208. I am going to use the wonderful tale of Rikki-tikki-tavi to teach reading to my 7th grade "redesignated" English Learners and my African American students at an inner city (Los Angeles) low-achieving school where the population is 75% Hispanic and 25% African American. What is the most effective way to teach this story that so many young people love?

ANSWER

The first and most pressing issue in teaching reading in the upper grades (4th through 8th grades), using complete works of literature instead of fragments of stories compiled in an anthology, is the issue of VOCABULARY DEVELOPMENT. Indeed, vocabulary development is the very FIRST STEP in ALL teaching since there is no point in developing a lesson based on text or reading materials that students cannot FULLY understand simply because they do not know the words in the selection.

The main goal in ALL reading lessons is 100% comprehension THE VERY FIRST TIME STUDENTS READ the materials or the selections in the lesson.  When students --BEFORE reading a selection-- have seen, heard, spoken correctly and, thus, given evidence of understanding 95-100% of the words in the reading selection, they can read the selection at the INDEPENDENT reading level. Reading at the INDEPENDENT level is the goal of ALL reading lessons.

Thus, BEFORE students read, teachers need to provide opportunities for students to see, hear with understanding, and speak correctly and in meaningful sentences the words in the reading selection. These pre-reading activities are essential for successful reading.

Teachers need to present the words in the selection categorized by meaning, provide visual images of the meaning of each word, and give opportunities to students to hear, say and use the words in meaningful situations. To help plan these essential pre-reading activities, the complete vocabulary for Rikki-tikki-tavi is here presented.

You will need to obtain pictures and/or realia to present the words; you may need to dramatize words that express sounds, movements, and qualities; you may wish to introduce the action words (verbs) and act them out. Animal books, maps of India, photos or paintings depicting life in India over 100 years ago, Indian customs, the flora and fauna in India, and many other topics will help students understand the vocabulary.

As you present the visual images you may introduce the vocabulary, or, viceversa, introduce the vocabulary organized into meaningful categories and illustrate the words in the categories with visuals, pantomime, etc.

NOW, AFTER a thorough introduction of the vocabulary, students are ready to successfully read Rikki-tikki-tavi at the INDEPENDENT reading level, with 95-100% understanding. I usually prefer to read the story to the students or to use an audio tape with the students reading silently along. THEN, you can move right up to story analysis, synthesis and evaluation, to the highest levels of critical thinking skills because you guaranteed 100% understanding the first time students heard-and-read-along the story. To end the lesson, you can show the story video, available commercially, and you will be surprised how much of the LANGUAGE in the story video the students can understand!!!! And how much they can compare, contrast the story read with the video story, and life in the story with their own lives.

Here is the vocabulary you need to introduce FIRST, all organized into meaningful categories!!!

Animals –

"Rikki-tikki-tavi"

Mongoose

"Darzee" – tailorbird

"Chuchundra" – muskrat

Cat

Weasel

"Chua" rat

Beast

Bloodhound

Snake = Cobra

"Nag"

Ferret

Mice

Bantams

Rats

Poisonous snake

Fledglings

"Nagaina"

Kangaroo

"Death"

"Karait"

