Sep 12

Starting with vocabulary

Starting with vocabulary

Group Session

Words From Context

Before the session ask the members to read ‘Gathering vocabulary‘ before you start writing’.

Ideally they need a thesaurus with them in class or a tablet or phone from which they can access on line versions. Large sheets of paper or examples of a mind-map will also be needed (See Gathering Vocabulary)

Activity 1. On the sheets provided:

On the example started for you first, using a coloured marker, identify the antonyms. From the remaining words, which are synonyms, use a different colour to identify any that you think could have negative connotations

eg you might choose ‘gaudy’?

Identify any words that you think are very positive, ie words you might like to use for their connotations or just the sound or richness of the word

eg you might choose ‘hued’?

(Identify what the colours mean on the Key)

Choose three words on the mindmap, and using a Thesaurus if you wish add more words around the chosen words.


Activity 2. Make four lists of five words each that you might use in writing about the four seasons:

  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn
  • Winter

Choose one season and start a mind map of vocabulary that you think might be useful in writing about it. Expand the mind map by adding synonyms, antonyms and choosing words to surround other words with further similar meanings, or opposite meanings, working out till you have exhausted the first word to your satisfaction.

Choose a second season and do it again.

Work in pairs with someone who has chosen at least one of the same seasons as you and compare your vocabulary. Discuss any that only one of you has and add these to your own list if you agree they are useful.

Now choose one season and decide whether you would like to write a poem or a prose piece.

Write a poem or a prose piece to share with the group using some of the vocabulary you have collected. You may interpret the brief as you wish so, for example it need not be a description of a season, though it could. It might be a little story set against a seasonal background or a reflective piece of some kind. It is up to you.

Share and discuss the work produced and how helpful the exercise has been.

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