Before they wrote the narratives, I wanted them to expand their vocabulary with regards to emotions. This is the lesson I created.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.4b Identify and correctly use patterns of word changes that indicate different meanings or parts of speech (e.g., analyze, analysis, analytical; advocate, advocacy).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.5b Analyze nuances in the meaning of words with similar denotations.
Each student was given a notecard with a word on it. Each word was a synonym for Love, Hate, Shame, Sadness, or Happiness. Using an 8X10 sheet of paper, students wrote the denotation, the connotation, part of speech, a symbol, at least three forms of the word, and two sentences using the various forms of the word.
I placed large sheets of paper around the room. Students were then instructed to gather around the sheet that contained the synonym of their word. They had to share the denotation and rank the words from most positive to most negative connotation. They finished by presenting their words and rankings to the class.
It went great! The students were engaged and really intense in their discussions on the nuances of the words and their meanings. It exposed them to a wide range of words for their writing and the understanding that language is rich and varied.