# Thesaurus Activities for Kids

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Students need to have thesaurus skills, so why not teach them with fun games and activities? This lesson describes activities students can do independently, in small and whole groups to reinforce thesaurus skills.

## Expanding Students' Vocabulary

Some of us are naturally word lovers. We can easily think of a word when we need to and have a pretty fluid vocabulary. Many of us, though, need a boost every now and then to think of more creative ways to express ourselves in writing and speech. Luckily, there's a tool for that!

The thesaurus is an easy and reliable way to expand our vocabulary and help find creative and engaging ways to speak and write. Teaching students how to use a thesaurus can be fun with the use of activities on general and specific skills. Take a look.

## I Spy Identify

#### Setting

Teach as a whole group; then allow students to play in pairs or small groups

• Thesaurus
• Paper
• Pencils

#### Instructions for Whole-Class Activity

1. Model this activity for the whole class; then allow students to play with a partner or small group afterwards.
2. Have half the students in the class leave the room or hide their eyes and ears while the other half works with you.
3. Like the game 'I Spy,' find a secret object in the room, such as the pencil sharpener.
4. With students, brainstorm a list of words to describe the object, such as 'brown' and 'loud.'
5. Now use the thesaurus to find alternate words for these descriptors and record.
6. Invite the other students in the class and begin describing the object with the thesaurus words, one at a time, until the students are able to guess the object.
7. Practice again by switching groups, then divide students into partner pairs or small groups to play.

#### Extensions

• Make a word list for each object and hang around the classroom nearby.
• Challenge students to find two or three-syllable words and/or descriptors for each sense.

## Guess Who?

Whole group

Thesaurus

#### Instructions

1. Have each student think of five words that describe them, such as 'shy,' 'silly,' 'smart,' 'fun' and 'athletic.'
2. Once the original list is written, have students use their thesaurus to find alternative words and record.
3. Collect lists and read aloud, allowing classmates to guess who each student is.

#### Extensions

• Have students trace and cut their bodies on butcher-block paper and decorate.
• Record descriptive words on the life-sized paper students and hang in the hallway outside your classroom.

## Opposites Attract

#### Setting

Whole group or small group

• Index cards
• Thesaurus
• Markers

#### Instructions

1. Give each student a thesaurus and instruct them to find a word with an antonym and record on paper. Model where to find this in your thesaurus.
2. Check words and then have students record each word and its antonym on a separate index card.
3. Collect the cards and mix them.
4. Now place an index card face down on each student's desk.
5. On your go, have students look at their card; then go find their antonym partner.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

### Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

### Unlock Your Education

#### See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

##### Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com

### Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

### Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!

Support