DEGREES OF MEANING Created by: Heather Bates, SLP
This activity created by Heather Bates, SLP was designed as a way to target degrees of meaning among common verbs and adjectives. This activity can be used by Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade teachers to target the Common Core Standard of:
Distinguish shades of meaning among verbs describing the same general action (e.g., walk, march, strut, prance) by acting out the meanings.
Distinguish shades of meaning among verbs differing in manner (e.g., look, peek, glance, stare, glare, scowl) and adjectives differing in intensity (e.g., large, gigantic) by defining or choosing them or by acting out the meanings.
Distinguish shades of meaning among closely related verbs (e.g., toss, throw, hurl) and closely related adjectives (e.g., thin, slender, skinny, scrawny).
Distinguish shades of meaning among related words that describe states of mind or degrees of certainty (e.g., knew, believed, suspected, heard, wondered).
ACTIVITIES and SUGGESTIONS:
Copy and laminate multiple copies of the thermometer and word cards to be used in small group literacy centers. Have your students order the words from weakest in degree (green) to strongest in degree (red). Students can then write their responses on the included student recording form.
Copy and laminate the thermometer and word cards to be used for whole group instruction. Pass out the 3 (or 5) word cards to 3 (or 5) different students. Have the students come up and work collaboratively to figure out how to order the words from weakest to strongest in meaning. Place on the thermometer. Have students give a sentence or example of the word that demonstrates understanding of the word. You can have your whole class write the correct order on the student recording form if you would like.
It is suggested that K and 1st grade teachers use the thermometer with 3 spots for synonym words while 2nd and 3rd grade teachers may want to use the thermometer with 5 spots for more word choices. I have included blank word cards for you to create more word lists to meet your needs.
Keep in mind that parts of this activity are subjective in nature in that some words may be very similar in meaning and you may not be able to tell which is stronger (i.e. kind, nice). When this may happen it is acceptable for your students to have them adjacent to each other on the thermometer.
INCLUDED IN LESSON:
2 - Thermometers – one for 3 degrees of meaning words and one for 5 degrees of meaning words
36 - examples of 3 degrees of meaning words
21 - examples of 5 degrees of meaning words
Blank cards to differentiate instruction and create your own word lists
2 - Student response sheets – one for 3 degrees of meaning words and one for 5 degrees of meaning words