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Denotation vs Connotation Lesson Plan Robert Kiyosaki in The Cashflow Quadrant states, “If you want to be a leader of people, then you need to be a master.

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Presentation on theme: "Denotation vs Connotation Lesson Plan Robert Kiyosaki in The Cashflow Quadrant states, “If you want to be a leader of people, then you need to be a master."— Presentation transcript:

1 Denotation vs Connotation Lesson Plan Robert Kiyosaki in The Cashflow Quadrant states, “If you want to be a leader of people, then you need to be a master of words.” I say, “if you’re going to be a master of words, you better choose them carefully.” Understanding denotation and connotation is an important concept in choosing the correct word. Definition of Denotation and Connotation Let’s begin with the denotation of these two words before we get to a list of words that show connotation and denotation.connotation and denotation Denotation: the strict, “dictionary” definition of a word. Connotation: the emotions attached to a word. The emotion can be either positive or negative.

2 The connotation of animals has lent metaphorical meaning to commonalities. This list of animals with its associated connotations exemplify denotation vs connotation. 1. According to denotation, a weasel is a small carnivorous mammal with short legs and elongated body and neck. According to connotation, a weasel is not to be trusted. Let’s take a look at some other animals: A snake is something to be feared for its deception. A dog connotes a shameless beggar or an ugly face. A fox is sneaky or sly. A foxy woman, however, is desired. A shark is ruthless. A predator seeks to harm innocents. 2. Not all animal metaphoric connotations are negative. A dove is gentle. A hen is motherly. A beast dominates (sometimes negative and sometimes positive). Chicks are sought after by boys of all ages (some predators, by the way). Owls are wise. Because these metaphors have become common (what if I would have written trite instead of common?), their connotative meaning is easy to recognize. This is not always the case. Animals and Connotation

3 Connotation and Denotation Lesson Plan Write two lists of words on the board–one list containing words with a negative connotation and one list of words with a positive connotation. Give the basic plot for a short story or the basic premise for a biographical article. Instruct half the students in the class to write using positive words (choose an appropriate number of words from the list). Instruct half the students in the class to write using negative words. Selected students will read their writing to the class. Do not skip the class reading and discussion. This allows students to analyze the power of words and the importance of word choicethe importance of word choice

4 Strategies for Improving Word Choice in Writing To improve strength, build muscles. To improve writing, improve word choice. Here are some tips for all the students out there to help you improve the word choices you make. There are many ways of increasing word choice: finding synonyms, taking vocabulary quizzes, learning Greek and Latin roots. Improving your word choice, however, should go beyond these traditional exercises. Choosing the right word involves knowing more words, and more importantly, knowing what you want to say. Having a clarity of purpose and a stable of words will improve writing.

5 It's Start with the Right (Write) Attitude 1.To improve writing you must improve your attitude, in this case, your attitude towards words. They formulate the basis for everything you write. In order to use the right word, you must have a sizeable word bank. The more words you possess, the more likely you'll choose the right word. Listen and read carefully. You'll be amazed at how many words people use that you don't know. Listen to and read the masters. Jot down unfamiliar words. 2.Collect words. How many vocabulary lists, root lists, and subject specific terms have you been assigned since you were in school? If you're like most students, those crumpled lists ended up in your backpack until two minutes before the quiz and in the trash can two minutes after the quiz. Keep the lists. Learn the words. You won't become a master of words overnight, but you will eventually. 3. Use a thesaurus. A thesaurus will remind you of words you already know. With a thesaurus, you can make your point with less redundancy and keep your writing fresh. Warning--make sure you know what the word means before you use it. Just because it's a synonym doesn't mean it's appropriate. A word's connotation might be offensive when you want diplomacy and vice versa. Imagine, for example, picking your date up on Friday night and telling her father that you have some really fun schemes, or some well thought out intentions or stratagems, when what you meant to say was you had some detailed plans and arrangements for the evening.

6 Make an Impression So far we've discussed the mindset necessary to improve writing by using better words. Following are specific things you can work on to improve your word choice. Make an impression. Choose concrete over abstract. Choose specific over general. He wept as he saw the torn flag amidst the rubble is better than He was sad about the ruined flag after the building was destroyed. The first sentence shows a specific action (He wept), a specific flag irregularity (torn flag), and a specific building (the rubble). It is something the reader can visualize. The second sentence tells us about an abstract state (He was sad), a flag with something wrong with it (ruined flag) and a building that no longer exists (destroyed). One is concrete and specific. The other is abstract and general. Appeal to sensory images. This is an extension of the above. Show the reader with images. Don't limit yourself to visual detail. There are four other senses that work just as well. Choose verbs. Strong verbs have a greater impact than any other part of speech. Don't just make an attempt to make your writing better. Attempt to write better.

7 Make an Impression So far we've discussed the mindset necessary to improve writing by using better words. Following are specific things you can work on to improve your word choice. Make an impression. Choose concrete over abstract. Choose specific over general. He wept as he saw the torn flag amidst the rubble is better than He was sad about the ruined flag after the building was destroyed. The first sentence shows a specific action (He wept), a specific flag irregularity (torn flag), and a specific building (the rubble). It is something the reader can visualize. The second sentence tells us about an abstract state (He was sad), a flag with something wrong with it (ruined flag) and a building that no longer exists (destroyed). One is concrete and specific. The other is abstract and general. Appeal to sensory images. This is an extension of the above. Show the reader with images. Don't limit yourself to visual detail. There are four other senses that work just as well. Choose verbs. Strong verbs have a greater impact than any other part of speech. Don't just make an attempt to make your writing better. Attempt to write better.

8 Common Word Choice Errors We've discussed the do's of good word choice. Here are some do nots. Avoid these common errors in word choice. 1. Look distrustfully on modifiers. Adjectives and adverbs often weaken when they're intended to strengthen. They often serve as clutter. Trust your verbs. Trust your nouns. When revising, treat adverbs and adjectives as you would an uninvited guest at a party. You don't have to kick all of them out, but some are just up to no good and need to go. 2. Avoid sexist language. Avoid masculine or feminine pronouns when possible. Use articles, third person plural pronouns, second person pronouns, or both the masculine and feminine pronoun to avoid sexist language. 3. Avoid fancy language. Utilizing grandiose vernacular fails to attract the average peruser of literature means using fancy words turns away readers. Choose the word that works best. That word is usually the shortest one you can find that says what you want it to. If people wanted to read Shakespeare, they'd go to the library.


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