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September 18, 2012

Thesaurus Lesson

Don't you love good picture books?  

Today I read this book to my class using the document camera.  What a wonderful invention the document camera is... being able to stick anything under it and everyone can see the pictures - no whining, no complaining... It was a picture perfect moment in my class...

Anyhow, this week we are supposed to focus on using a Thesaurus.  Last week was using a Dictionary (that was like pulling teeth), so I expected the same type of results.  It went so much better than I could have ever dreamed.  

I read the read aloud, and afterward we discussed that sometimes we get stuck using the same words over and over... BORING!  We need to spice up our writing or else no one (mainly me) will want to read it.  We brainstormed a list of boring (overused) words on the board, and then I modeled looking up one word from the list.  

The word was "small".  

There are a lot of synonyms for "small".  

So I grabbed out index cards and on the top line I wrote "small".

Then underneath I wrote all the other words.    

I don't have a class set of Thesaurus' in my classroom, and I didn't think to email the librarian until after I had already headed to 2 different dollar stores this past weekend to pick up 17 of the student kind.  Partners shared (like they are supposed to), and they chose words that they thought were boring - some were off our list, others they were interested in.  Each took turns reading the synonyms for their partner to write down.  It was easier having them read it to their partners then trying to hold the book open and copy at the same time - though of course some needed to see the words themselves.  Sight word building you know...

We now have a huge stack of synonyms that I get to take and create a game out of.  It will be a synonym match up after I cut the boring word off the top.  I love how the students can create their own games - and they didn't even know they were doing it to begin with.

Hope you had a great day!    


  1. What a great activity! We are working on Building Our Vocabulary Muscles this week too. Think I'll add this into my lesson plans. I even have the book!

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  2. I love teaching vocabulary. I like to teach synonyms around Halloween time so the students can create tombstones for the tired worn out words. They can let them RIP. lol Here is a link to my blog post from last year with some examples:
    The kids loved the activity. I like the idea of creating a synonym matching game.

    Antoinette :)

    1. Thank you! I will definitely do this in a couple of weeks. :)


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