Cooking with Antonyms and Synonyms

Scripture: Genesis 25-26

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review the story of Jacob and Esau.
  • Students will learn Jacob convinced Esau to give him his birthright by giving him some stew.
  • Students will learn the difference between antonyms and synonyms and examples of each.
  • Students will participate in an activity allowing them to practice identifying synonyms and antonyms.

Guiding Question: How does one know if two words are synonyms, antonyms or unrelated?

Materials: grocery sacks, multiple “stew” pots (at least three – one marked antonyms, one marked synonyms and one marked unrelated) and multiple index cards with two words written on them which are either synonyms, antonyms or unrelated (If playing this as a competitive game, each team should have a different color of index cards for their sets of words.)

Procedure: Review the story of Jacob and Esau and the stew exchanged for the birthright. Explain to the students that we don’t know if Jacob used a written recipe, but he may have been using a recipe his mother had shared with him. Explain to students today they will be cooking stew with a different type of ingredients. Teach students the difference between synonyms and antonyms, including several examples of each. Point out to student that if they were given a set of two words, the words might be synonyms, antonyms or totally unrelated to each other.

Have a student volunteer come to the grocery sack. He/she should pull one index card with words on it out of the sack. Have the student share the words on the card with the class. The student can decide in which “stew pot” the card belongs. Have the class decide whether or not the card went into the appropriate pot. Divide the class into teams. Each team should have a grocery sack with a set of word cards in it (each card should contain two words which are either antonyms, synonyms or unrelated). Each team should have identical sets of cards if possible. At go the teams race to put all of their cards in the correct pots. In order to make sure every student gets practice, make the teams as small as possible and do the race in a relay style so each student on a team has multiple turns. The game can be played again with students creating game cards for each other.

Additional Questions:

  • What is the difference between a homograph, a homophone and a homonym?

Supplemental Activity: Have more advanced students research the differences between homographs, homophones and homonyms. Repeat the activity using word pairs representing the three. Have the students create the word cards and teach the lesson to another group of students.

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