About This Chapter
Standard: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)
About This Chapter
Students who have mastered this standard will be able to read and analyze text that is complex in meaning, structure, and word choice.
Lessons in this standard cover concepts such as:
- Using context clues to determine the meaning of a word
- Grasping connotative vs. denotative meanings
- Distinguishing between figurative and literal meanings
- Understanding tone and mood
Students demonstrate mastery of these concepts by identifying clues that are helpful in determining the meanings of words within a text. Content mastery is also evident when students incorporate literal (as well as figurative) language in their own writing.
How to Use These Lessons in Your Classroom
Here are some tips for how to use these lessons to support instruction in the CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.4 standard:
Using Context to Determine Meaning
Watch lessons on using context to determine the meaning of words. Follow the video with a fill-in-the-blank activity that, based on provided clues, students must fill in the words. When students have finished, go over the activity as a group, compare the words students chose, and discuss how much word choice affects the meaning of the text.
Connotation and Denotation
Complete a lesson on connotative and denotative definitions. Provide a few words that have rich connotations (for example: love, safety, fear), then have students brainstorm and list words that they associate with the terms. Next, look the words up in the dictionary for their denotative definitions. (Write the ideas on large paper that you can save and use for another lesson).
Mood and Tone
Using the terms and the connotative definitions brainstormed in the previous activity, discuss how words can affect mood and tone. Ask students how the words they came up with make them feel. Next, have students write a paragraph that incorporates one of the discussed terms, making sure they use the term to develop mood in the piece.
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.
2. 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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Other chapters within the Common Core ELA - Literature Grades 11-12: Standards course
- Cite Textual Evidence: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.1
- Themes & Central Ideas: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.2
- Structure of a Text:CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.5
- Point of View: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.6
- American Literature: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.9
- Literature Lessons for Grades 11-12: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.10