[I JUST 3-MIL LAMINATED 20 LB INK JET PAPER AND IT CAME OUT QUITE RIGID. THUS, YOU MAY NOT WISH TO BUY 110 LB CARD STOCK, AN ADDED EXPENSE. BUT YOU DO NEED TO LAMINATE AND 1-MILL IS NEITHER STIFF NOR PROTECTIVE ENOUGH--YES, THEY WILL GET TORN. THIS IS ASSUMING YOU HAVE A HOME LAMINATOR THAT CAN HANDLE 3 MIL LAMINATION.]
WORD MATCH :
Synonym, Antonym, Homonym
© James T. Charnock / TheEducationalFreelancer.com 2017
Those Necessary Blurbs
1. Vocabulary building that’s fun, not drudgery—to you and your students! That’s what WORD MATCH: Synonym, Antonym, Homonym promises. WORD MATCH, an exciting small-group game, will make phonics and vocabulary acquisition unforgettable. Students will remember what they are “taught” because they are energetically involved. Experience WORD MATCH and prove to yourself and your students that here is one subject that isn’t what it used to be.
2. In an atmosphere of cooperation, competition and challenge (and a little luck thrown in for fun), your students can reinforce essential phonetic and vocabulary skills without being tediously aware of how much they are learning. WORD MATCH: Synonym, Antonym, Homonym—a mentally, and socially active game—creates such an atmosphere and an enthusiastic response from players. Whether your students are average, mentally gifted or slow in acquiring academic skills, WORD MATCH will prove exciting and beneficial—even to those who usually consider acquiring and sharpening such skills a dull routine.
3. There a few “educational” games that students love to take home to play. WORD MATCH: Synonym, Antonym, Homonym is one of them! WORD MATCH proves that words can be fun; words that the teacher can include—from basic phonics (although there’s an established deck: Game 1) to the synonyms of “polygon/closed curve” (math) and “river bottom/bed” (geography) to the antonyms of “hodgepodge/organized”; and how about “perpendicular/parallel (more math)? You’ll get smarter the fun way, impress your parents (wow?), and become, oh, so-o-o educated. (Warning: there are little traps and penalties in WORD MATCH, as well as rewards.) So, join the fun, and if you happen to start impressing others with your vocabulary…well, shame on them.
What Skills Are Taught in “WORD MATCH: Synonym, Antonym, Homonym”?
1. Develops skill at discerning relationships, i.e., classifying.
2. Helps teach/reinforce concepts of homonym, antonym and synonym—the latter two especially useful in writing.
3. Aids in reinforcing spelling patterns and phonetic combinations. Homonyms reinforce variant combinations for long vowel sounds (ate, eight; road, rode), other vowel digraphs (fault, fought), and some vowel blends (allowed, aloud).
4. Develops/reviews vocabulary. Antonyms and synonyms, especially, can expand vocabulary along lines desired by the teacher, such as terms from subject areas: reading, math, geography, civics, science, social studies; or from local or national vocabulary lists.
Can “WORD MATCH: Synonym, Antonym, Homonym” be Modified?
1. The game can consist entirely of synonym and/or antonyms (see # 3, below).
2. For the better-skilled students—and/or to foster greater thinking—the cards’ word-relationship clue of colored letters can be eliminated.
3. One motivation for WORD MATCH should be that one will make less wrong matches the more one plays because one will learn from one’s own and others’ matches and mismatches; thus an increased vocabulary in inevitable.
4. The game package will contain a relatively easy introductory set of game cards (Game 1), and a number of blank cards for the teacher to tailor the game to his/her own needs. Since word lists are not sacrosanct, teachers or the school district should decide what additional subject-oriented words to use. That is, the selection of the synonym and antonym vocabulary should not be random, but chosen from classroom study or approved or popular lists.
Synonym: A word that has the same or nearly the same meaning as another
Antonym: A word that means the opposite of another word (start, finish).
Homonym: A word that sounds like another word, but may be spelled differently
and has a different meaning (air, heir / band, band).
(An Introductory Deck)
Synonyms: chief, leader / lie, fib / by, near / suit, uniform / coin, nickel /
haul, carry / slice, cut / small, little / happy, glad / angry, mad /
chilly, cold / bitter, sour
Antonyms: play, work / early, late / me, you / cold, hot / out, in / now, later /
boy, girl / hard, soft / north, south / good, bad / get, give / sick, well
Homonyms: ate, eight / meet, meat / write, right / rode, road / know, no / blue,
blew / too, two / there, their / here, hear / close, clothes / for, four/
Each game will not necessarily have the same total number of cards or the same ratio of types of words. And some homophones may be repeated in successively numbered games/decks.
The following sounds (and more) are represented in “Game 1”—future games/decks do not have to be based upon such a representation of sounds:
ā: a + e, ai, ay, ei, ir, ere
ē: ea, er, ee, ie, -y, -e, [ear]
ī: i + e, igh, ie, I, uy, y
ō: o + e, oa, ow, -o
ū: ue, ew, oo, ui, wo
ėr: ir, er, ur, [ear]
or: or, our
ou: ou, ow
oi: oi, oy
ô: au, ou, aw, of, or, al
How to Introduce “WORD MATCH: Synonym, Antonym, Homonym”
When introducing the game—especially to primary or less skilled students—it may be best not to require the players to identify matches as either synonyms, antonyms or homonyms unless they are familiar with the concepts. Simply ask (and help) them to look for words that go together because they have any of the following: 1) the same meaning, 2) an opposite meaning, or 3) the same sound. (The meaning of these terms/relationships can be written on the chalkboard or placed elsewhere for reference.) A further help is that only cards (or lettering) of the same color ever match; and that the players can look at the color-keyed terms in the game’s title for help in identifying the type of match/relationship.
Likewise, during the introductory play of the game, one should merely inform the players of the penalties, but not exact them until about the third game. For example, allow them to refer to the cards’ backs to see if they have made a correct match. If a mismatch, the cards will simply be replaced on the board or in the player’s hand/book without a penalty. (Not all students will need the introductory three games—which may involve different days—in order to grasp the game’s rules.)
Although WORD MATCH: Synonym, Antonym, Homonym is reasonably fast paced once the students are familiar with the rules, the game does demand careful observation and thinking (seeing relationships). Because the patience and attention span is especially short in primary and less skilled students, they should be given strong praise for a match and much encouragement for a mismatch or a no-match.
Once the students seem reasonably familiar with the game, all rules can be applied. Once they have enjoyed the game’s penalties and benefits, they will be glad to teach others. Some will consider it so exciting they will want to take it home.)
It is also important that during language arts, spelling or reading periods the whole class will be instructed in the concepts of synonym, antonym and homonym
Please Take Note
The Rules of Play are in the next section. The cards are set up so that if you print them back to back the helpful clues on the back match the cards. If you do not want the clues on the back, print the front of the cards only (or delete the card backs) if you can. If you develop the game further via your own suitable subject vocabulary you may or may not wish to use the checking clue on the back.
It is suggested that the board and the cards be double-sided laminated for durability and cleanliness. If you have access to a 1-mil laminating machine (some schools have them), that is great. If not, sources like Amazon sell portable ones for a reasonable price, and they do a fantastic job. I presently (2017) use Fellowes “Saturn” 3i95.