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Introduce Vocabulary: Too Many Tamales (Soto)

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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: Too Many Tamales (Soto), 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 Too Many Tamales.

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.

Confess means to admit or tell what you did wrong. What’s the word?

The girl decided to confess that she was the one who had eaten all the cookies. If you don’t do any mischief, you won’t have to confess.

I’m going to name some people. If you think the people should say they did something wrong, say confess. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A child who broke his Grandma’s lamp
  • A child who was using the lamp to read by
  • A man who was petting his cat
  • A girl who was doing her homework
  • A woman who lost her daughter’s sweater


Dusk means the time at the end of the day when it’s almost dark. What’s the word?

Some animals, like deer, come out of hiding at dusk. Don’t you think dusk is a pretty time of day?

I’m going to name some things. If you think you might see the thing when it’s almost dark outside, say dusk. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A bright sun
  • A few stars
  • Lights coming on in windows
  • People putting on jackets
  • Flowers opening their petals


Knead means to push and pull something to make it soft and easy to work with. What’s the word?

Bread made with yeast takes a lot of kneading before it can go in the oven. Did you know that a person who gives massages will knead your muscles to make them softer?

I’m going to name some things. If you think the thing could be pushed and pulled with your hands to get softer, say knead. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Play-doh
  • A rock
  • A pillow
  • A balloon
  • A computer


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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