School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 7

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 a. Acquire new vocabulary through listening to, independently reading, and discussing a variety of literary and informational texts


Prior to the activity, the teacher should model and guide students in creating a personal dictionary or word log where they will record new and/or interesting words encountered in independent reading. As students listen to read-alouds, read independently, or engage in discussions of literary or informational text, they should record their self-selected words in their personal dictionaries or word logs. Each word entry should include a definition written in the student's own words and a graphic clue (symbol, drawing, sketch, etc…) that will prompt the student's memory of the word. Once students have had time to accumulate multiple entries in their dictionaries or word logs, they will meet in small groups. Each student in the group will share a word from his/her dictionary or word log telling the group where the word was encountered, why it drew attention, and then proceed to "teaching" the word to the group members. Then each group member will add the word to his/her dictionary with a student-written definition and graphic clue. Once each student has presented a word, the group will decide which word would be the most useful to include in a working vocabulary. Next the entire group will teach the word to the entire class. Once each group has presented its word the entire class will determine the most useful word for the class which will be added to a class Word Wall.


To begin, the teacher creates a list of words selected from the classroom Word Wall. Next, the class is divided into two teams. To start the activity, each team will select one student to represent the team in a game of "Password." Play begins as the two representatives are given a word and allowed thirty seconds to name a synonym for that word. The player who responds more quickly and correctly within the thirty seconds wins a point for his/her team. The play should rotate through as many students as time will allow. The team which has accumulated the most points wins. An alternate way of playing is to have student players respond with an antonym for a selected word.


Prior to this activity, the teacher will select a literary or informational text to be read aloud to students. The text should meet the requirements of high quality, high interest, and rich vocabulary. Before sharing this text with students, the teacher should select no more than 10 words from the text. The ten words should be written on the board, on the overhead, or chart paper, etc…and should be visible to students during the read-aloud. The teacher should introduce the text to the class by sharing any print, organizational, or graphic text features. As the teacher reads aloud and encounters selected words, the reading should pause as the teacher and students talk about the meaning and use of the word in the text. Once the reading concludes, the teacher can extend the discussion of the words. For example, if the text were literary, the teacher and students could determine how many of the words were used in regard to characters, setting, conflict, etc…Or if the text were informational, discussion could focus on how the words helped a reader understand the solution to a problem or the reasons for a decision, etc…(Teacher Note: When selecting the words prior to reading to the class, the teacher can control the focus of the discussion by selected words that lie in a single category. For example, selected words may be only about characters in a literary text.)