'Homophone Game' - My homophones game of 'Pens' makes learning homophones social, visible and fun. It is an excellent addition to any Literacy session or small group work.
- To learn about homophones in an enjoyable way.
- To offer a learning community based opportunity to expand vocabulary.
What you need:
3 to 5 players
1 set of homophone cards
1 pen less than the number of players e.g. if there are 5 players, you'll need 4 pens
- Each player is given 3 cards with a homophone e.g. miner, minor & mynah.
- Each player researches the words and explains them to the group.
- Students create a small poster, palm card or display for a Vocabulary Wall based on their words. This reference can be referred to during the game and after.
- Players sit in a circle
- Pens are placed an equal distance from each player.
How to Play:
1. Dealer shuffles the deck and gives three cards to each player including themselves.
2. Players pick up their cards and fan them in their hand.
NB - Players are NOT to look at each others' cards.
3. Dealer calls '1, 2, 3, Pass'.
4. On 'Pass' players choose a card from their hand to discard and place it face down on their left.
5. Dealer then calls '1, 2, 3, Pass' again and the process is repeated until one of the players has three of a kind.
6. When a player achieves three of a kind they grab a pen from the middle.
7. On seeing the first player grab a pen the other players grab a pen as quick as they can.
8. The person misses out on a pen then drops out of the game.
9. The game continues until only one player is left. This player wins the game.
NB If a player grabs a pen before any player has three of a kind they lose the round. As an added game dimension students are allowed to 'fake' going for a pen. 'Fake' means making a motion towards a pen without touching it. Faking can cause another player to grab a pen prematurely and lose the round by accident.
Before the Game:
- Explore the vocabulary of the cards. Research where needed.
- Explain how technical terms in grammar are only useful if they give us a language to speak about language. E.g. knowledge of homophones allows us to discuss why certain jokes are funny. Is there any other use for knowing this technical term?
- Explore jokes which use homophones as a central means of humour. I often set this as homework with the proviso the humour has to be above the navel and make an adult laugh J
During the Game:
- Ask students to use various words in a sentence.
- Ask for examples of where a word might be used in conversation or formal writing.
After the Game:
- Infuse your classroom with the new words. Go out of your way to use the new words throughout the week. NB this can be heaps of fun of you HAM IT UP.
- Develop a game to use more of the homophone cards.
- Work out a way to rotate the cards in the game of Pens so students are exposed to more vocabulary.
Homophones Dealt With in this Game:
bite, byte, bight
buy, by, bye
sensor, censor, censer
sent, scent, cent
cite, sight, site
doe, dough, doh
ewe, yew, you
flew, flu, flue
four, for, fore
heal, heel, he'll
holey, holy, wholly
minor, miner, mynah
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