Cluster 3: Vocabulary Acquisition and UseArchived

General Information
Number: LAFS.4.L.3
Title: Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
Type: Cluster
Subject: English Language Arts - Archived
Grade: 4
Strand: Language Standards

Related Standards

This cluster includes the following benchmarks.

Related Access Points

This cluster includes the following access points.

Access Points

LAFS.4.L.3.AP.4a
Use context to determine the meaning of unknown or multiple-meaning words, or words showing shades of meaning.
LAFS.4.L.3.AP.4b
Use common grade-appropriate roots and affixes as clues to the meaning of a word.
LAFS.4.L.3.AP.4c
Use a glossary, dictionary or thesaurus to determine the meaning of a word.
LAFS.4.L.3.AP.5a
Relate words to their opposites (antonyms).
LAFS.4.L.3.AP.5b
Relate words to words with similar but not identical meanings (synonyms).
LAFS.4.L.3.AP.5c
Identify simple similes in context.
LAFS.4.L.3.AP.5d
Identify simple metaphors in context.
LAFS.4.L.3.AP.5e
Identify the meaning of common idioms.
LAFS.4.L.3.AP.6a
Use general academic and domain-specific words and phrases accurately.
LAFS.4.L.3.AP.6b
Use grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific vocabulary accurately within writing.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this topic.

Lesson Plans

What Did You Say Happened to the Everglades?:

In this lesson, students will conduct a close reading of an informational article about pythons in the Everglades. Students will use a variety of strategies to determine the meaning of selected academic words in context, and they will sort selected tier 3 words into categories and examine the relationships between words in a category. Students will also answer text-dependent questions about the article and identify and describe the cause/effect structure used throughout the article. Students will complete an informational paragraph about the events that are occurring in the Everglades using text evidence to support their ideas. Graphic organizers, answer keys, and a writing rubric have been provided with the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

How Important is the Amazon Rainforest?:

In this lesson, students will conduct a close reading of an informational article about the destruction of the Amazon rain forest. Students will use a variety of strategies to determine the meaning of selected academic words in context, and they will sort selected tier 3 words into categories and examine the relationships between words in a category. Students will also answer text-dependent questions about the article and identify and describe the cause/effect structure used throughout the article. Students will write an informational paragraph about the events that are occurring in the Amazon rain forest. Graphic organizers, answer keys, and a writing rubric have been provided with the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Tree that Saved the Day!:

In this lesson, students will conduct a close reading of an informational picture book about a community in Africa that is saved by the planting of mangrove trees. Students will use a variety of strategies to determine the meaning of selected academic words in context. Students will also answer text-dependent questions about the book and identify and describe the cause/effect structure used throughout the book. Graphic organizers, answer keys, and a writing rubric have been provided with the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading: Phineas L. MacGuire Gets Slimed:

This is a close reading lesson on Chapter 1 of Phineas L. MacGuire Gets Slimed by Frances O'Roark Dowell. It includes graphic organizers, a writing prompt, and a rubric. Students will use context clues to discover the meaning of unknown words, answer text-dependent questions, complete a character analysis, and write an opinion piece.

Type: Lesson Plan

Aesop's Fable "The Lost Wig":

This close reading lesson on Aesop's Fable "The Lost Wig" will introduce students to Socratic Seminar. Students will have the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions in an open discussion, as well as hear the thoughts and opinions of their peers. Students will work together in cooperative pairs to determine the theme and moral of "The Lost Wig." They will also have the opportunity to change the ending of "The Lost Wig" and create a new moral.

Type: Lesson Plan

Lead Me Into Exciting Writing!:

In this lesson students will learn how to create "leads" for narrative writing using fairy tales as the springboard.

Type: Lesson Plan

Using Idioms to Explain the Plot and to Predict Future Events :

In this lesson, students will use idioms to explain a plot and predict what will happen next in a story. The featured text for this lesson is the book In a Pickle and Other Funny Idioms by Marvin Terba. There are also two practice passages provided with the resource.

Type: Lesson Plan

IMAGERY THROUGH THE EYES OF THE OWL MOON BY JANE YOLEN:

This lesson incorporates the use of the book Owl Moon by Jane Yolen to help scaffold student skills by enriching their writing with descriptive words, metaphors, similes, and imagery. Teachers can use the shades of meaning within the text to help students understand the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the story. The book is full of beautiful descriptive passages that stand as excellent exemplars of how a simple scene can be brought to life with the addition of figurative language. In the end of lesson assessment, students will create their own vivid story while writing from their own experience.

