Lessons & Units

Vocabulary in Context 2nd Grade Unit


Lesson 1 Prefixes Use the meaning of prefixes in unknown words to determine their meaning.
Lesson 2 Context Clues Use the sentences before and after an unknown word to determine its meaning.
Lesson 3 Glossary Use a glossary to determine the meaning of an unknown word.
Lesson 4 Dictionary Use a dictionary to find the meaning of unknown words in a text.

Unit Extension Ideas

  • Use the Concepts of Comprehension Reading Passages to teach students how to use footnotes. Students can also use a dictionary to look up the suggested additional vocabulary words at the end of the passage.
  • Students should use the elaboration strategy in fiction books and for words that are not bolded.
  • Create a memory game with vocabulary words that have different prefixes or suffixes.
  • Write common prefixes or suffixes on blank index cards or sentence strips. On additional sentence strips, write vocabulary words. Have students match the correct prefix or suffix to the root word. They can make a list in a journal of the new words they made. Discuss the meanings of the prefixes and suffixes and how they change the meaning of root words.
  • Have students create their own dictionary of new vocabulary words they encounter in their reading. They can fill out a graphic organizer for new words. (See Additional Activity A in Teacher and Student Materials below.)
  • Use a bookmark or create a poster of strategies to hang in the classroom, which students can use to read new vocabulary and understand the meaning of new words. You can add any ideas to the bookmark/poster included with this unit. More advanced students can create their own bookmarks or posters of strategies they find useful. (See Additional Activities B and C.)
  • Continue to work on using parts of a word to determine its meaning by teaching additional prefixes, suffixes, and compound words.
  • Students should revise stories to include new vocabulary. For example, “I was sad” could be re-written as “I was devastated.” Students can identify a word they want to change, look up the meaning in the dictionary, and brainstorm other words with the same meaning- synonyms. Also, you may teach students to use a thesaurus to find synonyms.
  • Make a class prefix and suffix book. Have students write the new vocabulary words from the books they are reading under the correct prefix or suffix page.
  • Create a boring words list that students can no longer use in their writing. Brainstorm more interesting vocabulary to use instead. For example, “big” could be replaced with “huge,” “humongous,” “gigantic,” or “enormous.”
  • Students should create a glossary or footnotes in their own writing.
  • Have students create a vocabulary notebook or journal filled with new words that they have learned, their definitions, and sentences using each word correctly. Students can also write the information on index cards and keep the cards in a box. They can quiz each other on the meanings of the words.
  • Have students use the glossary to look up bolded words in their content area textbooks.

More Books for Teaching Vocabulary in Context

So That's How the Moon Changes Shape!
Fossils Tell of Long Ago
Julian, Dream  Doctor

User Comments

Love the prefix lesson! Thank you!

Thanks for the novel ideas

I'm really excited to try these new lessons with my second graders. The lessons look well-thought out and grade level appropriate.