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Introduce Vocabulary: The Runaway Pumpkin (Lewis)

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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 Runaway Pumpkin (Lewis), 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 Runaway Pumpkin.

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.


Beyond means past something. What’s the word?

The beautiful forest lay beyond the meadow. If you move beyond something, you leave it behind.

I’m going to name some things. If you think the things are past the atmosphere of the earth, say beyond. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Mountains
  • Trees
  • Stars
  • The sun
  • A meteor


Cautious means careful. What’s the word?

The little bear was cautious when he stuck his nose out of the den for the first time. It’s good to be cautious when you’re traveling in a new place.

I’m going to name some times. If you think it’s really important to be careful during these times, say cautious. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • When you’re sleeping
  • Sitting at your desk
  • Crossing the street
  • Skiing
  • Riding your bike


Disaster means a terrible event. What’s the word?

It was a disaster when the tornado knocked over the house. I hope you never go through a disaster in your life.

I’m going to name some things that might happen. If you think the thing is a terrible event, say disaster. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Two inches of snow falls overnight
  • The wind blows a bug away
  • An apartment building burns down
  • The creek floods and washes away a car
  • It rains so you can’t have a picnic


Farther means at a greater distance. What’s the word?

I know Jupiter is much farther from earth than the moon is. Who can run farther: you or your best friend?

I’m going to name some things. If you think the thing is at a greater distance from the school than your house is, say farther. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • The moon
  • New York City
  • The slide
  • The playground
  • The nearest ocean


Hillside means the slope on the side of a hill. What’s the word?

Not much grass grows on the hillside because it’s too rocky. Be careful on the hillside; it’s so steep you might tumble down.

I’m going to name some items. If you think you might find the item on the side of a hill, say hillside. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Rocks
  • Bushes
  • Little animals
  • A swimming pool
  • A water fountain


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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