untamed. Are you afraid of untamed animals?

I’m going to name some animals. If you think the animal is wild, say untamed. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Your neighbor’s cat
  • The pigeon in the tree
  • A tiger in Africa
  • Your goldfish
  • The hamster in the classroom


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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