The Panda Ant

article by Mina , photo by Alamy

Learning intention:

I am learning to use effective and accurate vocabulary so that I can compose technical texts.

Success criteria:

• I can describe the purpose of a glossary.
• I can define some technical vocabulary from a text.
• I can create a glossary for a text.

Recommended: Prior to the lesson, have a collection of non-fiction texts from the library. Be sure to include one with a glossary.

Read the text aloud as a class or listen to the digital recording. Ask students what type of text it is. Answers may include article, non-fiction or information text. Ask what other features can be found in a non-fiction text. Use informational texts from the library to assist if possible. Point out features such as:
- headings
- subheadings
- contents page
- index page
- photographs
- diagrams/charts/tables
- glossaries

Watch the video Informational Writing for Kids - Episode 8: Making a Glossary. Ask students the following questions:
1. What is a glossary? (An alphabetical list of important words and their definitions in an informational text.)
2. Where does the glossary usually go? (At the end of the text. Note: This is not always the case – explain to students that some glossaries are found on the same page as the word, often in boxes apart from the image and main text. If you have an example from the library, display for students.)
3. How do you decide what words to put into a glossary? (Choose words that are important and that some readers might not know.)

In pairs, students find important words in The Panda Ant that might need to be included in a glossary. Suggested words: insect, velvet, coastal, habitat, climate, nectar, pollen, poisonous, provoked, regions, scarce, colonies, invading, extinction.

Students sort their chosen words in alphabetical order and use a dictionary or online dictionary to write definitions.