Monday, February 24, 2014

Frog and Toad: Synonyms

Last week we used Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad Are Friends to take a closer look at punctuating dialogue. This week, let's use it to experiment with synonyms.
Frog ran up the path to Toad's house.
That's the first sentence of the first chapter.

Let's replace a few of the words and observe the shades of meaning.

  • Frog dashed up the sidewalk to Toad's cottage.
  • Frog scurried up the trail to Toad's cabin.
  • Frog scampered up the walkway to Toad's abode.

How about another one?
He knocked on the front door.

  • He banged on the front door.
  • He tapped on the front door.
  • He rapped on the front door.

With your students, start with Frog and Toad Are Friends or another easy reader. Find sentences to remodel several times, giving your kids the chance to pull from the deep well of vocabulary in their heads. If necessary, dip into a thesaurus. Compare the new sentences with the original one. What effect do the new words have on the sentence? Which sentence gives the clearest image?

For an added challenge, retell a chapter from the book, replacing as many words as possible.

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