Literacy Lesson

Literacy – Vocabulary (Tiered Approach)

Fourth Grade – 1 hour

VSOLs: 4.4 The student will expand vocabulary when reading.
e) Develop and use general and specialized vocabulary through speaking, listening, reading, and writing


  • Students will understand words have different meaning.  
  • Students will know  how to use words to express meaning.
  • Students will be able to develop their vocabularies by reading, writing, listening, and speaking.


  • Frayer Model Template
  • Amina’s Voice
  • Dictionary


  • Frayer Model Worksheets
  • Informal observation during discussion

Introduction (20 mins):

  1. Gather students around the carpet, ensuring all students have a good view of the book and teacher.
  2. Provide students who may need their own copy of the book a copy of Amina’s Voice.
  3. Briefly introduce the three tiers, providing examples of each word. Explain to students they will write down words they think belong in each tier as we read.
  4. Introduce Amina’s Voice and begin reading.
  5. While reading, stop and point out words that would fit into the various tiers. Discuss the meaning of each word and continue reading.

Main Activity (30 mins):

  1. After reading, break students into groups to discuss which words they’ve written down and which tier they placed each word in.
  2. After some discussion, introduce the Frayer Model template explaining they will be focusing on tier 2 words.
  3. Take a sample tier 2 word and model it within the Frayer Model for the class. Complete again as a class for a new tier 2 word.
  4. Break students into small groups provided Frayer model templates. Explain students will be completing the template as a group and each member will provide one tier 2 word.
  5. Remind students they can use a copy of the book as well as a dictionary to help decode their words.
  6. Provide ELL students with a translating dictionary as extra support.
  7. Informally assess students as they work

Conclusion (10 mins):

  1. Bring students together on the carpet.
  2. Ask groups to share what words they discussed and allow students to share their Frayer Model Worksheets.
  3. Host a short discussion about how they completed the template.
  4. Review the three tiers and collect templates.

Examples of tiered words from the text Amina’s Voice :