Thesaurus Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde
Use this lesson plan to help you teach your students about the thesaurus. Students will watch a video lesson that explains what a thesaurus is and how it works, then apply learning to an activity and game. Test understanding with a formative quiz.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain the use of a thesaurus
  • demonstrate how to use a thesaurus
  • describe the types of thesauri


1 hour


  • Several types of thesaurus
  • Index cards with related synonyms and antonyms, such as 'big, large, small' (one set for each partner pair)
  • Access to technology and the internet

Key Vocabulary

  • Thesaurus
  • Antonym
  • Synonym
  • Dictionary style
  • Concept style

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.8.4

Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words or phrases based on grade 8 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.8.4.c

Consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning or its part of speech.

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