Students will read a quote from a Holocaust survivor about the meaning of words. They will examine the root causes of word connotations by examining how their experiences have caused unique understandings about connotations of words.
Part One: Students complete a homework assignment in which they select a word that has a unique meaning for them, determine the personal experiences that caused the meaning, and then determine the perspectives others have about their word.
Part Two: Students have a section to record notes on the definitions of connotation and denotation
Part Three: Students share some of their thoughts and personal experiences about the power of words with guided discussion questions.
Part Four: Students read a quote from a Holocaust survivor who explains that our language has been created by free people, and therefore, the words that free people use to describe suffering cannot describe the kind of suffering that enslaved people experience.
Students are asked to examine the meaning of the quote and practice their writing skills by both paraphrasing and summarizing the quote.
Part Five: Students are asked to turn in their Night novels to find examples of words that are "free words."
Part Six: Students write about the varying perspectives of one of the words they found in the novel and explain the implied meanings.
Part Seven: Students explain the language Elie Wiesel uses in four quotes. They view an example and then complete an activity where they must decide the synonyms of words, the denotation, and also explain the reason the word was chosen for its connotative qualities.
This is interesting and includes interesting pictures to inspire the kids into understanding diction. Definitely a common core level activity for encouraging high level thinking about author's language and style.