Play Antonym-Synonym Tic-Tac-Toe Activity

3.9 based on 18 ratings
Updated on Feb 8, 2013

Knowing your antonyms from your synonyms is an important part of the second grade writing curriculum, and it's a real boon for vocabulary. Here's a fun game to help develop this skill in your child:

What You Need:

  • Blank tic-tac-toe game boards, drawn on scrap paper
  • Pencils
  • Thesaurus and/or dictionary

What You Do:

  1. Explain to your child that synonyms are words with similar meanings and antonyms are words with opposite meanings. To check for your child’s understanding, read the following sentence: On a hot day, you can get too warm unless you find a way to stay cool. Ask your child to identify a pair of synonyms (hot and warm) and a pair of antonyms (hot and cool; warm and cool) in this sentence.
  2. Now, it's time to play Synonym-Antonym Tic-Tac Toe! Start by choosing a word that has many shades of meaning, such as good, nice, cold, bad, or happy. Write the selected word at the top of the Tic Tac Toe board.
  3.  The “X” player chooses a playing space and marks a small x. She writes a synonym for the selected word in the same playing space. Then, the “O” player chooses a playing space and marks a small o. She writes an antonym for the selected word in her playing space. Play continues until someone gets three in a row. If a player gets stuck, he can try consulting the dictionary or the thesaurus for help.
Liana Mahoney is a National Board Certified elementary teacher, currently teaching a first and second grade loop. She is also a certified Reading Specialist, with teaching experience as a former high school English teacher, and early grades Remedial Reading.