Language Vocabulary Skill Mini-lessons Language/Vocabulary Skill Mini-lessons

Grade 6

The vocabulary/language mini-lessons support students and teachers with vocabulary knowledge and skills. The mini-lessons are written for specific texts, which teachers need to access for instruction. Teachers can also adapt them to other texts or even other grades. The mini-lessons cover language standards L.4 and L.5, which are the standards with greatest focus on vocabulary as it applies to reading.

LV Grade 6 Language Standard

 
LANGUAGE STANDARDASSOCIATED WHEATLEY TEXTSASSOCIATED WHEATLEY READING LESSONS
M1M2M3M4M5
L.6.4Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 6 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
L.6.4.AUse context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.Esperanza Rising23, 26
L.6.4.BUse common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., audience, auditory, audible).Blood on the River13
Written in Bone21
L.6.4.CConsult reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning or its part of speech.
L.6.4.DVerify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).“Perseus and Andromeda”6
L.6.5Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
L.6.5.AInterpret figures of speech (e.g., personification) in context.
L.6.5.BUse the relationship between particular words (e.g., cause/effect, part/whole, item/category) to better understand each of the words.
L.6.5.CDistinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with similar denotations (definitions) (e.g., stingy, scrimping, economical, unwasteful, thrifty).

GRADE 6: MODULE 2

GRADE 6: MODULE 2

 
Esperanza Rising
L.6.4.A

Introduce the Vocabulary Learning Objective



  1. LEARNING OBJECTIVE: SWBAT determine the meaning of the word accost by using sentence-level context clues.

  2. Display the word accost and have a volunteer read it aloud. Support pronunciation as needed.

  3. Explain that readers can use context clues to determine the meaning of an unknown word or phrase. Context clues are words found in the sentence or surrounding sentences.

  4. Have students follow along as you read aloud this sentence from p. 114 of Esperanza Rising: “Several more onion trucks passed by, their smell accosting her eyes and nose as much as the diapers.”

  5. Share categories of context clues:


    • Definitions – The word’s meaning is explained in the sentence.

    • Examples – An example of the word’s meaning is given in the sentence or surrounding sentences.

    • Synonyms – Other words are used in the sentence that have a similar meaning.




  1. Ask:


    • Based on clues from the sentence, is this a pleasant smell? (no)

    • Based on clues from the sentence, what do you envision the smell of the onions is doing to Esperanza’s eyes and nose? (attacking them)

    • Which type of context clue did you use to determine the meaning of accost? (Examples: The sentence provides examples of strong, unpleasant smells that attacked Esperanza’s eyes and nose.)

    • What is the meaning of accost that you determined using context clues? (to attack in a strong and unpleasant way.)



Check Vocabulary Skills



  1. Have students reread the sentence from p. 114 containing accost.

  2. Ask:


    • What is the meaning of accost that you determined using context clues? (to attack in a strong and unpleasant way.)

    • What details from the scene with Esperanza and the diapers on p. 114 provide additional context clues that support this meaning? (The scene describes two things that smell terribly—the diapers and the onion truck. The strong, aggressive, and unpleasant smell of these things supports my meaning of accost.)



Reteach



  • Have students provide examples of other sights or smells that might accost the eyes and nose.


Vocabulary Exit Ticket



  • Have students write a sentence that uses the word accost

    Sample Student Response: The horrible clashing of reds and oranges on the poster accosted my eyes.



Reteach



  • Direct students to other examples of sights or smells that might accost the senses.

Esperanza Rising

L.6.4.A

Introduce the Vocabulary Learning Objective



  1. LEARNING OBJECTIVE: SWBAT determine the meaning of the word bereft by using sentence-level context clues.

  2. Direct students to follow along as you read aloud this sentence containing bereft from p. 168 of Esperanza Rising: “They passed miles of naked grapevines, stripped of their harvest and bereft of their leaves.”

  3. Ask:


    • What words from the sentence provide clues as to how the grapevines look? (naked, stripped)

    • Based on clues from the sentence, do the grapevines have any leaves? (no)

    • Based on clues from the sentence, what does it mean that the grapevines are bereft of leaves? (They don’t have any leaves. The winds have stripped them naked.)




