A little advice on teaching vocabulary: Don’t interrupt a story to do it.
Introduce words before or after the reading—maybe both—but while reading the story, enjoy! Don’t make a story into some vocabulary medicine unless you want your students to dread it.
I have had seventh graders listen to a recording of Call of the Wild by Jack London. Some kids didn’t know 10-20% of the words. Yet, they loved the story. They took away what the author intended—a tale of adventure and hardship and devotion and nature.
Imagine how different that would be if we’d stopped and analyzed the meaning of each sentence—or even each paragraph or page.
But learning vocabulary gives one confidence and useful knowledge. So introduce some words before—particularly those that the reader may think they know, but get wrong. Make it clear that a character’s “bowl cut” has nothing to do with football and a person riding a “charger” is not in danger of electrical shock. (I went for years myself thinking “as was his wont” referred to what someone wanted to do.)
Have students look up words afterward when they know how the word was used—give a page number and the phrase that was used. Without context, kids will report on the shortest of the available definitions—which is preferrable to picking the first five words of the first definition. You don’t want them reporting that incubation as “the act or process of incubating.”
Remember that few people can remember more than seven new items at one time. If you can group words together, you can add more. For example, you could count stallion, charger, and steed as one item. But, generally, plan on learning a few new words each session.
Encourage use of the words. Providing sentences with blanks is OK, but then all the creative fun is yours. You save your time—and challenge your learners—by listing three or four words and asking students to use them all in one or two sentences. See what they can do with permeated, premonition and premeditation or harpy, contorted, and turmoil.
And, enjoy the sound of long and strange-sounding words. Kids love knowing them!