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Activity Overview

Starting a unit or lesson with the key vocabulary that students will see in their readings or presentations aids in overall comprehension and retention. In this activity, students will create a storyboard that defines and illustrates key vocabulary related to Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia. When students define and illustrate each term, they master the application of it and retain it as part of their lexicon.

Example Vocabulary from Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky

  • Adinkra
  • Amphitheater
  • Bicep
  • Blaring
  • Citadel
  • Dislodge
  • Distortion
  • Distracted
  • Dread
  • Excruciating
  • Fiendish
  • Floundering
  • Fortress
  • Haint
  • Hefted
  • Infused
  • Obsidian
  • Precariously
  • Profound
  • Ravaged
  • Realm
  • Relic
  • Repository
  • Riveted
  • Siege
  • Sinister
  • Spectacle
  • Suppressed

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 Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky.

Student Instructions:

  1. In the title boxes, identify the key terms you have chosen.
  2. In the description boxes, write the definition of the term.
  3. Create an illustration for each term using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.

Requirements: Must have 3 terms, correct definitions, and appropriate illustrations for each that demonstrate your understanding of the words.

Lesson Plan Reference

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

Visual Vocabulary Assignment
Define, illustrate, and give an example sentence for any five vocabulary words.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
The definition is correct.
The definition is partially correct.
The definition is incorrect.
The storyboard cells clearly illustrate the meaning of the vocabulary words.
The storyboard cells relate to the meaning of the vocabulary words, but are difficult to understand.
The storyboard cells do not clearly relate to the meaning of the vocabulary words.

How To Help Students in the Application of Newly Learned Vocabulary


Introduce Word Journaling

Introduce the idea of word journaling and encourage the students to maintain a vocabulary notebook in which they can note down phrases or brief paragraphs utilizing each new word in addition to just listing them. This supports the vocabulary's usage and meaning. Students can also add little snippets of how they used a specific word in a conversation or how a specific vocabulary word inspires them to make the journal more personalized.


Use Different Strategies

Use multisensory strategies to reinforce vocabulary learning, such as mnemonics, visual aids, and physical activities. Various modalities can improve comprehension and memory and make the lecture more interesting for students.


Involve Parents and Guardians

Teachers can involve the parents or guardians of the students to push the newly learned concepts further. For instance, parents and guardians can reinforce the concepts at home by involving those vocabulary words in daily conversations or letting students watch certain informative videos under their supervision.


Assign Independent Projects

Foster and encourage creativity by assigning students interesting projects. Students can use specific vocabulary words to develop an interesting storyline or create visual vocabulary charts for selected words. Teachers can also give students a small challenge regarding these activities and best performing students can get small prizes.


Encourage Group Discussions

Divide the students into groups of 3-4 or put them into pairs and assign a few vocabulary words that students have learned recently. Ask the students in groups or pairs to find out more context of those words and then have a conversation or a discussion involving those words. Students can pick a topic that supports the context of those words and lead an interesting discussion.

Frequently Asked Questions About “Tristan Strong” Vocabulary

How can storytelling make it easier for students to learn and retain new vocabulary?

Using stories to teach vocabulary is an effective strategy that can be used in class to teach new vocabulary. To improve vocabulary learning and application, teachers can encourage students to use the words in the book to create their own stories. This will also help give more food for imagination and fuel creativity.

What are some activities that teachers can use to engage students more in vocabulary learning?

Teachers can utilize interactive exercises like role-playing, vocabulary games, and themed projects to get students interested and involved. Make the terminology engaging by relating it to actual situations and give students more time for participation and sharing their opinions.

What are some ways to use technology in vocabulary acquisition?

Make use of interactive web resources and instructional apps that concentrate on expanding vocabulary. Examine online resources for the book that include games, quizzes, and multimedia content.

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