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Introduce Vocabulary: The Surprise Garden (Hall)

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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 Surprise Garden (Hall), 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 Surprise Garden.

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.


Bloom means to open up and grow, like a flower. What’s the word?

Spring, when the flowers bloom, is a beautiful time of year. Has the seed you planted begun to bloom yet?

I’m going to name some things. If you think the thing might open up and grow like a flower does, say bloom. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A teabag dropped into hot water
  • A tulip
  • A stain on the rug when you drop your grape juice
  • A bottle of ketchup
  • The refrigerator door


Petals are the soft colored parts of a flower. What’s the word?

Petals on a tulip are much wider than petals on a daisy. Can you think of other flowers that have petals?

I’m going to name some words. If you think the word could describe the soft colored parts of a flower, say petals. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Made from iron
  • Bendable
  • Living
  • Moist
  • Sharp


Poke means to push or touch something, usually with something narrow or pointy, like a finger or a stick. What’s the word?

I was poked in the eye while playing basketball, and it hurts. Only use a pencil when you’re sitting down so you don’t poke someone with it.

I’m going to name some things. If you think the thing is narrow and pointy like a stick and could be used to push something, say poke. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A fork
  • A twig
  • A beach ball
  • A marshmallow
  • A wire


Seed means the little unit that turns into a plant when put in the ground. What’s the word?

The garden store sells seeds to people who want to grow their own vegetables. Some seeds you eat, like grape seeds, but some seeds you spit out, like grapefruit seeds.

I’m going to name some items. If you think the item grows from a little unit that you plant in the ground, say seed. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A toaster
  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Cotton
  • A tire


Sprout means to begin to grow from a seed. What’s the word?

My garden had just begun to sprout when there was another snowstorm and the tiny plants froze. Sometimes if you grow quickly, someone might say you’ve sprouted.

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

  • Decay
  • Bud
  • Develop
  • Start to bloom
  • Sleep


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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