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|5th - 6th||7th - 8th|
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Learning to Learn with Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster
|Grades||3 – 5|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Four 50-minute sessions|
After a read-aloud of the picture book Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster, students combine vocabulary exploration with word play by planning their own vocabulary parade, modeled on the activities in the text. Students brainstorm a list of vocabulary terms from a recent unit of study and then design concrete ways to illustrate the terms. The presentation of terms can be in the form of a parade (an appropriate substitute for Halloween activities), or a video, which might play during parent conferences or open house.
New Learning Reflection: Use this questionnaire to get feedback from students about how a particular learning activity worked with their learning style and how they might be able to apply it to learning in other areas.
In Teaching Vocabulary to Improve Reading Comprehension, William Nagy points out the limitations of teaching through definition- or context-based approaches alone. In building more effective alternatives, he argues that even one "example can often convey a meaning more vividly than a definition and help students relate what may be a very abstract and general definition to their own experience" (9).
Nagy goes on to push teachers to "go far beyond providing definitions and contexts" (9). One of the methods he suggests is to provide students with opportunities for meaningful use of new words. Young students who are both learning new words and learning how to learn vocabulary need methods that provide vivid engagement and a highly-experiential learning environment to construct meaning that will be useful and relevant to them.
Nagy, William. 1988. Teaching Vocabulary to Improve Reading Comprehension. Urbana, IL: NCTE.