Snakeling

Ants

Coppersmith

The town crier

Frog

People

Big man

Teddy

Father

Mother

companion

white men

king

queen

Alice

children

chap

sweeper

widow

Countries and Nationalities –

Indian

British

English man

North America

Southern Asia

Hindu

Brahm

Parts of Buildings

bathrooms

bungalow

Segowlee

Cantonment

wall

burrow

ditch

roadside ditch

path

garden path

cage

veranda

writing table ink

bed

nursery

pillow

rooms

summer houses

ground

hunting ground

nest rim

edges

hollow hole

bottom

gravel path

the rubbish heap

stables

veranda steps

slope

Objects –

bottle brush

cigar

ink

kerosene lamp

pillow

old books of natural history

stick

wine glasses

sluice

plaster wall

water jar

earthenware

soap dish

flesh brush

shotgun

barrels

copper pots

hammer

Food - meat

raw meat

breakfast

banana

boiled egg

dinner

full meal

Materials - cotton wool

fiber

tin

coal

copper

fastening

hook and eye

Colors - pinks

white

brownish gray

black

red

brown

blue

PARTS - fur root

tail

head hood

eyes

nose

tongue

back

front

legs

hind legs

spectacle mark

lips

fingers

thumb

shoulder

neck

ear

lap

heels

litter - brood

wing

jaws

throat

teeth

tears

whiskers

scales

shells

muscle

foot of the bush

Amounts - wisp

half

immensely

5 foot long

one third

more than ever

minute

least little movement

fraction

thoroughly

three times

faintest

half the rest

half round

TIME - summer

nightfall

night

through the night

early

someday

sooner or later

waste time

dark

afterward

daytime

one second’s purchase

the instant’s delay

EVENTS - war

flood

funeral

combat

blow

jumps

dust bath

dinner

motion

balancing to and fro

stroke

lashing

whisking tail

return stroke

to and fro

QUALITIES

restless

draggled

hardest

wild

wild creature

tame

kind

safe / safer

awful

well-brought up

carefully

splendid

grow bottlebrushy

sorrowful

miserable

rare

stiff

destructive

illegal

fierceness

lightning - quick

sharp

poisonous

ferocious

loyal

barely

horrid

cold sound

wicked

afraid

live/dead cobras

savage

torn and angry

rage

serious

quickness

wonderful

confidence

dusty

dangerous

peculiar

slow

strength

thin

well-bred

brokenhearted

scornfully

dry scratch

smooth

hatred

thickness

tight – tighter

dizzy

aching

shaken to pieces

senseless

tenderly

shed (the skin)

fair

sensible

desperately

lame

whitish - brownish - beige

cunningly

bare leg

wiser

valiant

MOVEMENTS – MOTION

balancing

stroke

lashing – return stroke

sway back and forth – to and fro

cart whipped

tumbled backward

came with a whack

OUTDOORS

long grass

bushes

half cultivated

Marshal Niel roses / Example: Cecil Brunner roses

lime tree / orange tree

clumps of bamboo

thickets of high grass

thornbush

dandelion tuft

herbs

wind / hot wind

castor-oil bushes

chamomile – (Spanish: manzanilla)

melon bed

thunderclap

stone

grass stems

IDEAS (Abstract)

advice

habits

war cry

motto - logo

noise

expression

scream

fright

curiosity

ability – (Spanish - HABILIDAD)

fierceness

harm

angle agile

advantage

custom

providence

triumph

consolation

COMPOUND NOUNS

restless

nightfall

wineglasses

brokenhearted

brickwork

bath water

moonlight

0CONTRACTIONS

Let’s -- Let us

we’ve been – we have been

isn’t – is not

don’t – do not

we’ll – we will

he’ll – he will

that’s – that is

he’s – he is

doesn’t – does not

wouldn’t – would not

you’ve probably seen – you have probably seen

H’m

won’t – will not

there’s – there is

H’sh

didn’t – did not

I’ll – I will

mustn’t – must not

you’re – you are

it’s – it is

where’s – where is

I’d – I would

Ah-h!

weren’t – were not

I’m – I am

IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS

single-handed

lose one’s senses

To be eaten up from nose to tail with _________.

make friends

good gracious

to grow _________ at the thought of it

to and fro

back and forth

business in life

bottom of his cold heart

get someone off guard

to make an end of him (to kill)

all the fuss

to make up one’s mind

to do a hard day’s work

as still as still

odds are in someone’s favor

to make the most of it

for the honor of his family

pleased with his doings (to do a hard day’s work)

Goodness!

at the top of his voice

for someone’s sake

to have a grain of sense

feather brained little fellow

to settle accounts with (to make an end of him)

to know better

quickened one’s pace

on the spur of the minute / moment

SIMILES

He sat back on his tail and hind legs like a little kangaroo

As noise as faint as that of a wasp walking on a window pane

Rikki-tikki stayed still as death

They sat stone still

She gathered herself together like a watch spring

The rustle of her tail on the matting sounded like dry leaves blown along
by the wind

