The second reading activity is centered around vocabulary. Most likely, your St. Patrick’s Day text will be filled with many tier two and tier three vocabulary terms that are unfamiliar to your students. Using a graphic organizer will work well for supporting students in learning the meaning of the new terms. Requiring students to define each new word, use the word in a sentence, find a synonym for each word, and sketch a picture to represent the meaning of the word will increase understanding and help to cement newly acquired knowledge. Depending on time and ability, the vocabulary organizers can be pre-printed or student created. In addition to completing the graphic organizers, students will need an opportunity to apply their knowledge of the word meanings. That way, when it comes time to use the word in a different context, students will be successful. A quick and easy way to accomplish this is to have students write about a St. Patrick’s Day tradition they would change. Students will have a chance to work with the new words related to St. Patrick’s Day, and you won’t have to create anything additional for this lesson! Win-win!
Including a separate writing exercise is important because it gives students a chance to build upon what they have learned thus far. This can be accomplished by requiring students to apply their newly acquired knowledge about St. Patrick’s Day to something in their own lives, like having them write about one of their family traditions. Reading comprehension reaches a higher level when there’s a connection or a link. Making a text-to-self connection will reinforce learning and help to establish a stronger connection with the St. Patrick’s Day content presented in the reading.