Requiring critical thinking and analysis-level Bloom’s Taxonomy skills, TONE can be a tricky concept for students to master. This DENOTATION, CONNOTATION, DICTION, & TONE ACTIVITY POWER POINT contains five different activities that lead students on a journey of discovering the connotative value of words and their overall impact on written texts. Activities 1 and 2 work best in small groups.
Section 1 contains the basic definitions and examples of Diction, Denotation, Connotation, Tone, and Mood.
ACTIVITY 1: DEGREE OF DIFFERENCE exposes students to the distinction between a word’s denotative and connotative definitions. In this activity, students arrange a list of synonyms in order from least to greatest. What’s the catch? The members of each group must agree on the order of the word arrangement. There are five practice slides included in this activity.
ACTIVITY 2: CONNOTATIVE INFLUENCES helps students connect emotional values to words. After a guided practice, students must assign different words in a list of synonyms an emotional value of positive, negative, or neutral. Again, group members must agree on the assigned value. There are five practice slides included in this activity. The Positive- Neutral-Negative Chart Handout is available as a separate download.
I have used these activities for several years with ninth grade students and am always pleasantly surprised at the depth of discussion and debate about the nuances of each word’s meaning!
ACTIVITY 3: COLORING WITH TONE quickly connects the emotional value of words with how diction impacts the tone of written work. Students create a few sentences using their words lists from activities 1 and 2. After swapping some of the words for other synonyms from the same lists, students reflect on how their mental image and understanding of the subject changes with each exchange of words (2 slides). In addition, students create a few sentences using choices from their word lists in order to create a specified tone. There is enough room on these two slides for students to write their sentences on a Promethean Board or Active Board.
ACTIVITY 4: IDENTIFYING TONE contains four different passages; students are asked to identify the tone of the passage and locate specific diction that supports their answers. This activity is ideal for whole-class discussion.
ACTIVITY 5: PRACTICE QUESTIONS can be used as additional practice or as an assessment. Students are asked 10 multiple choice questions about the use of specific words to create a desired tone or affect. The questions are interactive and students can click on the answers using a mouse or Promethean Board/Activ Board pen. The slide will move forward to either a “Correct” or “Incorrect” slide. Students click on the “Return” button to go back to the question slide and move forward through the Power Point.
Denotation, Connotation, Diction, & Tone Activity Power Point
by Reynolds Davidson
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License