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Fantastic Ideas for Teaching Homophones

Are you looking for ideas for teaching homophones in your upper elementary classroom? Homophones are simply confusing for many students. Well (let’s admit it), even adults sometimes use homophones incorrectly, so it is no wonder that our students often struggle with using these confusing words.

How do we help our students master confusing word like there, their, and they’re, or to, too, and two?  Expecting our students to master homophones in only one lesson is unrealistic. Students need multiple lessons, exposure, review, and practice with using these words correctly. To help students better understand and use homophones, I have gathered together some of my favorite ideas for teaching homophone and activities. Be sure to continue reading to grab the freebie that is included! You don’t want to miss my most downloaded activity!

Ideas for Teaching Homophones
As teachers, we cannot expect students to master homophones in one lesson or even in one week. We must instruct, reteach, and revisit these words multiple times throughout the year in order for our students to master these confusing words. Through direct lessons, fun activities, and practice, your students can become homophone experts. It will take a little patience and a lot of persistence.

Ideas for Teaching Homophones: Play Games and Make it Fun

I love incorporating fun games and activities into my lessons. One simple activity that will get your students excited about homophones is a team competition.

  • Divide your class into two teams. Let one person from each team come to the board.
  • You will read aloud a sentence to the students that contains a focus homophone. For example before reading the sentence, tell students to listen for the focus homophone “there,” but do not reveal the correct spelling or anything about the meaning. (Simply say the word.)
  • Then read a sentence that contains the focus homophone. Students will need to listen carefully to how the homophone is used in the sentence.
  • The first student to correctly write and spell the homophone gets a point for that team.
Another simple activity that will put a little movement into learning homophones is Show Me the Cards! This is a fun and quick activity that your students will enjoy. Give students cards with the homophones there, their, and they’re written on each card. Instruct students to listen to the sentence that you are going to read. When you say, “Show me the card,” students will choose the card with the correct homophone and hold it up facing you. This is a great way to quickly check who has mastered these homophones and who needs additional instruction and practice. Another great thing about this activity is that it can be found for free here.  
Go on a homophones scavenger hunt. Provide students with a passage, or students could use their independent reading book. Gather paper and pencil and set your timer for anywhere from two to five minutes, and Go! Students will search for and write any homophones that they may find. You may require them to find both pairs of homophones in the text, or perhaps they may find only one homophone such as your. Students will then write and correctly spell its homophone beside the word: you’re. Students can then share homophones with a partners, small groups, or even digitally on a collaborative sharing board such as Padlet.

Ideas for Teaching Homophones: Use Easy Prep Activities

Are you looking for a way to simplify your lesson planning for homophones? If so, my Homophones Bundle is just for you. In this bundle, I chose to focus on the most commonly misspelled homophones that I found my students were struggling with: their, there, they’re; to, too, two; your and you’re; and its and it’s. While the focus is on these homophones, other homophones are covered and reviewed as well. Grab everything you need to introduce/review some of the most commonly confused homophones by clicking the image below.
Although homophones can be quite pesky, you can help your students master these tricky words and have a little fun doing it.
Enjoy teaching and have a blessed day!
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