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Reading Instructional Resources Database - Instructional Activities (Search Results)

The essential cognitive elements of the reading process have been outlined in the cognitive framework of reading. To assist educators in organizing their practice around the cognitive framework, we've created a way to easily search for instructional activities that specifically address skills and knowledge outlined by the cognitive framework of reading.

To find out more about the Instructional Activities portion of the Instructional Resources Database, we have provided an overview of the database and a description of the resources from which these activities were selected.

How to use this page

You have just searched the Reading Instructional Resources Database for instructional activities that test semantics. There are 8 activities that match your search. You can also perform an advanced search of the Instructional Resources Database to search for more specific activities.



Semantics - Morphology

What is Semantics - Morphology?
To understand language, a child must understand the meaning of word parts (morphology) and individual words within the language (vocabulary), but more than that, a child must understand that words are arranged in phrases, sentences, and discourse in meaningful ways. The child must understand how to use language to communicate complete and meaningful ideas.

What does teaching Semantics - Morphology look like?
Semantics activities involve helping children to examine meaning at various different levels (word parts, whole words, and sentences / discourse). Activities involving word parts can focus on helping children to see that words with common roots have similar meanings or that affixes change the meanings of words. Activities involving whole words can help children to develop vocabulary, by, for example, focusing on how words are used in stories or by encouraging them to keep records of interesting and related words. Activities involving sentences and discourse help children to use context to determine word meaning and to understand idioms and allusions.



Displaying 1 of 8
ACTIVITY TITLE: Concept Wheel / CircleCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Semantics - Morphology

ACTIVITY: Display a large circle divided into 4 parts on the board or overhead . In one part of the circle, write the main word for the lesson. Write a root word in one quadrant of the circle, and have students brainstorm other words that contain that same root word to write in the other three quadrants. For example, The teacher could write the word "sign" in the first quadrant, and students could add "signature," "assign," and "design." Discuss with students how the different words have meanings that are all related to the root word.

Notes: The example used above would be appropriate for older children — For younger children, it would be more appropriate to use root words and affixes, such as "fold," "folding," "folded," and "unfold."

Reader Type: Emergent readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 2 of 8
ACTIVITY TITLE: Morphological examinationCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Semantics - Morphology

ACTIVITY: Show children that many words have common origins, and that the meaning of the word can often be determined by examining the parts of the word. Create a list of words for students, and ask students to think of similar words that have a similar meaning and which contain similar roots.

Example: The word DUO means two. Many words build on the word DUO to mean two of something (e.g. DOUBLE, DUEL, DUPLICATE).

PRIME - PRIMITIVE
SIGN - SIGNAL - SIGNATURE
SECOND - CONSECUTIVE
DISECT - INTERSECTION
ASPECT - SPECTATOR - SPECTACLES - INSPECT - SPECTACULAR

Notes:

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Adopted from Teaching Kids to Spell


Semantics - Sentence/phrase

What is Semantics - Sentence/phrase?
To understand language, a child must understand the meaning of word parts (morphology) and individual words within the language (vocabulary), but more than that, a child must understand that words are arranged in phrases, sentences, and discourse in meaningful ways. The child must understand how to use language to communicate complete and meaningful ideas.

What does teaching Semantics - Sentence/phrase look like?
Semantics activities involve helping children to examine meaning at various different levels (word parts, whole words, and sentences / discourse). Activities involving word parts can focus on helping children to see that words with common roots have similar meanings or that affixes change the meanings of words. Activities involving whole words can help children to develop vocabulary, by, for example, focusing on how words are used in stories or by encouraging them to keep records of interesting and related words. Activities involving sentences and discourse help children to use context to determine word meaning and to understand idioms and allusions.



Displaying 3 of 8
ACTIVITY TITLE: English expressionsCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Semantics - Sentence/phrase

ACTIVITY: There are many expressions in English that are not meant to be interpreted literally. Discuss these expressions with your students and encourage them to think both about what these expressions really mean, and about what they would mean if the words were interpreted literally.

Example expressions:

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
A stitch in time saves nine
A face that launched a thousand ships
People in glass houses should not throw stones
He's a chip off the old block
The apple does not fall far from the tree
We're all in the same boat
I'm up to my ears in work
She has him under her thumb
I'm in the palm of her hand
My neck is on the line
You hit the nail on the head
It's raining cats and dogs
It's a dog-eat-dog world

Notes: A similar activity could be used to emphasize semantics-vocabulary development — especially slang (somebody could be a "fox," and everything can be "peachy"). If the idioms depend on the non-literal interpretation of a single word, then the emphasis is placed on vocabulary development, but if the idiom depends on the interpretation of a whole phrase, then the emphasis is on semantics at the sentence/phrase level.