  1. THINK-PAIR-SHARE: Have partners define bereft in their own words and share results with the class. (Bereft means “deprived of” or “lacking something needed or wanted.”)


Check Vocabulary Skills



  1. Have students reread the sentence from p. 168 containing bereft.

  2. Ask students how the words in the sentence give clues to figure out the meaning of the word. (They explain that the grapevines have no leaves.)


Reteach



  • Have students provide examples of what events could make a grapevine bereft of its leaves. (wind, snow, storms, being plucked by hand, etc.)


Vocabulary Exit Ticket



  • Have students write a sentence that uses the word bereft correctly. (After going to the groomers, the family dog was bereft of any hair.

GRADE 6: MODULE 3

GRADE 6: MODULE 3

 
Blood on the River
L.6.4.B

Advance Preparation



  • Display the word century.


Introduce the Vocabulary Learning Objective



  1. Share these Latin roots and definitions:

  2. Read aloud this sentence from p. 138 of Blood on the River: “I think of the centipedes that used to crawl over my bed last summer, and think we are like them, with so many legs.”

  3. LEARNING OBJECTIVE: SWBAT use the Latin roots centi- and ped- to decipher the meaning of unknown words.

    • The roots and affixes of many modern English words get their meanings from the Latin words on which they are based.

    • Knowing the meanings of Latin roots can help students determine the meanings of unknown words in English.



  4. Explain that many English words have Latin origins.

    • centi- = hundred

    • ped- = foot



  5. Ask: What is the definition of centipede, based on the meanings of the Latin roots? (an insect with one hundred legs)

  6. THINK-PAIR-SHARE: Have partners brainstorm words that contain either centi- or ped-. (century, cent, centennial, pedal, pedestrian). Have volunteers share answers with the class.


Check Vocabulary Skills



  1. Ask:

  2. Refer to the displayed word century.

    • What Latin root can you identify in this word? (centi-)

    • What is the meaning of this Latin root? (one hundred)

    • What is the definition of the word century based on the meaning of the Latin root? (one hundred years)




Reteach



  • Have students explain where the insect centipede gets its name. (It has one hundred legs.)


Vocabulary Exit Ticket



  • Have students write a sentence that uses the word pedestrian (The pedestrian looked both ways before crossing the street.)


Reteach



  • Ask:

    • What Latin root can you identify in this word? (ped-)

    • What is the meaning of this Latin root? (foot)

    • What is the definition of the word pedestrian based on the meaning of the Latin root? (someone who travels on foot)



Written in Bone
L.6.4.B

Advance Preparation



  • Display the word archaeologist.


Introduce the Vocabulary Learning Objective



  1. LEARNING OBJECTIVE: SWBAT use the roots archae- and -ology to decipher the meaning of unknown words.

  2. Explain that many English words have Greek origins.


    • The roots and affixes of many modern English words get their meanings from the Greek words on which they are based.

    • Knowing the meanings of Greek roots can help students determine the meanings of unknown words in English.



  3. Read aloud this sentence from p. 4 of Written in Bone: “Years ago, when I was in college, I studied archaeology.”

  4. Share these Greek roots and definitions:


    1. archae- = ancient

    2. -logy = the study of



  5. Ask: What is the definition of archaeology, based on the meanings of the Greek roots? (the study of ancient things)


Check Vocabulary Skills



  1. Refer to the displayed word archaeologist. Ask: What Greek roots can you identify in this word? (archae– and a form of –logy)

  2. Point out that -ist is a suffix that means “a person who.”

  3. What is the definition of archaeologist, based on the meanings of the Greek roots? (a person who studies ancient things)


Reteach



  • Have students brainstorm words that contain either the root archae- or the root -logy. (archaic, biology, psychology, cosmetology, technology)


Vocabulary Exit Ticket



  • Have students write a sentence that uses the word oceanologist (The oceanologist spent a month in the Atlantic studying ocean currents.)


