Analogies are such an important skill for students to master. Many standardized tests use analogies to check for vocabulary mastery. Common Core states that 4th graders should “Demonstrate understanding of words by relating them to their opposites (antonyms) and to words with similar but not identical meanings (synonyms).” This makes 4th grade a great time for teachers to introduce analogies. Begin by practicing with just synonyms and antonyms.
If you are looking for more advanced analogy activities, check out this post Five Analogy Activities for Middle Schoolers.
Activity #1 – Response Cards
I love using response cards in the classroom. Response cards require students to pay attention because it is obvious when a student holds up the same card each time or no card at all. As a teacher, I can quickly see if students understand the concept I am teaching or need additional practice.
For the first activity, use response cards to make sure students can recognize the difference between antonyms and synonyms. Two versions of the response cards are provided; one pair contains pictures to help differentiate instruction.
These word pairs are great to use with the response cards.
- early late
- smooth rough
- near close
- full empty
- large giant
If 5 word-pairs are not enough practice, don’t worry. The printable contains 5 multiple choice questions for additional practice.
Activity #2 – Game Round About
My students love to play “Round About.”
Students receive a sheet with analogies that are missing the last word in the second pair. They must analyze the relationship of the first pair of words, and then find the final missing word on a classmate’s back. Next to the corresponding number on the student recording sheet, students write the answer. Even if you know a word that will make sense in the analogy, they must find the exact word on a classmate’s back before writing it on your sheet.
Included in the product are printable analogies with the final word left blank.
Three levels are provided in the printable:
- Level 1 – On Level Readers
soft : loud :: slow : ______________
- Level 2 – Below-Level Readers
Level 2 uses the same words as Level 1; however, pictures are included to help below-level readers.
- Level 3 – Advanced Readers
The first set of words in each analogy contains more advanced words. The second set contains the same analogy pairs as Levels 1 and 2, so students can all play the same game.
descend : climb :: slow : ______________________
Go Digital with Activity #2 with Boom Learning.
When digital activities became popular, I took the analogies from the Round About Game and turned them into a Boom Learning Deck.
If you are not familiar with Boom Learning, using this free deck is a great way to give Boom Decks a try.
Click here to go directly to Boom Learning where you can add this deck to your library.
Three Student Choice Activities
The next three activities can be completed individually or as a student choice. Divide students into learning groups of four students each. Give students the three choices of activities.
Activity #3 – Choice One – Picture Analogies
Each student creates one drawing in a series of four. The group first decides if their drawings are going to be synonyms or antonyms. Students then work in pairs to create drawings that coordinate. The end results look similar to this image.
Activity #4 – Choice Two – Analogy Situation
The group creates a poster that compares two real-life events. These simile-like comparisons are often used by writers.
Traveling on the school bus to Abingdon was like riding on a sailboat during a hurricane.
Activity #5 – Choice Three – Analogy Poem
Students write a series of analogies. The final words in the set rhyme giving the analogy a poem feel.
Be sure to collect all analogy activities by visiting both blog posts.