We have been looking at synonyms and how different mores with similar meanings can have different connotations and effects (Links with Writer’s Effect, Paper 2 IGCSE)
Today I drew ‘fat’ on the board in the middle of a line. Students looked up definitions of the following words then place them on the line depending on if they were more of less offensive than ‘fat.’
We then discussed the words and wrote them on the board, debating which were more offensive and the difference between calling a boy and a girl ‘brawny.’
Finally, the students were given these three sentences and asked to think about the different explanations and effects of each.
He was a chubby baby with a round face and blue eyes.
She was a fleshy woman with a round face and blue eyes.
He was a beefy man with a round face and blue eyes.
Connotations of words can be hard can be hard, but this pulled up a lot of good discussion around the ways different words are perceived, and the different ways men and women are treated in regards to weight and muscle. Also some laughs, such as when I asked them, ‘Why do you never hear anyone say a podgy baby needs to lose weight?’
(Word list comes from the teachit resource ‘Looking at synonyms’ it has lists for old, then, say and walk if anyone wants to do something similar but doesn’t want to use fat)
Found it! I have too many favorites, it took a while. This is a wonderful lesson to use to talk about connotation and word choice, can be adapted to a variety of popular positive or negative words, and even includes a reference to the source for more lists and information.
One of favorite favorites, this one.