Activity Overview

Another great way to engage your students is by creating a storyboard that uses vocabulary from Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa.

In this activity, students demonstrate their understanding of vocabulary words using sentences and corresponding images. Students may be provided the vocabulary words, or they can use words that they have discovered through their reading of the text. The sentences and images validate the understanding of the word and the context that it was used in the novel.

Here are some ways to help your students find the meaning of the vocabulary words they choose:

  1. Use context clues: Sometimes you can figure out the meaning of a word by reading the sentences that come before and after the unknown word.
  2. Sometimes, the author may tell the definition of the word right in the same sentence or in the following sentence.
  3. Picture clues may help define an unknown word.
  4. Look at the unknown word and look for parts you may know. Sometimes a new ending or beginning has been added or changed.
  5. Use a dictionary or glossary.

Here is a list of a few vocabulary words commonly taught with the story and an example of a visual vocabulary board.


v. look after the coat of (a horse, dog, or other animal) by brushing and cleaning it

"'First I must groom you,' said Cowgirl Kate."


v. make (something) appear fuller and softer, typically by shaking or brushing it

“‘Will you please fluff my straw?’ Cocoa asked."


n. a quiet, gentle song sung to send a child to sleep

“‘Then I will sing you a lullaby,’ said Cocoa."

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Create a spider map that defines and illustrates new vocabulary words in Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the title boxes, identify the key terms you have chosen.
  3. In the description boxes, write the definition of the term and a sentence using the word (from the book or your own).
  4. Create an illustration for each term using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/3/4] Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.
  • [ELA-Literacy/L/2/4] Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 2 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.

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