Determining the Meaning of Unknown Words and Phrases in Nonfiction Text RI 2.4

Hello friends!  I am sharing today how I teach students to determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases in a nonfiction text relevant to a grade 2 topic or subject area.  Did you know that students need to be able to understand upwards of 95% of the meaning of words in a text to comprehend that text?  That's a lot!  We know that when our students are independently reading a nonfiction text, they are going to encounter unknown words.  They need the tools and strategies in their tool belts to be able to determine the meaning of those unknown words.  Today, I will share some strategies that I teach my students to tackle those unknown words in nonfiction text.

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Determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases strategies, posters, and activities.


This standard is perfect for integrating your science or social studies standards.  In Tennessee, we have a second grade science standard in which students need to be able to classify animals based on their physical characteristics.  So I pulled these two books, Let's Classify Animals and Animal Classification.  I wanted to expose them to two different texts, so that they could get that extra practice of determining the meaning of unknown words and phrases.

Determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases strategies, posters, and activities.

You will find in the lesson plans below that I spent two days on one text and three on the other text.  I always do a mini-lesson before the read aloud for the day, in which I teach the strategy or skill that we will be practicing that day.  I didn't want to overwhelm them with too many strategies, so I only taught two during this unit.  As far as my lesson plans go, I also include text-dependent questions (on sticky notes, too) and an after reading daily task, including an exit ticket.  The questions focus on key ideas and details, craft and structure, and integration of knowledge and ideas for that text.

Determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases strategies, posters, and activities.

Determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases strategies, posters, and activities.


This is the anchor chart I use throughout the week.  I wanted them to look at the strategy like a puzzle.  You have to have all the pieces in order to determine the meaning of the unknown word.  You can laminate this so that you can use it throughout the week for different words or phrases.


Determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases strategies, posters, and activities.

Here's a little peek at the vocabulary words from the unit.  I always explicitly teach these on day one, and then go over each day of the unit.  

Determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases strategies, posters, and activities.

Here are the strategies that I teach students.  I made these posters for students to reference throughout the week.

Determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases strategies, posters, and activities.


Let's talk about the strategies I focused on.  The first one is called, "Look Around."  If you are a Hamilton fan, you can sing this strategy!  Lol!  It's from the song, The Schuyler Sisters.  Usually authors of a nonfiction text will stick the meaning of an important word around it.  You have to "look around" for the meaning or for clues to the meaning.

The other strategy I use is called, "Text Features to the Rescue!"  We have already learned about text features, so they know how to use them.  Often times, there will be clues or the meaning of the word in the text features, such as in the glossary, a photo, a label, or a caption.

Determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases strategies, posters, and activities.

I also like to always include a craft or directed drawing, so students can make these magnifying glasses.  I forgot to mention that I told students at the beginning of the week that they were going to be scientific word detectives.  You could even give them magnifying glasses to use all week.  In this craft, they have to classify and sort animals.

I also use these slides to guide my instruction during all of my lessons.  They are in Google Slides TM, so you can assign them to students you may be distance learners.  If you are using these in the classroom, I find it helpful to download them in PowerPoint to my desktop for easy access each day.

Determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases strategies, posters, and digital activities.

Determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases strategies, posters, and digital activities.

Determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases strategies, posters, and digital activities.

These are all in my TPT store and sold separately or in bundles.  I will link each on the images above and below.  Thank you so much for reading about how I teach students to determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases!  I hope it was helpful!

Determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases strategies, posters, and digital activities.

Determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases strategies, posters, and digital activities.

Bundles:

Determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases strategies, posters, and digital activities.


Determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases strategies, posters, and digital activities.









 

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