Ch 4: Analyze Word Choice: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4

About This Chapter

Our video lessons can help your students become proficient in analyzing word choices, through this study of figurative language, tone, mood and sounds of language. Consider using our suggestions on how to incorporate these lessons into your classroom.

Standard: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.

About This Chapter

Students who have mastered this standard can understand a variety of literary terms while reading and using them in their own writing. In addition to an awareness of word choice for meaning, students will also understand that sounds of chosen words can create mood or tone, and can even help to develop characters.

Lessons in this standard include concepts such as:

  • Strategies for looking beyond literal meanings
  • Tips for spotting allusions in text
  • Ways to locate figurative language in text, along with methods for using them in personal writing
  • Understanding how to convey personal 'voice' through word choice
  • Strategies for determining mood and tone while reading

Students demonstrate mastery of this standard when reading and responding to works of literature. They also effectively use this knowledge in their own pieces of writing. Mastery of this standard supports students' college and career readiness because being able to look beyond literal meanings and clearly express themselves in speech and writing helps to make them more effective communicators.

How to Use These Lessons in Your Classroom

Here are some tips on how to use these lessons to support instruction in the CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4 standard:

Reading Strategies Lessons

Watch the lessons about metaphor and simile as a group, possibly discussing additional examples. Play a game in which students view a two-sided table, labeled 'metaphor' and 'simile', on a marker board, chart paper, or smart board. Divide the class into teams, one either naming a noun or choosing a card containing a noun. The other team brainstorms to come up with a metaphor or a simile describing that noun, posting it on the chart. Teams then switch roles.

Writing Strategies Lessons

In an activity similar to the reading strategies lesson above, students choose or are assigned nouns along with the word 'metaphor' or 'simile'. Challenge them to write a sentence using that type of figurative language.

Word Choice Strategies Lessons

After watching the video lessons pertaining to word choice, mood and tone, students read a short, familiar text selection having easily identifiable mood and tone. In small groups, students will change key words to switch the tone and mood of the piece. Specific tone and mood may be assigned per each group, or left up to the participants' choice.

7 Lessons in Chapter 4: Analyze Word Choice: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4
What Are Connotation and Denotation? - Definitions & Examples

1. What Are Connotation and Denotation? - Definitions & Examples

Discover the difference between a word's denotation and its connotation in this lesson. Explore how authors use both denotation and connotation to add layers of meaning to their work with some literary examples.

Allusion and Illusion: Definitions and Examples

2. Allusion and Illusion: Definitions and Examples

Allusions and illusions have little in common besides the fact that they sound similar. Learn the difference between the two and how allusions are an important part of literature and writing - and how to spot them in text.

What is a Metaphor? - Examples, Definition & Types

3. What is a Metaphor? - Examples, Definition & Types

Metaphors are all around you. They're the bright sparkling lights that turn plain evergreens into Christmas trees. Learn how to spot them, why writers write with them, and how to use them yourself right here.

Similes in Literature: Definition and Examples

4. Similes in Literature: Definition and Examples

Explore the simile and how, through comparison, it is used as a shorthand to say many things at once. Learn the difference between similes and metaphors, along with many examples of both.

Consonance, Assonance, and Repetition: Definitions & Examples

5. Consonance, Assonance, and Repetition: Definitions & Examples

In this lesson, explore the different ways authors repeat consonant and vowel sounds in their literary works. Learn about how writers use repeated words and phrases with well-known examples.

Impact of Word Choice on Meaning and Tone

6. Impact of Word Choice on Meaning and Tone

In this lesson, you'll learn how authors can influence the meaning and the emotional effect of a sentence just by choosing the right words or by making references and comparisons. You'll learn the appropriate literary terms along with examples for each.

Understanding Tone and Mood in a Reading Passage

7. Understanding Tone and Mood in a Reading Passage

In this lesson, we will define the literary terms tone and mood. We will then discuss how to identify each of them, as well as how to identify them in small reading passages.

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