Synonyms Card Sort
This card sort activity is intended for practice identifying pairs of synonyms. The five sets of cards contain 14 cards each. The student may work on the card sort
independently or with a partner.
*Note that there is often more than one synonym for a given word. Students should choose the best match from the cards provided.
Included in this material
- 5 sets of synonym cards (7 pairs of synonyms per set), with card set number labeled on each card
- Answer key
- Recording sheet
Words Used in the Sorts
Set 1: amazing/remarkable, boring/tiresome, crazy/foolish, happy/delighted, like/enjoy, quiet/calm, speak/talk
Set 2: assist/aid, beautiful/attractive, certain/sure, change/alter, interesting/fascinating, look/watch, love/adore
Set 3: emphasize/accentuate, excellent/superior, finish/complete, main/primary, new/recent, pleasant/agreeable, small/miniature
Set 4: basic/essential, choose/select, distant/remote, imagine/ponder, make/produce, perfect/flawless, regular/routine
Set 5: available/accessible, create/establish, describe/depict, discover/explore, distribute/disburse, equivalent/tantamount, severe/harsh
Using the Card Sorts
Before use, print, laminate, and cut the cards to be used.
1. Set out the heading card for the set being used (ex: Synonyms Set 1).
2. Choose a card and place it on the work surface. Take a second card and decide if it is
a synonym for the card already out. If so, place it next to the synonym. If not, place
the card below to create a column.
3. Continue until all cards are sorted, creating pairs of synonyms. If a child is unsure of
the meaning of a word, encourage the use of a dictionary (or thesaurus).
4. Check work with the answer key.
5. Record work in a language notebook or on the included recording sheet.
If desired, have students do an extension after completing the card sort. To check their
understanding, have them write an additional synonym for several of the pairs of
synonyms matched, if possible. Have thesauruses available for use as resources!