Search Results for 'homophone' ↓
November 28th, 2012 — Writing Games & Activities
GAMES ARE such a great way of teaching or practicing skills. When an activity is fun and engaging, learning happens more naturally. The best part? The kids don’t even realize they’re doing “schoolwork”!
To give your children practice with synonyms and help them better understand the subtlety of word meanings, play Synonym Bingo!
Printable bingo cards (blank or customizable)
Synonym word lists such as:
Bingo markers such as pennies or dried beans
- Choose 24 synonym pairs from one of your word lists. Circle one word from each pair. This will become your call list.
- If printing out blank bingo cards: Write the other word from each pair in a different square on the bingo cards. If several children are playing, scramble the order of the words so the cards are different from one another. Words on the card should not be synonyms of other words on the card. For example, write “large” or “big,” but not both.
- If using customizable cards: Type the words as directed by the website. It will generate the customized bingo cards and create a PDF for you to print.
- To play the game, call out one of the circled words on your list. Players then place a marker on the corresponding synonym. Play continues until a child covers five squares in a row either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.
- Give a list of 24 words to your child (but not their synonyms). Let her think of a synonym for each word and write it in a square. Use the list as your call list.
- Play the game using homophones or antonyms.
October 30th, 2012 — Grammar & Spelling
DID YOU know that emus can’t walk backward or that an iguana can stay underwater for nearly 30 minutes?
Did you know that The Battle of Bunker Hill was actually fought at neighboring Breed’s Hill or that the state of Maryland has no natural lakes?
While these bits of trivia are interesting (and fun to learn during studies of science, history, or geography), they don’t need to take up permanent residence in your kids’ brain cells.
On the other hand, certain concepts should be so ingrained in your children’s minds that there’s no way they’ll misuse or forget them. Why? Because better grammar contributes to better writing!
Let’s look at three areas of grammar and punctuation every child must master.
Apostrophes, Possessives, and Plurals
Everywhere I look, it seems, random apostrophes are turning up in words meant to be plural, not possessive.
No dog’s allowed
Closed Sunday’s and Monday’s
Wanted: Chef’s and Cook’s
No shoe’s, no shirt, no service
Other times, they’re just misused altogether.
Ladie’s Apparel Sale
Life at it’s best
“The correct use of plural and possessive forms may seem like a minor issue. Among educated persons, however, incorrect forms, especially misuses of apostrophes, stand out like red flags. One area executive has said he will not hire an applicant whose letter or résumé includes such an error.” ~Meredith College Grammar Review
Teach your children to use apostrophes correctly. A quick Google search will yield pages of helpful rules, tips, and practice exercises—as well as many humorous examples of apostrophe abuse. Here are a few links to get you started:
Homophones are words that are spelled differently but pronounced the same—and confusion among them contributes to all sorts of writing problems. Common sets of homophones such as except/accept, cent/scent/sent, and principal/principle can trip up both kids and adults. Worse, spell-check won’t catch tricky errors because it’s about meaning, not spelling.
While some people may not care whether a Facebook friend types your instead of you’re, it’s definitely a problem when it comes between a student and an “A” paper or a job applicant and the position he’s applying for.
Like apostrophe misuse, homophone mix-ups can cause the writer to seem uneducated or ignorant, so it’s important to begin teaching children when they’re young to distinguish between these confusing words.
Comma Splices, Run-ons, and Fragments
Commas can be tricky. They’re either overused, underused, or just plain misused! One of the worst culprits is the comma splice, in which the writer sticks a comma instead of a period between independent clauses.
I’m tired of all this rain, I wish the sun would come out again.
Run-ons (also called fused sentences) are “comma splices without the commas.”
I ate deep-fried pickles and Twinkies at the fair they were both delicious.
Sentence fragments are also known as incomplete sentences. Fragments are missing a verb, a subject, or both.
On the other hand, leafy green vegetables.
Running all the way to the wall without stopping.
If your children have trouble with comma splices, run-ons, or sentence fragments, follow these links for helpful rules, games, and tips:
It’s All about Practice!
Don’t turn a blind eye to your children’s mistakes. They need to hear these rules over and over again, and they need much practice to reinforce proper usage and develop new habits. Why not pick one problem area, such as comma splices or its vs. it’s, and work on it regularly until your child experiences frequent success? You’ll put her one step closer to becoming a more confident writer.
YOUR TURN: Which of these common errors seems to give your child the most trouble?
Copyright 2012 © Kim Kautzer. All rights reserved.
July 13th, 2011 — Grammar & Spelling
Most of us have no idea whether we’ve misused or misspelled a word. Otherwise, we wouldn’t do it, right?
This humorous chart includes eight sets of words that often cause confusion. Are you guilty of any of these infractions? If so, study the examples and become a pro at using these words correctly!
