ALEX Classroom Resource


Using Word Webs to Teach Synonyms for Commonly Used Words

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Using Word Webs to Teach Synonyms for Commonly Used Words


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Type: Lesson/Unit Plan


"I feel good." "It was nice." "That was bad." Students respond to teachers' questions with these generic descriptions all the time, leaving teachers to dig deeper to figure out what students are really trying to say. Second-language learners also struggle to use descriptive words in written and oral language and tend to overuse common words, such as good, bad, and nice, due to their lack of knowledge of specific synonyms. In this multisession lesson, word webs are used to expose students to synonyms for common words, to help students choose synonyms that are appropriate for a given context, and to encourage students to use more descriptive words in their speech and writing. Student pairs then use words from the web in a skit they present to the class.

Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 6
25 ) With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of the first three Language standards in Grades K-6.) [W.6.5]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 6
30 ) Write routinely over extended time frames, including time for research, reflection, and revision, and shorter time frames such as a single sitting or a day or two for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences. [W.6.10]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 6
31 ) Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on Grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly. [SL.6.1]

a. Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion. [SL.6.1a]

b. Follow rules for collegial discussions, set specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed. [SL.6.1b]

c. Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion. [SL.6.1c]

d. Review the key ideas expressed and demonstrate understanding of multiple perspectives through reflection and paraphrasing. [SL.6.1d]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 6
40 ) Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on Grade 6 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies. [L.6.4]

a. Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph; a word's position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase. [L.6.4a]

b. Use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., audience, auditory, audible). [L.6.4b]

c. Consult reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning or its part of speech. [L.6.4c]

d. Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary). [L.6.4d]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.6.40 - Determine the meanings of words.
ELA.AAS.6.40a - Use phrases and context clues to determine the meaning of a word or phrase.
ELA.AAS.6.40c - Use reference materials to find the pronunciation of a word or determine its meaning.
ELA.AAS.6.40d - Verify the meaning of a word or phrase by using a dictionary.

Tags: Crossword Puzzles, descriptive words, synonym, word webs
License Type: Custom Permission Type
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Author: Cassie Raulston