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Introduce Vocabulary: The Story of Ruby Bridges (Coles)

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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 Story of Ruby Bridges (Coles), 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 Story of Ruby Bridges.

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.


Arrest means to stop somebody and hold him, usually for doing a crime. What’s the word?

The police don’t like to arrest people, but sometimes they have to. Do you think it would be scary to see an arrest?

I’m going to name some things people might do. If you think the police might stop and hold the person, say arrest. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Driving a car
  • Driving a car way too fast
  • Taking a walk
  • Taking a wallet
  • Whistling


Confident means to feel sure of yourself. What’s the word?

A confident person makes other people feel more comfortable. If you’ve practiced your piano piece, you should feel confident that you’ll do a good job.

I’m going to name some people. If you think the person should feel sure about him or herself, say confident. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A gardener entering a flower show
  • Someone who has never used a camera taking photos at a wedding
  • A 12 year old trying to drive a car
  • A singer who has rehearsed her song many times
  • A child who has never traveled trying to get around in Paris


Courage means bravery. What’s the word?

It took great courage for the man to disagree with all the other people. Even if you’re sure you’re right, you will have to have courage to tell someone else they’re wrong.

I’m going to name some things that might happen. If you think the person is being brave, say courage. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A group of people picking on one little child
  • The little child standing up to the group
  • Helping someone who is being bitten by a mean dog
  • Petting a gentle, puppy dog
  • Coloring in your own bedroom


Persuade means to talk someone into doing or thinking something. What’s the word?

It would be easy to persuade a runner to take a drink of cool water. Have you ever tried to persuade a friend to do something she didn’t want to do?

I’m going to name some words. If you think the word means to talk someone into something, say persuade. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Lose the argument
  • Convince
  • Win over
  • Disagree
  • Influence


Proud means to feel satisfied and happy. What’s the word?

The cat was so proud to have caught a mouse that she showed it off to everyone. It’s OK to feel proud of yourself if you’ve done something really difficult.

I’m going to name some people. If you think the people are satisfied and happy, say proud. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A mom watching her child who has learned to ride a bike
  • A mom of a child who stole something
  • You when you’ve practiced something and now can do it perfectly
  • A boy of himself for going to bed
  • A dad when his child argues with him


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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