Lesson: Mulitple Meaning Words

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Lesson Objective

Students will determine the most appropriate definition for a multiple meaning word.

Lesson Plan

Connection (3-5 mins): We have learned many strategies to determine the meaning of an unknown word.  But there is more work to be done.  Sometimes, words have more than one meaning, in this case our strategies may not be enough.  We have to use context clues to determine the right definition of the word being used.

 

Teach (10-12 mins):  Readers should be seated on the carpet with a partner.  They will be expected to turn and talk to this partner throughout this lesson.  Readers, words with multiple meanings can be confusing for a reader.  There are two different types of multiple meaning words we will learn about today.

 

One is when a word is spelled and pronounced the same, but has more than one definition.  For example, the word left.  I can say make sure you turn to your left at the end of the road or she left her keys on the counter. 

 

These words are said the exact same way but they mean two completely different things.  In the first sentence the word left is giving a direction.  In the second sentence left means that something was forgotten or not taken. 

 

Let’s look at some examples of this type of multiple meaning words.

 

  1. Press down on the button to enter the building.
  2. My pillow is made of down and has many feathers.

 

Teacher reads aloud both sentences.  Readers, turn and tell your partner the definition of down in each of these sentences.  Students turn and talk while teacher listens in to conversations.  Great job readers! You were able to determine the meaning of down in each sentence. It is important to use the context clues in the sentence to figure out the meaning we need to use. 

 

There is a second type of multiple meaning words.  This type is when a word is spelled the same but pronounced differently for different reasons.  For example, the word wind.  I can say the wind blew very hard outside today.  Or I need to wind up my mechanical toy so that my sister can play with it.  These two words are pronounced very differently and have different meanings as well.  Again, let’s look at two examples.

 

  1. The Arizona desert is a fascinating place.
  2. Animals in the wild rarely desert their young.

 

Teacher reads aloud both sentences.  Readers, turn and tell your partner the definition of desert in each of these sentences.  Students turn and talk while teacher listens in to conversations.  Great job readers! You noticed that the words were pronounced differently which helps you figure out the words meaning. 

 

I think you are ready to try on your own.  When you return to your seats today you will be given some exercises to practice.  Each example is different so remember to use the sentence to help you figure out the meaning of the word.  Off you go readers.

 

 

 

Active Engagement (15-20 mins): Students return to their seats to complete the multiple-meaning words worksheet.  Teacher should circulate and conference with individual students or pull a small group. 

 

Exit Slip/Share (3-5 mins): Teacher collects the worksheet as a formal exit slip to assess student mastery. Students may also share out their answers at the end of the lesson.

 

Reflection: I consider this lesson to be an extension of a previous context cues lesson.  It requires the same background knowledge with the added challenge of selecting the correct definition of the unknown word.  I think this is a great practice exercise for standardized testing because often students will be asked the definition of an unknown word that has multiple meanings. 

Lesson Resources

Multiple Meaning Words.doc  
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