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Introduce Vocabulary: The Scaredy Cats (Bottner)

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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 Scaredy Cats (Bottner), 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 Scaredy Cats.

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.


Shiver means to tremble or shake slightly because of cold, fear, or illness. What's the word?

When the temperature is too cold, your body will shiver. If you have a high fever, you might shiver.

I'm going to name some things. If you think you'd shake, say shiver. Otherwise, don't say anything. Just sit quietly. Ready?

  • Being inside of a freezer
  • Standing outside on a snowy day
  • Swimming in the pool on a cool afternoon
  • A hot shower
  • Drinking hot cocoa


Foam means rubber, plastic, or other material filled with many small bubbles of air to make it soft or light. What's the word?

When you buy glass or items you don't want damaged, they are usually packaged with foam around them so they don't break.

I'm going to name some things. If you think you'd have to use small pieces of material when packaging an item to keep it from breaking, say foam. Otherwise don't say anything. Ready?

  • A new puppy
  • New dishes
  • A computer
  • New clothes
  • A necklace


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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