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Introduce Vocabulary: Mr. Lincoln’s Way (Polacco)

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Lesson Type: Introduce
Grade: K, 1, 2, 3
Group Size: Small Group, Whole Class
Length: 20 minutes
Goal: After listening to a fiction read-aloud, students will know the meaning of three Tier Two vocabulary words.

Materials: Mr. Lincoln's Way (Polacco), board or chart paper

What to Do


Select three Tier Two vocabulary words to teach your students. A list of suggested words appears below. Write the vocabulary words on the board or on chart paper.


1. Introduce the story.

Today we are going to read a story entitled Mr. Lincoln's Way.

2. Introduce the three vocabulary words you have chosen.

Before we read the story, I want to introduce some new words that we will come across. Please repeat each word after I say it.

3. Read the story.

Let’s read the story. Make sure to listen for today’s vocabulary words and to think about how they are used in the story. If you hear a vocabulary word while I am reading, raise your hand.

4. Define key vocabulary words. See definitions below.

Let’s think about our vocabulary words. The word ______________ means ____________. Does anyone remember how this word was used in the text?

Call on students to answer the question. Then refer to the text to show how the word was used in context. Repeat this process for each vocabulary word.


Now let’s practice what we’ve learned.


Bully means someone who enjoys being mean to others. What’s the word?

Usually a bully is bigger than other people, but sometimes a bully is small and sneaky. I hope you haven’t met a bully at school.

I’m going to name some actions. If you think a person who likes to be mean would do the action, say bully. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Jumping rope
  • Pushing people
  • Calling someone names
  • Playing hopscotch
  • Hitting


Defiant means a person that does not obey or do what he is told. What’s the word?

The little mouse was defiant and wouldn’t stay in his hole even when the cat was sitting close by. Your teacher doesn’t enjoy children who are defiant.

I’m going to name some actions. If you think the action shows someone not obeying, say defiant. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Chewing gum in gym when you know you’re not supposed to
  • Spitting in the water fountain
  • Not flushing the toilet
  • Being careful with school property
  • Following the rules


Disbelief means not being able to believe someone or something. What’s the word?

I watched with disbelief as the boat sank. Were you in disbelief when you heard you were the winner of the contest?

I’m going to name some things that might happen. If you think the thing is something you can’t believe, say disbelief. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A friend says there are fairies in the forest
  • You find out there will be a talking dog in class today
  • You have pizza for lunch
  • A cat catches a mouse
  • A mouse catches a cat


Respect means treating people well and with kindness. What’s the word?

We try to teach all children to respect the earth. It’s important to show respect to people who are older than you.

I’m going to name some actions. If you think the action shows treating people well and with kindness, say respect. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Returning library books on time
  • Listening to your music quietly so others aren’t bothered by it
  • Putting your chewing gum on the ground or wherever you want
  • Coloring in library books
  • Moving quietly in the library so you don’t bother other people


Unacceptable means not okay and not allowed. What’s the word?

Using bad language is unacceptable at school. You might say it’s unacceptable for your brother or sister to play in your room when you’re not there.

I’m going to name some actions. If you think the action is not allowed, say unacceptable. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Growing a beautiful garden for everyone to enjoy
  • Picking flowers in someone else’s garden
  • Sneaking into a movie without paying
  • Watching a movie quietly
  • Telling everyone what happens at the end of the movie


For Advanced Students:

If time permits, have students create more examples for the vocabulary words.

For Struggling Students:

If time permits, have students record the words on a Vocabulary Discovery Chart or in a Word Journal.

For ELL Students:

In order to help ELL students learn the words, it may be helpful to use realia and/or to teach cognates.

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