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Introduce Vocabulary: Two Bad Ants (Van Allsburg)

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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: Two Bad Ants (Van Allsburg), 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 Two Bad Ants.

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.


Battered means beat up and knocked around. What’s the word?

The ship was battered in the storm. If you’ve ever fallen off your bike, you know what it feels like to be battered.

I’m going to name some words. If you think the word means beaten and knocked around, say battered. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Soft
  • Scratched up
  • Worn out
  • Dented
  • Petted


Deemed means decided or believed. What’s the word?

The principal deemed that it was too cold for the students to take a field trip. His mother deemed that he was too young to play violent video games.

I’m going to name some people. If you think the person can decide something that you must obey, say deemed. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A baby
  • The teacher
  • Your Grandmother
  • Your Mother
  • A dog


Departed means to leave or be gone from a place. What’s the word?

I thought the guests were still here, but I guess they’ve departed. What time do you plan to depart on your trip tomorrow?

I’m going to say some words. If you think the words mean to leave a place, say departed. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Stay
  • Go away
  • Remain
  • Move in
  • Move away


Refreshing means something that gives someone energy. What’s the word?

After working in the garden all day, the woman couldn’t wait to drink a refreshing glass of lemonade. What do you find more refreshing; ice cream or watermelon?

I’m going to name some foods. If you think the food would be cool and give you energy on a hot day, say refreshing. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Hot bean soup
  • Tacos
  • Cucumbers
  • Apples
  • Popsicles


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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