teaching resource

Synonyms Picture Puzzle

Teach Starter Publishing
Google Slide, PDF | 1 page | Grades: 2 - 3

Practice identifying and using synonyms with this 15-piece word puzzle.

Synonyms: An Important & Necessary Part Of Language

By identifying synonyms, your students will develop a deeper understanding of word relationships, a necessary building block for an extensive language. 

In addition to growing their vocabulary, understanding synonyms (similar words) and antonyms (opposite words) improves students’ verbal and writing skills

To play this game, students will read the word on each puzzle piece and cover its matching synonym on the game board, completing the puzzle. 

The synonyms students will explore in this activity are:

  • large – big
  • single – one
  • start – begin
  • correct – true
  • below – under
  • leave – exit
  • finish – end
  • simple – easy
  • angry – mad
  • fast – quick
  • speak – talk
  • alike – same
  • final – last
  • close – near
  • sick – ill

Scaffolding + Extension Tips 

Support students who need help understanding the concepts by referring to your synonym poster or anchor chart for help. 

Challenge fast finishers who already understand the concept to use the words in a sentence (orally or written, depending on proficiency). 

Get our 10 Best Scaffolding Strategies here! 

Use Our Synonyms Puzzle For Even More Activities! 

We created this resource for your reading center as an independent practice activity. We also suggest using it to reinforce your small group and full-class lessons in the following ways: 

👀 Scavenger Hunt

Hide the puzzle pieces around the room when your students are not around and put the picture board in the center of the room. Then set your students loose! As soon as they find a piece, they bring it up to the picture board, read the word on their piece, and put it on the matching synonym. NOTE: You may want to make a rule of only 1 student at a card at one time. If not, things could get a little crazy! 

✏️ Write It Out

To use this activity as a formative assessment, project the picture board and have each student pick 3 words. Students will write their words and their suggestions for synonyms.

👯‍♀️ Puzzle Teamwork

In your small group, divide the puzzle pieces among students. Then, point to a word on the board and read it as a group. The student who has the matching synonym piece lays it down on the puzzle.

Easily Prepare This Resource for Your Students

Print on cardstock for added durability and longevity. Place all pieces in a folder or large envelope for easy access. 

Before You Download

Use the dropdown icon on the Download button to choose between the PDF or Google Slides version of this resource. 

This resource was created by Lindsey Phillips, a teacher in Michigan and Teach Starter Collaborator. 


Master synonyms with these additional activities and resources we know your students will enjoy! 

Image of Synonyms Board Game

teaching resource

Synonyms Board Game

Read 18 words and identify their synonyms as you race players to the end of the game board.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageGrades: 3 - 4


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