Digital Portfolio
EDU 614

Mary Jerzak



Agnes Scott University

Mary Jerzak

Teaching Standards and Outcomes



Group Lesson Plan

By Mary Jerzak, Mark Howard, Keturah Israel, and Erin James

Name of Lesson: Using O. Henry's The Ransom of Red Chief to develop a larger vocabulary

Grade Level: Ninth grade

Length of Lesson: Two class periods; approximately 90-100 minutes total.

Purpose: Learning the meaning of words is essential to understanding the literary world around us. The ability to scan texts for unfamiliar terms and comprehend the meaning of those terms is critical to becoming a successful reader.

Objective: The students will expand their reading vocabulary by 16 words after reading "The Ransom of Red Chief." They will learn these words by hearing, reading, writing, and repeating them in the classroom.

Body of Lesson

1. Teacher begins by pulling several phrases or sentences from the text that contain the unfamiliar terms and writing them on the board. (Example: "during a moment of temporary mental apparition.") He/she then asks the students to explain the meaning of those phrases. Using what the students have come up with, the teacher introduces the purpose of building and using a large store of vocabulary words to enrich the reading experience.

2. Next, pass out copies of "The Ransom of Red Chief" to all students. Ask them to read the story aloud, in a popcorn style.

3. Ask students to identify some words from the text they did not know. Can they guess what the words mean from the context? Are there words that some students already know? Write on the board the following list of words to be defined, as well as any others identified by the students.

Vocabulary List:
a. apparition - a ghostly figure
b. deleterious - having a harmful effect
c. philoprogenitive - producing many children or offspring, the loving and caring of children
d. lackadaisical - lacking spirit or interest
e. diatribe - thunderous, verbal attack
f. christen - to name and dedicate as in a ceremony
g. emit - to give out or send
h. reconnoiter - to survey, to get the lay of the land
i. contiguous - neighboring, sharing a boundary
j. somnolent - drowsy, sleepy
k. sylvan - abounding in trees; a wooded area
l. peremptory - firmly determined, dictatorial
m. decry - to condemn openly
n. collaborate - to work together, to cooperate
o. proclivities - a natural disposition
p. calliope - a musical instrument with steam whistles and played with keys like an organ

4. Write out definitions next to words on board. Review words and definitions after all definitions are on board. Prompt students to repeat definitions aloud. Divide class into 2 teams, on each side of the room. The board is erased. Each student is asked to create a sentence from the word given to him or her, and his or her team is given a point for each correct sentence. The other team can challenge the correctness of the sentence. If the sentence is wrong, the opposing team gets 2 points. The game is over when all words have been used twice. The team with the highest score wins. The prize is candy for every team member.

5. After the game, students are asked to rewrite or recall the story using the new vocabulary words. Finally, the students will be quizzed the next day to see if the new words "stuck."

Materials: Chalk, chalkboard, copies of the story for every person, list of vocabulary words and definitions, candy.

Resources: The pertinent QCCs, a summary of Skinner/Thorndike's theories, a copy of the story, a dictionary.

Assessment: The students' understanding of the new vocabulary will be assessed by a quiz given the day after the lesson. The quiz will be a simple multiple-choice format. Students will be asked to match each word to its definition. Before that point, the retold/summarized story will give the teacher an idea of how well the students are picking up the definitions, allowing him/her the option of redoubling his/her efforts or going ahead with the quiz.

Evaluation: The teacher should consider the lesson successful when around 80% of the students pass the quiz with a B or above.

Plan B: Should the quiz results reveal the students did not acquire the necessary understanding of the vocabulary, the teacher should institute a fifteen-minute review of the previous day's material. This review will be a Round-Robin exercise where students will not only read one paragraph, but pause after each paragraph to explain what happened in their own words. The teacher will make brief comments following each student's reading to repeat the meaning of each unfamiliar vocabulary word. If necessary, the teacher will carry over the words into the next unit, defining and testing on them as necessary until further assessment shows the words have been incorporated into the students' knowledge base.