Lesson 4 of17
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Settling Down


Each vocabulary word contains the following:

  • Illustrated Opening
  • Video Definition
  • Written Defintion
  • Disucssion Topics
  • Potential Responses
  • Context
  • Building Blocks

Vocabulary How To’s

<<Insert Video Explanation Here>>

Illustrated Opening – How To

Images can be projected on a screen or shared on student devices at the beginning of class.

(Alternatively, you can draw them yourself on the dry erase board. This worked well for me to establish relationships with students, especially those that appreciate art.)

Step 1 – Create a Definition

  • Analyze
    • Tell the students to analyze the word and illustration for a set time (eg. 60 seconds).
    • Then have them write a definition based on the what they think the drawing means.

Step 2 – Refine Definition

  • Turn and Talk
    • After students create their own definition have them share it with a neighbor and discuss why each of their definitions could be correct. You can randomize this as well.

Step 3 – Class Discussion

  • Random Student
    • Use a student randomizer app, website, or classic method and call on students to share their neighbor’s definition. Follow up by asking other students what parts of that definition can you see in that drawing?
    • Continue with a few students.
  • Round Robin
    • Point to the student closest to you. Ask that student to share their neighbor’s definition. Point to to the next closest student and continue in rapid succession until all students have gone.

Step 4 – What’s the best answer?

  • Debate
    • Ask students to turn to their neighbors and ask them to discuss the best answer they heard and the one they think is the most likely to be correct.
    • Have a student from each group share with the class. Open up to debate if the students disagree.

Step 5 – What’s the video definition?

  • Compare
    • Watch the video definition as a class or individually and compare.

*Illustrated Opening Notes

It is doubtful you could do all of these steps with every vocabulary word. I chose words based on assessing my students understanding of topics and chose to spend more times with certain words that way. Some days I would do multiple words and just have general conversations about there meanings. Some times I would allow my students go into longer debates when they showed the interest (On broad topic vocabulary, not brick and mortar words).

Video Definitions

I try to keep my vocabulary videos on topic and as short as possible.

Written Definition

I provide a brief written definition for those without the time to watch the video or to follow along.

Discussion Topics

When necessary, I provide a few discussion topics to accompany vocabulary words that help provide relevance.

Potential Responses

When having conversations, students can ask us questions that we aren’t quite prepared for. I try to provide those scenarios that I’ve experienced and how I handled them.


Context is very important. The video definitions are defined in the context of each chapter in that particular part of history; it is not to be used outside of its lesson because it could give an incomplete understanding.

Building Blocks

Some words are often used differently at different points in time and across subject to subject and could be used as building blocks to develop future understandings. Be prepared to discuss a broader depth of understanding with many of these words by reading my notes on future uses.