Synonyms & Antonyms Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Teaching synonyms and antonyms to your students? This lesson plan outlines each, using a video to engage students with content. Lead discussions, define terms, and apply concepts with a fun activity.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'synonym' and 'antonym'
  • identify synonyms and antonyms in text
  • demonstrate their understanding of synonyms and antonyms in active learning


  • 45 minutes


  • Synonym/antonym task cards - write a word on an index card and its synonym or antonym on another; each student will need one card
  • Word lists for games, one for each partner pair
  • Red/yellow math color chips
  • Recording sheet or white boards with markers and erasers

Key Vocabulary

  • Synonym
  • Antonym

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.5.c

Demonstrate understanding of words by relating them to their opposites (antonyms) and to words with similar but not identical meanings (synonyms).

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.5

Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.4.c

Consult reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation and determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words and phrases.


  • Write a series of synonyms on the board, such as 'hot, steamy, scorching, blistering, warm.' Ask students to observe the words and write what they have in common.
  • Share answers and discuss. Tell students they will be working on synonyms and antonyms; share prior knowledge.
  • Ask students to create a two-column chart in their notebooks labeled 'Definition' and 'Examples.' Title rows 'Synonym' and 'Antonym.'
  • Start the video lesson What Are Synonyms & Antonyms? - Definition & Examples. Instruct students to take notes in chart as the video plays.
  • Pause at 2:05. Make sure students have necessary information in notebooks, then discuss:
    • When do we use synonyms?
    • Does using synonyms change the meaning?
    • Why do we use synonyms?
  • With your students, brainstorm short list of commonly-used words, such as 'very' or 'fun.' Next, have students brainstorm synonyms for these words. Record on chart paper or the board.
  • Resume the video and pause at 3:30 and have students think of antonyms for the words listed. Discuss:
    • What is the purpose of antonyms?
    • When do we use antonyms?
  • Watch the Lesson Summary, answer any remaining questions and make sure students have a solid understanding of synonyms, antonyms, and their purpose.

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