Personal tools

Introduce Vocabulary: Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears (Aardema)

From FreeReading

Jump to: navigation, search
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: Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears (Aardema), 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 Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears.

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.


Conscience means the part of a person’s brain that says what is right and wrong. What’s the word?

The man said he recycles because otherwise his conscience would bother him. Have you ever done something wrong and then had a guilty conscience because you felt bad about it afterward?

I’m going to name some things children might do. If you think it’s the wrong thing to do, say conscience. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Color in a library book
  • Take the teacher’s pencil
  • Help a younger student on the playground
  • Be mean to another student
  • Answer politely when spoken to


Fetch means to go get something and then bring it back. What’s the word?

Most dogs love to play fetch. You should run and fetch us some popcorn so we can watch this movie.

I’m going to name some items. If you think a dog could go get the item and bring it back, say fetch. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A boat
  • A stick
  • A tennis ball
  • A stuffed toy
  • A garage door


Guilty means responsible for doing something wrong. What’s the word?

The man said he was not guilty of robbing the bank. When you get caught doing something your mom or dad has said not to, you are guilty.

I’m going to name some people. If you think the person was doing something wrong, say guilty. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • A mama rocking her baby
  • A cook preparing a meal
  • A teenager spray painting a building
  • A man driving away without paying for gas
  • A child copying someone else’s test


Timid means shy and scared. What’s the word?

A mouse is a timid animal. You don’t need to be timid, because we’re all friends here.

I’m going to name some words. If you think the word means shy and scared, say timid. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • Nervous
  • Outgoing
  • Loud
  • Fearful
  • Frightened


Warn means to say when something bad is going to happen. What’s the word?

The woman wanted to warn her husband that he’d have to walk because the car wouldn’t start. Did you warn your parents that there would be no refreshments at the play?

I’m going to name some things people might say. If you think the person is saying that something bad might happen, say warn. Otherwise, stay quiet. Ready?

  • “Hello. Nice to see you.”
  • “Watch out for the ice on the sidewalk.”
  • “Careful. There are bees in that tree.”
  • “Isn’t it a nice day?”
  • “You should avoid Main Street. I heard there was an accident there today.”


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.

Related activities