Multiple Meanings


Partners brainstorm multiple meanings of a word.

The idea is to get kids thinking about one word’s different meanings. It’s a great way to deepen students’ understanding of parts of speech. Third graders are often tempted to create a new sentence that actually assigns the same meaning to the target word as the last sentence did. But when I verbalize the part of speech students’ just gave the word, they become more flexible about thinking of other jobs that word can do in a sentence. For each new meaning used correctly in a sentence, a team puts a chip down on its score board.

The reason I pair kids up is so that each can benefit from the other’s input, thereby enlarging their vocabulary and/or increasing their flexibility in thinking. For the same reason, I allow each person one chance to “Ask a Friend” on another team. Rather than being an assessment tool, this game is designed to enhance children’s word knowledge and divergent thinking.


You could have a number on each card. The objective is to come up with equations that use different operations to equal the target number. If you want to add in a bonus element: 2 chips could be earned if the pair can find a way to use all 4 operations in an equation.

Word List: (from Liguilist Vocabulary Games)

cross       fair               arm           patient

fall            fly               hand          speaker

stick         head          club           mouse

rest            saw           store         watch

bowl         point         fan            check

set             scale          jam           fire

step            light         trip           organ

round        tape          bill            pound

loaf            roll            run            wave