Bell Ringer

  • Today's Objective: Students will be able to distinguish between the denotation and connotation of a word.
    • With your group, brainstorm a list of all the words that you can think of that mean fat.
    • On the opposite side of the paper, organize your list into a column of words from the most positive to the most negative.

Read Aloud/Choral Reading

  • Before We Read:
  • Take a minute and look up the definition of the word corpulent on
  • “Sidekicks” by Ronald Koertge
  • Group Discussion: Where does corpulent fit on your list?

Mini Lesson

Pacing Guide Objective: R.11.11.4Students will interpret the connotative power of words

  • Define Diction!
  • Take a Look: youngster, child, kid, little one, small fry, brat, urchin, juvenile, minor.
  • Let's Practice: The person did not weigh very much. The person had brown hair and a small nose. The person wore informal clothing.
    • What words might we use to identify and describe this particularly attractive person.
    • Now write the same description for an unattractive person.
    • What if the writer had used the word tub o’ lard instead of corpulence in the poem "Sidekicks"? What other words might we substitute and how do they change the way we feel about the sidekick?
    • Share words from the homework worksheet. and a few paragraphs. What connotative words did your group use to set the tone?

Independent Reading

  • As you read independently, find an example of a sentence where the author has chosen a particularly effective word that shows the power of connotation. Write it on a sticky note. (You might want to jot down something in your journal about it too!)
  • Show Mrs. Harmon your tone chart from last week.


  • Who found a good example of connotation? Leave your sticky note with your sentence for an exit pass.