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Lesson Plan

Choosing, Chatting, and Collecting: Vocabulary Self-Collection Strategy

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time Two 30-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Kendra Wagner

Mountlake Terrace, Washington

Kathleen Benson Quinn

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology






  • Art supplies and drawing paper (if creating a print dictionary)

  • Computer, PowerPoint, scanner, and printer (if creating an electronic dictionary)

  • Content area texts at an appropriate reading level for students, such as a reading anthology or website materials

  • Overhead projector and pocket chart (optional)

  • Student vocabulary notebooks

  • Varied dictionaries (e.g., Merriam-Webster Online), thesauri (e.g., Thesaurus.com), and idiomatic phrase books

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Vocabulary Selection Worksheet

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1. Preview the text that you are planning to use with this lesson. The text should correspond with the content area topic you are currently teaching in class. As an example, access Shakespeare for Kids and scroll down to the script for The Tempest. This online text will be used to model how the lesson strategies and activities can be implemented. The lesson can easily be modified and used with other content area topics as well.

2. Prior to the lesson, students should have a general familiarity with the topic being read. In this case, students should already be familiar with Shakespeare and some of his writings.

3. Students should already have experience with dictionary use and synonyms. These skills will be needed when students write definitions in their own words and reread sentences from the text with synonyms in place of the vocabulary words.

4. Set aside and copy several pages from the selected text to use for whole-class modeling of the strategy. In this case, download the script for The Tempest and make copies for use in class. In addition, copy the directions for Act 1, scene 1, onto a PowerPoint slide or overhead transparency ("A tempestuous noise of thunder and lightning heard. Enter a Shipmaster and a Boatswain").

Although this lesson covers only two 30-minute sessions and is part of a unit on Shakespeare, it is intended as an ongoing motivational activity that could be modified and reused with other content area topics throughout the year. By using the lesson repeatedly, you can instill in students a word awareness that is necessary for vocabulary growth. In addition, the critical evaluation that goes into selecting words and developing a rationale for word selection should help your students with comprehension as well.

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