Reteach



  • Ask:

    • What Greek root can you identify in the word oceanologist? (-logy)

    • What is the meaning of this Greek root? (the study of)

    • What is the definition of the word oceanologist based on the meaning of the Greek root? (someone who studies the ocean)



GRADE 6: MODULE 4

GRADE 6: MODULE 4

 
“Perseus and Andromeda” (http://www.greeka.com/greece-myths/perseus-andromeda.htm)
L.6.4.D

Advance Preparation



Excerpt 1: The story of Perseus and Andromeda derives from Greek mythology. (paragraph 1)


Excerpt 2: The story starts when the Oracle of Delphi warns Acrisius, King of Argos, that his own grandson would kill him. Fearing that this prophecy would come true, he locks his only daughter, Danae, into an underground bronze chamber, to keep her away from all men. (paragraph 2)


Excerpt 3: As he was flying over Africa on his return home, Perseus encountered Atlas the Titan, a mythical giant, who challenged him. In their confrontation, Perseus used Medousa’s head to turn the Titan into stone. (paragraph 9)


Introduce the Vocabulary Learning Objective



  1. SWBAT verify the inferred meaning of an unknown word or phrase by using a dictionary.

  2. Review that students have learned to use context clues to determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases.

  3. Explain that effective readers verify the inferred meaning of an unfamiliar word or phrase by using a dictionary.

  4. Display Excerpt 1 from “Perseus and Andromeda”: The story of Perseus and Andromeda derives from Greek mythology.”

  5. Share and model the steps for using a dictionary to confirm the meaning of an unknown word or phrase: 

    • Use context clues to infer the meaning of the word or phrase. Say: I am unsure what derives means in the displayed sentence, but the clue words story and mythology suggest that derives might mean “comes from” or “influences.”

    • Confirm or revise your inference of the word’s meaning in a dictionary. Say: According to the dictionary, derive means “to obtain or extract from an original source.” This matches my inference that the story of Perseus comes from the original source of Greek mythology. However, I also had inferred that derive might mean that the story of Perseus and Andromeda influences Greek mythology. The dictionary definition helps me revise my understanding of the word to its correct meaning.




Check Vocabulary Skills



  1. Display Excerpt 2 from “Perseus and Andromeda”: The story starts when the Oracle of Delphi warns Acrisius, King of Argos, that his own grandson would kill him. Fearing that this prophecy would come true, he locks his only daughter, Danae, into an underground bronze chamber, to keep her away from all men.

  2. Have partners use context clues to infer the meaning of prophecy. (We think that prophecy might mean “a warning about something bad that will happen.”)

  3. Have students verify their understanding of prophecy by looking it up in a dictionary. (According to the dictionary, prophecy means “a prediction.” It isn’t always a warning about something bad. I’ll revise my definition.)


Reteach



  • Ask: Does the dictionary definition match your own understanding of the meaning of prophecy? Is your understanding completely right or mostly right? If the two do not match, how should you revise your inferred definition?


Vocabulary Exit Ticket



  1. Display Excerpt 3 from “Perseus and Andromeda”: As he was flying over Africa on his return home, Perseus encountered Atlas the Titan, a mythical giant, who challenged him. In their confrontation, Perseus used Medousa’s head to turn the Titan into stone.

  2. Have students use context clues to infer the meaning of the word confrontation and record their definition. Than have them compare their meaning with that of the dictionary.


  3. Sample Student Response:


    I think that a confrontation is some kind of fight. The dictionary says it’s usually a face-to-face fight, which does make sense in this paragraph. I’ll revise my definition.



Reteach



  • Students will often find more than one definition for a word in the dictionary. Remind them to check all the definitions to see which one applies best to the context in which the word is being used. Have them adjust their inferred meaning if necessary.

GRADE 6: MODULE 5

 
Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World
L.6.4.A

Materials



  • Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World, pp. 37, 46 (one per student)



Introduce the Vocabulary Learning Objective



  1. LEARNING OBJECTIVE: SWBAT determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases by using sentence-level context clues.

