Connotation-Denotation – Video to Spark Discussion


It sometimes is difficult to explain in words the concept of connotation and denotation.  However, it is critical for us to get these concepts across to our students, especially when teaching lessons on the significance of precise word choice.  Just in time!  Here’s a video than can help to clarify these concepts for your native and new English language learners.  Don’t be surprised if you have to show it two or three times before students can pick up all the shades of meaning in a single word.  I’d recommend showing it three times.  First, just view.  Second, view and write the words.  Then, have students work in pairs to compare their observations.  Finally, show the video a third time.  On this viewing, the majority of students are likely to “get it”.

Radiolab and NPR Present Words


Share this nice post:

8 thoughts on “Connotation-Denotation – Video to Spark Discussion

  1. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  2. I simply want to mention I am new to blogging and actually savored you’re web site. Almost certainly I’m want to bookmark your blog post . You definitely come with awesome posts. Cheers for sharing your blog site.

  3. This is a very unique video! Perfect to begin a discussion/introductory lesson for connotations and denotations. I’m pretty sure that my students will “get it” after viewing it the third time. Even I had to watch this video twice to grasp the concept!! 🙂

  4. I would love to show the video you posted on connotation/denotation for an observation; however, there is one particular piece of the clip that would be deemed inappropriate (middle finger..that’s not going to fly) for this class. Is there any way to delete that portion?

    1. Lynda, the video belongs to NPR. I don’t have permission edit it. Perhaps, the fact that the image is not being approved by the teacher will make it less offensive to have the gesture in the video. However,if you’re still reticent, consider showing the clip to your administrator and letting her/him know why you think it’s worthwhile showing it, even with that drawing in the video.

  5. I would love to show this video! Unfortunately the inappropriate gesture makes it impossible to show in an 8th grade classroom. I wish their was a way to edit it. It could be an amazing addition to my lesson.

    1. I agree. I love the video but I teach 6th grade in a middle school and the gesture makes it impossible for me to show it, too. Very frustrating!!

      1. Download as a mp4. Upload into PPT and then you may be able to edit out what you don’t want to show. I’ve sometimes just walked in front of the whiteboard, as just the “right” time to block out something I didn’t want students to see in a movie. 🙂 If there is enough in the video to support your teaching, you’ll figure out a way.

        And, as Toni Morrison says about writing, if you can’t find the book you want to read, write it yourself…you may decide to create a comparable video appropriate for young students. If so, please share it here

        Thanks for sending note.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.