Teaching Vocabulary? What you need to know

Teaching Vocabulary?  

What you need to know.


Hello everyone,
I updated this post, which I wrote sometime ago.  I hope you like it!πŸ’•

As elementary teachers, we are always looking for and finding activities to teach English vocabulary to kids.  We want our students to broaden and deepen their understanding and ability when reading, speaking, listening, and writing.  
We know that when a student, especially an English Language Learner (ELL), can distinguish between the shades of meanings of related words, they are more precise and imaginative in their writing.  This is a strong and proven way to increase vocabulary.

Shades of Meaning~

Shades of meaning are the small differences among words that are related to a specific topic or idea.  The Common Core Language Standard L.5 requires students to distinguish shades of meaning among words beginning in Kindergarten and continuing through elementary grades.

Semantic Gradients~

Semantic gradients are powerful tools 

Vocabulary Graphic Organizer

to teach elementary students the differences between related words and increase their vocabulary.  This graphic organizer improves reading comprehension and works with both English Language Learners (ELL) and native English speakers.  Graphic organizers for shades of meaning offer classroom teachers and ELD teachers a vehicle to reach the needs of all students. This type of gradient helps students distinguish between the subtle nuances of the meaning of related words and broadens their understanding of connected words, polar opposites meanings, and synonyms.  Furthermore, semantic gradients show all students how to use vocabulary precisely when expressing themselves in speaking and writing.  Semantic Gradients are great graphic organizers when you are looking for synonym activities, antonym activities, or teaching English to kids!

What does a Semantic Gradient look like?

I offer a free copy of the black line of the gradient that I use in my classroom!
Semantic gradients are lists of related words that have similar meanings placed on a continuum moving from one word to its polar opposite.  It is a continuum that orders related words by degree. 
These gradients use anchor words (words and their polar opposites) at each end of the gradient.   The vocabulary words used in between gradual shift in meaning.
For example, cool and sweltering would be the anchor words for a semantic gradient of temperature words that included the following:  cool, warm, hot, roasting, and sweltering.

How do you use a Shades of Meaning graphic organizer?

β€’      Identify your 2 anchor words by choosing a word and finding its opposite. 
β€’      Find synonyms for each of those words and order them to create your word list. 
β€’      Students then order the words to create a gradient or continuum.

Vocabulary with Shades of Meanings

Let me know if you use semantic gradients or other vocabulary activities to teach shades of meanings with your students when you are teaching English to kids!  
Happy Teaching,

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