Day 1: Introducing the Words

Day 1: Introducing the Words

Vocabulary - John Henry

Grades 3

Day 1: Introducing the Words

Target Words / Story Context / Student-Friendly Explanation
glimpse (p. 1) noun / The sun was trying to catch a glimpse of the new baby, John Henry. / A glimpse is a quick look at something.
scurried (p. 2) verb / John Henry laughed so loud that the sun scurried from behind the moon’s skirts and went to bed. / To scurry means to move quickly using short steps.
vanished (p.16) verb / Chips and dust were flying from the boulder so fast that John Henry vanished from sight. / To vanish means to disappear completely.
pulverized (p. 18) verb / Not only had John Henry pulverized the boulder into pebbles, he had finished building the road. / To pulverize means to crush something into a powder.
draped (p. 18) verb / The rainbow draped around John Henry like love. / To drape means to hang or loosely wrap around something.
wisdom (p. 23) noun / John Henry had a 20 pound hammer in each hand and muscles as hard as wisdom in each arm. / Wisdom includes experience, common sense and intelligence.

Day 1: Introductory Activities

Word Associations:
1. Which word or words go with our sense of sight? (glimpse, vanish)
2. Which word or words go with a kind of movement? (scurried)
3. Which word or words go with knowledge? (wisdom)
4. Which word or words go with breaking apart? (pulverized)
5. Which word or words go with covering something? (draped)
Have You Ever….? Turn and Talk and…
1. Describe a time when you’ve caught a glimpse of something you weren’t supposed to see.
2. Describe a time when someone shared some wisdom with you.
3. Describe a time when you draped something onto something else.
4. Describe something you wish would vanish into thin air.
5. Describe a time when you have seen something scurry.
6. Describe a time when you have pulverized something.
Which Would…?
1. Which person would you rather seek out for his/her wisdom….the mayor of Alexandria? or Mr. Christenson?
2. Which would you rather cover by draping something over it… old sofa? or an old bookshelf filled with books?
3. Which do you think will vanish more quickly…..a jar full of candy? or smoke coming out of a chimney?
4. Which do you think would scurry off first …..a chipmunk? or a muskrat?
5. Which would you rather catch a glimpse of…..the weather forecast for the next two months? or the names of the kids in your class for next year?
6. Which would be easier to pulverize….an Oreo cookie? or a clump of dry clay?
Engage in Conversation about Word Meanings
1. Most people think of the word pulverize as a way to destroy something. When might it be necessary? (to break down things that are going to be recycled, to grind wheat into flour, etc.)
2. Can people scurry around? What might it look like?
3. How do things vanish?
4. Who should we seek out when we need someone to share his/her wisdom? How do we pick that person?
5. How can we compare a glimpse of something to a glance or stare?
6.Why might people choose to drape a cloth over something else?

Name ______#______

John Henry by Julius Lester

1. Circle the best sentence for the word pulverize.

I watched the farmer use his tiller to pulverize the black dirt.

They needed to pulverize the cake before they decorated it with flowers.

2. Describe a time when you saw something scurry away.


Answer true (T) if the vocabulary makes sense or false (f) if it doesn’t make sense in the sentence:

3. He caught the glimpse and then threw it to his friend. ______

4. When I was looking for advice, I searched out someone who had a lot of wisdom. ______

5. The magician made the rabbit vanish during the magic trick. ______

For any answers that were false on numbers 3-5, explain why they are false.



6. Draw a sketch for the word drape. Explain what your sketch is showing.