Antonym Bulletin Board

12 Jan

I woke up to freezing rain conditions,  no school,  and time to be creative.  I need to switch my bulletin board away from the December/January winter theme to something for February.  I like to be able to get some language value out of it as well.  The Pear Tree (previous post) has always been very successful for making students think of homonyms.   I thought something similar for antonyms would be great.  I’ve decided to make the title “Antonyms, a Love and Hate Relationship.  I will cut out hearts the student can decorate with a stickers, stamps, or drawings.   They can label them with antonym pairs and post them on the board.   It could be made more interactive by cutting the hearts apart in puzzle fashion to be matched or making two different colors of hearts that are joined by a piece of yarn or string.

Antonyms are a good way for students to learn vocabulary and the ability to compare and contrast.  The mind seems to remember words better when we manipulate the meanings in our mind.   Older students learn how to use suffixes and prefixes to make words that are opposites.  I have made up a list of antonyms that is in pdf form or excel.  There is an advantage of being able to sort the excel list, but I’m not sure it will open for everyone.   The number to the right of the word  is my way of giving a level.  The 0 level is typical preschool kindergarten beginning  knowledge.  I have K through 5th grade in my building.   The basic antonyms are developed in primary grades  and there may be fluctuations in the grades they are learned depending on what material is covered in class.  I’ve found that by making a list I can write objectives in their Individual Education Program (IEP), show progression and know what the student has covered.  Click here for the excel list, click here for the pdf list.

I found glitter to be quite motivating.   I put glitter in a coffee can so I could seal it with a lid.  I let them put glue around the outer edge of the heart after they wrote the antonyms on them.  They slipped the heart into the coffee can and shook it.  The heart came out decorated with glitter and looked good no matter what the skill level.  It only took a few minutes per child  and surprisingly there wasn’t much clean up.   This is how the board is looking.

The Antonym board

The Antonym Board

The Pair/Pear Tree

15 Apr

With the first signs of spring,  the children start asking me when I will put up the pear tree.  It seems to have become a yearly tradition.  The tree takes many forms.  This year I twisted crepe paper to make limbs and tacked them up on the bulletin board.  I then had students trace their hands on green paper and cut them out.  I  rolled them and tacked them next to the limbs for leaves.  This made 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.  I explain that names do not count.  I allow only one pear per individual per day so that more individuals have a chance.  I keep an alphabetized list so I can cross out those that have already been used.   I learned that this saves you from searching the tree continually.  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 child needs to be able 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.  It is an excel list because if new ones are 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.