The Pair/Pear Tree
With the first signs of spring, the children start asking me when I will put up the pear tree. It seems to have become a yearly tradition. The tree takes many forms. This year I twisted crepe paper to make limbs and tacked them up on the bulletin board. I then had students trace their hands on green paper and cut them out. I rolled them and tacked them next to the limbs for leaves. This made a 3 dimensional tree. I cut out pear shapes from yellow construction paper and have them ready for tacking up.
I use the tree to make students more aware of homonyms in our language. Students are encouraged to find homonyms, tell me the word meanings and then write them on a pear shape to place on the tree. I get them started by placing the first pair/pear on the tree. I explain that names do not count. I allow only one pear per individual per day so that more individuals have a chance. I keep an alphabetized list so I can cross out those that have already been used. I learned that this saves you from searching the tree continually. Amazingly each year they come up with new ones that weren’t used previously. I give students a token candy for each set they find. A child needs to be able to tell the meanings of the words they are using and the correct spellings before I allow them to record them on a pear. I have placed a list of homonyms in the vocabulary section. It is an excel list because if new ones are added I can easily put them in the correct alphabetical order. I hope most of you will be able to open it and can just add to it.