Lessons & Units :: A Wrinkle in Time 6th Grade Unit

Lesson 1: Determine the Meaning of Unknown Words

Lesson Plan

A Wrinkle in Time | 740L

A Wrinkle in Time
Learning Goal
Determine the meaning of unknown words in a science fiction text.
Duration
Approximately 2 Days (30-45 minutes for each class)
Necessary Materials
Provided: Context Clues Chart, Unknown Words and Context Clues Worksheet (Student Packet, pp. 7-8)
Not Provided: Sticky notes, chart paper, markers, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  • Before the Lesson

    Read Chapters 1-3; Complete Student Packet Worksheets for Chapters 1-3

  • Activation & Motivation

    Read aloud the following science fiction word to the class: chrononaut. On a slip of paper, have students write down their guess of the word’s definition.

    When the class has finished, collect the slips of paper and choose three student definitions. On chart paper or the board, write the student definitions along with the correct definition for the word. (Chrononaut: someone who travels through time.) Then, ask students to choose the correct definition. Explain to students that the prefix, "chrono" means time and that the suffix "naut" means voyager, so the word "chrononaut" means someone who voyages, or travels through time. 

    Repeat the game with the science fiction word, "nanotech." Explain to students that the prefix, "nano" means very small and that the suffix, "tech" means technology, so the word "nanotech" means the technology of very small things. 

  • Teacher Modeling

    will explain that science fiction authors often use scientific or unknown words in a text to make the reader figure out the meaning of these words. A good reader pays careful attention to the words used in a science fiction text to gain a better understanding of the book he or she is reading. It is up to the reader to use context clues to figure out the meaning of unknown words in a science fiction text.

    I will examine the words I do not know the meaning of in Chapter 1 of A Wrinkle in Time by using context clues. I will use sticky notes to flag unknown words that I come across as I read. Think aloud: "The first unknown word I come across is 'scudded.' As I come across a word I am not familiar with, I will read the sentence the word is used in very carefully. 'Behind the trees clouds scudded frantically across the sky' (p. 3). I will also read the surrounding sentences to find context clues to figure out the meaning of this unknown word. The previous sentence tells me it was windy; the following sentence tells me the moon moved quickly among the clouds and created shadows that raced along the ground. By using context clues, I can figure out that the word “scudded” means 'moved very quickly.'” Note: Unfamiliar words in Chapter 1 can include, but are not limited to: scudded, wraithlike, tramp, constable, IQ test, preliminaries, diction, moderation, happy medium, Bunsen burner, stole, intentions, squelching, liniment, dignity, supine, agility, relinquished, frivoling, tesseract.

    When  I have figured out the meaning of the word, I will write its definition on the sticky note.

  • Think Check

    Ask: "How can I figure out the meaning of unknown words in a science fiction text?" Students should respond that you can use context clues to figure out the meaning of an unknown word. You should read the sentence the word is used in very carefully, and you should read the sentences surrounding the word to get an understanding of the word’s correct definition.

  • Guided Practice

    will figure out the meaning of a few unfamiliar words that appear in Chapter 2 of A Wrinkle in Time. We will use sticky notes to flag these words as we read. To figure out the possible meaning of these words, we will reread the sentence the word is used in. Next, we will reread the sentences that come before and after the word to look for context clues.

    We will write the unknown word on our Context Clues Chart. As a class, we will think about the possible meanings of this word and write a new sentence using the word. Note: Unknown words can include, but are not limited to: avid, physicist, bellowing, belligerent, dilapidated.

  • Independent Practice

    will reread Chapter 3 of A Wrinkle in Time. You will use sticky notes to flag 3 to 5 unknown words as you read. You will use context clues to figure out the meaning of the word. You will record the unknown word on the Unknown Words and Context Clues page in your Student Packet, and you will follow directions on the chart to fill it in. (See pp. 7-8 in the Student Packet.)

  • Reflective Practice

    will come back together to share some unknown words and their meanings that we have identified in Chapter 3 of A Wrinkle in Time. We will read aloud one sentence for each word. We will continue to use context clues to figure out the meaning of unknown words we might come across as we read.

Build Student Vocabulary indignantly

Tier 2 Word: indignantly
Contextualize the word as it is used in the story When Mrs. Whatsit comes to Charles Wallace’s house, Mrs. Murry asks, “‘Would you like a sandwich Mrs. Whatsit? I’ve had a liverwurst and cream cheese; Charles has had bread and jam; and Meg, lettuce and tomato.’ ‘Now let me see,’ Mrs. Whatsit pondered. ‘I’m passionately fond of Russian caviar.’ ‘You peeked!’ Charles cried indignantly. ‘We’re saving that for Mother’s birthday and you can’t have any!’”
Explain the meaning student-friendly definition) Indignant means a feeling of anger about something believed to be unfair. When Charles indignantly cried, “You peeked!” to Mrs. Whatsit, he was feeling and showing anger to Mrs. Whatsit because he felt it was unfair that Mrs. Whatsit peeked at his mother’s birthday present.
Students repeat the word Say the word indignantly with me: indignantly.
Teacher gives examples of the word in other contexts He gave an indignant answer when he was asked if he was lying. He thought the question was unfair. She reacted indignantly when she was accused of cheating. How dare anybody doubt her honesty?
Students provide examples Why else might someone speak indignantly? Start by saying, “A person might speak indignantly because ______________________________.”
Students repeat the word again. What word are we talking about? indignantly
Additional Vocabulary Words serenely, prodigious, inadvertently, raucous, dubiously

Texts & Materials

Standards Alignment

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