Teaching Materials

Want to Teach General Semantics?

You will find the following resources helpful when designing lessons for classes in general semantics.  Skilled teachers in general semantics have contributed teaching guides for students of all ages, syllabi, course materials, tutorials, exercises, and handouts.  Also included are links to books that aid in the instruction of general semantics.

Teaching Guides

“Lecture Notes on Teaching General Semantics”
by Lance Strate, Ph.D.

This excellent and detailed outline used for teaching general semantics Dr. Strate employed for many years in his course introducing students to the field of communication. In this outline, he presents general semantics “on its own terms, as a separate topic and unit.” Of note, Dr. Strate bridges general semantics to other communications fields, making for a contextual understanding of general semantics in the field of communication.

Click here to read Dr. Lance Strate’s “Lecture Notes on Teaching General Semantics.”

A Continuing Education Guide to Teaching General Semantics
by Martin H. Levinson, Ph.D.

This guide contains twelve continuing education lessons in general semantics. Each lesson includes an Introduction (for the teacher) of the basic GS ideas to be presented, a Motivation to begin the lesson, and Suggested Activities for students. Lessons can be combined or abbreviated depending on the time constraints of the course and wishes of the instructor.

Click here to purchase Dr. Martin H. Levinson’s A Continuing Education Guide to Teaching General Semantics.

“Awareness & Action: A General Semantics Approach to Effective Language Behavior”
by Mary P. Lahman, Ph.D.

This ebook aims at increasing awareness of faulty language behavior and motivating daily action to correct such behavior.  In the first two sections of this text, Dr. Lahman shows how general semantics can be used as a systematic inquiry into language behavior. In the remaining four sections, Dr. Lahman follows with an application of these formulations, including case studies.

Click here to read Dr. Mary P. Lahman’s “Awareness & Action: A General Semantics Approach to Effective Language Behavior.”

“Twelve General Semantics Lessons for Middle School Students”
by Martin H. Levinson, Ph.D.

This curriculum provides twelve science-based general semantics lessons for middle school students. It was developed as part of a research study that used the ideas and techniques of general semantics to reduce feelings of alienation among seventh-, eighth-, and ninth-grade students.

Click here to read Dr. Martin H. Levinson’s “Twelve General Semantics Lessons for Middle School Students.”

 Click here for the French version translated by Marie-Pierre Subtil.

“Seminar: Language, Thought and Culture”
by Eva Berger, Ph.D.

This syllabus (in Hebrew) outlines a seminar that deals with the relationship between symbols, brain, meaning, language, thought, and culture.  The first goal of this seminar is to stimulate students’ thinking about the ways in which symbols, especially language, are involved in the process of human thinking and behavior. The second goal is to help students hone their critical thinking, which is closely related to language.

Click here to read in Hebrew Dr. Eva Berger’s syllabus “Seminar: Language, Thought and Culture.”

“Cognitive Evaluation and Communication: A K-12 Experiential Communication Curriculum Built upon General Semantic Concepts”
by Frank Gastner, et al.

This curriculum (available online) contains a series of lessons and exercises utilizing a number of basic general semantics formulations. These lessons are designed to accommodate students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The format introduces students to general semantics formulations pertinent to them in age-appropriate lessons.

Click here to visit

Course Materials

Seminar-Workshop Participant Notebook
from June 2006

The following materials come from the June 2006 Seminar-Workshop participant notebook.  They include an abundance of lessons and instruction for teaching and learning general semantics.

Click here to view the contents of the June 2006 Seminar-Workshop participant notebook.

Tutorials, Exercises & Handouts


Free Web Books

Instant PEP for Language
by the Staff of Fort Myer Elementary School

A guidebook developed by the Postman Enthusiasts Project (PEP) at Fort Myer Elementary to teach students about the behaviors related to language, from a distinctly general semantics perspective.

Words and What They Do to You
by Catherine Minteer

Beginning lessons in general semantics for junior high and high school students.

Available for free in web format.

Books in the IGS Store

Classroom Exercises in General Semantics
Edited by Mary Morain

Lively exercises and demonstrations show how to improve our communicating and evaluating. Topics include perception and description, inference chaining, logic and clarity, conflict resolution, and more.

Teaching General Semantics:
A Collection of Lessons Plans for College and Adult Classes

Edited by Mary Morain

Written by teachers, executives, and trainers, this popular teacher’s guide gives you a powerful tool for giving your students power over their own lives.

General Semantics: An Outline Survey
by Kenneth Johnson

A fantastic, highly organized overview of general semantics.

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