It must be Spring. The students are asking me when I will put up the pear/pair tree. I decided to resurrect this post for those who may have missed it the first time around. I start by making a tree on the bulletin board. The tree takes many forms depending what paper I have available. I twist brown paper to make limbs and have them come together for the trunk. I then have students trace their hands on green paper and cut them out. I roll them and tack them next to the limbs for leaves. This makes a 3 dimensional tree. I cut out pear shapes from yellow construction paper and have them ready for tacking up.
I use the tree to make students more aware of homonyms in our language. Students are encouraged to find homonyms, tell me the word meanings and then write them on a pear shape to place on the tree. I get them started by placing the first pair/pear on the tree. Names do not count. I learned that student’s would say almost any word was a name to match another word. I allow only one pear per individual per day so that more students have a chance to find words. I keep an alphabetized list so I can cross out those that have already been used. I found that this saves time when searching to see if it is already there. Amazingly each year they come up with new ones that weren’t used previously. I give students a token candy for each set they find. A student is required to tell the meanings of the words they are using and the correct spellings before I allow them to record them on a pear. I have placed a list of homonyms in the vocabulary section of this site. It is an excel list because if new words need to be added, I can easily put them in the correct alphabetical order. I hope most of you will be able to open it and can just add to it. I usually start this bulletin board in May and keep it up until school is out. It will have a lot more pears by the end of the month.