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Build Vocabulary with Word Analogies

Build Vocabulary with Word Analogies

When it comes to word work, analogies are vocabulary gold! These “little” word puzzles present learning opportunities that go beyond other types of word work. Word analogies are not only effective at building vocabulary, they also develop critical thinking skills. Unlike vocabulary activities that require students to memorize word definitions, word analogies develop a deep understanding of words by exploring meaningful relationships. When students form logical connections between words, they create a mental network of ideas—this deepens understanding and increases retention.
Build Vocabulary with Word Analogies

When students work with analogies, they…

  • expand and deepen their vocabulary.
  • understand the relationships between ideas and words.
  • recognize and understand multiple-meaning words.
  • think critically and apply logical reasoning.
  • learn to decipher word meanings based on context.
  • build a network of understanding that improves retention and aids future learning.

Build Vocabulary with Word AnalogiesWord analogies can be a little tricky for students who are unfamiliar with them. Just like with any new skill, carefully choose word analogies that are appropriate for your students. I recommend beginning with analogies that are slightly below their instructional levels.

Begin with explaining just what a word analogy is.Build Vocabulary with Word Analogies
Explicitly teaching students to use “bridge sentences” will allow them to determine the relationships between word pairs.

Build Vocabulary with Word Analogies

Build Vocabulary with Word Analogies

Students should be given plenty of opportunities to create bridge sentences for various word pairs.Build Vocabulary with Word AnalogiesThey should also be shown how to write them in reverse since the order of the word pairs can vary.Build Vocabulary with Word Analogies
Students can then use “bridge sentences” to think through the word pairs that make up an analogy.
Build Vocabulary with Word Analogies

Once students understand the concept of a bridge sentence, begin teaching them the common types of analogy relationships.
Build Vocabulary with Word Analogies

With an understanding of bridge sentences and the types of analogies, your students will be set up for success! Present them with leveled word analogies that will allow you to increase difficulty as their skills and vocabularies improve.

Click here for a FREE set of leveled word analogies.

Click here for a FREE PowerPoint of the various slides included in this post.

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