Broader, Narrower and Related Terms

You can use an example and visual representation to explain what you mean by broader, narrower and related terms. Try online shopping as your example.

Scenario described by the instructor:

You go to class one day and your friend is wearing a green hoodie which you really like so you ask her where she got it. She tells you the web site she bought it from and you go home, go to that site and type in "hoodie." Nothing comes back but you know the hoodie is there. What else would you type in?

  • Students will probably come up with terms such as sweater, sweatshirt, etc. Write these on the board and explain that these are related terms.
  • Ask them what you would do if none of these worked and you needed to choose a broader topic or category. Students will probably say outerwear or clothing. Write that on the board and explain that is what you mean by broader terms.
  • Tell them to imagine that when they searched for sweater (or one of the related terms they came up with), they got back over 300 results. What would they search? Students will probably say "green sweater" and you can write that on the board and explain that is what you mean by a narrower term.
  • By the end of this discussion, you should have a diagram on the white board that looks like this -

broader and narrower terms illustration

  • Ask them to apply this same concept to your sample controversy as a class.