Sunday, February 9, 2014

Using the Olympics to teach homophones!

Yes! What better way to talk about homophones, than in conjunction with the Olympics?

Tying in the history of the Olympics naturally lead us to Greece (not grease!). We discussed the meaning of the word homophone, and how English likes to steal (not steel!words and word parts from other languages, especially Greek and Latin!

Homo means "same" in Greek
Phone means "voice" in Greek
Put them together, and homophone means a word that sounds the same as another, but means something different.

We also learned about
heterographs: "different" "writing"--words that are spelled differently and have different meanings (too/ two)
homographs: "same" "writing"---words that are spelled the same but have different meanings (saw--the tool and saw--the past tense verb of see)
homonyms: "same" "name"---same as homographs

We even realized that Plato and play dough can be considered homophones, too! We are learning just  how many words sound alike!

One way to tell which word is being used is to read the sentence for context clues
Another way is to go old school and use a dictionary

Collaborating to find definitions of homophone pairs. "So THIS is
why we need to know ABC order!", said one of my boys.
Can you see the words above that are in bold? They are homophones and homonyms. Do you know their different meanings? How many can you find?

And do you remember why we linked the Olympics to homophones? (hint: think Greek!)

Do you have homophones in your language? We would love for you to share some!

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