Understanding connotation, imagery and symbol video

Duration: 6 minutes 6 seconds

Understanding connotation, imagery and symbol video

Quizmaster – Greetings, and welcome to everyone's favourite game show,

[crowd applause and cheers]

Quizmaster – Connotation imagery and symbol R Us. Time for round 1 – name that connotation.

Erin – Huh?

[crickets chirping]

Reannah – Huh?

Quizmaster – Mervin,


Quizmaster – [speaks into an earpiece to the announcer] we're experiencing some technical difficulties here. The contestants don't know what connotation is.

Announcer – [speaks as a voice-over to the contestants and the audience] Connotation is an idea or feeling that we sometimes connect to a word. It suggests more than the word's basic meaning.

[crowd oohing]

Quizmaster – For example, the word 'park', usually reminds us of having fun, and enjoying ourselves.

[crowd aawing]

Quizmaster – Doesn't he have a nice voice?

Quizmaster – So, connotation is the ideas and feelings words make us feel, aside from their literal meaning. Got it?

[crowd oohs]

Reannah and Erin – Uh [looking confused]

[Crowd laughs]

Quizmaster – Great! Let's get into, 'name that connotation'. In this round, I'll say a word, and you have to tell me what that word makes you feel, as in, what is the connotation of the word? All right, hands on buzzers. What do you feel when I say the word, "sun," as in, "the sun in the sky was shining bright?"

[Alarm buzz]

Erin – I think of happiness. I'm always happy on a sunny day. The sun is so life-giving.

[Audience ooohs]

[Alarm buzz]

Reannah – Well, I think of exhaustion. When the sun is constantly beating down on you, it makes you feel hot and bothered.

Quizmaster – You're both correct.

[audience aaws]

There can be a number of connotations around a word. These can be very different. It all depends on your personal and cultural experiences.

[Audience ooohs]

Quizmaster – Right. Time for round two – create that imagery. In this round, I'll give you two very different words. I want you to combine those words to create imagery.

Erin – What's imagery?

Reannah – What's imagery?

Quizmaster – Mervin.

Announcer – [speaks as a voice-over to the contestants and the audience] Imagery brings two different things together to say something new about each one. For example, take some clouds. Now, take a ship. They're both very different but are similar. In one way, they both can move. So, if we put them together, as in, "the cloud sailed across the blue sky," we've created beautiful imagery. Now, we see the clouds as ships and the sky as the sea.

Quizmaster – Got it?

Erin – I think so.

Quizmaster – Great! So, what is some imagery you can create by combining these two different words? [shows two words on cards, sun and face]

Erin – A sunny smile. My mum has a sunny smile. It's so warm and bright like the sun.

Quizmaster – Reannah?

Reannah – Shining beauty, as in, "I have shining beauty." It radiates from within and will last an eternity. [looks at herself in a hand mirror]

Quizmaster – Wow, a very different description, but also very rich in imagery, and I can reveal that both of your examples of imagery are correct. There is no one way a word can be used in imagery. Words can be used in lots of different image rich descriptions which allow us to experience more than one thing at a time.

Okay, now for the third and final round; draw that symbol. In this round, you'll use the sun to create a symbol. [Erin bangs 2 cymbals together] No, not that sort of.. Mervin, more technical difficulties. Now the contestants don't know what symbols are.

Announcer – [speaks as a voice over to the contestants and the audience] Symbols are pictures, colours or things that represent something else, usually something abstract, like an idea. Composers use symbols in their texts to enrich meaning. It's like a shortcut to a bigger idea.

Quizmaster – I do like the way he sounds. Right, so, you have to draw something involving a sun that means or symbolises something else. Go. [both draw on a card] Erin, what symbol have you drawn?

Erin – [Holds up her drawing] A smiley emoji. It's round and yellow like the sun, and it's a symbol of happiness, just like the sun makes you happy. It's a shortcut to a bigger idea.

Quizmaster – Yes, Reannah? What symbol have you drawn that involves a sun?

Reannah – [Holds up her drawing] I've drawn the Aboriginal flag. It has a large yellow circle in the middle, which is a symbol of the sun. It represents the giver of life and the protector.

Quizmaster – Both of your answers are correct. A sun can be used as a symbol for many things, just like imagery involving the sun can create many meanings. Just like the connotation or the feeling behind the word, "sun," can be many things. The meanings created by connotation, imagery or a symbol are complex, because they take you beyond the basic meanings of a word. These meanings differ for each of us and depend on our own cultural and personal experiences. Let's see if you can guess the meaning behind one more symbol, a hand symbol.[Mr McSkimming waves at the camera]

Erin and Reannah It means bye. [They both start waving at the camera]

Quizmaster – That's right. Bye, bye.

End of transcript

Note – Aboriginal Flag’ by Harold Thomas, 1971. Approved for use by WAM Clothing.

Related reading

Please note:

English K-10 Syllabus © 2012 Copyright NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales.

English Textual Concepts and Learning Processes, and Related Syllabus Content © State of New South Wales, Department of Education, 2017 Learning and Teaching Directorate

Return to top of page Back to top