Lions, Tigers, and Slugs? Oh, My!
Would you rather be on Team Sloth or Team Meteor? Students analyze the connotation of fictitious names, paying special attention to the human reaction to words.
- Grades: 6–8
- Unit Plan:
This lesson, a continuation from Lesson One, takes a further look at the human reaction to words. Students will analyze the connotation of fictitious names. Working with a partner, groups will then create their own team names and present their work to the class in poster form as a culminating activity.
- Interpret the connotative power of words.
- Demonstrate knowledge and control of the connotative power of words.
- Create a visual presentation to illustrate word power.
- Team Names Connotation Activities (PDF)
- Poster board or paper
- Art supplies
- Class set of dictionaries
Set Up and Prepare
- Make a class set of the Team Names Connotation Activities (PDF)
- Gather art supplies
- Recreate the list of team names used in Lesson One on the blackboard, whiteboard, or overhead
Step 1: Review the meaning of denotation and connotation. Engage students in a discussion recalling the words previously analyzed. Ask for volunteers to offer any new words to discuss.
Step 2: Direct the class to review the list of team names on the board and to recall the positive connotations associated with the names.
Step 3: Introduce the concept of negative connotations. Review the feelings associated with the word ‘gray.' These were unpleasant connotations.
Step 4: Inform the students that not all team names evoke positive connotations. Share the following list with the class, and discuss the connotations of each:
- Golden Gophers
- Trotting Turtles
- Bubble Chaos
Ask for students to volunteer names they feel are inappropriate for an athletic team.
Step 5: Distribute the copies of Sports Team Names Connotation Activities (PDF).
Step 6: Assign partners, or let students select their own.
Step 7: Review the hand-out directions with the class. Set a time limit to complete the activities.
Step 8: Following Lesson Three, students will present all work to the class.
Supporting All Learners
Students interested in the business of naming can investigate the Igor website. Igor is a branding and naming corporation that has a dynamic listing of what an effective name can mean to a company.
Parent feedback to the created team names can also be recorded on the presentation posters.
- Review the differences between denotation and connotation.
- Discuss positive vs. negative connotations.
- Activity One - Work with a partner to discuss, analyze, and record connotations of fictitious athletic team names.
- Activity Two - Work with a partner to brainstorm a list of team names, recording the human reaction to the connotation of each.
- Activity Three - Create a team name and a poster to present the name to the class.
- Was additional direction needed for the partners to complete their activities?
- Were more examples needed to establish understanding?
- Did students seem to enjoy the project while gaining knowledge of word power?
Point value should be awarded to the teams based on the following criteria:
1/3 - Using time in class to their benefit
1/3 - Thoroughness and completion of all components of the activities.
1/3 - Creativity, neatness, and oral presentation