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Activity Overview


As students read, chances are they'll encounter vocabulary they don't know. Sometimes they can guess what it means from the context, and other times they may not. Engage your students in vocabulary as they read by creating visual vocabulary boards for vocabulary from "The Gift of the Magi". Below are a few vocabulary words commonly taught with the short story.


Example "The Gift of the Magi" Vocabulary

  • magi
  • meretricious
  • truant
  • instigate
  • prosperity
  • parsimony
  • depreciate
  • envy
  • prudence
  • patent
  • sentiment
  • scrutiny
  • vanish
  • privilege
  • ardent
  • adorn
  • sacrifice

In the vocabulary board, students can choose between coming up with their use of the vocabulary word, finding the specific example from the text, or depicting the definition without words.



Template and Class Instructions

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



Student Instructions

Demonstrate your understanding of the vocabulary words in "The Gift of the Magi" by creating visualizations.


  1. Choose three vocabulary words from the story and type them in the title boxes.
  2. Find the definition in a print or online dictionary.
  3. Write a sentence that uses the vocabulary word.
  4. Illustrate the meaning of the word in the cell using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
    • Alternatively, use Photos for Class to show the meaning of the words with the search bar.

Lesson Plan Reference

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Rubric

(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)


Visual Vocabulary Assignment
Define, illustrate, and give an example sentence for any three vocabulary words.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Word 1 - Sentence
Vocabulary word is used correctly in the example sentence in both meaning and context.
The meaning of the sentence can be understood, but the vocabulary word is used awkwardly or in the wrong context.
The vocabulary word is not used correctly in the example sentence.
Word 1 - Visualization
The storyboard cell clearly illustrates the meaning of the vocabulary word.
The storyboard cell relates to the meaning of the vocabulary word, but is difficult to understand.
The storyboard cell does not clearly relate to the meaning of the vocabulary word.
Word 2 - Sentence
Vocabulary word is used correctly in the example sentence in both meaning and context.
The meaning of the sentence can be understood, but the vocabulary word is used awkwardly or in the wrong context.
The vocabulary word is not used correctly in the example sentence.
Word 2 - Visualization
The storyboard cell clearly illustrates the meaning of the vocabulary word.
The storyboard cell relates to the meaning of the vocabulary word, but is difficult to understand.
The storyboard cell does not clearly relate to the meaning of the vocabulary word.
Word 3 - Sentence
Vocabulary word is used correctly in the example sentence in both meaning and context.
The meaning of the sentence can be understood, but the vocabulary word is used awkwardly or in the wrong context.
The vocabulary word is not used correctly in the example sentence.
Word 3 - Visualization
The storyboard cell clearly illustrates the meaning of the vocabulary word.
The storyboard cell relates to the meaning of the vocabulary word, but is difficult to understand.
The storyboard cell does not clearly relate to the meaning of the vocabulary word.


How To Encourage Vocabulary Practice Outside Class

1

Ask for Parental Cooperation

Ask the parents or guardians of the students to cooperate and help students practice their vocabulary at home. Parents can use complex vocabulary words in their daily conversations with the students and encourage learning at home.

2

Assign Reading Homework

Give the students frequent reading assignments or recommend books, periodicals, or internet articles that are just a little bit more complex than their current understanding level. Encourage students to make notes of new terms and research their definitions.

3

Introduce Word Associations

Encourage your students to create word associations to aid with word retention. Retention can be improved by associating a word with a similar one, an idea, or a picture. Tell the students that word association is a fun game that they can play with their family or friends and learn new words.

4

Promote Real Life Usage

Stress the value of incorporating new vocabulary into daily speech. Encourage them to use new terminology in their conversations, writing, and discussions.

5

Individualize Learning

Permit students to select words or subjects for vocabulary drills that they are interested in. Students are more likely to recall and use words when they have a personal connection to them. Students can choose words of their own choice and perform activities of their own choice.

Frequently Asked Questions About "The Gift of the Magi" Vocabulary

What role does the term "magi" have in the narrative?

The term "magi" stresses the notion of thoughtful and unselfish gift-giving. It ties the tale to the biblical custom of offering priceless gifts as a sign of respect and affection. The word Magi also means wise men. It reflects the notion behind the thought of sacrificing one’s most precious item for the person you love. Students can find out the various interpretations of this word and its link to the bible.

How is the word "parsimony" employed in the narrative and what does it mean?

The word "parsimony" refers to a profound reluctance to spend money or use resources. It is used to depict Della and Jim's financial predicament and their difficulty in purchasing thoughtful gifts in the narrative. Ask the students to use this word in their own sentences and explain the complexity of this word.

What does the story's statement of "the unending chain of sacrifices" mean?

This statement underlines the concept that real love entails ongoing sacrifice and that love and selflessness may create a never-ending circle of giving and receiving.




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