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Vocabulary How can we help students learn words?

Grade level: 2nd Grade

Content Area: Reading, Writing, and Communicating
Colorado Academic Standard: c. Determine or clarify the meaning
of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade
2 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.
(CCSS: L.2.4)

Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or

phrase. (CCSS: L.2.4a)


Determine the meaning of the new word formed when a known

prefix is added to a known word (e.g., happy/unhappy, tell/retell).
(CCSS: L.2.4b)

WIDA Standard: English language learners communicate

information, ideas and concepts necessary for academic success in the
content area of Language Arts
Vocabulary words chosen: (Identify whether they are Tier 1,
Tier 2 or Tier 3)
Tier 1 words
Overview of Activity (explanation/instructions)- Be detailed
enough for a substitute to use this in your absence:
(This lesson is working with students on prefixes as well as learning
new vocabulary)

First I will have the students gather on the meeting rug and read
If You Were a Prefix by Marcie Aboff.
o This will help students understand what a prefix is and that
a prefix is always found at the beginning of a word.
After I finish reading we will have a very short class discussion
about what a prefix is.
I will then write the five vocab words on the board, underlining
each prefix in every word. I will read each vocab word and hold
up a picture that represents each vocab word. Then we will do
the same thing but read each vocab word as a class.
Next, I will define each word. (Working as a class to figure out
what each vocab means)

o Cover up the prefix and first discuss the meaning of the

word without the prefix.
o Then, cover up the root of the word and discuss what the
prefix means.
o Then put both meanings together to come up with the
definition of the vocab word.
Once each vocab word has been defined go back and read each
word again as a class.
Hand out the prefix worksheet and send students back to their
desk to work on individually
After students have completed the worksheet they will get with a
partner and play a matching game.

Vocabulary Development: This promotes vocabulary development in

the sense that students are learning new vocab words as well as
learning about prefixes. Words are taught through direct instruction of
word meanings as well as through discussion about words (including
prefixes, suffixes, and roots) all combined with a lot of reading
(Colorincolorado). In this lesson students are getting both direct
instruction as well as discussion. Students are collaborating as a class
as well as with the teacher to talk about each vocab word and its
meaning. The vocab words are also repeated several times for the
students. Children are most likely to learn words they hear most
(Wright 2014, page 9). By working with the same vocab words
throughout the same lesson it helps gives students a better
understanding. Although these words are tier 1 words, they are
beginning to work and learn about prefixes which can help them start
to use prefixes to help them define other words they dont know.
ELL Extension: This lesson is also very helpful for ELL students (as
well as other students) because this will help them begin to explore
new words by teaching about word parts, uses, and relationships, and
taking advantage of cognates in learners language (Levine and
McCloskey 2009, page 151). They are learning how to break down
words to find the meaning and are able to use the word in context. Also
repeating the word and being able to visual see the words will help ELL
students grasp a better understanding.




Draw a line from each

vocab word to its
correct definition.

Not joyful

Before Kindergarten


Having a different opinion


Three sides and three angles


Do something again or differently

Write a complete sentence for each vocab word

Cut out each square, mix them up, and turn them all over. The first person will turn over
two cards, trying to match to correct prefix to the correct root.