An Analogous Relationship: A Vocabulary Lesson Plan

Subject: English
Grades: 7th +

Help students sharpen their critical and logical thinking skills and improve their vocabulary in preparation for the SAT or ACT test with this lesson plan on analogies.

Students will:
· Determine the meanings of new words through the use of analogies
· Create analogies to build their skills for learning new words.

IRA/NCTE Standards for the English Language Arts
Standard 4: Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
Standard 6: Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.

Materials Needed
· WordTeasers: College Prep

Getting Started
Write the following analogy on the chalkboard.

Restaurant: food :: bar : liquor
Tell students that this is a type of a word problem called an analogy. Explain that an analogy is made up of two word pairs. Both pairs of words have the same relationship. Ask students what the “relationship” is between the two pairs of words in the analogy on the chalkboard. (A restaurant is a place where food is served; a bar is a place where liquor is served.)

Tell students that until March 2005, the SAT test included analogies on the Verbal section of the test. Although the new SAT test (first administered in March 2005) eliminated Analogies from the Verbal section of the test (now called the Critical Reading section), analogies are still a great way to help improve vocabulary and critical thinking skills.

Explain to students that there are many different kinds of analogies. Usually analogies are presented in this format:

[word 1] : [word 2] :: [word 3] : [word 4]
Explain that the relationship that exists between the words that are left of the double colon is exactly the same as the relationship that exists between the words to the right of the double colon. The analogy can be read as: Word 1 is related to Word 2 in the same way that Word 3 is related to Word 4.

List the following analogies on the chalkboard. (Don’t write the Relationship.) Help students identify the relationship between the pairs of words. Be sure to tell students that there many other kinds of relationships in analogies, such as part to a whole (e.g, minute : hour; petal : flower), object to its use (e.g., pen : write), type of …(e,g. utensil : fork or tool : shovel) and object to a function (e.g., glasses: read).

Analogy Relationship
off : on :: up : down (Antonym)
top : summit :: wicked : evil (Synonym)
bed : sleep :: school : learn (A place where…)
carelessness : accident :: rain : flood (Cause/Effect)
cold : pneumonia :: hot : scalding (Intensity)
carpenter : saw :: surgeon : scalpel (Job-Related Pairs)

Write the following six analogies on the chalkboard (or copy and distribute the Worksheet), using words from WordTeasers: College Prep. Tell students to first try to figure out what the relationship is in the pair of words in a given analogy. Then, have students select the best answer to complete the analogy. Finally, have them identify the relationship expressed in each analogy. (Note: You may want to list the relationship choices on the chalkboard or worksheet.)

Analogies Worksheet
Directions: Read the three given words in each analogy below. Determine the relationship of the words in the given pair. Look at the four possible answers. Select the word that completes the analogy. (Hint: The answer should be the same part of speech as the corresponding term in the complete pair.) Finally, write the type of relationship that the analogy presents.

1. __________: abolish :: ruminate : ponder
(a) establish
(b) abrogate
(c) ruin
(d) annulment
Relationship: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­__________________________________________________

2. kennel : dogs :: __________ : birds
(a) nest
(b) house
(c) fly
(d) aviary
Relationship: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­__________________________________________________

3. sad : __________ :: snowfall : blizzard
(a) maudlin
(b) happy
(c) drama
(d) cry
Relationship: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­__________________________________________________

4. dentist : teeth :: __________ : feet
(a) ache
(b) podiatrist
(c) legs
(d) shoes
Relationship: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­__________________________________________________

5. __________ : success :: laziness : failure
(a) persistent
(b) win
(c) tenacity
(d) tough
Relationship: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­__________________________________________________

6. generosity : stinginess :: __________ : extraordinary
(a) special
(b) rarity
(c) mundane
(d) exuberant
Relationship: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­__________________________________________________

1. (b) abrogate. Relationship: synonym; 2. (d) aviary. Relationship: a place where…; 3. (a) maudlin. Relationship: intensity; 4. (b) podiatrist. Relationship: job-related pairs; 5. (c) tenacity. Relationship: cause and effect; 6. (c) mundane. Relationship: antonym.

Challenge students to create their own analogies using WordTeasers vocabulary.

Next Week: Geography Lesson Plan with WorldTeasers

Source: WordTeasers: College Prep— an educational game designed to get students talking, laughing, thinking, writing…and supersizing their vocabulary. Ages 12+ .

Available at

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