LAFS.6.RL.2.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.
General Information
Subject Area: English Language Arts
Grade: 6
Strand: Reading Standards for Literature
Idea: Level 3: Strategic Thinking & Complex Reasoning
Date Adopted or Revised: 12/10
Date of Last Rating: 02/14
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes
Test Item Specifications
  • Item Type(s): This benchmark may be assessed using: EBSR , MS , ST , MC item(s)
  • Assessed with: LAFS.6.L.3.4,LAFS.6.L.3.5
  • Assessment Limits :
    Items may ask the student to use the text to determine the meanings of words and phrases. Items should focus on how the words or phrases function within a passage and may require the student to analyze the impact of word choice on the text. Items should focus on words and phrases that are central to themeaning of text. Items should focus on grade-appropriate words. Items should not focus on dictionary-based word meanings butshould focus on how a word or phrase functions within the context ofthe passage. Items should focus on words and phrases that have figurative or allusive meanings central to the meaning of the text rather than isolated, incidental vocabulary. Items may ask about words with discrete context clues in close proximity or words whose meaning is conveyed more implicitly throughout the passage. Items may ask the student to employ various strategiesto explore word meaning, including the use of Greek or Latin affixes and roots. Items may require the student to use word relationships to determine the meanings of individual words. Items may ask the student to analyze figurative or connotative meanings of words.
  • Text Types :
    Items assessing these standards may be used with one or more grade-appropriate literary texts. Texts may vary incomplexity.
  • Response Mechanisms :
    The Enhanced Item Descriptions section on page 3 provides a list of Response Mechanisms that may be used to assess thisstandard (excluding the Editing Task Choice item type). The Sample Response Mechanisms may include, but are not limited to, the examples below.
  • Task Demand and Sample Response Mechanisms :

    Task Demand

    Determine the meaning of words or phrases by using context clues that are either explicitly or implicitly stated in the text.

    Sample Response Mechanisms

    Selectable Text

    • Requires the student to select words or phrases from the text that show the meaning of words used in the text.
    • Requires the student to select words or phrases from two sections of text that show the meanings of words as determined using context clues. 

    EBSR

    • Requires the student to select the meaning of a word or phrase and then to select words or phrases from the text that show the meaning. 
    Multiple Choice
    • Requires the student to select the meaning of words used in the text. 
    Multiselect
    • Requires the student to select multiple words or phrases from the text that act as context clues when determining another word’s meaning.
    Task Demand

    Analyze the impact of the author’s word choice on meaning or tone.

    Sample Response Mechaisms

    Selectable Text

    • Requires the student to select words or phrases from the text that show the impact of word choice on a text’s meaning or tone.
    • Requires the student to select words or phrases from two sections of text that show the impact of the author’sword choice on meaning or tone. 
    EBSR
    • Requires the student to select an inference about the impact of the author’s word choice on meaning or tone and then to select words or phrases from the passage that support that inference. 
    Multiple Choice
    • Requires the student to select the impact of word choice on a text’s meaning or tone. 
    Multiselect
    • Requires the student to select multiple ways a particular word adds to an analysis of the text and its tone.
    Task Demand

    Determine the meaning of an unknown or multiple-meaning word or phrase by using context, such as a word’s position or the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph.

    Sample Response Mechanisms

    Selectable Text

    • Requires the student to select words or phrases from the text that provide context clues to the meaning of a word or phrase.
    • Requires the student to select words or phrases from two sections of text that provide context clues to the meaning of a word or phrase. 
    EBSR
    • Requires the student to select the meaning of a word and then to select words or phrases from the text that act as context clues to support that meaning. 
    Multiple Choice
    • Requires the student to select the meaning of anunknown or multiple-meaning word.
    Task Demand

    Determine the meaning of a word using common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes or roots.

    Sample Response Mechanisms

    Selectable Text

    • Requires the student to select words or phrases from the text that contain Greek or Latin affixes or roots that provide clues to the meaning of a word or phrase.
    • Requires the student to select words or phrases from two sections of text that contain Greek or Latin affixes or roots that provide clues to the meaning of a word or phrase. 

    EBSR

    • Requires the student to select the meaning of a word and then to select words or phrases with Greek or Latin affixes or roots from the text to support that meaning. 
    Multiple Choice
    • Requires the student to select the meaning of a word that contains a Greek or Latin affix or root.
    Task Demand

    Interpret figures of speech in the context of the text.

