In Reading Without Limits, I share an idea called Synonym Slide. Here’s an excerpt from from the book:
Sarah, a fifth grade teacher at KIPP Academy, introduced me to synonym
slide eight years ago. You can find an example in Figure 10.1. It’s a great way
to build shades of meaning of the word as well as thesaurus skills. In order
to teach synonym slide, first model how to use a thesaurus. That means
students must be able to alphabetize, skim and flip quickly, and distinguish
between synonyms and antonyms of the word. In synonym slide, students
write down five synonyms of the vocabulary word on a horizontal scale
as shown in Figure 10.1. In the middle is the kid-friendly definition you
provided to the class. The word on the far left is a non-example of the word.
The word to the far right is an extreme example of the word. Students color
code it from blue meaning Icy Cold (far left) to red meaning Hot Synonym
(far right). Students are encouraged to include words only that they’ve seen
before. They may not know the complete definition of the synonyms, which
is OK. However, they may not write words that they’ve never seen before.
Synonym slides are such a great way to incorporate higher order thinking when doing word work.
Hello Literacy shared a similar idea on her blog. Start grabbing some paint chips from your local paint store!