How to Teach Great November Content Vocabulary

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Not Enough Time to Teach Content Area Vocabulary

I am a first grade teacher who did not have enough time to teach content vocabulary. I was busy teaching my students how to read, do math, learn science and social studies and, oh yeah, be a good citizen and follow the rules. I was discovering more and more that I needed to find time to teach vocabulary, especially for my ESL students, so I began to create a daily routine where I would teach content vocabulary in a timely manner. Wow! What a difference it made!

Vocabulary Calendar

I start my circle time with introducing a November content vocabulary word from our calendar. I go over the definition of the word and encourage my students to find features of the words. For instance, one of the words was veteran and one of my girls pointed out that the word family -an was in the word veteran. We also clap the syllables in the word and then discussed the pattern that the calendar is building, such as the example below where you see a triangle then a square, so we will talk about that being an AB pattern. Get it here.

November Vocabulary Calendar

Vocabulary Center

My students go to a vocabulary center where they will cut out a calendar piece with the word on it and glue it to their own calendars. Then they will color the piece to go with the pattern. Next, they draw a picture or write about the word in their unit journals, or on a journal page that we have included in our November Calendar Pack. Last, they circle the November words. This is a sample of a writing that was done at the end of our Election unit.  As you can see, these content words really help the students to stay on topic when they write.

picture of student writing


Vocabulary Folder

Students keep their calendars and calendar pieces in a pocket folder. They also keep their emergent readers in there. These readers reinforce the content vocabulary words and the real photos help them to match the picture to the word. They have been especially helpful to my ELL students! They also have comprehension questions in the back of each book.

November Emergent Readers

I like to use these November emergent readers in my guided reading groups so I can see if my students are writing down the feature of the word that we discussed. We worked on the gr blend in Pilgrims. This little guy was suppose to just circle gr, however, he informed me that grim was a word, WOW! The children then write other words in the box that has the feature we discussed. On another day, we will do the questions and I encourage them to find the answers in the book so they can practice text to text. You can get these books here at our store for a discounted price.

picture of a Thanksgiving emergent reader

I also like to make a poster out of the single page that we have included and we sing the song together and the students circle all the November words.

November Content Vocabulary and Sight Words

We created a new resource where we combined these November content vocabulary words with our first Team 25 sight words in 5 November poems on Election Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Present, Thanksgiving Past, and Forces and Motion. It also includes fill in the blank/ABC order sheets, fun Thanksgiving sight word center and teacher guides! Click here to see more.
November sight word center and poems

Student Connections to Vocabulary

I wanted to share the awesome connections that my students made as they find these words in other places.
After lunch, my students wait in the hall to go to the bathroom, so here they are sitting when this student says:
This word was on November 1, and this little guy, who is also one of my ELL students said, “Look Mrs. Beckner! This is our calendar word today. I just love words Mrs. Beckner-You were right, our words are everywhere!” How cool is that:)
Well then my other students started pointing out words all through the hall.
This word was from October and the student said. “We had this word on our calendar when we talked about Christopher Columbus.”

This word was from our September Calendar.

October Calendar

These words were from our September Calendar and I just love that the kiddos are still remembering them!



I am pretty excited to see my students actively looking for their content words throughout their school day! I know they are really starting to understand these words as we continue to review them throughout the week. They see how the words for the week relate to each other. They are learning great November content vocabulary.

Boom Cards

Another way I found to reinforce these content words was using Boom Cards. They are self-checking and the kids love them!

Check out a few cards for FREE!

Our Solutions for Content Vocabulary

I was really struggling trying to find time to teach content vocabulary to my students, but over the years we have continued to add these thematic vocabulary resources  that have helped to incorporate the much needed vocabulary in a genuine way. My students are enjoying learning these words with these active learning resources.

You can get them all, plus so much more in this discounted Mega November Bundle.

November Teaching Resources

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2 thoughts on “How to Teach Great November Content Vocabulary”

  1. Duke University
    Duke University Duke University is a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina,

    1. SOL Train Learning

      Thanks! We are glad you enjoyed it!

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