I made this resource when I wanted a shades of meaning activity for my students that actually involved them first, rating the words according to intensity (from cold to hot), but also then required them to choose the most appropriate word to use given the context of the sentence in the story.
1) Students cut words and organize according to intensity. We had a class discussion.
2) Read the story and discuss which word fits best and why.
3) On white boards (or other paper) students write their own sentences with the words, making a good choice about which shade of meaning to choose.