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Writing: Word Choice

Synonym Bingo -- SYNGO

 

Today's Snack: What's a better snack for a bingo game than a Checkerboard Sandwich? Take one slice of whole wheat or pumpernickel bread. Spread softened and stirred Philadelphia cream cheese spread on it. Piles a few slices of fresh shaved turkey on top, with some thin slices of tomato and a leaf of lettuce if you wish. Put the white piece of bread on top. Cut this sandwich into nine squares -- cut three slices, and then cut each slice in thirds. Arrange these nine mini-squares on a plate in an alternating pattern, like a checkboard. Enjoy with chocolate milk - so tasty, it'll make you say, "Bingo!"

 

--------------------

Supplies:

Print out a gamecard (see below)

on a piece of plain white cardstock for each student;

see instructions for preparing gamecards, below

 

NOTE: an adult or designated student should

make the "gamecards" in advance

 

This game is best with at least 4 players,

so make at least 4 "gamecards"

or one for each player with a few extra

 

Thick and thin colored markers

 

M&Ms for use as "gamepieces" -

give each student one single-serving packet

for the game, and a second one to eat during the game!

 

It's a good idea to have several prizes on hand for

the winner of each round - maybe a slightly larger M&M sack?

 

One person designated as the "SYNGO" caller

 

Print out this Treat, cut the synonym groups apart, mix them up,

and then pull them out at random and call the synonyms, below

 

 

A "synonym" (pronounced SIN oh nim) is a word that means the same as, or nearly the same as, another word. Most words in English have at least one synonym. For example:

 

Run Jog, trot, dash, race, sprint

 

Correct Accurate, right, precise, true, exact

 

Laugh Giggle, chuckle, snicker, roar, guffaw

 

Synonyms are so close in meaning to each other that you can probably use them in place of each other. But the fun part is in making excellent word choices that precisely and accurately communicate the meaning, tone and feeling of the sentence.

 

People with bigger vocabularies tend to be better communicators and better writers. They know more synonyms, so they have more options - more tools in the writing toolbox.

 

It is a good writing skill to be able to choose among many equally-acceptable synonyms and select the very best one - the one that comes the closest to conveying your exact meaning.

 

For example, everybody pictures what it means to "giggle" at a joke in a movie, but if you wrote that the audience "roared," that's a completely different feeling and environment.

 

To "giggle" is quiet; to "roar" with laughter is loud.

 

A person might "snicker" at himself - half-laugh, usually behind your hand to hide that you're quietly laughing -- if he clumsily trips on a sidewalk without falling down. But he might "guffaw" - laugh boisterously and unrestrained, the kind when tears run down your face - if he tripped, fell face first into a mud puddle, and came up with a thick layer of mud on his eyeglasses!

 

See how much meaning you can get across by choosing just one word over another?

 

It's like a game. So, to build your synonym power, let's play everybody's favorite game - BINGO! Only instead of numbers, we're going to call out synonyms. So let's call our game "SYNGO"!!!!

 

Someone has made your SYNGO cards in advance. You should see five columns across, marked S - Y - N - G - O across the top. Then you should see five rows of five words each. There should be a different word in each box. The center square should be marked "FREE."

 

Note to the Adult or Student Designated

To Make the Gamecards

 

To make the gamecards, print out the grid at the bottom of this Treat on plain white cardstock. Write the word FREE in the middle square of the five rows of five.

 

Now look at the 25 synonym groupings, below.

 

Start in the upper left-hand corner. Don't write the main synonym, in bold. That's the word that you are going to call out. Instead, start with the first synonym on the list, and write that in the upper left-hand corner box. So, for the first grouping, words that are synonyms with Alert, you would write Attentive in the box on the first gamecard.

 

Then you move on to the next box and the next grouping. For the next box, write the first synonym in the list for the second synonym grouping. The main synonyn, that you will call out, is the word Angry, and the first synonym, that you will write on the gamecard, is Mad.

 

Then move on until your first card is filled. Start on the second card. Be careful not to duplicate any two cards. Once you have finished one card, make sure that you don't have the same two words in the same boxes on any two gamecards. This shouldn't be a problem, since you have 25 synonym groupings, and only 24 boxes to fill, with the "FREE" space in the middle.

 

These groupings should make enough gamecards for up to 100 students without duplicating a card.

 

Now Let's Play!

 

As with regular BINGO, everybody can put an M&M on the "FREE" space. After that, you have to listen to the SYNGO caller call out the synonyms, one at a time, and look at your gameboard and decide if you have a synonym for that word.

 

If you see a word that is a synonym to the one that is called out, put an M&M on it.

 

When you get five across, five up and down, or five diagonally, you have a SYNGO. Call out "SYNGO!" and check your selections with the caller. At the end of the game, as a group, you can go over all of the synonyms for each word, either by writing them on a chalkboard, or projecting this list up on a big screen with a laptop.

 

Have fun, and if you like this game, you can make more lists of synonyms, new gamecards, and play some more rounds!

 

 

 

Alert

Attentive

Wide-Awake

Watchful

Vigilant

 

 

Angry

Mad

Furious

Upset

Annoyed

Irritated

Aggravated

Exasperated

 

 

 

 

Boss

Chief

Leader

Head

Employer

 

 

Calm

Peaceful

Serene

Tranquil

Placid

 

 

Defeat

Conquer

Beat

Overcome

Overpower

Subdue

 

 

Eat

Consume

Devour

Dine

Feast

Feed

Graze

 

 

Finish

Complete

End

Conclude

Terminate

Wind Up

 

 

Good

Fine

Excellent

Outstanding

Admirable

Respectable

Splendid

 

 

Hide

Conceal

Disguise

Cover Up

Camouflage

 

 

Idea

Thought

Concept

Impression

Notion

 

 

Join

Connect

Attach

Link

Fasten

Unite

Couple

 

 

Knock

Bang

Tap

Rap

Thump

 

 

Lead

Guide

Direct

Conduct

Steer

Take care

 

 

Mix

Combine

Blend

Merge

Mingle

Stir

Whip

 

 

Noise

Din

Uproar

Clamor

Racket

Hubbub

 

 

 

Obvious

Evident

Apparent

Clear

Plain

 

 

Part

Piece

Section

Portion

Segment

Fragment

Fraction

Share

 

 

Reason

Purpose

Cause

Motive

Explanation

 

 

Serious

Solemn

Grave

Somber

Sober

 

 

Tough

Sturdy

Durable

Rugged

Stout

 

 

Urge

Coax

Encourage

Goad

Prod

Spur

 

 

Verify

Prove

Confirm

Substantiate

Corroborate

 

 

Walk

Stroll

March

Hike

Stride

Trudge

Shuffle

Strut

 

 

Yell

Shout

Scream

Shriek

Screech

Bellow

 

 

Zone

Area

Region

District

Belt

 

S Y N G O




 

 

 

 

By Susan Darst Williams www.AfterSchoolTreats.com Writing 2010

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