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Teacher Resources by Grade
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Digital Word Detectives: Building Vocabulary With e-Book Readers
|Grades||2 – 6|
|Lesson Plan Type||Minilesson|
|Estimated Time||One introductory 45-minute lesson; Additional 30- to 45-minute lessons (one lesson for each chapter of the selected e-book title)|
- Increase their understanding of vocabulary through the use of electronic dictionaries and other strategies to support their reading processes
- Define and record meaning of vocabulary words in digital note form by using digital readers and other online tools
- Demonstrate their understanding of vocabulary words through discussion in small, collaborative groups and documentation within the digital reader
- Place your digital reader on a visual presenter/document camera and zoom in so the device screen is visible on a large wall screen. Explain to your students that they will begin reading a new e-book on their digital readers. Introduce the title and author. “Today we are going to start reading [Title] by [Author]. You will read this book on your digital reader. Let’s see what this e-book looks like.” Guide your students through the process of viewing the book’s cover, title page, and the table of contents. Note how many chapters are in the book.
- Explain that this book contains many interesting vocabulary words. “In each chapter, I have selected words that you may or may not be familiar with. As you read this book, you will act as word detectives as you find and learn the words that I have selected. However, before you read each chapter, I want to find out which words you already know and which words are unfamiliar to you.”
- Place a copy of the Vocabulary Pre-Assessment handout for chapter 1 on the visual presenter/document camera. Explain to your students that this is the list of vocabulary words for chapter 1. Distribute a copy of the Vocabulary Pre-Assessment handout for chapter 1 to each student. Read the list of words aloud and ask students to fill out the column “Meaning of Word” by providing an example definition for each vocabulary word. Emphasize that it is okay if students don’t know the meaning of a word but that they should try their best. Collect the Vocabulary Pre-Assessment handout as students complete it. Do not discuss the meaning of the words at this point.
- Ask your students, “What strategies do effective readers use when they encounter a word they don’t know what it means?” As a class, brainstorm and discuss ideas (look up words in a dictionary, ask a friend, use context clues, use picture clues, etc.)
- Explain to your students that many digital readers have a built-in dictionary that allows readers to quickly look up a word without having to put down their e-book. Place your digital reader on a visual presenter/document camera and model how to access/use the digital dictionary. If your digital reading device does not feature a built-in dictionary, or if you want additional resources for your students, please model the use of online dictionary tools such as Oxford Dictionaries or Dictionary.com.
- Explain to your students, “Today, as you read and encounter the Chapter 1 vocabulary words, I want you to use the digital dictionary (and/or online dictionaries) and any other strategies that we’ve discussed to figure out what each word means.” Refer to the posted list of words from Chapter 1 and say, “When you know what a word means, please insert a digital note next to that word. In each note, explain what the vocabulary word means. You can provide an example and/or a definition. Make sure not to copy the dictionary. Really think about what the word means and explain it in your own words so it makes sense to you.” (If your students are unfamiliar with inserting digital notes, please demonstrate how to do so.)
- Using the visual presenter/document camera, complete the first vocabulary word together as a whole class to make sure all students understand the process of (a) identifying the vocabulary word, (b) using the digital dictionary and/or other strategies to learn the meaning of the word, and (c) inserting a digital note next to the vocabulary word with a definition or explanation of the word’s meaning.
- Post the list of vocabulary words for Chapter 1 on the board or visual presenter. Remind students to refer to this list as they read.
- Ask your students to read Chapter 1, independently or with a partner, and to identify and learn the meaning of all vocabulary words.
- As students finish reading, ask them to meet in small groups to compare their digital notes (i.e., vocabulary definitions or explanations) and discuss the meaning of the vocabulary words. When all students have finished reading, continue the discussion as a class.
Assessment for Session 1
Review students’ Vocabulary Pre-Assessment handouts for Chapter 1. Score each definition according to the Vocabulary Rubric. Identify common misconceptions, misunderstandings, or lack of knowledge. Address such issues with individual students as needed prior to the next session.
Observe and listen to students’ discussions about vocabulary words (small groups and whole class). Use the Vocabulary Observation Form to record any misconceptions or notable examples. Address any concerns or share examples with the class.
- Briefly discuss yesterday’s reading. “What do you like about the book so far? What happened in Chapter 1?” Explain to the class that today they will continue to work as word detectives. Ask students to share strategies they used to learn the meaning of words in Chapter 1. If needed, use a visual presenter/document camera to demonstrate how to access and use the digital dictionary and/or insert digital notes.
- Provide each student with a copy of the Vocabulary Pre-Assessment handout for Chapter 2. Remind them that it’s okay if they don’t know a word but to try their best to provide an example and/or definition. Collect handouts.
- Post the list of vocabulary words for Chapter 2 on the board. Remind students to refer to this list as they read.
- Ask your students to read Chapter 2, independently or with a partner, and to identify and learn the meaning of the vocabulary words.
- As students finish, ask them to meet in small groups to compare their digital notes (i.e., vocabulary definitions or explanations from Chapter 2) and discuss the meaning of the vocabulary words. As a whole class, continue to discuss the meaning of each word.
Assessment for Session 2
- Review students’ Vocabulary Pre-Assessment handouts for Chapter 2. Score each definition according to the Vocabulary Rubric. Identify common misconceptions, misunderstandings, or lack of knowledge. Address such issues with individual students as needed prior to the next session.
- Observe and listen to students’ discussions about vocabulary words (small groups and whole class). Use the Vocabulary Observation Form to record any misconceptions or notable examples. Address any concerns or share examples with the class.
Repeat Vocabulary Session 2, Steps 1-5, for each additional chapter in the book. In other words, a book with seven chapters will likely require seven sessions. However, you may choose to include multiple short chapters in one session, or assign long chapters over several sessions. After each session, repeat assessment procedures described in Session 2.
Ask students to individually select unfamiliar words while reading in addition to the teacher-selected vocabulary words. Encourage students to share these words and their meaning in small-group discussions.
- Provide students with the comprehensive Vocabulary Post-Assessment handout, listing the vocabulary words from all chapters. Ask students to provide a definition and/or explanation of each word in writing. Explain that while the Vocabulary Pre-Assessment handouts only included a few words for each chapter, the Vocabulary Post-Assessment includes all of the vocabulary words from the book. Review students’ Vocabulary Post-Assessment handouts. Score each definition according to the Vocabulary Rubric.
- Use the Digital Reading Tools Assessment to document students’ progress. Carefully observe or conference with individual students to determine and document their use of digital tools to support reading comprehension in general and vocabulary learning in particular.
- For additional information about students’ vocabulary development, observe and record student misunderstandings on the Vocabulary Observation Form and review their notes in the digital readers. Compare the digital notes to students’ Vocabulary Pre-Assessment definitions and their Vocabulary Post-Assessment definitions. Look for similarities, differences, misconceptions, or insights. Discuss with individual students as appropriate.