Homophones are words that are spelled differently but pronounced exactly the same. Thus, they have different meanings as well. If a two homophones are spelled the same they are considered to be both homographs and homonyms. This can be seen in the following sentence:
The bear could not bear to be hungry any longer.
These words are phonetically the same and spelled the same but they are not anything alike in meaning. Not all homophones area spelled the same but as shown above, they can be. Many scholars of the English
language will argue about whether or not to call this a homophone or a homonym. The meaning is basically there, it is really a matter of opinion on the technical aspect of things. For most educational purposes between kindergarten
and high school the term homophone will suffice.
Homophones are great in word games and word play. It is great fun trying to solve different puzzles that may have a play on words or a pun. In these games you will often find multiple word homophones. These are technically considered oronyms. Some examples are:
ice cream I scream
depend deep end
stuffy nose stuff he knows
two lips tulips
These can make great exercises for students to get their brains to think in a whole new way. Word play can provide hours of entertainment and a lot of laughter. No matter what grade you are teaching you can have fun by implementing homophones into your curriculum
Are you aware of the difference between patients vs. patience? Because they are pronounced the same many people do not stop to think about which spelling would be proper to use when writing a sentence. Educationbug.org is here to help you differentiate between patients and patience in our new grammar lesson article titled Patience vs. Patients. I think you will find this article very informative.
To go along with this article we have also posted an article on Homographs. Homographs are word that are spelled the same but pronounced differently, this includes such words as record, address, close, etc…Check it out, there are probably some you never even thought about.