Lesson plan

Spelling Homophones

Help your students correctly spell homophones in sentences! They’ll use context clues to determine the correct homophone spelling and then check their answers with a dictionary.
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Students will be able to choose the correct spelling between homophones based on the context of the sentence.

(5 minutes)
  • Display one of the pictures from the What is a Homophone? website, or another website of your choice.
  • Help determine students' understanding of homophones by asking the following questions: What is the cartoonist telling you with these two pictures? What do the underlined words have in common?
  • Tell students that today they will focus on spelling homophones correctly by using the context of a sentence. They can also check their answers in an online dictionary.
  • Ask a student to read the student objective.
  • Choose another student to define context clues as clues within a sentence that tell the meaning of words and homophones as words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings.
  • Correct the student's definition before continuing to the next section, if necessary.
(5 minutes)
  • Display the first two sentence stems, and think aloud about the meanings of the words mussels and muscles.
  • Determine the context of the words by circling the context clues in the sentences.
  • Draw a quick sketch to help show your understanding of the two meanings.
  • Look up the word in the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary website to model checking your answer.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask for student volunteers to explain how to find the meanings of the homophones banned and band from the last two sentence stems, and circle the context clues that help them determine the correct meaning.
  • Allow students to draw a quick sketch of the two meanings, and have another student look up the meaning and spellings of the two words.
  • Explain that now they will try to choose the correct spelling of the homophones with partners.
  • Ask students to share their partner’s answers.
  • Distribute the Homophone Hero worksheet and read through the directions. Add additional instructions for the students to circle the context clues in the sentence.
  • Assign A–B partners to complete problems 1–4 together. Remind them to circle the context clues that determine which homophone they should use in the sentence.
  • Ask students to check their spelling using a dictionary.
  • Choose non-volunteers to share their partner’s answers.
  • Allow another student to explain the process of choosing the correct spelling of the homophones. For example:
    1. Find the context clues in the sentence.
    2. Determine the meanings of the two homophones.
    3. Choose the correct spelling for the homophone based on the context.
    4. Check your answers with a dictionary.
  • Ask another student to write down the steps on the board as the student explains them.
  • Correct any misconceptions before they start their independent assignment.
(10 minutes)
  • Assign the students problems 5–10 to complete on their own.
  • Ask students to follow the steps written on the board for finding the correct spelling of the homophone.


  • Allow students to use a dictionary, like the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary or Kid's Wordsmyth, to look up the meaning of the words.
  • Provide blank sheets of paper so students can draw the context of the sentence.
  • Provide a word bank for the Assessment activity (e.g. weather and whether).


  • Allow them to create their own cartoons, similar to what they saw during the Introduction section.
  • Give them time to practice different homophones with the Homophones 3 exercise.
(5 minutes)
  • Write the following sentence on the board: I can't decide ____ or not I should go to the library.
  • Distribute a sticky note to each student and have them write the correct homophone for the sentence.
(5 minutes)
  • Explain that while this assignment required students to choose between two words when deciding the correct spelling for the homophone, in their own writing they will have to choose the right word on their own.
  • Tell students it will help to start memorizing the meanings and spelling so they do not have to look up the words in the dictionary.

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