EL Support Lesson

Vocabulary practise

Use this lesson to help your ELs learn about words and what they mean. This lesson can stand alone or be used as a pre-lesson for the *Vocabulary Flash Cards* lesson.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for theVocabulary Flash CardsLesson plan.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for theVocabulary Flash CardsLesson plan.

Students will be able to define key terms and identify their part of speech.


Students will be able to define words with declarative sentences using graphic organizers and sentence frames.

(2 minutes)
Vocabulary: In Your Own WordsPlugging in VocabularyWrite Student-Facing Language Objectives ReferenceTeach Background Knowledge TemplateGlossary Template Vocabulary Cards: Vocabulary Practice
  • Ask students to share what they know about the word Dictionary. Confirm or paraphrase student answers, as needed.
  • Share a student-friendly language objective by reading it aloud. For example, "I can say the meaning of words in a sentence." Have learners repeat it. Explain that today's lesson will be about how we can learn about what words mean and their parts of speech, so that we can use them correctly in our speaking and writing.
(10 minutes)
  • Display a Glossary Template worksheet and write the word ProcessOn the first line. Model using a dictionary by pointing out the Guide wordsAnd how to use them to find VocabularyWords. Locate the word Process, and teach learners how to find the Part of speech(N). Record the part of speech in the right column of the chart.
  • Point out that some words have more than one definition, and that you need to figure out which definition goes best with the text or what you are learning about. Use the following definition for Process: actions taken to make or do something. Record it on the chart, and be sure not to use a complete sentence when recording the definition.
  • Explain to students that knowing the definition and part of speech of a word is helpful because we are able to better understand a piece of text or a topic. With a larger vocabulary, we are less likely to get stuck on words, and we learn more from reading.
  • Draw a visual for the word Process, such as an empty flow chart with arrows.
  • Put the class into five small groups and distribute a copy of the Glossary Template worksheet and a dictionary to each student. Assign each group one of the following words: attitude, convince, solution, ability, explore. Have the students work together to complete the chart.
  • Ask groups to share the definitions and visuals of the vocabulary word on which they focused. Instruct all students to record information for the words being presented.
  • Present the Vocabulary Cards to review the words and their definitions. Ask learners to read aloud the definitions and explain what other images could be added to the cards to help them remember the definitions.
(10 minutes)
  • Display and distribute a copy of the worksheet entitled Vocabulary: In Your Own Words. Go over the information at the top, explaining what a declarative sentence is and how we will use it today with our vocabulary study.
  • Explain the chart and process the learners will take to complete it. Use the word ProcessFor teacher modeling. Go over the definition and how to change it into a sentence in your own words. Then, show how you created your own sentence using the vocabulary word.
  • Engage the class in completing the row for the word AttitudeTogether. Accept student answers and provide feedback and praise. Have learners record the information on their charts while you write it on the teacher copy.
  • Put students into A-B partnerships and have them complete the remainder of the chart. Have them take turns leading the discussion on the words so that each student is the leader for two vocabulary terms.
  • Call on nonvolunteers to share the information from their completed charts. Record their answers on the teacher copy for students to reference.
(10 minutes)
  • Display and distribute a copy of the Plugging in Vocabulary worksheet. Explain the directions and model completing the first blank. Remind students that they already studied these vocabulary words, so now they are using them in context.
  • Allow students to work in partners to fill in the next two blanks to complete the first paragraph on the worksheet. Go over the answers together as a class, and model explaining how to arrive at the correct answers.
  • Have individuals complete the second paragraph in Part 1 independently. Check answers together as a class, and ask students to explain how they arrived at the correct answers.


  • Allow access to reference materials in their home language (L1).
  • Have learners repeat instructions and key vocabulary to the teacher.
  • Partner ELs with students that will offer support during discussions and group work.
  • Provide sentence stems and frames for class discussion in the Word Level section. For example:
    • My vocabulary word means ____. The part of speech is ____.
  • Ask ELs to verbally summarize information that was modeled before moving on to student practise.


  • Allow learners to utilize glossaries and dictionaries for unfamiliar words.
  • Choose advanced ELs to share their ideas first in group and class discussions.
  • Have learners repeat instructions and key vocabulary, summarizing important information for the class.
(5 minutes)
  • Have learners complete Part 2 on the Plugging in Vocabulary worksheet to explain how vocabulary helps them as readers.
(3 minutes)
  • Ask students to share their answers to Part 2 on the Plugging in Vocabulary worksheet. Have them read it aloud to a partner and then share out as a whole class.
  • Review the process for finding a word in the dictionary, and emphasize how helpful it is to use as we learn vocabulary in all subject areas.

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