School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 4

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 1. Develop and apply vocabulary through exposure to a variety of texts

Objective b. Discuss words and word meanings daily as they are encountered in text, instruction, and conversation


Before reading a selection to students, the teacher should preview the text to select words that can be grouped in a particular category. For example, the category might be size. As the teacher introduces the selection to students, he/she should instruct them to listen for and remember any words they hear that tell about the size of someone or something. Once reading is complete, the teacher should list "size" words on the overhead that students remember from the story. Then each word should be briefly discussed to ensure that all students understand their meanings. Finally, students can share other "size" words that they know which should be added to the existing list.


The teacher should place the class into small groups of no more than five students. Then the teacher will give each group an age-appropriate topic for discussion. Before the discussion begins, the teacher will instruct students that each of them must listen for one unfamiliar word used by another member of the group. After five to eight minutes, the discussion should end. Within the group each student will share the unfamiliar word, and other group members will help that student uncover a correct meaning and use for the word. During the discussion and word discovery, the teacher should monitor and facilitate any difficulties within the group.


The teacher should select a work of art, a piece of music, or a section of a movie or television show. All should be age-appropriate. Have students view or listen to this selection. Once they have time to interact with the art, music, or video, have them suggest words that describe what they have just seen or heard. Students should be able to justify the descriptive word they have chosen based upon the meaning of the word and what they have seen or heard. Once student ideas are exhausted, the teacher should offer some suggestions. Allow students to justify the teacher suggestion or, if they are unable, the teacher should offer the justification. To conclude, each student should choose which three words he/she thought offered the best description.