O. Henry's classic tale of mutual sacrifice for the sake of love is a fine piece of literature to introduce to one's scholars. Depending on the age and reading level of those scholars, this great short story can challenge scholars with examples advanced vocabulary.
Preloading vocabulary aids in scholars' comprehension by providing understanding of difficult or unfamiliar words before the scholar is reading the piece, turning stumbling blocks into paving stones.
This exercise (a companion piece with the illustrated text of The Gift of the Magi and the audio recording) offers the fifteen most challenging words from O. Henry's short story. It gives the scholars visual cues to match word to meaning: the font styles of the matching word and definition are the same. With some words, it is an obvious match; with others, discernment is more difficult. The scholars transcribe the correct definition, once found, from the back side of the page to the correct word's box in the front. The effort of searching and carrying over from front to back further solidifies the scholars' retention of the word.
Sixteen possible definitions for fifteen words/terms reduces the "elimination ease" factor. An answer key accompanies the exercise.
This exercise is a fast-paced preloading of terms and words, those which may trip up a scholar on her/his first reading of the story. It is quick and it is effective.