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Introduce Vocabulary: The Man Who Walked Between the Towers (Gerstein)

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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 Man Who Walked Between the Towers (Gerstein), 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 Man Who Walked Between the Towers.

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.


Imprinted means when something is pressed down and leaves a mark, or when something leaves a strong feeling behind. What’s the word?

The first thing the little bird saw was its mama, so she became imprinted on his baby brain. When you walk on the beach you leave an imprint of your foot in the soft sand.

I’m going to name some things. If you think the thing could leave a mark or a strong feeling, say imprinted. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Your mother’s face
  • Pressing your hand into the mud
  • Pressing your hand into hard cement
  • Your lunch box
  • The most beautiful flower you’ve ever seen


Plummeted means fell quickly and far. What’s the word?

It was scary when the tight ropewalker plummeted into the safety net. When you fell off the monkey bars you plummeted down.

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

  • Float
  • Dance
  • Tumble
  • Drop
  • Dive


Salute means to show respect or say hi by raising your fingers to your forehead. What’s the word?

In the military, the soldiers must salute the officers. Sometimes you might salute the flag when you say the Pledge of Allegiance.

I’m going to name some movements. If you think the movement shows respect or a friendly greeting, say salute. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Scratching your neck
  • Tapping your toes
  • Touching your forehead with your fingers
  • Tipping your hat
  • Placing your hand on your chest and bowing a bit


Sentenced means to be punished for doing something bad, like a crime. What’s the word?

The man who said he was guilty of robbing the bank was sentenced to 10 years in jail. Have you ever been sentenced to detention for misbehaving in class?

I’m going to name some places. If you think spending time in the place would be a punishment, say sentenced. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • The circus
  • The cold north pole with no one else there
  • An island with no people living on it
  • Jail
  • A 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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