Synonyms

5 03 2013

Language

In my role as a Drama teacher, I have had the dubious pleasure of marking coursework over the last month.

After 20 almost identical responses to the same stimulus I started to become frustrated with the limited voabulary of my students. Every student in my class described the posture of their character as “hunched” which was my blinking example! (I want to use a “stronger” word but it seems inappropriate in a post about education and use of language)

I am appealing to anyone with even the most basic grasp of the English language to help me devise a list of key words to do with the use of the following things:

Facial Expression, Movement, Voice (language & sound), Posture and Atmosphere.

In the brief time I have devoted to this task this evening I have come up with the following:

Facial Expression: grimace, wince, frown, blush, smile, wink, snarl, set jaw, raised eyebrow(s), glare, stare, contorted, screwed up, cringe, recoil, glower, puckered brow, mope, beam, grin, smirk, twinkle, sparkle, sneer, knotted, twisted, squirm, flinch, shrink, shy away, cower

Movement: jerk, twitch, kick, flinch, jump, run, skip, wiggle, shimmy, shake, limp, quiver, shudder, strut, stroll, wander, meander, somersault, leap, skulk, slither, slide, yank, tug, pull, wrench, tweak, jolt, spasm, convulse, tremble, contract, lash out, jolt, thrust, baulk, draw back, bound, soar, shoot, jig, sprint, jog, scuttle, scamper, dart, dash, scurry, prance, twist, shiver, wobble, vibrate, hobble, shuffle, bend, floppy, wilted, flacid, quake, vibrate, tremor, palpitation, swagger, march, parade, amble, saunter, ramble, dive, hurdle, lurk, loiter, creep, prowel, glide, skip, slide, snatch, heave, haul, heave, push, ripple.

Voice: stammer, stutter, slur, bark, purr, cry, wail, howl, grunt, gasp, shout, whisper, yell, scream, drone, monotone, intone, immitate, thunder, falter, hesistate, speech immpediment, rumble, mumble, murmur, wheeze, pant, puff, sigh, whine, rumble, hesitate, fade, tail off,

Posture: slumped, slouched, hunched, upright, tense, drooping, wilting, flabby, floppy, curved, bent, arched, stooped, erect, straight, vertical, horizontal,

Atmosphere: chaotic, frenzied, calm, triumphant, serene, celebratory, scary, spooky, intense, electric, intimidating, horrifying, peaceful, relaxed, rushed, confused, sickening, gruesome, shocking, disordered, muddled, messy, untidy, hectic, hyperactive, harried, hysterical, posessed, tranquil, still, composed, unruffled, victorious, exltant, passionate, extreme, severe, thrilling, stimulating, threatening, frightening, menacing, nerve-wracking,

Please help me to devise a more comprehensive list and help to restore my faith in language skills. There must be some people who still have a good command of the English language. For what it is worth; I myself far from perfect, my spelling is horrific and I make frequent grammatical errors but I do check my work and make changes when possible improvements are identified and I would like to think that if occasson demanded I would be able to express myself well using the written word.

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2 responses

6 03 2013
teachingwritinglovetrauma

I think this list is beautiful and simply by giving them the list they will learn the lesson that there are a myriad of different ways they can explain these categories. The more advanced students will begin to branch from that list and the less creative ones – we still love them – have a much larger bank of words thanks to you! On a similar note I had a similar lesson with my Drama Classes. We did a movement exercise where I asked them to mill through the room and walk with different parts of their bodies. Then they were asked to observe what part of their body they walked with and observe a stranger. Just thoughts!

6 03 2013
zehirablog

That is a lovely idea thank you!
I turned my lists into Wordles today and tried them with my A-Level class – they loved them and came up with much more creative responses.

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