Flew like an arrow down the path

Runs for her life like a whiplash flicked across a horse’s neck

CLOTHING

fastening

hook-and-eye fastening

ACTIONS:

fight fought

help helped

creeps round crept around

give gave

scratch

choose chose

fluff up

kicking

clucking (sound)

find found

cling clung

lose lost

revive revived

lie lying

drag around dragged around

take care, took

pick picked

choke choked

wrap wrapped

warm warmed

open opened

sneeze sneezed

fright frightened

look down looked down

decide decided

run ran

put put

jump jumped

snuff snuffed

climb climbed

rub rubbing

say said

pick picked

like liked

go went

feel felt

stay

spend spent

roaming

drowned

burn burnt

watch watched

light lighted

get up got up[

feed fed

attend attended

come came

bite bit bitten

ride riding rode

hope

see saw seen

lick licked

grow grew

hear heard

stitch stitched stitching

fill filled

sway swayed

cry cried

fall fell fallen

eat ate eaten

kill killed

defended

cowered

crouched

trembled

answer

hiss hissed

lift lifted

know knew known

stare staring

whizzed by

miss missed

build built

chatter

disappeared

follow

care

manage

trotted

dropped

paralyzed

remembered

beat

settled

hugged

amused

understand understood

enjoying

stayed balancing – stayed / balanced

cured

strike stroke

escape

stoop

wriggled

rocking

inherited

fly off

lashed

shouted

lunged

spring sprang sprung

rolled

stuffed

patted

petted

carried

insisted

breed

break broke broken

whimpers

cheeps

weeping

tell told

sobbed

listened

catch

crawling

steal stole

whispering

emptied

hatch

tingled

coiled

glitter

raised

waved

drink drank drunk

to battle

begin began begun

braced

battered

shaken

hold held

banged

preferred

locked

knocked

singed

shut

shake shook shaken

throw threw

mourning

chase

fluttered

cried

shrieked

piping

raced

hide hid hidden

curled

crush

chuckled

lead led

smashed

tumbled

scuttled

turned

spin spun

catch caught

gathered

headed

plunged

clenched

stick out stuck

quivered

speak spoke spoken

croaking

fainting

wake up woke up

English – Spanish COGNATES!!!!!!!!

real real

magic magia, mágico, mágica

story historia

middle medio

habits hábitos

nose nariz

front frente

use usar

bottle botella

babies bebés

funeral funeral

general general

mom mamá

attention atención

curiosity curiosidad

revive revivir

family familia

minute minuto

immensely inmenso

action acción

second segundo

sound sonido

pieces piezas

companion compañía

cobra cobra

consolation consolación

colony colonia

cultivate cultivar

animal animal

collection colección

sun sol

exactly exactamente

person persona

June junio

July julio

. . . . . . . . . . . and many more

 


For more in-depth information, classroom demonstrations, and "coaching" of new and/or experienced teachers, Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK offers:

1. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
2. Cross Cultural Diversity - Multicultural Strategies
3. Effective Instruction for English Learners (L.E.P. students) Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
4. Promoting Academic Success in Language Minority Students
5. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
6. Oral Language / Literacy Skills / Higher Order Thinking Skills
7. 50/50 Dual Language Programs: design, planning and implementation
8. The Structure of English / The Structure of Spanish
9. Transition: Introduction to English Reading

Web Site Programs for Teachers: Numbers 1, 5, 7, 8, and 9.
Web Site Programs for
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Web Site Programs for
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Enhanced Cultural Sensitivity - The Challenge of Students Diversity
Identifying / Responding to Students' Language Needs
Phonemic Awareness: Teaching English phonics to L.E.P. students
Relationship Between Reading, Writing and Spelling
Improving Reading Performance -- Building Oral Language Skills)

Write and e-mail any additional questions you may have, and Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will establish with you, your school or district a Technical Assistance Service Contract. Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will answer all your questions promptly and to your satisfaction.

 

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