Shades of Meaning Vocabulary Practice With the Temperature of Words

Grade Levels
2nd - 5th
Formats Included
  • PDF (29 pages)
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  1. This vocabulary bundle includes all the resources needed to teach synonyms and shades of meaning. There is a shades of meaning PowerPoint, three centers, activities, and holiday-themed activities. Purchasing these 11 resources together saves you 25%!!! What's Included in this Bundle • Shades of
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Use this shades of meaning vocabulary activity to practice word temperature or the nuances of words with different synonyms. Students will read or listen to passages and then use a thermometer to rate the intensity of vocabulary words. The thermometer lets students visually see the nuances or shades of meaning in words.


Now included as a standard in the Common Core for ELA, teaching shades of meaning will help unlock the meaning of related words. Understanding shades of meanings are important for writing and word choice. Understanding shades of meaning are important for expanding vocabulary that aids in comprehension.

This resource is intended to teach and practice the concept of shades of meaning.


Students listen to a story (included) that uses words that are synonyms but have different shades of meaning (e.g. sleep, doze, cat nap, siesta, nap, snooze). As they listen to the story, they put down a word card on the thermometer to indicate intensity (or in this case, temperature) of meaning. When done, the words will be in order from "freezing" to "boiling" on the thermometer.


--> 3 sets of words (1 State of Mind, 1 Adjective, 1 Verb)

and each set contains

★ thermometer with words including one blank page for adding your words

★ a story for each thermometer to give context

★ answer key for each story

★ large word cards for display including one blank page for adding your words

★ definition cards for each set of words, including one blank page for your use

★ page of 4 reproducible thermometers for your use

★ page of 3 reproducible word cards for your use

★ NEWLY ADDED 2 Visual Examples of Shades of Meaning using verb synonyms

This resource can be used in:

→whole class setting

→small group

→partner work

→independent work

→literacy center.

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Shades of Meaning Super Bundle

Shades of Meaning Starter Bundle


Interested in more resources for English Language Arts for:

★ character analysis

★ central message

★ point of view and perspectives

★ literature companion packs

★ literary centers

★ shades of meaning

★ commas and addresses

★ vocabulary assessments

★ narrative writing

★ ELA games


Use the CUSTOM CATEGORY Shades of Meaning to find additional resources to teach this concept.


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Total Pages
29 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
30 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Distinguish shades of meaning among related words that describe states of mind or degrees of certainty (e.g., knew, believed, suspected, heard, wondered).
Distinguish shades of meaning among closely related verbs (e.g., toss, throw, hurl) and closely related adjectives (e.g., thin, slender, skinny, scrawny).


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