Vocabulary Development: Chain Reaction

TITLE: Vocabulary development…synonyms, antonyms, pre-writing warm-up

GRADE: 2 – 12


PROVIDE FOR INCLUSION – A You Question, Energizer, or Linking Strategy:

Think-pair-share: Translate this sentence into everyday words – The juvenile was loquacious when it came to rendering paradigms of graphic lexis. [Translation: The young person was talkative when it came to giving examples of descriptive words.]


Content Standard: Word analysis: vocabulary and concept development

Collaborative: Value diversity, work on tasks together, think constructively

Personal: Share ideas, increase communication skills

IDENTIFY THE STRATEGY: Chain Reaction, p. 224 (p. 255 Discovering Gifts), p 336 Engaging All…High School…)

Instead of having one student pose a question and the next answer, have students, in small groups, pass a piece of paper until all “words” are exhausted.

Directions: Have students seated in groups of four or five. Ask a question

or have a problem statement (in this case the topic is vocabulary/synonyms). Each person in the group gives his/her opinion or answer to the question. During the process, if one cannot think of anything to say, he/she can pass. The process continues around the group until they have exhausted all ideas. It is most important that when each person is speaking, the others are demonstrating attentive listening.

Example: Have students give synonyms for “walk”. The students take turns until they are out of ideas. (Your call, whether or not they use a thesaurus)

At this point, another word/topic might be used, or you may want to stop and have all groups share, while synonyms for “walk” are posted on the board and a writing assignment follows.


Content: How did this help you learn vocabulary? How will this help you in writing?

How did hearing others’ share words help you to think of more vocabulary (expand/elaborate)?

Collaborative: Which collaborative skill did you practice most/best? (value diversity, work on tasks together, think constructively)

Personal: What was your level of participation? Were you more of a listener or a speaker?

PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR APPRECIATION: Invite statements among groups and/or in the full group…Who can share a person who is a real resource when it comes to vocabulary/synonyms?

AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT: “Ticket out the door” At the end of class have each student write on a slip of paper an antonym for one of the vocabulary words used in “Chain Reaction”.


►Group Development Process (Influence)

►Cognitive Theory (making connections)

· Multiple Intelligences

►Cooperative Learning

· Constructivism

►Reflective Practice

· Authentic Assessment