Diction Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught history, and has an MA in Islamic law/finance. He has since founded his own financial advice firm, Newton Analytical.

Introducing your students to how diction defines our communication? Use this lesson plan to guide your instruction, making use of a video lesson on the topic, an in-class activity to demonstrate understanding, and related lessons for expanded learning.

Lesson Objectives

After this lesson, your students will be able to:

  • define key terms related to diction
  • distinguish between different styles of diction
  • re-phrase a sentence using different styles of diction, keeping the root sentiment intact


  • 35 minutes for the lesson
  • 45 minutes for the activity

Curriculum Standards


Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.


By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.

Key Terms

  • Diction
  • Context
  • Denotation
  • Connotation
  • Specific diction
  • General diction
  • Concrete diction
  • Abstract diction


  • Before starting this lesson, ask your class the following question and discuss the concept of diction with your class without naming it as such.
    • How would you determine what the best words are for a speech? What about a letter? What about a text message?
  • Tell your students that choosing your words and phrasing to match a situation is called diction.
  • Watch the lesson How Diction Influences the Style of a Speech and pause at the following timestamps in order to discuss the key points:
    • 1:05 - How does diction influence a speech? What about a piece of writing?
    • 2:34 - What is context and how does it help determine diction?
    • 3:50 - What are the four different kinds of diction and how do you determine which to use?

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