Semantics Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Sharon Linde
Teach students what semantics are, how to use them, and why they're important with the help of this lesson plan. Students will read a text lesson that explains these ideas and allows students to get busy and active in learning experiences.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'semantics'
  • compare and contrast literal and figurative language
  • describe types of semantics


1 hour


  • Copies of the lesson Semantics Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples, one for each student
  • Blank index cards
  • Prepared index cards with simple single-meaning words, such as 'dog' (one set of 10 for each small group)
  • Prepared index cards with more complex, multiple-meaning words, such as 'coast' (one set of 10 for each small group)
  • Dictionaries

Key Vocabulary

  • Semantics
  • Literal
  • Figurative

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.4

Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.5.5

Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.5.4

Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 5 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.5.4.c

Consult reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation and determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words and phrases.

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