Grade: Elementary

#1799. Increasing Vocabulary Using Internet Connections

Reading/Writing, level: Elementary
Posted Fri Jun 16 08:37:37 PDT 2000 by Kathy Nicholson (
Orange Elementary, Waterloo, Iowa
Materials Required: The Mitten by Jan Brett, The Napping House by Audrey Wood, Inspiration, computer,TV
Activity Time: 5-6 30 minute lessons
Concepts Taught: Vocabulary development, Internet

Title: Increasing Vocabulary Using Internet Connections

Subject Matter Emphasis: Reading/Writing
Grade level:1st grade with ESL infusion

Brief Description of the lesson: Teacher will read The Mitten by Jan Brett. The students will retell the story as a group by using the computer program, Inspiration. The students will perform a play. The students will create a class story. The class will visit Jan Brett's website and write her a letter, which will be sent to her using the Internet. The class will visit other author websites and compare them.

Why Do This? Standard 1: Demonstrate competence in the general skills and strategies of the reading process.
Standard 2: Demonstrate competence in the general skills and strategies of the writing process.
These two standards are directly tied to our 2000-2001 building goal of vocabulary development.

As a result of this lesson students will write a story with a sequence of events that makes sense. They will also be introduced to the Internet and make an evaluation of a site.
Student participation will be encouraged through various activities. After the teacher has read The Mitten by Jan Brett, students will work with the teacher and the computer program, Inspiration, to make a web of the story. Students will select the animal they wish to portray in the class play and create a mask for that animal. The students will be separated into two or three groups, depending on the number of students in the class, and perform the play.
As a class the students will brainstorm articles of clothing worn in another season of the year. As a class they will create another sequence story using another season and another article of clothing. For example, the students could write a story about a baseball hat or an umbrella or a shoe. Each student will illustrate a page of this new story.
The class will write a group letter to Jan Brett and send this to her using her website.
After completing these activities, the teacher will read the book, The Napping House, by Audrey Wood. The two books will be compared. As a class the students will go to the Jan Brett website and the Audrey Wood website, compare the two and make an evaluation of each of these sites.

Other content areas will be addressed as we go through this lesson. They are as follows:
Social Studies: Students will discuss the names for their family members, compare and make a chart for future use.
Science: Students will know that weather changes and affects our lives. A chart of season names and seasonal clothing will be available for the class to use in their writing activities.
Art: Students will design their own masks for the play. They will illustrate pages in a book.
Technology: As a class students will visit the website of two authors and compare. The class will write a group letter and send to an author via her website.
Because ESL students will be a part of this group, English names for articles of clothing, family, animals and seasons will be a necessary part of the lesson.

Students will be evaluated throughout the lesson by teacher observation and finished products. After the websites have been visited, each student will complete an evaluation worksheet.

Teaching Strategies
Students will learn though a variety of activities that will address the different learning styles. Kinesthetic, visual and listening activities will be an integral part of this lesson.

Materials and Resources
Books and resources
The Mitten by Jan Brett
The Napping House by Audrey Wood
Paper plates
Various sizes of construction paper, yarn, markers, crayons etc. to make animal masks
Pictures of animals in the story which can found on Jan Brett's webpage
Evaluation worksheet
Technology Resources
Computer with access to the Internet
TV hooked up to the computer
Computer program, Inspiration

During the reading of the story, students will be seated at the carpet. During the story retelling, the students will be at their seats. The computer program, Inspiration, will be used at this time. Animal names and pictures will be used at this time to complete the activity. After retelling the story, students will be asked to select an animal and make a mask for this animal.
When the masks have been completed, the students will be divided into groups. Each group will be responsible for creating their own interpretation of the play.
The class will visit the author web sites as a group. They will be at their seats while the teacher manipulates the TV and computer connections.
Because most of the activities are done as a group, the ESL students can participate at their comfort level. Visuals of animals, clothing and seasonal activities will be provided. / is an excellent site for pictures. They will be provided with opportunities to see, hear and practice the vocabulary being introduced.

Support Services
I will need assistance with making the TV and computer hook ups. I have Internet access in my room already so this ability is readily accessible to me. I just need to know how to do it.
I will also need to develop a visual dictionary of the vocabulary being introduced in this lesson.

Evaluation Worksheet

Guiding Students to Evaluate Web Sites
An evaluation tool to be used with 1st and 2nd graders

After reading the stories, The Mitten by Jan Brett and The Napping House by Audrey Wood, the students will compare them as part of a class discussion. How were they alike? How were they different? Were the illustrations fun to look at? Were the stories easy to understand? Was one easier to read? Would you like to hear the story again? What did you like best about each book?
Next, as a group, the students will visit the web sites for each author. The same questions will be used to compare the sites. Students will complete each question on the "What Do You Think?" sheet as the teacher reads it to them.
This evaluation worksheet contained the following questions. Each question was followed by happy faces either smiling, having no expression (straight line) or frowning. The students were to fill in how they felt about each site. The final question could be done by class discussion or as a writing activity.

Evaluation Questions

Was the site fun to look at?

Was the site easy to use?

Would you visit the site again?

What did you like best about this site?

NOTE: As part of this lesson, I used the computer program, Inspiration. More information about this program can be found at