Download This Sample
This sample is exclusively for KidsKonnect members!
To download this worksheet, click the button below to signup for free (it only takes a minute) and you'll be brought right back to this page to start the download!
Sign Me Up
Connotation consists of the ideas, emotions, associations, or images that come to mind beyond a word or text’s literal meaning. When we read or see something, we can think of it in literal terms. For instance, when we think of the term “collie,” we think of the certain type of dog that the word describes. The literal meaning of “collie” is a breed of dog. However, if someone uses the word “collie,” we might think of Lassie, the famous dog from the television show Lassie. Therefore, the connotation is the character we think about beyond the literal definition and images of the word “collie.”
Connotations are different than denotations in that connotations are always unique to individuals. While some connotations could be understood by everyone, such as a connotation that touches on popular culture, an organization that everyone knows, literature that everyone knows, or products that most people know. However, some connotations may be used to only reach a small group of readers who share a culture or an experience. Denotations, because they are literal, can reach everyone, but connotations range in how many people receive and understand them. This means that our experiences, opinions, and thoughts cause us to recognize different connotations, and it causes everyone to experience different emotions and feelings when presented with a word or text.
A good example would be the word “water.” When thinking about the literal meaning of water, you think of the wet liquid. However, you could move further beyond the literal meaning and think of thirst, water balloons, oceans, or a running faucet. You could move further yet and think of the movie Jaws, where the characters are surrounded by shark-infested water. You could think of the children’s film The Water Horse. You could think of mythical creatures like mermaids, the Loch Ness Monster, or the Sirens from Greek mythology. While these creatures may seem unrelated to the simple word water, if you think of mermaids when you hear the word water, then the word “water” connotes “mermaids.” Someone who had a bad experience in or with water might feel fearful or panicked when they hear the word water; for instance, someone who had to be saved from drowning may think of that experience when they hear the word “water.” However, someone may think of a camping trip they went on when they hear the word. The images and feelings evoked from words differ between all people.
When we make a suggestion using a word, we say we are connoting. When a word implies something else or evokes an idea, the word connotes or is connoting something else. You can think of connotation as something that is implied, not something that is directly said.
The following examples are words following by the images or words that the word may connote:
- Balloons – hot air balloons, Around the World in Eighty Days, parties, birthdays, New Year
- Grass – lawn mower, snakes, crickets, dirt, grass stains, baseball
- Dinner – family, holidays, bread, discussion
- House – bedrooms, home, fireplace, newlyweds, new job, mortgages, loans, home decor
- Moon – stars, love, astronomical concepts, gravity, rocks, moonlight, romantic dates, stargazing
- Tree – climbing, swinging, leaves, summer days, gentle winds, orchards, fruit, strong, sturdy
An example from literature:
The opening of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man is as follows:
“I am an invisible man.”
In a literal sense, we would think that the man cannot be physically seen. However, Ellison connotes a man who is not seen by society. Ralph Ellison’s character is not physically invisible, but the idea that society overlooks certain individuals because of gender, race, class, or religion. The term “invisible man” connotes this notion of society being prejudice against people, and those people feeling invisible because they are looked down upon.
This bundle contains 5 ready-to-use connotation worksheets that are perfect to test student knowledge and understanding of what connotation is and how it can be used. You can use these connotation worksheets in the classroom with students, or with home schooled children as well.
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as Connotation Examples and Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 14, 2017
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.