vocabulary strand teks talk image

Knowledge and Skills Statement

Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking--vocabulary. The student uses newly acquired vocabulary expressively.

Synonyms and Antonyms

Use a quick isolated skill assessment.

Have a list of words on the left and a list of synonyms on the right and ask students to match each word to its synonym (same for antonyms).


Write example idioms on the board and ask students to share what they think each idiom means.


Give students a list of words and ask them to write the two meanings for each word (e.g., read, bow, close) (Isolated skill assessment).


  • Circle which meaning makes sense in this context: Can you close the door?

    a) shut b) nearby
  • Read the sentences below and choose which word fits best for BOTH sentences:

I like to put a pink ______ on my dog’s ears.

When the prince saw the princess, he took a _____ to introduce himself.

a) close b) read c) bow

These skills can be assessed in isolation or together in one assessment. The skills should be assessed both in context of a text and outside of a text. Assessing outside of context will help ensure clear understanding of the skill and in context will show ability to apply knowledge.

An antonym is a word opposite in meaning to another word (e.g., hot/cold, big/little).
A homograph is a word that is spelled the same as another word but that has a different meaning (e.g., “bow,” “bass,” “fly,” “desert,” etc.). Homographs are difficult for students in reading because the readers cannot hear the intended pronunciation and must rely solely on the context to know which form of the word is being used.
Idioms are an expression that have a different meaning from the literal meaning of individual words and are often particular to a given language and usually cannot be translated literally. Some second-grade examples include have the upper hand, under the weather, a couch potato, when pigs fly, you're pulling my leg, and I'm keeping an eye on you.
A synonym is one of two or more words in a language that have very similar meanings (e.g., comical, funny, humorous). Students should be aware that synonymous words are not necessarily interchangeable. Replacing a word with a synonym that sounds more advanced but is not appropriate in context can actually confuse the meaning. For example, replacing little with scarce in the sentence "The boy was little" would not make sense.

Related 2009 Student Expectation

This student expectation is related to the following SE from the 2009 reading/language arts TEKS.

(5)  Reading/Vocabulary Development. Students understand new vocabulary and use it when reading and writing. Students are expected to:
(C)  identify and use common words that are opposite (antonyms) or similar (synonyms) in meaning; and