Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Matching Synonyms

Janice Jowers
Okaloosa County Schools


The students learn about the concept of synonyms by completing a whole group activity with the teacher. They then use their knowledge in a station activity game where they match synonyms.


The student uses a variety of strategies to determine meaning and increase vocabulary (for example, multiple meaning words, antonyms, synonyms, word relationships, root words, homonyms).


- Overhead copy of the Teacher handout on Synonyms introduction lesson (see Associated File)
- Overhead projector
- Overhead making pens
- Copy of the Student handout on Synonyms matching game to duplicate on construction paper (see Associated File)
- White board or chalk board


1. Download the Teacher handout on Synonyms introduction lesson (see Associated Files) and make an overhead copy.
2. Gather overhead projector and projector pens.
3. Download the Student handout on Synonyms matching game (see Associated Files).
4. Duplicate the Student handout on Synonyms matching game on construction paper. You could use different colors for each game. Make four or five copies so several groups can play at a time.
5. Laminate the construction paper copies of the Student handout on Synonyms matching game before you cut it apart so the game will be sturdier.
6. Cut the squares of the Student handout on Synonyms matching game apart.
7. Place the Student handout on Synonyms matching game in language-arts learning center.
8. Download a copy of the Student handout on Synonyms answer sheet (see Associated File) and place that in the language station as well.


1. Set up the overhead projector.

2. Write this sentence on the board: The weather is cold today. Have the students think of as many words as they can that mean the same thing as cold. Write these words on the board. Explain to the students that these are synonyms of the word cold.

3. Display the Teacher Handout on Synonyms introduction lesson on the overhead and give instructions on how the students can use synonyms to help them determine meaning or increase vocabulary. Complete the activity together with the students. Have the students decide which two words are synonyms. Let them explain that they are synonyms because they have similar meanings and both words could be found in reading and written vocabulary. Make sure the children understand that synonyms are words that have similar meanings.

4. Explain to the students that they are going to play a synonym matching game in the language-arts learning center. This game is played like the game of Concentration. There should be two to four players. The synonym cards are all turned over and each player turns over two at a time. If the two cards they turn over are synonyms, they keep the cards and take another turn. If they are not synonyms, they turn the cards back over and it is the other player’s turn.

5. While the students are playing the Synonym Concentration game the teacher should circulate and offer feedback to them. The teacher should note the students who seem to be struggling and provide them with extra assistance.
6. After the game, the students choose one or more of the sets of synonyms they won and write sentences using these synonyms. They should use their knowledge of synonyms and write one sentence for each set of synonyms. They should write the one sentence twice and include synonym words for both sentences. They should illustrate their sentences.

7. Once students have completed their work, collect their sentences and assess according to the criteria listed in Assessment.


To evaluate the students’ comprehension of this skill, observe their work in the synonym matching game. This would be a formative assessment. The students should identify the correct synonyms with 80% accuracy. Students not reaching 80% accuracy should be retaught and reassessed.
The student sentences should be formatively assessed being sure students have used the chosen synonyms correctly. Again, students should score 80% accuracy. Those not reaching 80% accuracy should be retaught and reassessed.


Have the students make a synonym matching game of their own. They could cut out squares of construction paper and write matching synonyms on them. They could then play the synonym matching game using their synonyms.
The students who might have difficulty with this assignment should work with a partner to read the words. This will enhance their level of competency in this skill.

Web Links

Activity for students (You do not have to be a paying subscriber to play this game.)
Super Synonyms Match-up

Activities for students
What is a synonym?

Worksheet Activities - Synonyms
Learn A Little More

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