This project is currently set up for use with the book Cam Jansen and the Haunted House but it can be easily adapted to use with any book or as a stand-alone synonym lesson. As with most students, particularly ESL students, mine seem to be addicted to certain words. I tried many different ways to convince them of the need to branch out and expand their vocabulary, including the traditional “Banned Words” and “Dead Words” lists. This bulletin board activity was the first thing that worked and I believe it is because it does more than remove words from their vocabulary, it provides them with immediate replacements. The extra practice using a thesaurus (yes, we used the actual book version) was very helpful for them as well. The kids had great fun creating the bulletin board and I now just point to it when I hear the same words over and over again. I even “caught” a couple of them informing their friends from other classes that certain words were boring and they could find better ones on the bulletin board.
Directions for the project, graphic organizers, and templates for the bulletin board are all included.