Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Words 'R Us

Alice Clark


Words ‘R Us activity introduces students to the use of the thesaurus. The students seek additional vocabulary words to replace “starter” words.


The student develops vocabulary by reading independently and using reference books.


-One copy of Starter Words, cut apart
-One copy of Words ‘R Us Sheet for each student
-One thesaurus for each student
-One pencil for each student


1. Copy Word Starter Sheet onto colored paper and cut into 24 separate cards.

2. Copy adequate number of Words ‘R Us sheets for each student.

3. Have a thesaurus for each student.

4. Teacher uses a white board to model listing new vocabulary words and writing sentences.


NOTE: Students should have prior knowledge of alphabetical order and guide words.

1. Teacher discusses the thesaurus purpose and organization.

2. Teacher models researching the word “teacher”, and discusses alternate word choices. (Instrucor, Educator, Guru)

3. Teacher models using the synonym of teacher in a sentence. Example: The Media Specialist at my school is not only a library skills teacher, but also a book guru!

4. Students receive one copy of the Words ‘R Us sheet, one word starter, and one pencil.

5. Teacher instructs students to copy their word starter on the appropriate location on the Words ‘R Us sheet.

6. Teacher instructs students to locate their given word in the thesaurus and locate three alternative words or synonyms and copy them on the Words ‘R Us sheet.

7. Instruct students to use the new vocabulary words to write three grammatically correct sentences.

8. Teacher monitors and assists students as necessary to complete the Words ‘R Us sheet.


NOTE: This activity only develops vocabulary by use of reference books.

Formatively assess each student’s development of new vocabulary resulting from use of the thesaurus.

Evidence: Each student completes a Words ‘R Us Sheet (See Associated File).
Once all students have completed the Words 'R Us Sheet, students share their new vocabulary words with the class for positive or corrective feedback. Students make necessary corrections until mastery is met.

Criteria: The Words ‘R Us sheet contains three new vocabulary words from each starter word and three correctly written sentences using the new vocabulary words.


1. This activity could encompass several word starters and be expanded to create well written paragraphs or short stories to incorporate the new words into their written vocabulary.

2. ESE students may work in pairs or small groups to enjoy the benefits of cooperative learning.

Attached Files

Starter Word Sheet     File Extension: pdf

Words 'R Us     File Extension: pdf

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