Lessons & Units

Vocabulary in Context Kindergarten Unit


Lesson 2 Using Initial Sounds and Picture Cues to Read Unknown Words Use picture cues to read unknown words.Use initial sounds to read unknown words.

Unit Extension Ideas

  • 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 each word. They 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 Activity A in Teacher and Student Materials below.)
  • Students should be able to determine the meaning of new vocabulary during read aloud sessions, shared reading, and guided reading by using pictures cues and initial word sounds. See the UEE book list for Kindergarten Vocabulary in Context for additional book ideas.
  • Play a memory game with students using new vocabulary words learned in reading. Write the vocabulary word on an index card with a picture and have students tell you what it means or to use it in a sentence.
  • When students are reading and come to a word that they have a hard time decoding or do not understand, have them cover parts of the word, such as the prefix or suffix, to see if there are any parts of the word that they know. Use the part of the word that they know to read the word and figure out the meaning of the word. Teachers should model this strategy for students using Direct Teaching, Guided Practice and Independent Practice so students can fully understand how to use this strategy.
  • Create a word wall and post any new vocabulary words on the word wall. You can also create mini-word walls or word books for students, personalizing these with words that are new to a particular student. Divide a notebook into alphabetical sections or create a book by stapling pages together. Have students add the words they encounter. Encourage students to draw a picture next to the word as a way to remember the word’s meaning. Students can use words from the wall in a sentence.
  • Have students write new vocabulary words on index cards with a picture. Place the word cards in a box or punch a hole in them and tie them together. Have students work with an adult or another student to review reading the words and using each word in a sentence.
  • Write new vocabulary words on index cards. On a separate set of index cards, draw a picture for each word. Have students match the word to the correct picture that describes each word.
  • During shared writing, rewrite some sentences with new vocabulary words or rephrase a sentence to include new vocabulary. For example, rewrite the sentence “It was funny" as “It was hysterical.”
  • Make a class vocabulary book. Have students write the new vocabulary words from a book and illustrate what they mean. They can also write sentence using the words.
  • Have students use at least one new vocabulary word in their writing assignments.
  • Identify new vocabulary words during social studies and science instruction. Use picture cues and initial sounds to figure out the meaning of unknown words.

More Books for Teaching Vocabulary in Context

Let's Make Bread
Harry Takes a Bath
Busy Toes
The Snowy Day