Lesson Summary:

The categories homophones, homographs and heteronyms can be confusing and can occasionally overlap.  This lesson introduces the children to the common usage of the term heteronym.  The short discussion is designed to be read by the children and the examples given should preferably be read aloud to emphasize the difference in pronunciation.  Activity A helps them to identify the difference between homophones and heteronyms and Activity B provides them with an opportunity to use heteronyms in their own sentences.


  • The children will recognize heteronyms and understand how they differ from homophones and homographs.
  • The children will be able to use heteronyms effectively in their own writing.

Subject Area:

Language Arts

Lesson Excerpt:

We’ve looked at homophones, which are words which sound the same but are spelt differently and have different meanings, and at homographs, which are words which are spelt the same way and sound the same but have different meanings.  Both of these categories start with ‘homo’ which means the same.

Today we are going to talk about a category of words called heteronyms.  ‘Hetero’ is a Greek word which means different.  So heteronyms are words which, although they are spelt the same way, are pronounced differently and have different meanings.

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