Vocabulary Skills: Connotations and Denotations

6th - 8th
2546 Downloads

Clarify connotation and denotation with a worksheet in which middle schoolers compare six pairs of similar words to distinguish positive from negative connotations. A second sheet provides fun practice with a vocabulary word bank of multi-syllabic adjectives; learners substitute the correct word for the word bamboozled in 14 sample sentences. Addresses the Craft and Structure anchor standard of the Common Core.

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Express Yourself Lesson Seed 2

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.

Connotation and Denotation: How Word Choice Affects a Paragraph

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.

Building Vocabulary: Touching Spirit Bear 

Two activities are provided for you here as you start to read Touching Spirit Bear with your class. First, introduce them to some of the new vocabulary they'll encounter once they start reading. Then, complete two KWHL charts. For the first, the focus is on Alaska. On the second chart, they focus on Native Americans. 

Word Maps Teaching Ideas

In this literacy learning exercise, students are given a graphic organizer to complete or are presented it as part of the lesson developed from using this sheet.

Connotation and Denotation:

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.

Vocabulary and Concept Development 

After introducing your class to root words and affixes, present them with this short review and practice opportunity. To start, they share definitions of root words and affixes with their partners. Then, after looking at some affixes and Greek and Latin root words, provide them with the development opportunity on the presentation's last eight slides. 

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Therefore! However! Furthermore! Explore the power of transition words and phrases. Signal your readers by suggesting the relationship between different thoughts or points. Help them demonstrate an understanding of word relationships. 

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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.

What's in a Name?

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.

Words 'R' Us

Word relationships, connotation, and denotation are the focus of an activity to teach the use of a thesaurus. Scholars seek out vocabulary words to replace common starter words; they use the new vocabulary words to write three grammatically correct sentences that demonstrate the different connotations of each.

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