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Denotation and Connotation for Better Word Choice: A Week of Bell Ringers

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This lesson is designed to help students build knowledge about the shades of differences in the meaning of words. Just a few changes in word choice in student writing can have a huge impact on the quality of their essays.
This lesson can be taught by you or a substitute in one to two class periods, but I planned it to be taught as mini-lessons every day for a week. This allows students to absorb the concept and use it in several ways over a longer time period. In this way, the knowledge should stay with them. I intended these activities to be used first thing in class every day as a bell-ringer activity. They are straight-forward and simple so that students can absorb the basic concepts easily.
I think having all the little pieces in place such as knowing when to a certain word is essential to strong, unambiguous writing. So, no matter what the age of your students, they can benefit from this lesson.

This lesson contains:
• All teacher instructions
• Handout and worksheet, “Recognizing the Denotation and Connotation of Words” with KEY
• Handout and worksheet, “Connotation and the Mood It Conveys” with KEY
• Activity, “Definitions and Uses of Denotation and Connotation” with KEY
• Student Writing “Using Denotation and Connotation for Good Word Choice”
• “Quiz over Denotation and Connotation” with KEY

Have fun encouraging students to use better word choice to write better essays.

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Elyse Allen




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