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We’ve probably all written goals addressing multiple-meaning words at some point in our careers as SLPs. Working with multiple-meaning words is challenging for kids who have language-based learning disabilities, and this is a common area to target in language therapy, especially for our middle school and late-elementary-age students. In this episode, I discuss fun ways to work on multiple-meaning words.
Using Books As Fun Ways to Work on Multiple-Meaning Words
Books such as “Yaks Yak” by Linda Sue Park are great for their engaging illustrations and variety of animal-related examples. These books prompt discussions and build an understanding of context clues, inference, and predictions. Other recommendations include How Much Can a Bare Bear Bear?, If You Were a Homonym or a Homophone, and The Bat Can Bat.
Incorporating Acting and Movements when Teaching Multiple-Meaning Words
In addition to using books to teach multiple meaning words, incorporating acting into sessions can be a fun and engaging way to work with energetic students. Using a list of multiple meaning words, students can take turns acting out one of the possible meanings while others guess the intended meaning. This activity can be lighthearted and silly, but also helps students retain information.
Incidental teaching to reinforce the understanding of multiple meaning words
This involves pretending to misunderstand the word when it’s used, such as with posters, morning announcements, or during games like UNO. The students will correct the misunderstanding and have a discussion about the different meanings of the word. The author suggests keeping a list of common multiple meaning words to be prepared for these situations.
References and Resources:
- Common Core State Standards
- How Much Can a Bare Bear Bear?
- If You Were a Homonym or a Homophone
- McKeown, M. G. (2019). Effective vocabulary instruction fosters knowing words, using words, and understanding how words work. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 50(4), 466–476.
- The Bat Can Bat
- What’s the Point? A Book About Multiple Meaning Words
- Yaks Yak