Beacon Lesson Plan Library

That's Not What I Meant to Say

Christine Davis
Bay District Schools


Students choose the “undesirable” word and replace it with its antonym.


The student knows the skills needed to be a responsible friend and family member (e.g., doing chores and helping others).

The student knows various ways of communicating care and consideration of others (e.g., sharing and saying `please` and `thank you`).

The student knows homophones, synonyms, and antonyms for a variety of words.


-White board or overhead projector
- Markers
- Worksheet “I Didn’t Mean To Say That” (see associated file)
- A list of the I-Care rules. The I-Care rules are found in the Peace Work curriculum published by the Peace Education Foundation, Inc. P.O. Box 191153, Miami Beach, Fl 33119


Print a copy of “I Didn’t Mean to Say That” worksheet and make a copy of it for everybody in the class.


NOTE: This lesson only addresses part of LA.B.
1. Write the word antonym on the board. Ask the students if they know the meaning of the strange sounding word that is written on the board. Call on several students to give responses.

2. Explain to the class that an antonym means “the opposite of." Give several examples of antonyms (black – white, happy – sad, early – late). Say a word and let the students give the antonym for the given word. Provide praise. (Good, early is the opposite of late. They are antonyms.) Provide corrective feedback. (Do happy and glad mean the opposite, or do they mean the same thing?) Continue letting the students give antonyms to words until you feel confident that they understand it.

3. Write a sentence on the board that breaks an I-Care rule. (Jack took Lisa’s cookie.) Underline the word that causes the I-Care rule to be broken. (Jack took Lisa’s cookie.) Let a student read the sentence.

4. Ask the students if this sentence follows the I-Care rules. Review the rules if needed.

5. Ask the students what antonym could they use instead of the underlined word to make the sentence follow the I-Care rules. (Gave instead of took.) Rewrite the sentence using the antonym for the underlined word. (Jack gave Lisa a cookie.) Sometimes you might need to add a word or two to allow the sentence to make sense.

6. Write another sentence on the board and follow the same procedure. Continue with several more sentences, allowing the students time to practice this new skill (antonyms). You may have a student come up to the board and rewrite the sentence by himself or herself. Include several sentences that do not break the I-Care rules. This will allow students to show their understanding of the I-Care rules.

7. After practicing for several minutes, explain to the students that since they are doing a good job of rewriting sentences on the board that you are going to let them do several by themselves.

8. Distribute worksheet “I Didn’t Mean To Say That” to the class. Review what antonyms are and remind students to think about the I-Care rules. (See attached file.)

9. Collect worksheets and make the final assessment of the activity.


1. Students will be assessed on their understanding of the lesson through the use of the worksheet “I Didn’t Mean To Say That.” Each answer is worth ten points.
2. Teacher can formatively assess students during the steps of this lesson when the students are writing sentences on the board. Teacher can provide positive feedback (Examples: That's correct. I can open the door for you is an I-Care rule.) (Examples of corrective feedback: No, dislike is not an antonym for hate. Antonym means the opposite of and dislike and hate mean about the same thing.)

Attached Files

A worksheet to help with assessment of the lesson.     File Extension: pdf

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