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Introduce Vocabulary: Yoko (Wells)

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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: Yoko (Wells), 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 Yoko.

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.


Bamboo is a plant with hard stems. What’s the word?

People use bamboo for floor covering or furniture. Did you know a panda eats bamboo shoots?

I’m going to name some items. If you think the item is hard and straight, like a stem, say bamboo. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A tree branch
  • A curtain rod
  • A diaper
  • A towel
  • A flute


Chopsticks means a pair of thin sticks used by people in Asia to eat. What’s the word?

People in the United States usually eat with a fork instead of with chopsticks. Have you learned how to eat rice with chopsticks?

I’m going to name some foods. If you think the food could easily be eaten with a pair of thin sticks, say chopsticks. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Shrimp
  • Ice cream
  • Soup
  • Noodles
  • Cooked vegetables


Fret means to worry. What’s the word?

The mom told her child, “If I’m late to pick you up, don’t fret. Just wait and I’ll be there soon.” Do you fret everyday, or are you more relaxed?

I’m going to name some things that might happen. If you think the thing would make someone worry, say fret. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • It’s a beautiful day
  • A bride cannot find her shoes
  • You’ve got a picnic planned, but there’s a thunderstorm coming
  • Your boat has a leak and you’re a long way from shore
  • The birds are singing in the trees


International means concerning more than one country. What’s the word?

Most universities have a lot of international students from all over the world. What’s your favorite international food?

I’m going to name some items. If the item makes you think of more countries besides the United States of America, say international. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • The stars and stripes
  • Uncle Sam
  • Flying around the world
  • German Oktoberfest
  • The Eiffel tower


Seaweed means plants that grow under water. What’s the word?

Some types of lotion have seaweed in them because it’s good for a person’s skin. Have you ever felt seaweed brush against your leg when you’re swimming?

I’m going to name some plants. If you think the plant grows under water, say seaweed. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Pine tree
  • Elm tree
  • Daisy
  • Algae
  • Kelp


Sushi is a meal made from fish and rice. What’s the word?

The fish used to make sushi is usually raw. Do you find sushi easy to eat with chopsticks?

I’m going to name some foods. If you think the food would be found in a Japanese sushi meal with rice and fish, say sushi. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Small pieces of vegetables.
  • Seaweed wrapper
  • Candy bars
  • Soy sauce
  • Pizza


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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