Saturday, September 8, 2012

Multiple Meaning Words, Homophones, Homonyms

One part of my job involves providing virtual speech therapy to middle school and high school students.  We use a webcam, and I can upload internet games, movies as well as write on a virtual whiteboard.   Here are some of the online resources I use to introduce multiple meaning words: 

Youtube is a good resource for short teaching videos.  These are a few that I like to use:   
  • Synonyms, Antonyms, and Homonyms by Charles Johnson at  I like this one.  I usually make kids listen to it each session until they are able to independently define each term.  
  • Homophones/Between the Lions  Brian McKnight sings about homophones.  We usually watch this and have a contest to see how many of the homophones the kids can remember.  Afterwards we make a list and define each word.  
  • Homophone Photos Teaches initial concepts and then presents photos contrasts of multiple meaning words.  As we are watching, we write a list of the words and work on definitions for each word.  
  • Words with Multiple Meanings:  This contains videos of different multiple meaning words set to music.  I think the music makes it seem a little more fun. 
Power Point Activities:  
This is the best website for FREE powerpoint activities.  They also have links to lesson plans and some online games to play.  Two of my favorites are Homophones!  and Homophone Search.  The Homonphones! gives clues like "Two of a Fruit"  I usually hide the answer to see if they are able to figure out what the answer is (pair of a pear.)  For bonus points, we see if they can spell the words correctly. 
Vocabulary Games:  This website has lots of games for vocabulary building.  The games are pretty basic but it's a nice review of the material, plus they change the game based on grade levels. 
Zoom was a children's television show on PBS.  They had a segment called Zoom Zinger's where they would play a game that was sent in.  These are 2 good ones for multiple meaning words. 
I really like the Words are Categorical Series by Brian P. Cleary.  I use How Much can a Bare bear Bear a lot in therapy.  It has a sentence with 2 homonym/homophone pairs with illustrations.  I usually have the student pick the word they want to define.  Then I can give them a model of how to define the word.  

Jokes and riddles are good and fun for kids to uses in therapy.  The Dove Dove:Funny Homograph Riddles by Marvin Terban is one source I've used. 
The Amelia Bedelia books often have situations where Amelia confuses the meanings of multiple meaning words.  They are also good for discussing different thoughts (What did she think she was supposed to do, what did they want her to do...)  

These are a few of the activities I use, what are some that you've found? 

Sunday, September 2, 2012


There is a book I recommend to parents called, "Just Give Him the Whale: 20 ways to Use Fascinations, Areas of Expertise and Strengths to Support Children with Autism" by Paula Kluth and Patrick Scharz.   It's an easy read which gives ideas for teaching skills using interest areas of children diagnosed with ASD.  I strongly believe that using the child's own interests is the IN that we need to get them learning.  I see most kids for 30 to 60 minutes per week max, so I want to make the best use of my therapy time by gaining their interest and attention right away.  As they begin to trust me more, we may experiment to see if we can expand their interest levels.

My new favorite product is: Squinkies.  They are really, really tiny figurines, so you could buy one of each set and they would fit in a pencil case.  They just started coming out with "accessories" which makes them great for following directions and basic spatial concepts.  Plus, they have sets for most of the "interest" areas for most of my caseload: Cars, Super heroes, Nemo, Disney princesses, Sponge bob, Power rangers, WWF, Toy Story, Barbies among others.   

Mainly I've been using for following directions, spatial concepts and answering where questions, but I'm sure there are lots of other ways to use these.  

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