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Language and Communication Develop vocabulary through the use of synonyms  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


Develop the use of synonyms.

Early years skill:not specified
Early years typical range:not specified
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum skill:English Speaking
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum level:L2a
TAP skill:Language Expression
TAP level:TAP72
Section:Primary (5-11yrs) info; Secondary (11-16yrs) info

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Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments

1. Explain that you are going to talk to the child about "synonyms".

2. Explain that the word 'synonym' means two different words that have the same meaning.

3. Give an example of a common synonym e.g. 'woman' and 'lady'.

4. Say the same sentence, putting the different synonyms in it, e.g. "Mrs. Smith is a woman.... Mrs. Smith is a lady." Ask the child if the two sentences mean the same thing.

5. Ask the child to suggest any further synonyms that they know.

You could help the child to make a poster defining a synonym and giving one or two examples.

Synonyms jigsaw

A commercially produced synonyms jigsaw is available (supplied by 'Smart Kids' - or 01488 644 644). If you do not have this, you could make your own: You need to make a 3-piece jigsaw for each synonym - one piece needs to show a picture to represent the synonym, the other two pieces have the two synonyms written on, e.g. woman, lady - see list of common synonyms for more examples.

This activity can be carried out if the child has relatively poor literacy skills, in which case the child will need help to read the words.


Simple thesaurus

This activity is most suitable for children with good literacy skills.

It is best to use a very basic thesaurus at first as it will have just a few words in, and is more likely to be illustrated.

Rewrite it

Access to a computer, the internet and a printer



You could also use a story book, but it might not be as suitable.


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