50 Practice Exercises

Rank the words below from most negative to neutral to most positive. What are the connotations of each word?

riot, demonstration, protest, rally, uprising, unrest, march, revolt, movement

Next, discuss the feelings and images called up by the following two sentences:

Rioters flooded downtown streets on Monday afternoon.
Protestors marched through the city.

Think of a situation in which public demonstrations or unrest occurred. Describe what happened, choosing your words carefully to shape readers’ feelings and associations.

Working in a pair or small group, order the following groups of words from least to most positive, using your knowledge of connotation to guide you. Note where you agree or disagree on a word’s connotation. What cultural, socio-economic, or personal factors may have caused your group’s disagreements (or lack thereof)?

thin, fit, lanky, skinny, gaunt, slender

aggressive, assertive, domineering, dynamic, pushy

shrewd, nerdy, bright, brilliant, cunning, smart, intelligent



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