Force students to dig deep into their vocabularies by getting rid of "very." Groups of 10 students rotate 10 word pages and attempt to add synonyms that haven't yet been used.
This packet includes 44 word pages (word list on page 2), a connotation continuum page, detailed teacher instructions, CCSS, three quotes against "very" and the YouTube clip of Dead Poets' Society.
Instead of “very tired”…
Student 1: “exhausted”
Student 2: “pooped”
Student 3: “beat”
Student 4: “fatigued”
Student 5: “wiped out”
But what will students 6 through 10 come up with?
By putting students in groups of 10 and rotating 10 pages (words), everyone gets to go first, middle, but also last. This forces students to dig really deep and go beyond the obvious.
Once each page is completed, students rotate the pages again to review their classmates' responses. Students star their favorite. This is especially important for students who struggled or got stuck. This is also a great way for teacher to informally assess students' preexisting vocabulary skills.
Lastly, groups break apart into pairs and put two sets of words on a connotation continuum. This helps students understand the idea that synonyms have different connotations.