Define and sort words into categories (e.g., antonyms, living things, synonyms).

Learning Outcome:

Use words, phrases, and strategies acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to literature and nonfiction texts to build and apply vocabulary.

I Can Statements Question Stems
-I can sort words into categories using synonyms and antonyms.

-What is a synonym? Can you give an example?
-What is an antonym? Can you give an example?
-How could you sort these words into like groups?
-What is another word you could add to this group?
-Which category would _____ belong to? Why?
-Can you identify what is the same in each group?
-How could you label the groups?
-Could there be a word that belongs to more than one category? Which one and why?

Academic Vocabulary

antonym define

Practical Examples, Standards, and Digital Resources

Reading Examples Writing Examples Speaking and Listening Examples
-Sort word or picture cards into like groups and determine names for each category.

-Define synonym and antonym and look for these in a text.

-Create an anchor chart with the columns for words, synonyms, and antonyms. After modeling, have students generate a synonym and antonym for each using the Think Pair Share strategy.

-Create a deck of cards with matching words, synonyms and antonyms. These cards can be used to play concentration or go fish or mix and match.

-At the writing center, students choose a word and its matching antonym and synonym and write a sentence for each of the words. -Have a student share a word to a partner and have the partner give a synonym or antonym. Repeat with both partners sharing words and giving opposites.
Reading Standards Writing Standards Speaking and Listening Standards
Digital Resources


English Learner Considerations

The English Learner considerations, which were written by Indiana EL teachers, are meant to increase engagement and support growth for ELs.They are designed to support the standards and curriculum you are currently using. The following are recommendations of best practices to assist educators in making language more accessible for English Learners. Educators should adapt strategies based upon a student’s proficiency level and ensure that content is age-appropriate.

Additional strategies and the guiding principles regarding literacy instruction for English Learners.

Beginning Intermediate Advanced

-provide realia
-provide vocabulary picture sorts
-post word walls
-use visual representations
-pre teach matching strategies
-utilize pointing strategies
-use songs

-provide realia
-post word walls
-guide conversations
-use repetition
-pre teach matching strategies

-provide realia
-guide conversations
-post word walls as reference

Special Education Considerations

The special education considerations, which were written by Indiana special education teachers, are meant to increase engagement and support growth for students in special education. This is not an exhaustive list of strategies, but these supports will help you make literacy instruction more accessible for students. Remember to adapt these to the needs of your students and ensure that you are creating opportunities for all students to engage with rigorous content.

Guiding principles regarding literacy instruction for students in special education.

Strategy Examples

Introduce unknown words before students read text

Provide pictures of words and discuss meanings

Students draw pictures of vocabulary words

Act out the definition of the word

Provide a mnemonic device to remember the word and its meaning

Identify unknown words during independent reading

Model highlighting unknown words

Students use sticky notes or highlighters to identify unknown words

Model strategies of what good readers do when they encounter unknown words