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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Vocabulary Strategies for "The Tell-Tale Heart"

I will begin teaching "The Tell-Tale Heart" later this week. I am working on two vocabulary strategies for this lesson to mix things up: the Texas Literacy Initiative vocabulary routine and another strategy called Sketch to Stretch. 

I will start the vocabulary work with the vocabulary routine for the word vex. I chose this word because it ties in well with our last vocabulary routine for the word gripe. I want my students to be able to view words in connection to one another, rather than isolated pieces from different readings. I have heard my students using the word gripe - correctly - in conversation with one another, so I will be curious to see if they pick up on vex the same way. 

The second strategy, Sketch to Stretch, comes from Vocabulary Strategies that Work, a book provided by the Texas Literacy Initiative as part of our vocabulary focus. Sketch to Stretch was originally created as a reading comprehension strategy for visualization (I am going to use that as a connection piece at the end of the reading). In this process, students read a section of text, then create a reaction drawing. By the end of the reading, they have a series of drawings to help them recall information. [If you search this strategy online, you will find a great deal of information.]

Wilfong has adapted this strategy for vocabulary study. Students read a chunk of text, then they choose a word from that section that they feel is vital to the meaning of the selection. They then draw what they think the word means in the given context. 

Since this is the first time I will be using this strategy, and because "TTH" tends to be complicated enough for my students to understand, I have modified Wilfong's strategy to suit my own needs. Rather than use Poe's text, I am giving my students modern-language sentences with selected words from the story. They will create their drawings and definitions based on this information to help them apply it to "TTH".

Follow-up to come after I teach this Thursday or Friday. Stay tuned.

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