Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Sensitive Synonyms

Bertha Stanley


The students use a variety of hands-on activities to increase their understanding of synonyms.


The student uses a variety of word structures and forms to construct meaning (for example, affixes, roots, homonyms, antonyms, synonyms, word analogies).


-Paper plates
-Index cards
-Chart paper
-American Heritage Children’s Dictionary


1. Gather materials for activities.
2. Pass out dictionaries.
3. Use four-color squares for forming cooperative learning groups.


1.Students and teacher brainstorm to construct meanings for twenty words using synonyms.

2. The teacher records twenty pairs of synonyms on a class chart.

3. Using paper plates with one synonym on each plate, students, in cooperative groups using the dictionary, find one additional synonym. Students record these on the plate which has been divided into thirds. Students cut plates into thirds and exchange with other students.

Second Lesson
4. Students exchange synonym plates with other groups and complete synonym puzzles by using the dictionary. Each group then reports the three synonyms from each puzzle plate.

5. Each cooperative learning group records the twenty pairs from the class chart on index cards. Each group plays the memory game Concentration by matching the synonym pairs.

Third Lesson
6. Play the partner game 'Following Directions' . Partners take turns giving and following directions about the synonym. For example: Write two words that mean “very big.” Answer: giant and huge (Use synonym clues from the paperplate activity)

7. Use the cards following the Go Fishing card game to match synonym pairs.


See attachment. Students should be able to match the synonyms with 80% accuracy. Those who have difficulty may need more practice.

Attached Files

This is a list of words and synonyms to be matched.     File Extension: pdf

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