A Bad Case of Stripes Vocabulary: Synonyms

Contributor: Elephango Editors. Lesson ID: 10388

Are you ready, prepared, and equipped to learn about synonyms? Using an online thesaurus and your special unique brain, learn about words that mean the same thing and spice up your writing!



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Check out the yellow face above.

  • Is this guy fretting, worried, bothered, or discontent?
  • Good writing makes good reading.

There are many ways to improve your writing. Here are some ways to develop your writing skills.

  • Read every day.
  • Use a thesaurus.
  • Learn new words each day.
  • Keep a journal.
  • Use synonyms.

This lesson will help you learn how to use these methods to improve your writing.

Vocabulary can make writing more effective and powerful.

  • How can you use vocabulary to make your writing more impressive?

One way is to use synonyms. Synonyms are words that have the same or nearly the same meaning. The Merriam-Webster Thesaurus is a great tool for finding synonyms for a vocabulary word.

A vocabulary journal is a fun way to track new words you learn.

  • How do you create one?

Check out these Ideas for Vocabulary Journals or use the Graphic Organizer – Vocabulary Word Map in the Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar.

A word map can help you understand any vocabulary word. Below is an example for the word fretting.

The word fretting is used in the story A Bad Case of Stripes, by David Shannon, along with the following vocabulary words.

  fretting uncontrollable experts
  impress ointment virus
  instant contagious bacteria
  extraordinary specialists cure


As you watch the read-along video below, listen for each word.

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  • Did you hear the word fretting?

The word map above showed several synonyms for fretting, but the thesaurus provides over 100 fretting synonyms. To find the right one, you need to know how the original word is being used.

Look at how the word is used in the following sentence.

Lisa was fretting about the problematic exam she was about to take.

  • How can you use synonyms to express the same or similar meaning?

Change the original vocabulary word with a synonym or two. Look at the examples below. Notice how you can change words in a sentence.

Lisa was worrying or agonizing about the problematic exam she was about to take.

As she was about to take the challenging exam, a look of anguish struck Lisa.

You now have four new words with similar meanings to add to your reading and writing toolbox! You will know what each means the next time you encounter these words in your reading.

Notice how the root word anguish was used in the sentence instead of anguishing. You could also use the root word of fretting to change your sentence.

A look of fret struck Lisa as she was about to take the challenging exam.

In the Got It? section, you will practice finding synonyms for another vocabulary word from A Bad Case of Stripes.

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