    Sample Response Mechanisms

    Selectable Text

    • Requires the student to select words or phrases from the text that provide context clues to the meaning of a figure of speech.
    • Requires the student to select words or phrases from two sections of text that provide context clues to the meaning of a figure of speech. 
    EBSR
    • Requires the student to interpret the meaning of a figure of speech and then to select words or phrases from the text that support that meaning.
    Multiple Choice
    • Requires the student to select the meaning of a figure of speech in the context of the text.
    Task Demand

    Use relationships, such as cause and effect or part and whole, between specific words to help interpret their meaning.

    Sample Response Mechanisms

    Selectable Text

    • Requires the student to select words or phrases from the text that provide support for the interpretation of a word’s meaning.
    • Requires the student to select words or phrases from two sections of text that show the meanings of words as determined using word relationships. 
    EBSR
    • Requires the student to select the meaning of a word and then to select words or phrases from the text that support that meaning. 
    Multiple Choice
    • Requires the student to select the meaning of a word in the context of the text or word relationship.
    Task Demand

    Distinguish among the connotations of words with similar definitions.

    Sample Response Mechanisms

    Selectable Text

    • Requires the student to select words or phrases from the text that provide support for the connotation of a word.
    • Requires the student to select words or phrases from two sections of text that help to determine which connotation of a word is being used.
    EBSR
    • Requires the student to select the correct connotation of a word and then to select words or phrases from the text that support that meaning. 

    Multiple Choice

    • Requires the student to select the correct connotation or synonym of a word found in the text.

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
1000000: M/J Intensive Language Arts (MC) (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
1000010: M/J Intensive Reading 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2021 (current), 2021 and beyond)
1000020: M/J Intensive Reading and Career Planning (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2019, 2019 - 2021 (current), 2021 and beyond)
1001010: M/J Language Arts 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
1001020: M/J Language Arts 1 Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
1002000: M/J Language Arts 1 Through ESOL (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
1002180: M/J English Language Development (MC) (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
1006000: M/J Journalism 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2021 (current), 2021 and beyond)
1007000: M/J Speech and Debate 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2019, 2019 - 2021 (current), 2021 and beyond)
1008010: M/J Reading 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2021 (course terminated))
1008020: M/J Reading 1, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2021 (course terminated))
1009000: M/J Creative Writing 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
7810011: Access M/J Language Arts 1  (Specifically in versions: 2013 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
1002181: M/J Developmental Language Arts Through ESOL (Reading) (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
1007025: M/J Speech and Debate (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2019, 2019 and beyond (current))
1009025: M/J Creative Writing (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2021 (current), 2021 and beyond)

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
LAFS.6.RL.2.AP.4a: Identify phrases with figurative language.
LAFS.6.RL.2.AP.4b: Determine the meaning of figurative phrases as used in text.
LAFS.6.RL.2.AP.4c: Identify connotative meaning in a given text.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Formative Assessments

Do The Words Really Mean What They Say?:

The student will read the story “An Unwitting Winner” and choose ten sentences to analyze. The student will identify the type of figurative language in each sentence and explain or interpret the meaning that the author was trying to convey by using those words. Finally, the student will explain how the figurative language impacted the tone of the story.

Type: Formative Assessment

It’s All about How You Say It: Word Choice and Tone :

The student will read a narrative text, determine the meanings of particular words and then analyze how the author’s choice of those words impacts the meaning and tone of the text.

Type: Formative Assessment

Meanings of Words and Phrases in "Pearls for Nanira":

The student will read a literary passage using active reading strategies. After a teacher-facilitated class discussion, the student will fill out a graphic organizer to show understanding of the meanings of unfamiliar words and phrases. Finally, the student will select three words from his/her list and explain the impact of each specific word choice on meaning and tone of the text.

Type: Formative Assessment

Meaning Unfolding Before My Eyes:

Student will read a literary text and determine the meaning of select words and phrases using context clues, word parts, and/or referential materials. Student will write the meaning of the words and phrases on a graphic organizer. Finally, student will select three words from his/her list and explain the impact of each specific word choice on meaning and tone of the text.

Type: Formative Assessment

Lesson Plans

Narrative Writing: Climate Change and “The Sand Castle”:

In this lesson, students will view a video about climate change, read and analyze a short story depicting the effects of climate change, and write their own narratives sending a message to their readers about the impact of climate change.

Type: Lesson Plan

Views on Freedom: Part 1 of 3:

This lesson is the first in a series of three focusing on the importance of freedom. In this lesson, students begin with a journal entry about freedom. Students then read two poems - "Words Like Freedom" (originally titled "Refugee in America") by Langston Hughes and "Sympathy" by Paul Laurence Dunbar - analyzing each poem according to literary and poetic elements. Text questions, a poetry chart, sample answer keys, and a PowerPoint are included.  

Type: Lesson Plan

A Close Reading: An Excerpt from A Corner of the Universe:

In this lesson, students will conduct three close readings of an excerpt from A Corner of the Universe by Ann M. Martin. This lesson will engage students in a thought-provoking text that will challenge students to explore how a character's point of view can influence how events are described and shape a text. In conjunction with point of view, students will have opportunities to use context clues to define selected vocabulary words within the text. Upon completion of the close reading activities, students will practice their narrative writing skills by creating an original dialogue between the main character and her mother. A rubric specific to the writing task is included along with guided reading questions and sample responses.

Type: Lesson Plan

Figurative Language - Similies and Metaphors:

This is a high interest lesson that includes segments of music, television shows and movies of interest to students. Students will review the meanings of similes and metaphors and see multiple examples from different types of media during the video portion of the lesson. During the lesson, students will practice identifying and interpreting the meaning of similes and metaphors in selected songs. As a summative assessment, students will be asked to complete a graphic organizer where they will find examples from song lyrics of their own choosing that include each form of the figurative language discussed. Students will then be asked to illustrate one of each from their song(s) as well.

Type: Lesson Plan

On the Road to Change: A Poetic Comparison:

In this lesson, students will analyze the song "Time of Your Life" by Green Day and two Robert Frost poems, "The Road Not Taken" and "Nothing Gold Can Stay."The instructor will model authors usage of symbolism, imagery, figurative language, tone and theme. Students will complete a graphic organizer and work toward the culminating activity of an essay comparing two of the pieces of literature.

Type: Lesson Plan

Reciprocal Teaching Strategies in Poetry: "The Copper Kettle Sweetheart":

In this lesson, students will use the four core reading strategies of predicting, clarifying, questioning and summarizing to develop comprehension skills through the use of poetry.

Type: Lesson Plan

Lincoln the Leader:

In this lesson, students will work cooperatively to read and analyze a poem that describes President Abraham Lincoln. Through teacher led and small-group discussions of "Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight by Vachel Lindsay, students will learn vocabulary in context, identify the speaker's point of view, and write an argument presenting and supporting their analysis of the text.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Rise of the Mongoose: Using "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" in the Classroom:

In this lesson, students will study the short story "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" by Rudyard Kipling. The class will work together to read the first two pages of the story aloud and the teacher will conduct a think aloud to model strategies to determine the meaning of selected vocabulary in context. The class will also answer comprehension questions about the first two pages and discuss their understandings. Students will then work in partners or small groups for the next set of pages, reading the story aloud, using different strategies to determine the meaning of highlighted words in context, and answering questions about the story. After a group discussion, students will work to continue the process independently, examining vocabulary and answering comprehension questions for the last part of the story. The summative assessment will require students to write two extended paragraphs conceptualizing their understanding of key parts of the story and its main character, Rikki. The story, student handouts, a teacher key, a rubric, and a link to a video clip on the mongoose and a cobra are included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Views on Freedom: Part 2 of 3:

In this second part of a three-part unit, students first read a nonfiction article by Nelson Mandela about freedom and fill out a rhetorical triangle and an outline to help them understand and process the key points and supporting details. Students will also read and analyze the folk tale "The People Could Fly" for its use of figurative language and literary elements using a chart similar to the poetry chart from Lesson #1. Text-dependent questions for both texts have also been included. In the closure activity students will compare and contrast these texts with a poem they read in the first lesson in the unit as to how each text approaches the topic of freedom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorials

Denotation and Connotation in "Fire and Ice":

Explore the poem "Fire and Ice" by Robert Frost and learn about denotation and connotation. In this interactive tutorial, you will examine the impact of word choice on the meaning of a poem. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Why the Attitude?:

Learn to determine the meaning of figures of speech, like similes and metaphors, that authors use in poetry. You will also be able to analyze how these word choices reveal an author’s tone, or attitude, in a poem. You will also be able to analyze how these word choices reveal an author’s tone, or attitude, in a poem. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Teaching Idea

The Lightning Thief Novel Study:

This is a complete unit covering The Lightning Thief. It includes a chapter by chapter study with a strong emphasis on vocabulary and detail.

