Students’ age range: 14-16
Topic: Denotation and Connotation
In order to engage the students, some students will be pre – selected to participate in a mini drama piece. In this piece, a “player” will be described as being “sharp” by his friends, while he is being described as a “snake” by girls who found out his deeds. The students will be explicitly asked to keep the skit short and appropriate/clean. The remainder of the class will be asked to view the presentation and listen carefully for the adjectives being used to describe the individual.
At the end of the presentation, the students will be engaged in a discussion whereas they will be given the opportunity to share their responses based on the skit.
Further discussions will be stimulated by asking directed questions such as: Why do you think the individual was described as a player? Why was he described as being “sharp” as well as a “snake?” The students’ expected response will be framed based on their personal experiences or that of others. As such, they are expected to respond by speaking to the fact that he could woo girls easily or he had a lot of girls and he was referred to as a snake because he secretly used girls or he was sneaky and dishonest.
The students will later be asked to use their dictionaries to find the meaning/s of the words. The definitions will be written on the board.
The students will later be asked to comment on the use of the words in the skit as opposed to the dictionary meaning – why they used the words in the skit.
At this point, the students will be introduced to the terms: connotative and denotative meanings.
At this point, the students will view a video that will explain/expound on the two terms mentioned above. The students will later be asked directed questions based on the video so as to facilitate discussion. Clarifications will be made and feedback given at this point also.
The students will then be required to record relevant information in their notebooks that the teacher will provide based on the topic being explored.
The students, based on the definition of the words, will be asked to share their own examples of words that have a connotative and denotative meaning. Feedback and clarifications will be made.
At this point, the students will be given an activity that will require them to think about the following colours: white, blue, black, red and purple. For each one, the students will be required to brainstorm the ideas, moods and feelings they associate with the colours. They will also be required to keep a record of their suggestions.
b. They will also be required to think of any well – known phrases which include these colors, for example: as white as snow.
At this point, the students will be tested on their ability to group/ categorize words and/or phrases based on their connotative, denotative or neutral meaning in a table. In other words, they will state whether the words have a negative or positive or neutral meaning. Based on the students’ work, the teacher will be better able to evaluate whether they have grasp the concept and have gained an understanding of it as well.