Denotation Teacher Resources
Find Denotation educational ideas and activities
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Review the terms denotation, connotation, diction, and mood in paragraph writing. After defining the terms, middle schoolers practice writing examples of both connotation and denotation. They complete a connotation and denotation graphic organizer and chart, and then they practice incorporating the elements using the paragraphs on the final worksheet.
Analyze layers of meaning by exploring denotation and connotation. By examining a photograph of the famously controversial Marilyn Monroe, high schoolers interpret the connotative and denotative meanings of the given information. Then they choose images of their own to analyze! This plan has learners use the Internet to find images, but consider bringing in magazines and images of your own.
Lead your class to explore, define, and explain denotations and connotations. Using Voyage™ 200 (a personal learning tool), each learner investigates and defines examples of denotation and connotation. After finding the definitions, the class discusses and compares their findings.
What's happening in this poem? Have your high schoolers participate in an activity about connotation and denotation. They apply the concept of connotation to a reading of Theodore Roethke's poem "My Papa's Waltz." Lead a discussion about author's intent focusing on diction, and have readers complete a worksheet as the class period progresses. A link to the text and worksheet is included.
Introduce your language arts class to connotation, denotation, and diction. Middle schoolers identify and differentiate between the connotative and denotative meanings of words by analyzing the fictitious sports team names. Learners discuss team names and the mental images they convey. They create logos to illustrate the connotations of team names. Look for the rest of the three-lesson unit "Three Lessons for Effective Word Choice," of which this resource is a part.
Examine and distinguish between words that have similar definitions but different connotations. Middle schoolers define connotation and denotation and participate in a "shades of meaning" contest in small groups. Groups use the Visual Thesaurus to match words that have similar definitions but different connotations.
"Can the connotation of a word or phrase create bias or prejudice?" The activities in this SMART Board lesson are directed toward this question, which will be sure to incite lots of opinions and ideas. The SMART Board file guides them through two days of lessons about connotation, denotation, and their implications. This activity would be a good way to begin a unit about prejudice, or to tie in a vocabulary lesson about word meanings.
Jump back into the 90s with Alannis Morissette's song "You Learn." After hearing the song, small groups analyze the lyrics and write an essay about a mistake they've learned from. Use the example sentences to identify the denotative and connotative meanings, and then create an inference for each example.
By collaborating on producing a product ad and slogan, learning partners demonstrate their understanding of the difference between connotative and denotative language. This week-long activity is designed to be used as an introduction to the connotative words Steinbeck uses to describe his characters in Of Mice and Men.
Define denotation and connotation for your class and read "Chocolate Cake" from Fatherhood by Bill Cosby (or look online for an audio clip). Class discussion about diction inspires playful rewriting of the text. Learners sort words with negative and positive connotations. Finally, large class groups revise the school lunch menu to have either positive or negative connotations.
Use a denotation and connotation worksheet to help middle schoolers refine their reading and writing skills. They review pairs of like terms, and then they choose the word with the more positive or negative connotation (as directed) to complete 14 sentences. An example uses the words skinny and slender to describe a female form. Which one has a positive connotation?
Middle schoolers review the definitions of connotation and denotation, and then choose words to complete eight sentences. They note whether each word has a positive, negative, or neutral connotation. For example, the first sentence encourages learners to use either left or abandoned. Which one has a negative connotation?
Eighth graders investigate the effect that connotations can have on writing. They are shown examples to build background knowledge before attempting the exercise. They finish by writing a paragraph to practice what they have learned.
In this vocabulary and word study worksheet, learners read the definition of both denotation and connotation. They read 2 paragraphs and replace underlined words from each box that have the same denotation but a different connotation. They write the answers on the lines.
Middle schoolers use this connotation and denotation worksheet to develop vocabulary skills. They take notes on the terms, study examples, and choose from pairs of words to find the more positive or negative word choice, as directed. They also select words in sample sentences that answer questions like: "Which is worth more?"; "Which is more polite?"; or "Which would you rather be called?"
Learners apply their knowledge of denotation and connotation as they respond to 10 fill-in-the-blank and multiple choice questions. They choose from a bank of five words to complete a paragraph using context clues to make the correct choice. Then they circle one of four words that has the most positive connotation.
Use Langston Hughes's poem, "Words Like Freedom," to explore the concepts of freedom and liberty. Learners read the poem, determine the theme, and use the provided graphic organizer to examine the connotative and denotative meanings of the words freedom and liberty. Close with a quick argumentative writing assignment.
Use an informative video about denotative and connotative meanings in your lesson about word choice and figurative language. The video focuses on the informational text "Girl Power" and shows sixth graders how to use word meanings to determine the author's purpose and tone. At 11 minutes long, the video might be best when broken into parts throughout a reading or writing lesson.
Study selected vocabulary terms in George Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant." A chart includes five selections, and learners must record the connotative and denotative meaning for each. A great look at using the context to define vocabulary and develop word meaning.
"Timid, scared, terrified." High school scholars examine words, their denotations and connotations, in a series of exercises that use lines from Shakespeare to explore figurative language and word relationships. Participants then demonstrate their understanding of these principles as they respond to questions on two poems by Robert Frost.