Semantic Feature Analysis – A Teaching Strategy
What is Semantic Feature Analysis?
Semantic feature analysis (SFA) uses a grid to help students visualize how topics are related to one another. Learners complete the grid to see connections between items, make predictions, or categorize topics.
When to Use SFA
Use semantic feature analysis any time students have a list of topics to compare and contrast. This strategy is helpful to use when:
How to Use a Semantic Feature Matrix
The handout contains this simple SFA. Both blank and answer key versions are included. Place the blank SFA page on a projection device such as a SmartBoard. Complete the matrix as a class. In just moments, students will understand how SFA charts should be completed.
This strategy helps students —
SFA is an easy strategy to differentiate. When listing features, begin with concrete ideas. As you move to the right, use more abstract thoughts. Cut off columns on the right side of the matrix based on learners’ needs.
Another way to differentiate is to have students leave boxes blank that are false and place checks in boxes that are true. I would not recommend this for all students because blank boxes could mean “I Don’t Know.”
Give SFA a Try
This free handout includes three activities. The first is the one explained above. The second is a SFA to use with the book The Westing Game. Students evaluate The Westing Game teams to determine if they will be successful in winning the game. Finally, a vocabulary SFA is included. Use this printable with any list of words. Students look for parts of speech, affixes, roots, and multiple meanings.
You can download by clicking on the image below.