Lesson Plan - Matching Opposites

Student with Difficulties
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Learning new vocabulary often requires "hooks" - memory devices that help students remember the words they have learned. Here is a quick, traditional and effective exercise focusing on pairing opposites. The opposites have been divided into beginner, intermediate and advanced level lessons. Students begin by matching opposites. Next, they find the appropriate opposite pair to fill in the gaps. 

Aim: Improving vocabulary through the use of opposites

Activity: Matching opposites

Level: Intermediate

Outline:

  • Divide students into small groups and distribute the opposites worksheet.
  • Ask students to match the opposites. If you have more time, you can ask students to first match the opposites and then write out the opposites individually. Alternatively, you could give exercise as follow-up homework.
  • Next, have students find an appropriate opposite pair to fill in the sentences
  • Correct in class. Expand the exercise by asking students to provide synonyms.

Match the Opposites

Match the adjectives, verbs, and nouns in the two lists. Once you have matched the opposites, use the opposites to fill in the blanks in the sentences below.

innocent
many
forget
boiling
reward
cowardly
adult
come
find
release
on purpose
silent
reduce
enemy
interesting
depart
ignore
none
past
expensive
apart
false
attack
hate
succeed
passive
say
narrow
minimum
shallow
deep
maximum
wide
ask
active
fail
love
defend
true
together
cheap
future
all
help
return
boring
friend
increase
noisy
accidentally
capture
lose
go
child
brave
punishment
freezing
remember
few
guilty

 

  1. How _____ friends do you have in New York? / I have a _____ friends in Chicago.
  2. The man pleaded _____, but the jury found the man _____.
  3. The freeway is very _____, but country roads are often very _____.
  4. Did you know that that there is a _____ speed limit as well as a _____ speed limit?
  5. Make sure to tell yourself that you will _____. Otherwise, you might _____.
  1. Parents disagree about what type of _____ they should give their children if they misbehave. However, most agree that a _____ is a good idea for a job well done.
  2. Sometimes a _____ will say they want to be an _____, but we all know it's the other way around.
  3. It's surprising how many people say "I _____ you!" just a few weeks after saying "I _____you!" 
  4. Most people agree that one of government's main jobs is to _____ its citizens from _____. 
  5. Sometimes I say "It depends" if I can't say something is _____ or _____.
  6. You'll find a lot of couples sometimes need some time _____ after being _____ for a long time. 
  7. Lunch wasn't _____. In fact, it was rather _____.
  8. What does your _____ hold for you? Will it be the same as in the _____?
  9. Not _____ the students agreed with him. In fact, _____ agreed with him!
  10. It's important to learn the difference between the _____ and _____ voice in English.
  11. If you don't want to _____, please don't _____ me!
  12. Go over there to the _____ side of the river. It's too _____ where you are standing.
  13. If you _____ me nicely, I will _____ something to make you happy.
  14. I'll _____ on May 5th. I _____ on April 14th.
  15. How many professors do you find _____? Which ones do you find _____?
  16. Sometimes a _____ can become an _____. It's a sad fact of life.
  1. Many people feel we should _____ the amount of money we spend on weapons. Others, feel we should _____ spending.
  2. I love walking outside in nature where it's _____ compared to the _____ city.
  3. She met her future husband _____. Of course, he says it was _____.
  4. The police want to _____ the thief. If the don't find the right one, they'll have to _____ them. 
  5. Did you _____ you keys again? Would you like me to help you _____ them?
  6. You can _____ and _____ as you please.
  7. She's a _____ warrior. He, on the other hand is very _____.
  8. You shouldn't stick your hands in _____ or _____ water.
  9. Do you think you will _____ everything? Is it possible you might _____?

 

Answers Exercise 1

deep - shallow
maximum - minimum
wide - narrow
ask - say
active - passive
fail - succeed
love - hate
defend - attack
true - false
together - apart
cheap - expensive
future - past
all - none
help - ignore
return - depart
boring - interesting
friend - enemy
increase - reduce
noisy - silent
accidentally - on purpose
capture - release
lose - find
go - come
child - adult
brave - cowardly 
punishment - reward
freezing - boiling
remember - forget
few - many
guilty - innocent

Answers Exercise 2 

few - many
guilty - innocent
wide - narrow
maximum - minimum
fail - succeed
punishment - reward
child - adult
love - hate
defend - attack
true - false
together - apart
cheap - expensive
future - past
all - none
active - passive
help - ignore
deep - shallow
ask - say
return - depart
boring - interesting
friend - enemy
increase - reduce
noisy - silent
accidentally - on purpose
capture - release
lose - find
go - come
brave - cowardly 
freezing - boiling
remember - forget

 

 

Beginner Level Opposites

Advanced Level Opposites

 

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