Denotation Teacher Resources

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Students listen to a brief explanation of the meaning of denotation and connotation and engage in discussion of the word conservation incorporating both denotations and connotations of the word. They outline the consequences of our actions on the environment.
Fourth graders explore the life of the inventor of Kool-Aid to unearth concepts of a market economy. Vocabulary presented helps support the learning process.
Fourth graders conduct Internet research on George W. Norris and identify his accomplishments. They analyze their research information, list George W. Norris's character traits, and create a flipbook.
Fourth graders delve into a hunt for information on an African American activist from the state of Nebraska. Primary and secondary sources of data are utilized in this search.
Study word choice and connotation in advertising. Readers examine campaign ads, both negative and positive, from the 2006 mid-term election. They read and discuss an article and analyze a campaign of any candidate they choose. Finally, they develop storyboards for positive campaigns. With a little more prep time (check for current ads online), the resource could be easily updated to cover current election campaigns. 
Build a class synonym list and enrich your classroom vocabulary! Learners choose any word, think about what it means to them, and build synonym poems around their words. This is a great way to encourage an understanding of word connotations and relationships.
Sympathetic, sarcastic, insensitive. Clarify for your learners the ways that writers use language to reveal their purpose in writing and their attitude toward their subject. Expand upon the presentation by including additional specific examples of the terms discussed and by asking your viewers to craft their own.
Even though pennies seem to be relatively thin, stack enough of them into a single stack, and you could have quite a high stack. Enough so, that the final result can be a surprise to you as well as your class. This activity centers around using fractions, very large numbers, and unit conversions to describe length. Extensions to include scientific notation are also explored. 
Use this artistic activity in a unit about word choice or as part of your ongoing vocabulary development routine. Helpful for both narrative and informational text, the approach prompts middle schoolers to create art from words to express meaning and connotation. Engage your artistic learners by honoring their need to create beauty as part of their learning. 
A key element of literary criticism is the analysis of diction and tone. The 26 slides in this presentation model for scholars the questions to ask when forming an analysis. Loaded with examples and practice exercises, the presentation could be used with any class involved with literary criticism.
A new close reading approach is introduced as learners continue with the novel Eagle Song in the twelfth activity of this unit. This reading comprehension strategy focuses on identifying the character, setting, motivation, problem, and resolution in a text. The teacher first exposes the class to this strategy in a guided practice rereading of the Iroquois Constitution, originally covered in the previous unit. Using a graphic organizer, the class identifies the the specific elements of the writing in order to better understand its meaning. Students then work independently, rereading specific sections of Eagle Song as they practice using this new technique. Though the activity is specifically designed for this novel, the reading strategy it teaches can be applied to any text. 
Disguises and role playing are the focus of a resource that uses Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Twelfth Night, and Henry IV, Part I, to demonstrate how we all play many parts in our lives; how we all are “merely players.” The many activities ask class members to work in groups, pairs, and individually to create roles and reflect on the implications for the characters and themselves. A wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful, wonderful resource.
Designing or finding high-interest, engaging activities to extend learning opportunities can be a challenge. Whether or not you plan on using The Fantastiks, try to remember to never say no to adding this menu of activities to your curriculum library. Learners gather background information, investigate and take a stand on the controversy surround the play, design posters, sets, and brochures, respond to questions, and select an essay prompt.  Although designed for gifted learners as extensions beyond the standard curriculum, the activities could be adapted for use in any classroom and with any play. Rubrics are included for each assignment detailed in the packet. You need not be sixteen years old to enjoy these enrichment activities.
Smiling is something we may do every day and can appear benign, yet this common expression has more health benefits and psychological/physical implications than we realize! Using historical quotes, scientific studies, and a vast range of statistics, Ron Gutman demonstrates the hidden power of a smile. This would be a great way to demonstrate how using several different sources for evidence contributes to making a solid claim!
Because they have been immersed in the digital world since birth, most young people don't spend a lot of time reflecting on the immediate or future impact of the Internet. It's a high-interest topic which makes this resource all the more appealing. In it, social science classes read about and watch a video on The Internet of Things (IoT). If you are unfamiliar with this term, you're not alone. Definitions are loose, but the general idea is that the IoT includes physical objects that can digitally transfer data. It already exists, but there is a movement to expand this source of information. An example of one such device is a "smart" prescription bottle cap that keeps track of medication doses. After the class discusses the concept, controversies, and conducts additional research, they have a debate. Lastly, individuals write an evaluative essay on the potential impact of the IoT on a specific population of people. While the resource indicates that this is a 3-day lesson, I would plan for a buffer of a day or two. It includes standards, key vocabulary, a rubric, and clear instructions.
“Yea, there thou mak’st me sad and mak’st me sin/In envy that my Lord Northumberland/Should be the father to so blest a son--.” Henry IV, Part I, provides the text for a series of exercises that ask class members to examine the relationship between parents and their children in Shakespeare’s play and in their own lives. To conclude their study, individuals write an additional scene in which King Henry details his expectations for his son and Prince Hal explains how he feels about these expectations. The packet includes step-by-step instructions for the activities, worksheets, and links to video segments.
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol provides the text for a formative assessment exercise designed for middle schoolers. Patterned on the AP exam, the packet includes a treasure trove of materials including answer keys, rationales, metadata, and attributes for each question, sample essays, and scoring guides for each essay prompt. The three types of assessments included (close reading multiple choice, editing multiple choice, and essay response) are designed to build the skills of learners and give feedback to instructors. Well worth a place in your curriculum library.
Using or considering using Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God? Then this packet is a must for your curriculum library. The examination of how Hurston combines folklore and folk language to create the voice of her characters, will not only help readers comprehend the dialogue, but will also reveal her mastery of traditional literary techniques. The final assessment asks individuals to apply what they have learned about how Hurston captures the voice and culture of an African American community to her short story, "Spunk."
Expose your class to Shakespearean language with a manageable excerpt from As You Like It. A wonderfully comprehensive plan, this resource requires pupils to use higher-level thinking skills to interact with a complex text and connect literary devices to thematic meaning. Middle schoolers will examine diction, imagery, sound devices, figurative language, and more through the six provided activities.
Probability prevails in this assignment as youngsters determine the probability of finding a blue pen in a cereal box when they can come in blue, green, yellow, or red. Learners set up a simulation to determine the outcome of compound events.

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