Wednesday, July 21, 2021


(During the summer months, I like to take the A-Z Challenge and come up with words alphabetically and see how they apply to education. I think it’s a great exercise for teachers and students to give this a try.)

When I was a child, I was given a thesaurus and taught how to use it. It was so much fun. Yet, we don’t teach our students how to use a thesaurus anymore, either in print or online.

I know when students are in elementary school, we teach them about synonyms. I believe it is during this time that we introduce them to the thesaurus. I show my students a print version (they can usually be found in the library). If there are multiple copies, I put students in groups and give each group a list of words. I have them find the “best” word that is a synonym for each word. Then I will have each group share their words and then we vote on the “best” word. This is such a fun activity that the students really enjoy it.

Next, I will find a paragraph in a book and display the paragraph. I ask students to pick a word that we think would be better if we found a different word to use. Then I have them look up the word in the thesaurus and give me some choices for a better word. At first, they want to look up every word and then they find out that some words are just better as they are.

Next, I have my students write a paragraph about their favorite toy or trip. When I review the paragraphs, I underline words that I want the students to look up in the thesaurus to find a more interesting word to use. Then they will share their paragraph with a partner or the class. This activity can also be done with a poem.

Some word processing programs will have a thesaurus in the program. It is good to show students how to use one if it is available.

Do you have your students use a thesaurus in class? If so, what activities do you do? Please share.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

No comments: