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Snappy Words: Definition Paragraph

Website Example:

More Ways

Computer(s), Internet access, projector, word processing software

Activity Description

For this activity, students will use the Snappy Words Web site to help them define a term in the form of a paragraph.


  1. Make sure the Web site is not blocked at your school.
  2. Create an assignment prompt and write a model paragraph, or use the Example Document (above). Here are more examples.


  1. Make a list of abstract nouns (love, friendship, motherhood, freedom, peace, happiness, etc.) or have students brainstorm a list.
  2. Have students choose one term or assign a term.
  3. Students will open the Example Web Site (above) for Snappy Words. You can demonstrate how to use the site and explain the legend (colors and markers refer the relationships between words and parts of speech of words).
  4. Students type in the term they have chosen or been assigned to define. A visual will appear with related words and synonyms. By hovering the mouse over a word, students can see a definition.
  5. Students should write down key words and definitions.
  6. Then students can be grouped by the terms and share their notes and other ideas, such as connotative meaning of the terms (and optionally record them on a flip chart). Groups share their ideas with the class.
  7. Explain the definition paragraph assignment (see Example Document - Definition Paragraph prompt) and show sample paragraphs.
  8. Have students write their topic sentence. Have students compose their first drafts and collect the drafts.
  9. Provide feedback on format, content, and mechanics.
  10. Have students compose their final drafts of their paragraphs on a word processing program.

Teacher Tips

  • The Web site Visuwords ┬ácan also be used for this task if Snappy Words is not available..



  • Advanced


Basic Communication

  • (7.2) Demonstrate ability to use critical thinking skills
  • (7.3) Demonstrate ability to use problem-solving skills
  • (7.4) Demonstrate study skills
  • (7.7) Demonstrate the ability to use information and communication technology
  • (7.6) Demonstrate the ability to view the media critically
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.