Type: Lesson Plan

Owl Moon: Similies and Metaphors:

In this lesson, students will be able to identify similes and metaphors within a piece of literature. Students will be able to determine the literal meaning of similes and metaphors and also develop their own non-literal meaning. The students will be able to then use their understanding of similes and metaphors to apply them to their own narrative writing.

Type: Lesson Plan

Incredible Idioms:

In this lesson, students will listen to and read literature where figurative language (specifically idioms) are used to convey meaning and enhance writing. Students will have opportunities to explore and discuss idioms, in addition to applying their understanding of idioms by incorporating idioms in their own writing. Students will work in groups, individually, and with direct instruction from the teacher to gain a better understanding of idioms and how they are used in literature.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading Exemplar: "The Making of a Scientist":

The goal of this two to three day exemplar is to give students the opportunity to use the reading and writing habits they've been practicing on a regular basis to absorb deep lessons from Richard Feynman's recollections of interactions with his father. By reading and rereading the passage closely, and focusing their reading through a series of questions and discussion about the text, students will identify how and why Feynman started to look at the world through the eyes of a scientist. When combined with writing about the passage, students will discover how much they can learn from a memoir.

Type: Lesson Plan

Figurative Language: Interpretation of Similes and Metaphors:

In this resource, students will interpret the meanings of poems using similes and metaphors. The featured resource in the teacher modeling and guided practice sections utilize the text Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes edited by David Roessel and Arnold Rampersad. The poem (not a Langston Hughes poem) for the independent practice is provided with the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Idioms...Let's "Figure" them out!:

In this lesson students will be introduced to commonly used idioms and their meanings. Students will have the opportunity to listen to idioms used in short stories and recognize how they add meaning to the text. Students will be given time to work in small groups and discuss idioms found in stories they will read with one another. Students will also have the opportunity to work individually to create illustrations that depict both the literal meaning and the figurative meaning of the idiom of their choice.

Type: Lesson Plan

Recycle This!:

Students will learn about recycling renewable and nonrenewable resources while completing a model eliciting activity in which they help Sunshine School District to decide which material to start their recycling program with.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Student Center Activities

Vocabulary: Homograph Hitch:

In this activity, students will identify the meanings of homographs by playing a matching game.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Rooting for Meaning!:

In this activity, students will identify the meaning of roots while playing a match game. As an extension activity, students will use roots to create words. 

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Affix Game:

In this activity, students will make words containing affixes and use them in a sentence to show meaning while playing an affix game.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Make it Meaningful:

In this activity, students will determine and record the meanings of words with affixes. They will then sort them by affix meaning.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Spin Sort:

In this activity, students will identify and sort contractions, synonyms, antonyms, abbreviations, homophones, and homographs.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Word Dissect:

In this activity, students will segment words into base words and affixes to determine the meaning.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Meaningful Affixes:

In this activity, students will make words to match meanings by combining base words and affixes.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Affix Concentration:

In this activity, students will match affixes to their meanings by playing a memory game.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Homophone Puzzle:

In this activity, students will write homophones in a crossword puzzle by using meaning clues.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Homophone Go Fish:

In this activity, students will match homophones with their meanings by playing a card game.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Homograph Hoorah!:

In this activity, students will read two meanings and write the matching homograph.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Antonym Concentration:

In this activity, students will match antonyms by playing a memory game.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Antonym Dominoes:

In this activity, students will identify antonyms by playing a domino game.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Synonym-Antonym Connections:

In this activity, students will identify synonyms and antonyms.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Synonym Bingo!:

In this activity, students will identify synonyms by playing a bingo-like game.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: All For One:

In this activity, students will produce the multiple meanings of words and use the words in sentences that demonstrate understanding of the multiple meanings.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Analogy Soccer:

In this activity, students will identify words to complete analogies.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Ask-A-Word:

In this activity, students will demonstrate a deeper understanding of the meaning of words by completing a questionnaire.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Category Clues:

In this activity, students will produce category labels for related words to demonstrate understanding of their shared attributes/meanings.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Category Creations:

In this activity, students will produce categories and corresponding words. As an adaptation to this activity, the students may sort teacher-selected words into categories and produce a category heading based on shared attributes OR produce words that belong in teacher-selected categories (based on units of study).

