Education Technology

NCTE: Collaborating on Denotation and Connotation

Published on 07/19/2006

Activity Overview

Students will work in groups of four to determine definitions and examples of denotative and connotative meaning. They will examine a photograph and read a description of its denotative and connotative meaning; and then analyze an image of their own.

Before the Activity

See the attached Activity PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity.

Print the appropriate pages from the Activity for your class.

Install the LearningCheck™ App on the students' graphing calculators following the attached instructions.

Divide students into groups of four. Explain lesson objectives, which are outlined in the second set of instructions listed on the Item Menu. Ensure that students have access to the appropriate LearningCheck .edc resource files and Internet access.

During the Activity

  • Distribute the appropriate pages from the Activity to your class
  • Distribute the NoteFolio™ file(s) to your class using TI Connect™ and the appropriate TI Connectivity cable
  • Follow the procedures outlined in the Activity


  • Students will:
  • Identify denotative and connotative meanings.
  • Examine possible effects of connotative meanings on an audience.
  • Analyze an image to determine connotative meanings.
  • Describe audiences that would recognize these connotations.
  • Identify and analyze connotative meanings of various terms depending on context.
  • Define connotation and denotation (with examples).
  • After the Activity

    Have student groups who chose the same images discuss their findings with one another. Lead a brief discussion of denotation and connotation, and how understanding of these concepts can enhance critical thinking skills and understanding of images, words, and advertisements that surround them.