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Vocabulary & Language Development Lesson Plan

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Lesson Plan #:AELP-VOC000
Author: LouAnn Sorensen
School or Affiliation: Early Childhood Program, Lyon County School District, Nevada
Endorsed by: These lesson plans are the result of the work of the teachers who have attended the Columbia Education Center’s Summer Workshop. CEC is a consortium of teacher from 14 western states dedicated to improving the quality of education in the rural, western, United States, and particularly the quality of math and science Education. CEC uses Big Sky Telegraph as the hub of their telecommunications network that allows the participating teachers to stay in contact with their trainers and peers that they have met at the Workshops. Date: May 1994

Grade Level(s): Preschool education, Kindergarten, 1, 2

(I currently use this with 3 to 5 year old special education students. But it will work with children in Pre-Kindergarten and up.)

Overview: Most young children are able to identify the function of an object, but not be able to identify it by name. This activity allows the child to use the function label in order to learn the name.


  • Language Arts/Vocabulary

Purpose: To develop and increase vocabulary and language concepts.

Objective: The students will learn and use the appropriate labels for different objects correlating to various themes and units.

Collect a variety of items, objects or toys relating to specific themes or units and place them in a covered box. During circle time, introduce the box. Ask each child to close eyes, reach in and remove an object. Ask the child to identify the object. Discuss the various attributes of the item: size, color, function, name, etc. Continue around the circle, giving each child a turn to participate.

To extend the activity, provide the children with pictures and have them match the objects to the pictures. This allows the children to make the transition from a concrete object to a semi-concrete representation.

Once the children are used to this activity, hide the objects in various spots in the room and have the children find them from verbal clues.

Resources/Materials Needed:

  • A box with a lid
  • Various objects and items relating to the current theme or unit of study, i.e. cooking: various kitchen utensils, pots and pans, pot holders, measuring cups and spoons, etc.
  • Photographs or other pictures of the items.

Tying It All Together: Incorporate the new vocabulary words into the activities of the day and send home the words for the parents to use in their daily activities.