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Caitlin Nicosia

EDUC 359
2 November 2016
Vocabulary Lesson Reflection
The two words that I choose for my vocabulary lesson were pother and caitiff,
both antiquated words that my peers were unfamiliar with. Pother means to cause a fuss
or commotion and caitiff is an adjective that means cowardly. These definitions came
from Merriam Webster dictionary online. The objective of my lesson was to have my
students have a rich, decontextualized, knowledge of these obsolete words. When I asked
my students if they had any conceptual idea of what these words could possibly mean but
they had absolutely no idea. I progressed to giving the students a chance to reason the
meaning for themselves by offering scaffolding instruction by giving them an sentence
with pother and caitiff in them and using appropriate pictures. The sentence I used for
caitiff was one I made on my up on my own; Whom is the caitiff knight running from
the battle? The students at first guessed that the word meant dark or evil but then I asked
the question what kind of knight runs from a battle? Knights are characterized in fiction
and in history as the heroes and from that they garnered that the knight was a cowardly
knight. From understanding that they gleamed that caitiff meant cowardly. Students were
able to use caitiff in sentences when prompted to.
A similar process of instruction was used to define the word pother. The
sentence I used was that the students caused a pother in the classroom when they
knocked over the book shelf and caused a commotion. Due to the fact that pother was a
verb there was pictures easily available to use. As I said the sentence I swiveled my

laptop screen around to display the picture. The students were quick to gather the
understanding of pother.
I would proudly say I achieved my objective. The students who had no idea or
guesses as to what pother or caitiff could possibly mean could at the end of my short
teaching instruction state the definition and use it properly in a sentence. I used direct
instruction and used visuals as my resources for my students. I think this lesson is a
practice in patience and scaffolding. When I have ELL students in my classroom I will be
patient and offer various means to get to the answer and that students need authentic
practice with vocabulary words to make them their own.