Homograph Activities for 3rd Grade

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

Homographs can be confusing to beginning readers. These homograph activities provide third grade readers with the opportunity to practice reading, hearing, speaking, and writing homographs.


As third graders become more active readers and move from the stage of ''learning to read'' into the stage of ''reading to learn,'' they will begin to encounter more of the anomalies of the English language. One of these anomalies is the homograph - words that look and often sound the same, but for some reason have entirely different meanings. Practice in recognizing, understanding, and using homographs is beneficial to third grade readers.

Activity: Homograph Charades

Objective: Identify common pairs of homographs.

Materials: List of homographs

  • Put students in pairs.
  • Give each pair a homograph (such as fly). Pairs should keep their homographs secret from their peers.
  • Pairs plan how they can act out two different meanings of the word.
  • Pairs take turns getting up in front of the class. The pair will act out their homographs (for example, one student flaps his arms to fly, and the other student mimes using a fly swatter to chase a fly from her food).
  • Classmates guess the word, then use both meanings of the word in a sentence or two. (Keith can fly in the sky, and Sherri smashed the pesky fly.)

Activity: Homograph Stories

Objective: Write using common homograph pairs.

Materials: Paper and pencil

  • Review homographs as a class and brainstorm as many homographs as possible.
  • Each student writes a short story. The story must use at least five different homograph pairs.
  • Students exchange stories and underline the homographs in their peer's story.

Activity: Pass the Homograph

Objective: Use homographs in sentences.

Materials: A baton

  • Review common homographs.
  • Seat students in a circle.
  • The first student holds the baton. The student chooses a homograph and uses it in a sentence (Kathryn took a bow after her dance.).
  • The student passes the baton to another student, who must use the homograph in a sentence with a different meaning (Jenn tied her shoelaces in a bow.).
  • The student passes the baton to another student, who chooses a different homograph for a sentence.
  • The game continues in kind.

Activity: Find and Exchange the Homograph

Objective: Identify common homographs.

Materials: Passage of writing that contains several different homographs used once, paper and pencil

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