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Introduce Vocabulary: The Legend of the Bluebonnet (DePaola)

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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 Legend of the Bluebonnet (DePaola), 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 Legend of the Bluebonnet'.

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.


Drought means a long time with very little rain. What’s the word?

Often during a drought, there are lots of forest fires. Did you know that drought causes lots of animals to die?

I’m going to name some things. If you think a time of very little rain would cause the thing, say drought. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Beautiful green forests
  • Dry, brown forests
  • A good crop
  • A smaller crop than usual
  • Thirsty animals


Famine means a time when there is very little food available. What’s the word?

Sometimes whole countries might suffer from famine and the people who live there get very sick. You may have been really hungry, but you weren’t in danger of famine.

I’m going to name some things. If you think the thing might cause there to be very little food available, say famine. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • People who have plenty of food share with the world
  • Bugs come and eat all the wheat and corn
  • People don’t know how to plant and grow food
  • The rain doesn’t fall for one whole season
  • The crops grow really well


Plentiful means a lot of something. What’s the word?

We’re all happy when food is plentiful. Do you think snow is plentiful at the North Pole?

I’m going to name some things. If you look around the room and see lots of the thing, say plentiful. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Friends
  • Books
  • Light
  • Tigers
  • Sand


Restored means brought back to the way it used to be. What’s the word?

Peace was restored in the town when the bad guy was caught. You were sick, but then were restored to good health.

I’m going to name some things. If you think the things could go away, then be brought back, say restored. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Something that gets flushed down the toilet
  • Rain
  • A healthy body
  • Wellness
  • A dead bird


Sacrifice means to give up something valuable. What’s the word?

My grandfather sacrificed his own life in the war so that our country would stay safe. I sacrificed my favorite video game to the boy who lives across the street because his family doesn’t have money to buy him video games.

I’m going to name some things that people might give up. If you think it’s a valuable thing that someone gave up, say sacrifice. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A worn out couch
  • A broken vase
  • Money to a hungry person
  • The last cookie given to a little child
  • A ticket to a sold out movie


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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