How to Teach Homonyms

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Homonyms: Word that sound the same but have different meanings, like the “bark” of a dog and the “bark” of a tree

  1. Create a list of homonyms and find pictures that represent each word in the pair
  2. Show the child one of those word pairs and ask the child what each one is called.  Talk about how the words sound the same but mean different things.
  3. Ask the child to use each word from the homonym pair in a sentence to demonstrate the different meanings.
  4. Do the same thing with more word pairs.  Practice about 10 different word pairs this way.
  5. Now, mix them up.  Pick out one pair of words from the pile but don’t show the child the pictures at first.  Say the word and ask the child to create two different sentences with the word to demonstrate the two different meanings.  If the child can’t remember, show him/her the cards as a reminder.
  6. Keep doing this until the child can demonstrate the two different meanings for each of those 10 words without needing to use the pictures.
  7. Then, do the same thing for 10 new words until the child can do all of the homonyms that you want him to do.