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Lesson Plan #:AELP-VOC000
Author: Judy Ezell
School or Affiliation: Fort Gibson Elementary, Fort Gibson, OK
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): 1, 2, 3


  • Language Arts/Vocabulary

Overview: Elementary students tend to use a limited vocabulary. Teachers can provide the addition of new vocabulary words in ways that are fun and enriching. There are various activities that provide ways for children to brainstorm lists of words to be used in sentences, stories, or conversation.

Purpose: The purpose of these activities are to help teachers provide ways for students to increase the number of words in a given situation for student usage.

Objectives: As a result of these activities, students will:

  • learn how to work together as a group
  • learn how to brainstorm for ideas/words
  • relate themes to specific word groups
  • learn how to use a web to collect ideas
  • Resources/Materials:

    • supply of magazines
    • paper to make fruit or letter shapes
    • variety of story books

    Activities: These activities are suggestions that can be used at anytime and for any subject.

    • Cooperative Learning- Begin with the large group and teach students to be accepting of each others ideas/no put downs/everyone can take a risk and be accepted. As the students learn to work in large groups, set up small groups to collect ideas.
    • Brainstorming- Allow each student to give you a word related to a color, a theme (bears, whales, season, etc.), or a feeling (sad, happy, excited, upset, etc.). Guide these discussions with an accepting manner and encourage everyone to participate.
    • Webbing, Mapping (and according to Nancy Margulies, author of Mapping Inner Space)-Mind Mapping-Draw a picture of your subject or place the word in the center of your board or paper. Connect words or pictures related to your main subject with radiating lines from the central picture or word. (When words are written (pictures-you write words underneath), hang these papers up for children to use as word banks.)
    • Read a nursery rhyme and have children think of other words to fit in place of a word and mean the same thing or expand and mean something totally different.
    • Using a large fruit shape, write the other things the children name that are the same color.
    • Using a large letter shape, have children cut out pictures of things that begin with that letter.
    • Write the name of a book just read in the center of the board. Have students tell about the characters, setting, problem and conclusion as you map their ideas in words or pictures.
    • Using a theme, – Thanksgiving, Summer Vacation, Zoo, Sun, etc. – write all the words or collect pictures related to the theme.

    Tying It All Together: Use of these types of activities may encourage children to use a variety of words in stories or conversations. Taught in this non-threatening way, children may be willing to be more verbal and those that are too verbal may encourage/support other children. These activities may be used as an introduction or expansion of a lesson.