4th Grade - Using A Thesaurus

 
     
 
     
 
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4th
Vocabulary
Using a thesaurus
Use a thesaurus to determine related words and concepts.
The ability to use a thesaurus to define words, find synonyms and antonyms, and enhance language with more sophisticated, or stylish, words.
 

Sample Problems

(1)

What is a thesaurus? (a book that lists word groups related in meaning – including synonyms and antonyms)

(2)

What are synonyms? (words that have the same, or similar, meanings)

(3)

What are antonyms? (words that have different, or opposite, meanings)

(4)

What is an example of a pair of synonyms? (happy, ecstatic)

(5)

How are these two synonyms slightly different? (one is a simple word, one is a stronger expression of the feeling – very happy)

Learning Tips

(1)

If you do not already have one, purchase a thesaurus or look for one at your local library. Roget’s Thesaurus is a popular standard, or thesauruses made for kids are helpful as well. Compare the thesaurus with online thesauruses like the MSN Encarta Thesaurus: http://encarta.msn.com/thesaurus_/_.html.

(2)

Practice using the thesaurus in Microsoft Word or other writing applications. Either right click on a word you would like to replace with another word and scroll down to synonyms, or go to Tools Language Thesaurus to see suggestions. You can also use the shortcut keys Shift + F7.

(3)

Take simple, common, everyday words and brainstorm and/or use a thesaurus to make lists of synonyms to enhance their meaning. The words don’t necessarily have to be longer; just make sure that they are all the same part of speech as the original word.

Examples:

(4)

Take simple, common, everyday words and brainstorm and/or use a thesaurus to make lists of antonyms to enhance their meaning. The words don’t necessarily have to be longer; just make sure that they are all the same part of speech as the original word.

Examples:

(5)

Discuss patterns, things that occur again and again, when comparing common antonym and synonym word groups. For example, many times simply adding prefixes such as un- and suffixes such as –less change a word to its opposite.

Online Resources

Extra Help Problems

(1)

How do you know if a word in the thesaurus fits in your sentence? (you have to substitute it and make sure it still makes sense in context)

(2)

What do synonyms and antonyms have in common with each other? (they all should be the same part of speech)

(3)

If you are looking for a synonym for happy, what part of speech should the replacement word be? (adjective)

(4)

What are some synonyms of happy (you can use a thesaurus if you need to)? (glad, content, ecstatic, pleased, joyful, blissful, cheerful, etc.)

(5)

What are some antonyms of happy (you can use a thesaurus if you need to or think of opposites of the synonyms)? (sad, discontent, displeased, cheerless, dreary, gloomy, etc.)

(6)

How do you find words in a thesaurus? (they are usually listed in alphabetical order, from A to Z)

(7)

When using a thesaurus to replace a word, do you always have to pick the longer, more complex word? (no, sometimes those words don’t make sense)

(8)

Why does it help to understand words as synonym-antonym pairs? (if you can think of a synonym for either the synonym or antonym, you can infer or guess the meaning of the unknown word – transitive thinking)

(9)

When should you use a thesaurus? (when you’re stuck and can’t think of a word or would like to find a better word to make your writing more powerful)

(10)

What is another way to use a thesaurus? (similar to a dictionary – use it to determine the meaning of the related word(s) or concept(s))

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