Reader Type: Pre-readers, emergent readers, and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 4 of 8
ACTIVITY TITLE: Modismos de moda.COGNITIVE ELEMENT: Semantics - Sentence/phrase

ACTIVITY: For this activity, you will need a list of Spanish Idioms. The students explain what idiom would mean if it were interpreted literally, and then they state what it really means when somebody says it. They can create illustrations for both interpretations as well.

Examples of Spanish idioms:

Al pie de la letra
Con las manos en la mesa
Costar un ojo de la cara
Dar en el clavo
Dar gato por liebre
Dar rabia
Estar en las nubes
Tener algo en la punta de la lengua
Perder la cabeza

Notes: Writing is not necessary for this activity. Each idiom could be introduced orally, and children can be encouraged to write about each in turn.

Reader Type: Pre-readers, emergent readers, and developing readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Submitted by Carmen Rodríguez and Stella G. Mata


Semantics - Vocabulary

What is Semantics - Vocabulary?
To understand language, a child must understand the meaning of word parts (morphology) and individual words within the language (vocabulary), but more than that, a child must understand that words are arranged in phrases, sentences, and discourse in meaningful ways. The child must understand how to use language to communicate complete and meaningful ideas.

What does teaching Semantics - Vocabulary look like?
Semantics activities involve helping children to examine meaning at various different levels (word parts, whole words, and sentences / discourse). Activities involving word parts can focus on helping children to see that words with common roots have similar meanings or that affixes change the meanings of words. Activities involving whole words can help children to develop vocabulary, by, for example, focusing on how words are used in stories or by encouraging them to keep records of interesting and related words. Activities involving sentences and discourse help children to use context to determine word meaning and to understand idioms and allusions.



Displaying 5 of 8
ACTIVITY TITLE: It's New to MeCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Semantics - Vocabulary

ACTIVITY: Before shared reading, introduce new vocabulary so that it makes sense to the children when they encounter it in the text. After the activity, encourage children to create their own story using some of the new vocabulary.

Notes: When children are asked to create their own story in this task, the teacher should consider whether the child is able to write his or her own story independently, or if the child will need to simple dictate a story for the teacher to write down.

Reader Type: Pre-readers, emergent readers, and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Algodones Elementary—Algodones, NM


Displaying 6 of 8
ACTIVITY TITLE: Same rhyme, different wordsCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Semantics - Vocabulary

ACTIVITY: Using a familiar nursery rhyme, ask students to replace words in the nursery rhyme with synonyms (the meaning of the nursery rhyme should not change with substitutions of words). For example, "Mary had a small sheep, whose hair was pale as ice..."

Notes: Antonyms can be used for a variation on this activity. For example, "Mary had a massive sheep, whose fleece was black as coal..."

Vocabulary development is a life-long endeavor, but this activity will be difficult for pre-literate children.

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Adapted from Fredericksburg Elementary — Fredericksburg, TX


Displaying 7 of 8
ACTIVITY TITLE: Semantic Word MapCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Semantics - Vocabulary

ACTIVITY: Word maps help students make connections among several words that are connected in meaning. Concepts become clearer when words are grouped together by similar criteria such as ideas, events, characteristics, and examples. Word maps work best when the teacher allows students time to brainstorm, generate a list, and participate in whole-class or small group discussion. Once the list is generated, the teacher can allow small groups to work together to create a semantic word map.

Example: a group of students may brainstorm words related to flying. The word FLYING could be put in the middle of the board, and children could generate related words like WINGS, BIRD, AIRPLANE, JET, PILOT, RUNWAY, CLOUDS, etc. The words can be placed in varying distance from the central word depending on how close in meaning they are (BIRD and FLYING are very closely related, but CLOUD may be placed further away.).

Notes: Vocabulary development is a life-long endeavor, but this activity will be difficult for pre-literate children (because of the writing involved).

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Adapted from the Reading Teacher, V 52 No 3 November, 1998


Displaying 8 of 8
ACTIVITY TITLE: Synonyms / AntonymsCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Semantics - Vocabulary

ACTIVITY: Look for new or unusual words in a story and discuss them together. Ask children to use the new words in sentences (orally, or if possible, in writing). Talk about what the words mean, and ask the children if they know any words that mean the same thing (synonyms) or mean the exact opposite (antonyms). For example, if the new vocabulary is "serpent" most children will learn that faster if they learn that "serpent" and "snake" mean the same thing. Add the new vocabulary words to the word wall or children's alphabet files along with the known synonyms / antonyms and periodically remind children of the relationship between these new words and the words the child already knows.

Notes: Vocabulary development is a life-long endeavor, so it is always appropriate to focus on teaching children new vocabulary through synonyms and antonyms.

Reader Type: Pre-readers, emergent readers, and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Adapted from Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children's Reading Success

End of search results.
Displayed 8 instructional activities.

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