Vivd Words

To the Teacher

In this lesson ninth grade students respond to an image by generating a list of words that relate to it. They use online sources to discover synonyms for one of the words, select one, and search for the synonym in use online. Then they use a slide presentation to teach their new word to the class.

In the process of completing these tasks, students will develop fluency with a Web browser, a word processing application, a search engine, and presentation software.

The first part of the lesson, from selecting an image through creating a storyboard, should take about one 45-minute class period. The teacher may need to set a time limit of 10 minutes to select an image; otherwise, students could spend the entire time looking at images. The second part, producing the slide presentation, will take some students another 45-minute class period. Those who finish early can be encouraged to help their peers. The amount of time needed for presentations will vary according to the size of the class.

This model presentation in Microsoft Powerpoint may help students understand the expectations: Microsoft PowerPoint


Students will increase their vocabulary and practice public speaking skills. They will develop fluency in the use of technology and will be empowered to accept responsibility for their own learning.

Because this simple lesson focuses as much on development of technology skills as on vocabulary, it would be appropriate as an introduction to the tools available in a technology-integrated classroom.


  1. The teacher will explain to the class that they will learn a new word and will teach it to their class. The teacher will point out that the skills students develop during this lesson will familiarize them with the software on their classroom computers. The lesson will also enable them to master any new word they encounter in the future.
  2. Students select an image from one of the following collections:
  3. Students copy the image they have chosen and save it as a file. They also open a word processing document, copy and paste the image's source URL for later attribution.
  4. In the word processing document students list 5 words they could use to describe the image they selected.
  5. From the list of 5, students choose one word for additional research.
  6. Students find at least 3 synonyms for their word using one of these resources:
      Search for a word and then scroll down for synonyms.
    • Wordnik
      Search for a word; scroll down to "Related Words."
    • Merriam-Webster
      Search for a word and then scroll down for synonyms.
    At least one of the synonyms must be a word the student is not familiar with.
  7. From the list of 3 synonyms, students select an unfamiliar word to learn and present to the class. They will look up the word at one of these sites:
  8. Students will copy and paste the definition into the word processing document. They also need to copy and paste the URL of the definition for later attribution.
  9. At this point students have an unfamiliar word, a synonym, and a definition. Using Wordnik or a search engine like Google, students find examples of the word in use. They copy and paste two or three that best make the meaning clear. They also copy and paste the source URLs for later attribution.
  10. Checking with peers and with their teacher, students compose an original sentence that correctly uses the new word and has context clues to make the meaning clear.
  11. Students use a storyboard to plan their presentations.

    Slide 1 Paste your graphic here. Add a presentation title and your name.
    Slide 2 List the word of the original 5 that you chose and its synonyms.
    Slide 3 List the synonym you chose for additional exploration and its definition.
    Slides 4 & 5 Paste your model sentences here.
    Slide 6 Type in the sentence you composed.
    Slide 7 Acknowledge your sources: list all the URLs of your graphic and model sentences.

  12. After the storyboard is compete, students construct the slide presentation.
    Note to teacher: as a practical matter, students should not use a template for this presentation. They should also be encouraged to produce the content first and add "bells and whistles" later, if time permits. This might also be a good time to remind students to consider their audience and to use only those features that help the audience understand the word.
  13. Students present their projects to the class.


It will be helpful to assess both the student project and the activity as a whole. The rubric below can assess the student project. The class might have a discussion or students might write paragraphs about the successes of the activity and things they will handle differently next time.

Trait Developing Competent Proficient
9.1.1 — Identify and use the literal ... meanings of words ... Student does not seem to understand the definition. Student uses the word correctly in a sentence. Student uses the word fluently in a sentence.
9.4.3 — Use precise language, action verbs, sensory details, and appropriate modifiers. Context clues do not help the reader understand the word's meaning. Context clues suggest the word's meaning. Context clues in the student's sentence make the word's meaning clear.
9.5.8 — Write for different purposes and audiences, adjusting tone, style, and voice as appropriate. Tone, style, and/or voice are inappropriate for the presentation. Tone, style, and voice are appropriate for the presentation. Tone, style, and voice enhance the presentation.
9.7.4 — Use props, visual aids, graphs, and electronic media to enhance the appeal and accuracy of presentations. The slide presentation was incomplete, did not follow the guidelines, or used features that became distracting. The slide presentation presented information clearly. Additional features enhance the presentation for the audience.
9.7.15 — Deliver expository presentations that ... convey information and ideas from primary and secondary sources accurately and coherently ... include visual aids by employing appropriate technology ... anticipate and address the listeners' potential misunderstandings, biases, and expectations. The presentation was confusing, difficult to understand, or misleading. The presentation conveyed ideas clearly. The presentation prevented misunderstandings as it conveyed ideas.

Ideas for Follow-up

  • List all the words on the board and ask students to choose 10 to use in an original story.
  • Play Lingo. Give students blank Bingo-like cards and a few minutes to write definitions of words that were presented in class in the blanks. The teacher then calls out individual words. Students cover their matching defintions with coins, paper clips, or whatever is handy until someone makes a line vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. Access a Lingo card:
    Adobe Acrobat Reader
    Generic word processor file