29 Shades of Grades

29 shades of grades 00019

Understanding shades–of–meaning or nuances can make a huge difference in students’ ability to comprehend literary text. When reading with my students, I often ask them to describe the character’s feelings in the story. I typically get the same one-word responses: good, happy, sad, mad, etc. Of course, I prompt further to help them dig deeper into the text. The printables are all created to be an easy, no prep, addition to your lessons. Most of these worksheets fit in with a Valentine’s Day theme. Big brushes and a big piece of display paper make for a perfect background to add all the various materials such as tempera paint, painted paper, and tape.

Students painted large shapes representing islands, on the paper, using the lighter shades of the pre-mixed tempera paint. But there is also a winter theme and even a bit of President’s Day going on as well. I created 12 alternative word list cards to use as a resource during writing workshop. I take this resource with me during writing conferences, so students can see some options if they need to be more specific. In this freebie you’ll get a PowerPoint slide that shows students.

How to come up with a list of words and then arrange them in a semantic gradient order. There is also an idea of how to use shades of meaning to help readers and writers. You can also have your students cut out the words and place them in their writing notebooks as a reference. But it can be frustrating when students don’t have the necessary vocabulary to describe precisely how the character is feeling. This can hinder their ability to fully understand the character’s actions or how they contribute to the events in the story.