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Author: Chelsea Alley

Synonyms and Antonyms

Grade Level: 1st

Lesson Length: 45 min.

Notes for Instructor:

**Asterisked portions are optional and should be chosen based on student ability and time allowance.
What Taught (Information for the Teacher)
Learning Objective and Performance of Understanding:
By the end of this 45-minute class, students will be able to clearly demonstrate an understanding of the
definition of synonym and antonym through physical performance and verbal response. Students will also
clearly demonstrate dance opposites like big range and small range, high level and low level, axial and
locomotor, etc.
How Evaluated (Information given to Students)
Learning Targets:
I can name a synonym for common words.
I can name an antonym for common words.
I can show the difference in movement opposites.
I can follow a partner.
How Taught
Warm Up (3 minutes)
(10 minutes)

Instructional Strategies
Introduce the word synonym. A synonym is a
word that means the same or almost the same
thing as another word. Sometimes synonyms
are more interesting than the original word
so they are fun to use!
-happy, cheerful, merry (talk about Happy vs.
Merry Christmas in different areas of the
-chair, seat
-close, shut

Student Formation and Task

Seated and central.

Lets see what happens if we use synonyms as

we move. Im going to give one group of
dancers one word and Ill give another group
of dancers a synonym of that word. Listen
closely and do your best to dance your word
Synonymslarge, big; small, tiny; high, tall;
smooth, soft; sharp, pointy; fall, collapse;
slide, chass

Boys sit on one side of the

room; girls sit on the other.
When cued, dancers spread
out and show the word they
were given. Students freeze
when cued to watch the other
group dance.

**Now, lets dance synonymously. In

Groups give their word, or

guess the other groups word.

partners, we are going to watch each other

closely in order to dance exactly the same, or
almost exactly the same. If I call out freeze!
you and your partner hold still and well see if
your shapes are synonyms of each other.
In partners, students face each
other. One dancer leads and
the other followscopying
the movement as closely as
they can. When they hear the
cue, they freeze.
(10 minutes)

Introduce antonym. An antonym is a word

that means the opposite of another word.
Examples: black/white, happy/sad, etc.
Lets try our two groups again. Remember Ill
give you your word, you keep it secret while
you dance!
Antonyms: big, small; wide, narrow; smooth,
sharp; smooth, vibratory; high, low; quick,
slow; axial, locomotor

(10 minutes)

Sitting in a close, but not

touching, group.

In two separated groups (darkeyed students and light-eyed

students) dancers receive a
word and show the movement.
This time, students guess what
the other groups word was.

When we want to find synonyms and

antonyms, we go to a book called a
Thesaurus. This book is like a dictionary; it
lists words that mean the same thing and
words that mean the opposite. (Show
thesaurus and demonstrate looking up various
words to find their synonyms and antonyms)


Today, we are going to create a Dance

Thesaurus. I will break you into four groups.
Each group will choose a word. We will
decide a synonym word and antonym word
and then you will show me in movement a
dance that represents each word.

Separated into four groups,

students may choose their first
word, then decide on a good
antonym and synonym.

ABA format:
BeginningChosen Word
Two of the four groups
perform their thesaurus dance
sequence while the other two
watch and try to guess the
words the dancers used.

(5 minutes)

-Can you think of any other synonyms?

-Can you think of any other antonyms?


Can discuss as a class or in partners.

Write new words on board as well as have students repeat them verbally. Have students review word while
moving. Show vocabulary words visually and demonstrate physically. Injured or otherwise inhibited students
are encouraged to move to the best of their ability other physical accommodations as necessary.
Music and speakers; drum or other signal; Whiteboard, Thesaurus
Teacher Reflection
Instruction, Management, and Student Learning
What went well? What should be improved? Did the students meet the objective?