  2. Tell students that all readers occasionally come across a word they do not know. Say: I can determine the meaning of unknown words using context clues. Context clues are information found in the surrounding sentence or paragraph that can help define the unfamiliar word. I look at the surrounding sentences in the text to infer the meaning of the unknown word.

  3. THINK ALOUD: Direct students to the word anxiety at the beginning of the first complete paragraph on p. 37. Use this example to share and model how to use context clues to determine the meaning of the unknown word.

    • Pause at an unknown word or phrase: Say: As I am reading, I come to the word anxiety. Since I am unfamiliar with this word, I will pause my reading so I can determine the word’s meaning.

    • Examine the situation in which the word is used. Say: I can look at the sentence to better understand the situation being described. The author is describing how the dogs have gotten sick, and this is affecting their sled drivers.

    • Identify words or phrases around the word that provide more information about the unknown phrase. Say: I know from the sentence that the dogs died. This makes me understand that the drivers were upset that the dogs were sick. They felt worry and pain because of the dogs’ deaths.



  4. State the meaning of the unknown word or phrase in your own words. Say: Based on the context clues, I can determine that anxiety is a feeling of worry and concern about something.



Check Vocabulary Skills



  • Circulate to monitor partners’ capacity to use context clues to determine the meaning of evacuation in the second to last paragraph on p. 46. (the emptying of the ship)



Reteach



  • Explain that when students come across a word they do not know, they should examine the situation and look for context clues. Ask:

    • What is happening in this section of the text? (The ship is going to sink.)

    • What clues do you find in the words and sentences around the target word? (the words “It’s time to get off” in the previous paragraph; the words “I’ve carried your banjo ashore” in the next paragraph)




Vocabulary Exit Ticket



  • Direct students’ attention to the word saturated in the last sentence of the first complete paragraph on p. 46. Have students use context clues to help them write the meaning of the word.


Sample Student Response:


In this paragraph, saturated means “completely filled.”



Reteach



  • Have students consider these questions as they use contextual information to state the meaning of an unknown word:

    • How would you describe the idea in the text without using the unknown word?

    • How can you use that explanation to state the meaning of the unknown word or phrase in your own words?



“The Butterfly”
L.6.5.C

Introduce the Vocabulary Learning Objective



  1. LEARNING OBJECTIVE: SWBAT describe the connotations of the author’s specific word choices.

  2. Define connotation as the idea or feeling a specific word brings to mind. Words that have the same or similar meanings will often have different connotations that impact the meaning. For example, both angry and furious mean “upset,” but furious is a stronger word and has a different connotation.

  3. Explain that connotations can range from positive to negative, small to large, quiet to loud, or gentle to strong.

  4. Explain that when students encounter a word with a strong connotative meaning, they should think about why the author chose this particular word. Students should ask:

    • How does this word make me feel?

    • Would a word with a similar meaning but different connotation express the same meaning?

    • What important information about the text does the connotative meaning provide?





Check Vocabulary Skills



  1. Ask: What is the connotation of a word? (The idea or feeling the word brings to mind.)

  2. Direct students’ attention to the phrase carried lightly in line six of “The Butterfly.” Ask: What is the connotation of this phrase? (It has a positive connotation.)



Reteach



  • Ask:

    • What questions can I ask myself to determine a word’s connotation? (How does the word make readers feel? Would another word have the same impact?)

    • What information about the poem does the connotation of “carried lightly” provide? (It suggests that the butterfly is very fragile, light enough to be carried away on the wind.)





Vocabulary Exit Ticket



  • Have students describe the connotation of the phrase “penned up” in stanza 3 of “The Butterfly.”


Sample Student Response:


The phrase has a very strong, negative connotation that makes me think that the speaker is being imprisoned in the ghetto.



Reteach



  • Ask: What other word or phrase might the speaker have used instead of “penned up”? Would this word or phrase have conveyed the same feeling or idea to readers? Why or why not? (The speaker could have used the word kept instead. This would not have conveyed the same feeling as “penned up” because the word kept does not convey the idea of a person being forcibly confined inside a prison.)