Friday, October 2, 2015

Flipping for Fall Blog Hop

I'm so excited that fall is finally here (although a little bummed that it has rained basically every day of it so far)! There are so many fun activities that I love - apple picking, decorating pumpkins, state fair, football, hot chocolate, etc - and there are also a TON of great books that I love to read with my kids! When our group started talking about doing a mentor text hop, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. The only problem was selecting a book.

As you click through this hop, be sure to grab all of our freebies. They are forever freebies, so you can always mark them and download whenever you're ready. We will also each have a mystery word in orange somewhere on our page. Find those to enter our big giveaway at the end. The winner will receive a copy of ALL the books mentioned! Can you imagine? I wish I could enter!

Before we begin, I want to share one of my son's current favorite jokes since it at least somewhat relates to monsters and scary things:

Knock, knock!
Who's there?
Boo who?
Why are you crying?

I'm sure most of you at this point have read or at least heard of I Need My Monster. This has become one of my favorite books, especially because it works for so many ages. My 3-year-old loves the book, but I can also read it to a group of 5th graders without insulting them.

One thing I noticed about this book right off the bat was the rich vocabulary. Shortly after reading the book, I read Bringing Words to Life, Second Edition: Robust Vocabulary Instruction (and even did an entire book study that you can find here), and I knew I wanted to create a vocabulary lesson for this book. Of course, then I got pregnant and did a lot of nothing extra at all. Fast forward a little over a year, and I finally finished it!

Lesson Introduction

The great thing about this lesson is that you really don't need any special introduction. You could begin by simply reading the book or even doing a mini-lesson on another skill. I like to do a lot of activating schema (prior knowledge) at the beginning of the year, so I would just start a conversation about ideas behind monsters under the bed. As you read, there is no need to draw extra attention to the words you will work on, although you could have students take note of words that were unfamiliar to them.

Working with the Text

Day 1: Read the book, and then give students the monster vocabulary sheet to discuss each word as a class. I would recommend asking students to help you come up with simple definitions (not from a dictionary), but only IF you think they will be able to guess it. If they start getting off track, cut it off quickly and tell them what it means. This is important because you don't want to confuse students with an inaccurate definition.

Days 2-4: I have provided three activities for students to work on independently or with a partner or group. These activities all help students apply the words to their life, which is important for ownership of the words. I avoid matching and looking up definitions because they are not as meaningful

Day 5: Give the short assessment to check for student assessment. Notice that it includes some fill-in-the-blank, but it also has application questions. These will prompt the students to use the words as they apply to their own experiences.

Next step options...

If you haven't already read this book, I highly recommend checking it out! I know vocabulary is one of the major issues with my students, and this book has SO many recommendations for expanding their vocabulary. I also recommend checking out my book study. I plan on creating more lessons like this one, so be sure to follow me on Facebook, Bloglovin, and TPT for more updates.

If you missed it earlier, my mystery word is boo. Download the chart below to help you keep track of all the words as you hop through, then go on over to Andrea's blog for more freebies. Don't forget, there is a HUGE giveaway at the end that you don't want to miss!

Happy fall!

Upper Elementary (3rd - 6th Grades) Blog Hop
Vocabulary from Gay
Imagery from Erin
Inference from Jessica
Characterization from Michelle
Sequencing from Lisa
Inference from Sandy
Vocabulary from Melissa
Summarizing from Andrea
Compare & Contrast from Tara
Transitional Phrases from Chrissy
Character Traits from Selma
Author's Craft from Carla


  1. Hi Melissa,

    I Need My Monster is one of MY all time favorites! :) I love the vocabulary activities you've shared! I like the idea of having students apply the words to their own life so they are more meaningful. Thanks!
    Happy Friday!

    Collaboration Cuties

  2. What an excellent lesson, Melissa! You are so right on vocabulary lags with our kids. I love using picture books for this reason because my favorite authors do so well with weaving in such rich words. Thanks so much for the freebie! Love it!

  3. Melissa,
    In this post you give a link the a book study guide for the Bringing Words to Life :Robust Vocabulary book. When I click "here", I'm redirected to the same blog page. Is there somewhere else I can find the study guide?
    Many thanks,