There’s No Place Like Tone: Using the Thesaurus to Teach Denotation and Connotation

Dear Dr. Louis,

“Quick question — I was just reviewing my notes from the webinars and remember that at one point, an online dictionary/thesaurus was referenced for the term ‘left out’ that helped students consider word choice that held the same tone or connotation. I don’t seem to have written down the resource/website. It was very easy to navigate so would love to be sure we have that noted. Can you help?” — Joan

Dear Joan,

Sure! I referenced two: and I love for many reasons. I especially like it because of its audio capability for ELL students, its multi-dimensional purposes in teaching denotation and connotation, and its visual aesthetics. The other one is Many teachers use it, and it has some super qualities: when you get there, select the <Thesaurus.> tab. You’ll see wonderful tabs that delineate the word or phrase for different denotations and connotations!

And remember, one of the greatest skills a student can develop is the understanding of tone in a reading passage. By understanding the tone of a passage, a student can explain how the concrete details and the tone conveyed by those details contribute to the overall meaning of a passage. Come to our Back-to-Basics training. There’s No Place like Tone!

Keep reading and writing!

Best regards,

Dr. Louis