It’s a Flower in a Bag of Flour….
First introduce the definition:
Homophones ~ are words that sound alike but have different meaning.
Activities to Teach Homonyms
1) Using a list of homonyms have the students create their own story. (A short list is at the bottom of this article).
2) Help the flea flee–
~ Divide the room into groups. Each race to get the flea to the dog. Every time they correctly picked the right homonym their flea advances. Using the list of homonyms below and adding your own if needed make two columns. Writing one in A and the pair in B.(For example: Altar in ‘a’ and alter in ‘b’)
~ create a list of questions to be read aloud to the class.For example: “I want to visit my mother’s sister."
3) Homonym Bingo– Make cards listing the words from the list below. Read the definition.
A Starter List of Homonyms to Teach
altar- raised center of worship/ alter- to change
ant- insect/ aunt- parent’s sister
ate- past tense of eat/ eight- the number
bailed- pumping water/ baled- to gather
bald- hairless/ balled- clump of material to make a ball/ bawled- cried aloud
bare- naked/ bear- animal
base- the bottom support/ bass- the lowest musical pitch or range
be- to exist/ bee- animal with a buzzer
beat- to hit/ beet- edible red root
billed- has a bill/ build- to construct
blew- past tense of blow/ blue- color of the sky
board- a plank/ bored- not interested
capital- most important/ capitol- center of government
cause- generative force/ caws- sounds of crows
ceiling- top of the room/ sealing- to close a package or envelope
cell- small room/ sell- to exchange for money
cent- coin money/ scent- a smell/ sent- dispatched
dear- beloved / deer- animal
flea- insect/ flee- to run away
Great Classroom Books
Brief Book Reviews
How Much can a Bare Bear Bear? What Are Homonyms and Homophones? By: Brain P. Cleary
Ideal for grades 2-5.This book is a great double duty featuring delight explanation of homonyms and homophones. An example:
May I sail with you in May and coast all along the coast?
Or a personal favorite:
Why don’t we toast with some toast?
Dear Deer: A Book of Homophones by: Gene Barretta
While this is aimed for ages 4 through 8, it makes a great illustration book for class projects. The story is about Aunt Ant. She has moved to the zoo and writes a letter describing the different animal behavior. For example there is a moose that loved mousse and ate eight bowls. Don’t forget about the whale who was allowed to wail aloud!
Images from Amazon.com