Mixed-Up Meanings--A Homophones Matching Game
Turn a grammatical challenge into an amusing word game with inspiration from Crayola® Twistables™ Colored Pencils and Maya Angelou’s book Angelina of Italy.
1. When you first hear one, you probably think it’s a mistake. "Don’t they know that those words sound the same? But their meanings or spellings are different!" These words are called homophones (or homonyms) and they come in sets of two or more. Sometimes homophones are spelled differently (a pair of shoes and a juicy pear to eat). Sometimes they are spelled the same but have different meanings (a bride’s train and a choo-choo train).
2. Find the homophones. With your classmates, read books that play with words, such as Angelina of Italy. What’s the homophone? Write a list of homophones with Crayola Twistables Colored Pencils. With Crayola Scissors, cut white paper into enough rectangles for each word. On each rectangle, draw a representation of each homophone. For Angelina, as an example, draw a pizza on one card and the leaning tower of Pisa on another.
3. . Create the cards. Decorate one side of a file folder with a colorful pattern. Use your imagination to make any design you like! To make a plaid design, draw lines in one color, then in a different color, and again with other colors in diagonal lines across the surface. Using a Crayola Glue Stick, attach your drawings to the plain side of the decorated file folder. Cut the cards apart.
4. Concentrate! To play your game, turn all the cards over. The first player turns over two and if they are homophones, the player keeps them and goes again. If not, turn the cards back over in their original spot and the next player goes.
Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.
Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.
- Create a matching game with words instead of illustrations.
- Collect homophones. Start a directory of homophones. Add to the list as you learn more words. Remember verbs and other types of words.
- Enjoy the many books with homophone riddles and then make your own. Draw a "homophone humor" comic strip.
- Interview people studying languages other than English. Are there homophones in that language, too? Are there related riddles and stories?
- For older students, pick a pair of homophones and research their linguistic tree to find out how and why they evolved. Do they share the same origins? Have their meanings changed over time?
- Assessment: Ask students to list at least two pairs of homophones and then write a silly story using them.