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Category Tag:

In this activity, students will state words that correspond to specific categories by playing a board game. NOTE: A blank game board is provided to allow teachers to create categories relevant to classroom instruction. As an extension, students may choose the word that does not belong in a set of words and name the category for the remaining words.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Choice Meanings:

In this activity, students will identify the meaning of words in context.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Cloze Encounters:

In this activity, students will choose words based on meaning to complete sentences in a cloze passage.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Compare Extraordinaire :

In this activity, students will identify similarities and differences between the meanings of words using a Venn diagram.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Context Clues:

In this activity, students will read sentences containing context clues and sort by the type of context clue.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Defining Depictions:

In this activity, students will depict words by drawing pictures that relate to their meaning.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Dictionary Cube:


In this activity, students will identify the meaning of words and word-related information using a dictionary.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Dictionary Digs:

In this activity, students will look up target words in a dictionary and record specific information.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Get a Clue!:

In this activity, students will determine the meanings of unknown words using context clues.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Getting to the Root of It:

In this activity, students will identify words with common roots and related meanings and sort them on a sorting board.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Hink Pink Think!:

In this activity, students will find Hink Pinks that correspond to meanings by playing a matching game.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Homograph Hook:

In this activity, students will match homographs with their corresponding meanings.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Homophone Hunt:

In this activity, students will choose the correct homophone to complete sentences.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Know or No:

In this activity, students will sort words based on their understanding of the words' meanings. They will then determine the meanings of the words and record them.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Looking for Meaning:

In this activity, students will determine the meanings of unknown words and rewrite sentences from text to demonstrate their understanding.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Meaning Extender:

In this activity, students will demonstrate their understanding of words by applying them to a variety of contexts.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Now Featuring:

In this activity, students will distinguish one word from another by completing an attribute analysis grid. As an adaptation to this activity, teachers may create attribute analysis grids that reflect units of study.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Oh My Word!:

In this activity, students will write simple definitions, sentences, and synonyms of words on a recording sheet.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Pun Fun:

In this activity, students will identify examples of non-literal words and phrases in text and record possible meanings.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Root-A-Word:

In this activity, students will identify and sort words containing the same root.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Root-O!:

In this activity, students will produce words containing the same root and identify their meanings.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Synonym-Antonym Creations:

In this activity, students will produce synonyms and antonyms to match targeted words.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Undercover Meanings:

In this activity, students will write simple definitions, sentences, and examples of target words in a graphic organizer.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Up With Words:

In this activity, students will produce more precise alternatives for overused words in context.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: What Do You Mean?:


In this activity, students will match words to their meanings.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Word Clues:


In this activity, students will use reference materials to develop clues about target words. They will provide the clues to a partner until the target word is identified.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Word Share:

In this activity, students will find, discuss, record, and define selected words in a text.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Word Winner:

In this activity, students will use strategies to identify the meanings of unknown words in context.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Word-by-Word:

In this activity, students will show the relationship among words by placing them on a continuum.

Type: Student Center Activity

Vocabulary: Worn-Out Words:

In this activity, students will produce synonyms as more precise alternatives for overused words.

Type: Student Center Activity

Teaching Ideas

Science Vocabulary Game:

Using a memory game with science vocabulary words, students will increase their understanding and retention of vocabulary words. This lesson can be modified for any vocabulary that you want to extend.

Type: Teaching Idea

Wildlife Reserve-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students will design a protected environment for an endangered animal that encourages the animal's natural behaviors and meets its physical requirements. Students will explain to their classmates why the protected environment is essential for the endangered animal.

Type: Teaching Idea

Unit/Lesson Sequences

Weathering and Erosion: A Comprehension Instructional Sequence (CIS) Lesson Plan:

This lesson plan follows the template for the Comprehension Instructional Sequence (CIS), developed to implement academic standards in English/Language Arts. This sequence scaffolds students as they read and response to complex content-area informational text. This particular lesson plan uses informational text about weathering and erosion, which ties into the 4th grade benchmark .

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Honeybee Mystery--a Comprehension Instructional Sequence Lesson Plan:

In this lesson tied to academic standards for English/Language Arts, students receive support as they read a complex informational text about honeybees. The teacher facilitates a close reading and writing a response-to-text.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

As Slippery as an Eel: An Ocean Unit Exploring Simile and Metaphor:

In this resource, students will be introduced to the concepts of simile and metaphor. Throughout guided and independent practice, they will create their own similes and metaphors inspired by pictures of ocean animals. Students will use templates to create a class book on the ocean that features similes and metaphors, along with student created illustrations, to showcase those comparisons.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Teaching Idea

Wildlife Reserve-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students will design a protected environment for an endangered animal that encourages the animal's natural behaviors and meets its physical requirements. Students will explain to their classmates why the protected environment is essential for the endangered animal.

Type: Teaching Idea