School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 3

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 1.0 General Reading Processes

Topic D. Vocabulary

Indicator 3. Understand, acquire, and use new vocabulary

Objective d. Use new vocabulary in speaking and writing to gain and extend content knowledge and clarify expression


The teacher should organize a list of vocabulary words collected from a series of class readings. All selected words should be useful to students in their daily speech and classroom study. Ideally, the words should allow students a more precise way of expressing age-appropriate ideas, such as tepid for warm or sauntered for walked. Some suggestions to place these words in front of students, have them interact with these words, and ultimately to "own" these words include … 1. Use these words to develop a Word of the Day or Word of the Week program. 2. As these words are taught, develop semantic maps of them. 3. Post the word/s in the classroom where they can be easily seen or add the word/s to the classroom web page. 4. Arrange for students to work in pairs with clip art to create word cards that reflect the meaning of the words. 5. Set the word as screen savers on classroom computers so students will see the words when the computers are inactive. 6. Reward students for using the words in class discussion and written work.


During a particular course of study, the teacher should develop of list of necessary vocabulary. The vocabulary should be displayed prominently in the classroom. At regular intervals, the teacher should conduct an oral review of these words. As a follow-up, the teacher should select several words and instruct students to use them properly in sentences. Then students should share their sentences either in written or oral form and discuss the word usage. As a final activity, students working with a partner can compose riddles where the vocabulary word is the answer. These riddles might be used as exit tickets at the close of class.


Prior to this activity, the teacher should review the content of a soon-to-read story or novel. To present this activity to the class, the teacher should give students a rudimentary review of the passage's setting. Next, students should be placed with a partner and instructed to form a list of words that will be placed in sensory categories. For example, students will be asked to list what someone might see in the setting, hear in the setting, touch in the setting, and smell in the setting. Students should give the teacher their lists. Then the teacher should review all student lists and form a master list for class instruction. Through instruction, the teacher should provide context for students to form their meanings of the selected words. In teaching the novel/story, the teacher should use the selected words in direct reference to the text. To conclude the activity, the class should be divided in half. Half of the class should use the selected vocabulary words in sentences that display the content of the novel/story, and the other half of the class should use the selected vocabulary words in sentences that display general or daily use of the words. Selected sentences should be shared and displayed.