Source: Online Schooling
Note: If “flammable vs. inflammable” still seems confusing, even with the cartoon, here’s a good explanation of the difference.
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Several words in the chart are homophones (words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings). Do homophones regularly give you or your children trouble? Consider All About Homophones, a wonderful resource that clearly teaches spelling rules with fun games and activities. Contains exercises for grades 1-8, and Mom can learn right along!
April 6th, 2011 — Bad Signage Humor
Another batch of homophone fails. Read at “you’re” own risk.
But apparently it has no trouble “excepting” multiple exclamation points!!!!!!!!
…as is the sign.
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Stop by every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Wednesday for a peek into the world of spelling, punctuation, or grammar gone wrong!
May 4th, 2010 — Grammar & Spelling, Just for Fun, Poetry
The English Language
A pretty deer is dear to me,
A hare with downy hair;
A hart I love with all my heart,
But I can barely bear a bear.
‘Tis plain that no one takes a plane
To have a pair of pears.
All rays raise thyme, time razes all;
And through the whole, hole wears.
A writ, in writing “right” may write
It “wright” and still be wrong—
For “write” and “rite” are neither “right,”
And don’t to write belong.
Beer often brings a bier to man,
Coughing a coffin brings,
And too much ale will make us ail,
As well as other things.
The person lies who says he lies
When he is but reclining;
And, when consumptive folks decline,
They all decline declining.
A quail won’t quail before a storm—
A bough will bow before it;
We can not rein the rain at all—
No earthly power reigns o’er it.
The dyer dyes awhile, then dies;
To dye he’s always trying,
Until upon his dying-bed
He thinks no more of dyeing.
A son of Mars mars many a sun;
All days must have their days,
And every knight should pray each night
To Him who weighs his ways.
‘Tis meet that man should mete out meat
To feed misfortune’s son;
The fair should fare on love alone,
Else one can not be won.
The springs spring forth in Spring, and shoots
Shoot forward one and all;
Though Summer kills the flowers, it leaves
The leaves to fall in Fall.
I would a story here commence,
But you might think it stale;
So we’ll suppose that we have reached
The tail end of our tale.
From Eclectic Magazine, January 1881
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The author of this poem uses many homophones to create plays on words. But if some of these homophones regularly give your children trouble, consider All About Homophones, a wonderful resource that clearly teaches homophone spelling rules with fun games and activities. Contains exercises for grades 1-8.
April 19th, 2010 — Grammar & Spelling, Teaching Writing
When your student begins to protest, “But I like it this way!” or “It looks okay to me,” it’s high time to introduce the concept of writing conventions.
We can define conventions as a set of generally accepted standards for written English. We use conventions to make our writing more readable. In other words, we do things in a certain way so the reader can figure out what we’re trying to say.
Conventions include spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and sentence structure. Students should:
- Apply spelling rules correctly.
- Use correct punctuation to smoothly guide the reader through the paper.
- Use verb tenses correctly.
- Write sentences that express complete thoughts.
- Demonstrate paragraph organization and use smooth transitions.
In addition, each kind of writing has its own conventions. For instance:
- Narrative writing must have characters, setting, and plot.
- Descriptive writing must appeal to the senses through use of vivid, colorful, precise vocabulary.
- Expository writing must inform, clarify, explain, define, or instruct.
- Persuasive writing must present an argument based on facts and logic, and attempt to sway the reader’s opinion.
As a rule, you probably won’t teach a lesson on “conventions,” per se. There are just too many conventions, so it’s better to deal with them independently. Besides, individual concepts stick better when students can apply them in a practical way.
For example, it’s just natural to introduce character, setting, plot, and conflict when you’re teaching your children to write a narrative. You wouldn’t teach these as isolated elements and not have your kids actually write a narrative; the instruction and application makes sense because they’re including these elements in their story.
Similarly, instead of teaching grammar in isolation, make sure you’re providing an immediate way for students to apply their grammar lessons to a writing assignment. If your grammar program is introducing appositives, let’s say, require your child to include an appositive in the history report he’s working on.
Diligently reinforce concepts by making sure your children are following conventions in their writing.
As they get older, there should be no more excuse for things like comma splices, incomplete sentences, and homophone confusion. These are the problems you must nip in the bud now, because they’re the very issues that will identify your students as poor writers later on—both in college and on the job. Therefore, give recurring problems focused attention.
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation and All About Homophones are two great resources for teaching and reinforcing some basic but important grammar and spelling conventions. Check them out!
April 13th, 2010 — Grammar & Spelling
Well, how do you think you fared on yesterday’s grammar quiz? Check your answers below.
1. Your kidding! The Panthers won the championship?
Since the speaker means “You are kidding,” the sentence should begin with You’re, not Your.
