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 c. Collect 12-20 new words for deeper study each week


Prior to reading a selected text, the teacher should give each student a highlighter or sticky notes. The teacher should instruct students to mark 1-3 new or interesting words they discover as they read. After reading, the students should meet in small groups to compare their chosen words. The small group of students should select 5 useful words for class study. Given the lists, the teacher should create a class list of 5-8 words. Next, each group of students should be given a single word for which they will create a visual representation. The group should share this representation with the entire class and then display it on the classroom wall.


To prepare for a number of days of instruction, the teacher should provide each student with a grid containing each letter of the alphabet with enough space provided to write at least one word. As students read independently, are read to, discuss ideas, etc…they should write interesting or unfamiliar words in grid spaces. Teachers should prompt students at various intervals during the day to add to the grid. After a number of instructional days have been completed, students can share favorite new words from their grid with the rest of the class. Next, each student should select one word and complete a word map.

New Word Definition
Drawing Example of Use

An alternate to completing the word map involves a one-to-one meeting with the teacher where the new word is discussed.