This username and password
combination was not found.

Please try again.

Hotchalk Global

view a plan

Ten Important Words – Vocabulary Building Study Strategy About Chinese Dynasties


Social Studies  



Title – Ten Important Words
By – Susan Finnerty
Primary Subject – Social Studies
Grade Level – 3

Note from Even if your class uses a different textbook or is studying a different topic, this idea to “find ten important words” is a great strategy for teaching study skills.

Teaching Point:

Students will be able to explain what a dynasty is, identify the two major dynasties that ruled China, and discuss China’s inventions and achievements.

Materials Needed:

  • The text to be used for this lesson is the students’ Social Studies textbook, World Communities Now and Long Ago, by Herman J. Viola, Dr. Sarah Witham Bednarz, et al., Houghton Mifflin, New York City, pages 112-113.
  • Students will write on post-its (10 each) and in their notebooks.
  • Chart paper, a marker, and the students’ post-its will be used to create a bar graph.

Grouping Options:

  • The lesson will begin with students at their desks, so that they can read the assigned textbooks pages and write words on their post-its.
  • Once they are finished reading, students will move to the meeting area where we will work in whole-group configuration.
  • Finally, students will move back to their desks to write a summary of the two pages they have read in their notebooks.


“Last week, you learned about China’s land and economy. You learned that:

  • China has many resources such as coal and iron ore (mineral resources), the sea for fishing and rich soil for farming
  • China’s rivers are used for irrigation, or bringing water to dry places
  • China was a command economy from 1950 through 1970, meaning the government decided what to make and who will make it, and that
  • China exports, or sends out, electrical machines, clothing, shoes, and toys to other countries, and imports, or takes in, chemical and fuel from other countries.”


“Today, you’re going to learn what a dynasty is, the names of the two major dynasties that ruled China, and some of China’s inventions and achievements. You’re going to do this by reading your textbook and doing an activity called Ten Important Words. Watch me as I model how it works for you.”

[Read aloud the first paragraph of page 112, write one or two important words on post-its, and stick them to the edge of the page near where you found the word.” “Think aloud” while you do this.]

Active Involvement (Guided Engagement):

“Now it’s your turn.

  • Read the next paragraph on page 112.
  • Write down one word that you think is important.
  • Then share your word with the person sitting next to you. [Three students will share the words they’ve chosen.]

Link (Independent Engagement):

“Now you’re going to give it a try.

  • You will be given 10 post-its each, one post-it for each word.
  • You will read page 113 in your Social Studies textbook.
  • As you read, look for important words that connect to China’s inventions and achievements.
  • When you find an important word, write it on a post-it.
  • Stick the important word post-it on the textbook page edge, near where you’ve found the word.
  • When you have your ten words, bring your textbook with the attached post-its to the meeting area.”


As a group, build a group bar graph of the important words that students have chosen.

  • The teacher asks students to share a word and to share why they have chosen that word.
  • The teacher then writes the word on chart paper.
  • Finally, the teacher asks all students who have chosen that word to come up and paste their word on the chart paper to build the graph.

Questions teacher asks:

  • What does the word mean that you have chosen?
  • Why do you think this word is important?
  • Which words did most students choose?
  • Why do you think these words were chosen by so many students?
  • Which words did few students choose?
  • Why were these words chosen by so few students?


Following the discussion, each student will write in their notebooks a one to two sentence summary of what they have read.


  • Students will be assessed through the words they have chosen and the reasoning behind their choices.
  • They will also be assessed through the examination of the summaries they have written in their notebooks.

E-Mail Susan Finnerty!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email