Type: Teaching Idea

Unit/Lesson Sequences

A Study of "America Street: A Multicultural Anthology of Stories":

This is a sixth grade unit using the collection of short stories in "America Street: A Multicultural Anthology of Stories" by Anne Mazer. Students will examine point of view, multiple perspectives, character development, and setting in these varied texts. This unit includes a complete packet with graphic organizers, a pacing guide, and an assessment with answer key and possible student responses.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Investigating a Mystery in "Chasing Vermeer":

This sixth grade unit is based on the mystery novel Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett. Students will analyze clues and motives, study plot, and make predictions while learning about the artist Johannes Vermeer. It includes a complete packet with creative activities, graphic organizers, a pacing guide, and an assessment with answer key and possible student responses.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

A Study of Science and Fantasy Fiction in A Wrinkle in Time:

This is a sixth grade unit on the sci-fi novel A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle. Students will examine the characteristics of scientific and futuristic fiction including vocabulary, setting, and plot development. This unit includes a complete packet with graphic organizers, a pacing guide, and an assessment with answer key and possible student responses.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Exploring Verse Novels with "Keeping the Night Watch" and "Chess Rumble" :

This is a sixth grade unit on the verse novels Keeping the Night Watch by Hope Anita Smith and Chess Rumble by G. Neri. This unit explores narrative and lyric poetry, figurative language, author's purpose, voice, and symbolism. It includes games, graphic organizers, and a complete student packet, and includes a pacing guide and assessment with sample student answers.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Figurative Language and Author's Purpose in "Home of the Brave" by Katherine Applegate:

This is a sixth grade unit on the verse novel Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate. This unit explores narrative and lyric poetry, figurative language, author's purpose, voice, and symbolism. It is rich with games, graphic organizers, and a complete student packet and includes a pacing guide and assessment with sample student answers.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Drawing Conclusions and Solving Mysteries in “Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy”:

This is a sixth grade unit on the mystery novel Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy by Wendelin Van Draanen. Students will analyze characters, study the plot, make predictions, and draw conclusions to solve a mystery in this forensic-themed unit. This unit includes a complete packet with graphic organizers, a pacing guide, and an assessment with answer key and possible student responses.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Analyzing Characters and Making Predictions in "Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief":

This is a sixth grade unit on the mystery novel Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief by Wendelin Van Draanen. Students will analyze characters, study the plot, and make predictions in this forensic-themed unit. This unit includes a complete packet with graphic organizers, a pacing guide, and an assessment with answer key and possible student responses.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

"The House on Mango Street": A Short Story Unit Examining Point of View, Perspective, and Plot:

This is a sixth grade unit using the short stories in The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros to identify point of view, interpret a character's perspective, and utilize plot elements to retell a story. This unit includes several graphic organizers, an assessment, and an answer key with sample responses.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Analyzing the Mystery Novel "The Westing Game" by Ellen Raskin:

This is a sixth grade unit on the mystery novel "The Westing Game" by Ellen Raskin. Students will analyze the character's motives, identify clues to solve the mystery, make predictions about the conclusion, and identify 'red herrings'. This unit on detective fiction includes a complete packet with graphic organizers, a pacing guide, and an assessment with answer key.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Original Student Tutorials for Language Arts - Grades 6-12

Denotation and Connotation in "Fire and Ice":

Explore the poem "Fire and Ice" by Robert Frost and learn about denotation and connotation. In this interactive tutorial, you will examine the impact of word choice on the meaning of a poem. 

Why the Attitude?:

Learn to determine the meaning of figures of speech, like similes and metaphors, that authors use in poetry. You will also be able to analyze how these word choices reveal an author’s tone, or attitude, in a poem. You will also be able to analyze how these word choices reveal an author’s tone, or attitude, in a poem. 

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Original Student Tutorials

Denotation and Connotation in "Fire and Ice":

Explore the poem "Fire and Ice" by Robert Frost and learn about denotation and connotation. In this interactive tutorial, you will examine the impact of word choice on the meaning of a poem. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Why the Attitude?:

Learn to determine the meaning of figures of speech, like similes and metaphors, that authors use in poetry. You will also be able to analyze how these word choices reveal an author’s tone, or attitude, in a poem. You will also be able to analyze how these word choices reveal an author’s tone, or attitude, in a poem. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.