Ideas For Teaching Homographs

By Susan

What's a frank frank? A hot dog who gives his honest opinion. Find some fun ideas for teaching homographs to your elementary students. They'll learn about the sometimes confusing world of homographs--words that are spelled alike, but are pronounced differently and have different meanings.

Teaching Activities

1. Homograph Jeopardy:Students Writing 

Divide the class into teams. Make a jeopardy board dividing with the easiest worth a 100 points (for example a piece of sports equipment or an animal.The student would have to answer what is a bat.) The more the point value, the harder the question. For example, thin or slant means lean). You can make your own Jeopardy template online, http://jeopardylabs.com/. See below for a sample list of homographs.

2. Creative Writing:

Challenge the students to see who can use the most homographs in a story and still have it make sense. See a sample list below.

Book Selection

The Dove Dove: Funny Homograph Riddles by Marvin Terban The Dove Dove 

This book is geared for grades 3rd through 6th and could easily be used for several different types of classroom projects. Mr. Terban uses great illustrations to lead the readers through a variety of homographs. This book is divided into five sections that look at the different types. Each makes it very easy to use as an introduction for them.

Sample List of Homographs

arms – weapons OR parts of the body

bass - type of fish OR low, deep voice

bat- piece of sports equipment OR an animal

bow - type of knot OR to incline

date – fruit OR companion

down - a lower place OR soft fluff on a bird

entrance - the way in OR to delight

evening - smoothing out OR after sunset

fast – quick OR starve

fine - of good quality OR a levy

fly – insect OR move through air

learned - past tense of learn OR knowledgeable

minute - tiny OR unit of time

moped - was gloomy OR motorcycle

number - more numb OR numerical value

pop – sound OR soda OR father

ring – circle OR sound of bell

row - line OR oar a boat

sewer - drain OR person who sews

wave - move the hand in greeting OR sea water coming into shore

well – good OR place for getting water