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.

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