Words to the X-Power

Words to the X-Power lesson plan

Build vocabulary by playing with a word and its synonyms. This fun chalk game can expand your knowledge, one word at a time.

  • 1.

    Find a large, safe outdoor area on which to play this word-power game with the class.

  • 2.

    Draw a large circle. Divide it into at least 6 equal wedges using different colors of Crayola Giant Sidewalk Chalk.

  • 3.

    Students take turns standing in the center of the circle. Write one word at the top of each wedge in large block letters. Draw small, related sketches at the bottom of the wedge.

  • 4.

    With each turn, write a word that has the same or similar meaning (synonym) to the word at the top of a wedge. Pass the chalk on to another. After wedges fill, add extension wedges around the outside. When a player can’t think of a word to add, it’s time to sit down. Keep playing until there is one champion wordsmith standing.


  • LA: Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
  • LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • MATH: Geometric measurement: understand concepts of angle and measure angles.
  • VA: Use visual structures of are to communicate ideas.
  • VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.


  • Possible classroom resources include: Antonyms, Synonyms & Homonyms by Kim Rayevsky & Robert Rayevsky; If You Were a Synonym (Word Fun) by Michael Dahl; Pitch and Throw, Grasp and Know: What Is a Synonym? (Words Are Categorical) by Brian P. Cleary; Stop and Go, Yes and No: What Is an Antonym? (Words Are Categorical) by Brian P. Cleary; How Much Can a Bare Bear Bear?: What Are Homonyms and Homophones? (Words Are Categorical) by Brian P. Cleary.
  • Encourage students to adapt the language game to focus on homonyms or antonyms.
  • Students, working in small groups, compose an original paragraph. Students underline each adjective, verb, noun, and adverb. Students generate synonyms for terms included in their group paragraph. Revise the paragraph until the team is satisfied with the final product. Students should be prepared to share their paragraph with classmates.