Antonyms

Activity 1

Introducing Antonyms

Purpose
To understand the concept of words with opposite meanings.

Material
Two clear glasses, one empty and one full.
Two strings of the same color, one long and one short.
Two squares of the same size, one black and one white.
Heading that reads: antonyms.
Slips of white paper.
Pencil.
Scissors.
Language arts journals and pencils.

Presentation
Most Montessori teachers introduce this topic in Year 1 and review it in Year 2.

Invite a small group of students together around the mat

Announce to the students that today they will look at words and their opposites.

Part 1: Presenting Opposites
Please both classes beside each other on the mat

Invite the students to describe what is different about the two classes; one glass is full and the other is empty.

Print the words “the empty glass” on one slip of paper and the words “the full glass” on another.

Pass the two phrases to two students.

Invite them to read the phrase is allowed in place then beneath the corresponding objects on the mat.

Place the pieces of string on the mat.

Ask the students to describe what is different about the two pieces of string; one piece of string is long and the other is short.

Put the words “the long string” on one slip of paper and the words “the short string” on another.

Pass the two phrases to two students.

Invite them to read the phrase is allowed and placed in beneath the corresponding objects on the mat.

Place both squares next to each other on the mat

Ask the students to describe what is different about the two squares; one square is black and the other is white.

Print the words “the black square” on one slip of paper and the words “the white square” on another.

Pass the two phrases to two students.

Invite them to read the phrase is allowed in place then beneath the corresponding objects on the map.

Part 2: Discussing Similarities
Invite a student to read the first two labels as you point to them. Examples: the empty glass, the full glass.

Ask the students which words in the two freezers are the same.

Using scissors, cut off the part of the phrases that are the same. Turn them over so that they are face down on the mat, leaving only the word “empty” and “full” visible.

Repeat this for the other pairs of labels.

Invite a different student to read the three visible pairs of words as you pointed to them. Temples: empty/full; long/short, black/white.

Ask the students if they notice anything special about these words. The students may respond by saying that the words are opposites.

Part 3: Defining and Discussing the term “Antonym”
Explain to the students that words that are opposites are called antonyms.

Place the heading on the mat.

Encourage the students to brainstorm for other antonym pairs. Print the pairs of antonyms on the remaining black slips of paper. Ask the students to record three more antonym pairs in their journals.

Extension
Play antonym memory. Write at least 10 pairs of antonyms on slips of paper parentheses one word per slip parentheses. Place the cards face down on the mat. Turn over to cards. If they are antonyms, keep the parent go again. If they are not antonyms, return the slips to their face down position and I’ll have someone else to take a turn.

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