An analogy identifies a similarity between like features of two different things by requiring students to identify a relationship between a pair of words. Analogy lessons focus students’ attention on that relationship by providing a frame for the comparison. Once the relationship has been determined between the first set of words, that relationship is used to compare the next two, building on prior vocabulary word knowledge.
In addition, analogy word study can help prepare students for standardized tests as it increases reasoning skills. VocabularySpellingCity’s premade analogy word lists are an ideal supplemental material for analogy lessons and word study. Leveled lists can be used with interactive learning games and activities or printable worksheets to achieve analogy mastery. VocabularySpellingCity also provides instructional videos, perfect to use during an introductory analogy lesson.
Although the term “analogy” does not appear in the ELA Common Core State Standards until the 7th grade, analogies can be introduced at an earlier age. Elementary school analogies may include simple synonym and antonym analogies. As students expand their vocabulary, analogies become more complex. Middle and high school analogies may focus more on analogical reasoning – comparing similarities between new and understood concepts (creation is to destruction as joy is to tragedy).
VocabularySpellingCity’s instructional videos, located on the bottom of the page, are an excellent resource to review analogies and the different types of analogies. K-12 teachers can import VocabularySpellingCity’s leveled word list for further analogy practice. Each analogy word is programmed to have a corresponding sentence using the “___ is to ___ as ___ is to ___” format. For example, the middle school word gigantic uses the sentence Large is to gigantic as small is to microscopic.
Analogy word lists are best used with learning games like MatchIt Sentences or WhichWord? Sentences, where students can insert the correct word into the analogy. As an extension activity, students can write their own analogy sentence using Sentence Writing Practice.
Analogies for teaching and testing are typically written using special notation with colons. So, the analogy in is to out as up is to ___ would be written: in:out::up: ___. The word that completes this analogy is “down.”
The following list features different types of analogies using the special notation:
- Synonym (happy : joyful :: sad : depressed)
- Antonym (inflation : deflation :: frail : strong)
- Characteristic (tropical : hot :: polar : cold)
- Part/Whole (finger : hand :: petal : flower)
- Degree (mist : fog :: drizzle : tropical storm)
- Type (golden retriever : dog :: salmon : fish)
- Tool/Worker (pen : writer :: voice : singer)
- Action/Object (fly : airplane :: drive : car)
- Item/Purpose (knife : cut :: ruler : measure)
- Product/Worker (poet : poem :: baker : pie)
Common Core State Standards Related to Analogies
Demonstrate understanding of words by relating them to their opposites (antonyms) and to words with similar but not identical meanings (synonyms).
Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., synonyms, antonyms, homographs) to better understand each of the words.
Middle School Analogies: gigantic, anxious, blustery, thermometer, chameleon, barren, staff, drizzle, fiction, digestion
High School Analogies: carnivore, abhor, placid, laceration, adulation, hone, democracy, Confederacy, milliliter, philanthropist
VocabularySpellingCity.com provides word lists, printables, and interactive games and activities that give students the opportunity to explore relationships between words to better understand their meaning.
Try WhichWord? Sentences with the Elementary School Analogies list.