Homophones and homonyms are fun parts of the English language that students forget to consider when they are writing. They often know that “two”, “to”, and “too” are different words but forget when to use which. This lesson is meant as an introduction to the concept of homophones and homonyms and to get the pay closer attention to them when they are writing.
I start off by asking them if they have ever heard of homophones and homonyms. Some say they have and suggest a few. I tell them that today they are going to hear a bunch more.
I read a fun, short, picture book called, A Mime, a Lime, a Big Pool of Slime which gives the students many examples of homophones and homonyms and how they can confuse a reader of the meaning the author is trying to get across.
At the end of the read aloud, I ask for students to create list of homophones and homonyms they know and then share out a few new homophones or homonyms that they learned from the read aloud.
To engage the students in the importance of paying attention, I ask, “Do you think it is important that we know the difference between the homophones we have just shared? If so, why?” Students say that we don’t want to say the wrong thing or that we don’t want to confuse the audience. I add that it can also help us understand what the author of a text intends for us to read.
The two more commonly misspelled words in students’ writing are “their/there/they’re” and “two/to/too”. To wrap up this lesson, I create a poster that can be referenced and define each word with the student’s help.
This lesson makes students aware of the homonyms and homophones they are probably already reading and writing. It helps them realize that it is actually important to use the right word and notice when you have a choice and then to make the choice to pick the best one.