Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Cool Words to Share

Martha Todd
Santa Rosa District Schools


Students use teacher-selected vocabulary (can be from reading textbook) to present a written story to a first grade student. The book will include a glossary of terms and illustrations of the terms.


The student uses resources and references such as dictionary, thesaurus, and context to build word meanings.

The student establishes a purpose for writing (including but not limited to informing, entertaining, explaining).

The student uses strategies to spell words (for example, using resources such as dictionary or thesaurus to confirm spelling).


-List of teacher-selected vocabulary terms
- Paper, pencils, crayons, colored pencils
- Dictionaries
- Materials to bind books ( staples, binders, folders, etc.)
- One copy of Peer-Review sheet (see associated file) for each student
- One copy of Teacher Checklist (see associated file) for each child, to be used by teacher.


1. Work with a first grade teacher to set up a time for book sharing after the books are completed.
2. Select 15-20 vocabulary words from a piece of writing or subject area used in class.
3. Divide students into teams of three or four students each.
4. After students have words defined and illustrated, make copies for everyone in their group.
5. Have materials readily available for book-making.


Day 1
1. Lead the class in a short discussion of memories they have of being read to. Explain that they will be writing books to read to a first grade student.

2. Write selected terms on the board in bright colors.

3. Students are divided into teams of three or four.

4. Students decide as a group how to divide up the vocabulary words amongst themselves, and then they use dictionaries to each look up the words that are their responsibility.

5. Students write the word and definition (in print) on an index card. The cards are attached (three per page) to a sheet of typing paper.

Day 2
1. The student illustrates the word beside the definition card on the paper.

2. Students share their definitions and illustrations with their team members, and they peer-edit each other using dictionaries.(see attached file for Peer-Review sheet)

3. Photocopies are made so that each student in a group has a copy of his team member's definitions and illustrations.

Day 3
1. Explain that they are writing books to be presented to a first grade student. Review the purposes for writing (informing, entertaining, explaining).

2. Students determine their purpose for writing and write a rough draft of the story, using a required number of terms (ten to fifteen is reasonable). Students should write their purposes for writing on the top of their rough drafts.

Day 4
1. Edit and conference with the students about their stories.

Day 5
1. After revisions, the students get into their teams and present their purpose for writing. They also share their stories with each other. Students evaluate each other using the Peer-Review form (see attached file Peer Review). This tool is used only by the student to revise the story before writing the final copy.

2. Students write the final copies of the stories.

Day 6
1. Bind books including a copy of the definitions and illustrations from their groups to form a book. Students should illustrate their covers and include the name of the story and their own names on the books.

Day 7
1. Students are paired with first grade students to share their books. They should first go over the glossary pages with the first grader and then read the story together.

2. Students may donate their books to the first grade classroom, their classroom, or take home to share with parents.


*Students produce a book which includes the selected vocabulary and a glossary which are free from spelling and grammatical errors. The level of mastery can be identified as superior, acceptable,and needs improvement based on all elements being present, most elements present, and some elements present, respectively. (see associated file- Teacher Checklist). Assess whether or not the student's final documents have been edited for the following:

a) correct spelling

b) correct use of punctuation

c) correct use of capitalization

d) correct paragraph indentation

e) correct formatting according to instructions
*Peer review is used to assess the use of the dictionary during step five of the procedures, and establishing a purpose for writing (see associated file -Peer Review.)
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