Thesaurus Activities & Games

Instructor: Tara Schofield
Learning to use a thesaurus gives students a chance to expand their vocabulary and enhance their communication skills. Use the activities and games in this lesson to give your students experience in using a thesaurus and identifying synonyms and antonyms.

Games and Activities

Helping your students learn how to effectively use a thesaurus and understand synonyms and antonyms will help your students have greater variety in their word choices while also keeping their writing interesting. This lesson helps you teach the value of expanding and varying language. There are five exercises that give students a chance to understand how to use a thesaurus and practice exchanging words and phrases. Depending on the size of your class, you may want to break up the class into groups to do some of the exercises. Some of the activities, such as crosswords, are appropriate for students to do individually or in small groups.

Find and Replace

Select a book or section from a book and prepare a hand-out for the students. On the hand-out, type the text of the story, selecting words or phrases that can be replaced by synonyms. When typing the story, put the words in parenthesis to identify which words your students will replace. Leave a line or space for students to write. Encourage the students to use their thesaurus to find a replacement for those words that were originally eliminated. Students will have a chance to try different options and determine if the words are appropriate or can be replaced for something more appropriate. Depending on the size of your class, invite each student or select a few individuals to share their completed stories.

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