I hope each of you have enjoyed some rest and relaxation during your Christmas Break! I’ve had the best week with my family! We made some gingerbread houses, played a lot of games, Beckett got a haircut (without sitting on my lap!!), and we really just had a lot of fun!

I’ve also been doing a little work… AND my Hands-on Reading Vocabulary bundle is COMPLETE!!!

Today, I’m going to share with you my latest unit that is designed to provide your students with a direct hands-on approach to model and practice distinguishing shades of meaning among verbs differing in manner and adjectives differing in intensity. While direct instruction is important, this week long unit should only be used as a tool that leads to your year long discovery of words. All research points in the direction that vocabulary programs DO NOT work. That’s because the words are not meaningful and rote recognition is lost without purposeful use of words within diverse contexts.

This unit will guide your students to search for unknown words, make connections to words, distinguish shades of words,  and become strong readers! As the unit comes to an end, the goal is to guide your students daily as they become word detectives throughout their daily lives, increasing vocabulary, increasing comprehension, and becoming life long learners and readers.

The unit begins with a quick mini-lesson!

It also includes six different activities and a quick assessment.

Activity 1 – Vocabulary in a Row (Students flip over a vocabulary card and cover a word on the gameboard that represents a shade of meaning. My students LOVE playing these games! Sometimes they play as a team and sometimes they play against each other. The game is over when a row is covered!)

Activity 2 – Concentration/Memory (I included a recording sheet!)

Activity 3 – FoldOver Book (Sometimes I let my students work with partners, but this would also be a good individual activity. Students must glue the vocabulary words under each flap in order of intensity. Each set of words that are related are in the same font.

Activity 4 – Shades of Meaning Task Cards (I like to hang the cards around the room in no specific order. My students move around the classroom, and record their work on their recording sheets.)

Activity 5 – Vocabulary Timelines (This activity includes a mini-lesson and is my FAVORITE!!!

Activity 6 – Vocabulary Timeline Printable

And last but not least… This unit includes a quick assessment!

And there you have it…. You can find this unit HERE in my TpT shop!

Enjoy every last second of your break! You deserve it!



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I’m a mom, wife, first grade teacher, and curriculum designer. I love teaching and I also enjoy creating resources that engage and inspire our little learners. My goal is to save you time while providing researched based, high quality, engaging lessons and activities that can be adapted to meet the needs of ALL students. I hope you’ll stay for a while. I’m so glad you’re here.