Everything You Need to Start Teaching Analogies

Using word analogies with your students is one of the most effective ways build vocabulary and critical thinking skills. Analogies force students to examine the relationships between words, and in doing so, they gain a better understanding of the subtle nuances of word meanings.  Because of their great instructional value, I include analogy word work in my language spiral reviews and Greek and Latin vocabulary programs. I also have an extensive resource of leveled word analogies that contains everything you need to set your students up for success.

When students work with analogies, they...
  • expand and deepen their vocabulary.
  • understand the relationships between ideas and words.
  • recognize and understand multiple-meaning words.
  • think critically and apply logical reasoning.
  • learn to decipher word meanings based on context.
  • build a network of understanding that improves retention and aids future learning.
Word analogies can be a little tricky for students who are unfamiliar with them. Just like with any new skill, carefully choose word analogies that are appropriate for your students. I recommend beginning with analogies that are slightly below their instructional levels.

Begin with explaining just what a word analogy is.  

Explicitly teaching students to use "bridge sentences" will allow them to determine the relationships between word pairs. 
Students should be given plenty of opportunities to create bridge sentences for various word pairs.
They should also be shown how to write them in reverse since the order of the word pairs can vary.

Students can then use "bridge sentences" to think through the word pairs that make up an analogy.

Once students understand the concept of a bridge sentence, begin teaching them the common types of analogy relationships. 

With an understanding of bridge sentences and the types of analogies, your students will be set up for success!  Present them with leveled word analogies that will allow you to increase difficulty as their skills and vocabularies improve.  

Click here for a FREE PowerPoint of the various slides included in this post.