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Synonyms and Antonyms Activities

Grammar, Literacy, Writing & Language

Written by: Mary Kate Bolinder

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!

Synonym Search

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.

Antonym Match

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.

Grammar Toothy

Yes, we really do have a Toothy for everything! (New to Toothy? Learn all about Toothy here!)

grammar toothy task cards to make learning about synonyms and antonyms fun in a 2nd grade classroom

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 Series.

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toothy task kits

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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.

daily grammar practice worksheets for reviewing all 2nd grade language standards

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toothy task kits

Join All Access to download everything we've ever made.

Spiral ELA

Teachers love our Spiral ELA. Students can practice identifying and writing synonyms and antonyms throughout the year to keep skills fresh!

spiral ELA worksheets for practicing and reviewing 2nd grade reading and language standards each school day

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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.

hands-on literacy centers to make practicing grammar skills like synonyms and antonyms fun in the classroom


toothy task kits

Grammar Centers

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.


Thesaurus Has a Secret

How to Teach Other 2nd Grade Grammar Skills:

Is it time for a new concept in grammar? We have a post for that!

1st Grade Review



Common & Proper Nouns

Types of Sentences



Compound Words

Complete Sentences 


ABC Order

Verb Tenses

Linking Verbs 

Irregular Plural Nouns & Irregular Verbs


Possessive Nouns 


Comparative Endings 


Antonyms & Synonyms ~ You are here!


Subject-Verb Agreement

Collective Nouns


Demonstrative Pronouns


Multiple-Meaning Words

Prepositional Phrases

Shades of Meaning-Verbs & Adjectives

Similes & Metaphors


This blog post has dozens of synonyms and antonyms activities from worksheets to use during morning work to hands on literacy center games. Bring some new ideas for teaching synonyms and antonyms to your classroom today.


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