2. Emily’s dog had a thorn in it’s left paw.
In this sentence, it’s is incorrect. Emily’s dog didn’t have a thorn in “it is” paw, so the word should be possessive: its.
3. This is their first trip to California.
This sentence uses their correctly.
4. Our homeschool group went to the zoo, we had a great time.
This sentence has a comma splice, which can be fixed any of the following ways:
- Our homeschool group went to the zoo. We had a great time.
- Our homeschool group went to the zoo; we had a great time.
- Our homeschool group went to the zoo, and we had a great time.
5. Last night, we went to the Franklin’s for dinner.
Franklin’s is incorrect. Since several Franklins live at this home, the sentence calls for a plural possessive: the Franklins’.
6. Amazingly, there wasn’t a scratch on its fender.
This sentence uses the possessive its correctly.
7. My friend Jason is a genius he won a math scholarship.
This is a run-on sentence, which can be fixed either of these ways:
- My friend Jason is a genius. He won a math scholarship.
- My friend Jason is a genius; he won a math scholarship.
8. We took it for granite that Grandpa would always be with us.
This is a common homophone error. The correct word is granted, not granite.
9. Aunt Lucy visited the museum with my family and me.
This sentence is correct. If you remove my family, the sentence still makes sense (Aunt Lucy visited the museum with me).
10. I shouldn’t of worn white slacks to the spaghetti dinner.
To make this sentence correct, we need to replace of with have: I shouldn’t have worn white slacks.
Did any of these questions give you trouble? If so, take time to review the rules and practice with some simple exercises. Both All About Homophones and The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation offer help with troubleshooting common errors of spelling, usage, and grammar. Take the time to learn (or re-learn) some of the basics. It will make a difference in your writing.
March 15th, 2010 — Reviews, Teaching Writing
The Confusing World of Homophones
“If your going too the movies, make sure you don’t by to many sweets.”
Your/you’re. By/buy. To/too/two. These often-confusing (and frequently misused) words are called homophones—words that sound the same but are spelled differently.
While the difference between its and it’s may not seem like a big deal to some, using these two little words—or any homophone—incorrectly can make us seem ignorant and uneducated. You see, whether or not they mean to, people often form first impressions simply by reading our writing. Isn’t this why our shelves brim with English references, grammar programs, and spelling books? It IS important to us that our children write as accurately as possible.
It’s never too late to teach the rules to your kids. And if you didn’t quite grasp these concepts during your own school days, it’s not too late to learn or re-learn the rules yourself.
All About Homophones
All About Homophones is an exciting new curriculum that will unlock your children’s understanding of these confusing word sets. Author Marie Rippel says:
“Teaching homophones can be tough! They sound the same, but they aren’t spelled the same, and they don’t mean the same thing . . . [All About Homophones] is a complete teaching tool kit that helps you demystify homophones and homonyms for students. They’ll learn and master spelling easily through interesting worksheets and games they love to play.”
One Book, Multiple Grades
Take time to teach your children about homophones so they’ll learn to correctly spell and use these word sets.
Because the worksheets are divided into sections by grade level, All About Homophones is perfect for teaching multple grades. One book includes reproducible worksheets for grades one through eight, making the program budget friendly too.
Lessons You’ll Love
The book includes a comprehensive list of common homophones and recommends which grade to introduce each one. And All About Homophones offers a variety of activities that appeals to different learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.
These aren’t your ordinary dull worksheets! Whimsical illustrations and engaging activities maintain your children’s interest while helping them make sense of each new set of words. Here are some of the ways your children will learn about homophones:
- Homophone Worksheets to reinforce reading and writing.
- Graphic Organizers to help teach the meanings of each set of words.
- Crossword Puzzles, Riddles, and Tongue Twisters to reinforce with fun and humor.
- Card Games with cards and instructions for playing several different games.
- Student Record Sheets
- List of Homophones
- List of Homophone-rich Books to read with your children
Click here to see sample pages from All About Homophones.
Now in the WriteShop Store
We’re always looking for top-notch products that reinforce writing, grammar, and spelling, so we’re excited to announce that All About Homophones is now in stock in the WriteShop store. Stop in and check out this great new resource. Teaching your children to use homophones correctly is one of the best gifts you can give them. Order yours today!
If I haven’t yet convinced you of the importance of teaching homophones—or if you think your children can simply trust their spell-check to correct these troublesome words, you’ll want to read Owed to the Spell Checker. One of my favorite examples of homophone confusion, this humorous poem illustrates just how easy it is to mix up words that have similar sounds.
January 20th, 2010 — Bad Signage Humor, Just for Fun
Serious homophone issues—two good reasons why you should ALWAYS give the bakery written instructions!
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Stop by every 1st and 3rd Wednesday for a peek into the world of spelling, punctuation, or grammar gone wrong!
Photos used by permission of Jen at CakeWrecks