Here’s a joke for you: What does a thesaurus eat for breakfast?
Answer: Synonym rolls! (We love to laugh at Lucky Little Learners!)
Keep reading to discover more amazing, awesome, incredible, marvelous, wonderful activities to teach synonyms and antonyms.
What are synonyms and antonyms?
Synonyms are words that have the same, or close to the same, meaning.
- Example: happy, cheerful
Antonyms are words that have opposite meanings.
- Example: happy, sad
This video from SpellingCity offers a great explanation of synonym and antonym relationships.
Where do you find synonyms and antonyms?
Synonyms and antonyms can be found in a thesaurus. Similar to a dictionary, a thesaurus lists words in alphabetical order. Instead of providing a definition, a thesaurus gives a group of synonyms and antonyms for the listed word. Check out an online thesaurus here.
A dictionary will also list a few synonyms and antonyms after the definition of a word. Find a student-friendly online dictionary here.
Synonym and Antonym Activities
Give one of these activities a try to get students up and moving!
Write a pair of synonyms, one on a notecard, one on a sticky note. Place the sticky notes around the classroom. Give each student a notecard, and have them search the classroom for their synonym. Create a class chart with the answers.
Write a pair of antonyms, each on a sticky note. Give each student a sticky note to wear. Students must then find their antonym match. How fast can you find your antonym match? Mix up the sticky notes and play again. Create a class chart with the answers.
Resources for Teaching Synonyms and Antonyms
Here is a list of our favorite resources for teaching synonyms and antonyms.
Yes, we really do have a Toothy for everything! (New to Toothy? Learn all about Toothy here!)
Students will practice identifying pairs of words as synonyms or antonyms. This self-checking activity is great for whole group, small group, independent practice, morning work, and so much more!
The synonym and antonym activity is part of the Grammar Toothy Bundle.
Grammar Day by Day
Build important grammar skills one day at a time with Grammar Day by Day. These synonym and antonym worksheets provide a quick and easy way to practice this new skill. In fact, one for each day of the school week is ready to go! Color, write, and match to identify the correct synonym or antonym.
Grammar Day By Day
Teachers love our Spiral ELA. Students can practice identifying and writing synonyms and antonyms throughout the year to keep skills fresh!
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2nd Grade Spiral ELA
Shoes and Socks
In this card game from our 2nd Grade Grammar Centers, students will take turns trying to match a pair of synonyms (shoes) or antonyms (socks). Students can play for fun, or use the recording sheet for a quick check of their understanding.
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Picture Books about Synonyms and Antonyms
These picture books about synonyms and antonyms are a great read alouds to share with your class as you study synonyms and antonyms.
Note: If you click on the Amazon affiliate links and purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Tips for Teaching Other 2nd Grade Grammar Skills
Click the links below for posts to help you make 2nd grade grammar skills fun to teach and learn about in your classroom!
Common & proper nouns
Types of sentences
Shades of meaning – verbs & adjectives
Similes & metaphors