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Lesson Plan: Science Specific Words

Subject:  ELA- Reading

Grade: 4

Lesson Objective: To identify the meaning of science specific words when reading about deciduous forests

Common Core StandardCCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.4- Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.




  • When you are reading about science do you ever have a hard time understanding some of the words?  (Allow the students to answer.)



  • When we read about science, social studies or math, sometimes we see words that we do not know.  Each subject has its own words that help to explain what is happening.  
  • When you come across a word that you do not know, there are a few things that you can do to figure out the word. 
  • You can ask for help.  This is a good idea when there is an adult nearby who can tell you what a word means.
  • Another thing that you can do to figure out the word is look it up. 
  • While both of those are good ways to figure out what a word means, it is important to be able to figure out a word when you are reading alone.
  • You can figure out what a word or phrase means by reading the whole sentence and figuring out what the sentence is telling us.  For example, if I read the sentence, “The cheetah runs so fast that it can sprint across the plain in less than one minute.”
  • If I didn’t know what the word “sprint” meant, I would go back and look at the rest of the sentence.  I know that the cheetah can run really fast and get across the plain in less than one minute.  What do you think sprint might mean?  (Allow the students to answer.)
  • I could figure out that sprint means run fast because the sentence talks about both running fast and how quickly the cheetah can get across the plain.
  • Always look for clues in what you are reading.  Sometimes, the word is explained in the paragraph that you are reading.
  • Now, you are going to be reading about deciduous forests.  After you have read the paragraph, you should go back and look at the underlined words.  Figure out the meaning of those words and write the meaning on the line next to the word.
  • Does anyone have any questions?



  • Who would like to share your answers?  (Allow the students to share and go over the answers.)

Written by Kimberly Greacen, Education World® Contributing Writer

Kimberly is an educator with extensive experience in curriculum writing and developing instructional materials to align with Common Core State Standards and Bloom's Taxonomy.

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