A homophone is a group of words that sound the same, but are spelled differently and have different meanings, such as "to, too, and two." Homophones are a special kind of a homonym, which in addition to words that are spelled differently, includes words that are spelled the same but still have different meanings, such as the stalk of a plant (a noun) and to stalk a person (a verb.)
Although About.com specialist Sue Watson is a special education guide, these twenty printable homonym and homophone worksheets will be great for all primary grade students (as well as ESL learners.) The worksheets are presented on twenty different pages, and you can view a readable thumbnail before deciding to download using the "PRINT PDF" link below. The worksheets are strung together in two batches of ten, so take care not to miss worksheets eleven through twenty.
Alan Cooper started his homonyms list in second grade. He eventually lost his "dog-eared pad of yellow paper with an ever-growing list of homonyms," but when his son was in second grade and needed a list of homonyms, Cooper rediscovered his old passion. "The best part about homonyms, though, is that they are the raw material for puns, a truly sublime form of humor. With a robust knowledge of and appreciation for homonyms, you will never be embarrassed when a pun-battle breaks out in public."
"All About Homophones" is a homophone activity workbook that can be purchased in soft-cover or PDF, but the resource I want to share is the free Homophone Machine. Type in any sentence or paragraph, and it will be converted into a misspelled, but often very funny version chock full of homophones. If you need a suggestion, try starting with "I would like to show you my new horse" or "Praise the Lord for the spelling checker that came with our PC. Make a mistake and it puts you right. It's so easy to use, you see." That last tidbit is based on Janet E. Byford's poem "An Ode to the Spelling Chequer" which you can find at Alan Cooper's site (see above).
This fun video from PBS' Between the Lions features singer-songwriter Brian McKnight and Cleo Lion singing about "a very unusual H word homophones." This one is sure to delight audiences of all ages. "You're right, let's write the words all day and night. They're out of sight. You're still so sweet, that's why we always meat. Not that kind of meet. Homophones. Two words that sound the same, but they're not spelled the same. Homophones."
"Do you have good memory? You'll need it when you try to match homophones. Don't know what a homophone is? You'll find out when you play Super Match." This concentration-style memory game requires you to match homophones, instead of the usual identical pictures. For example, "hair" is a match for "hare" and "scene" is a match for "seen." Because the game scrambles with each restart, it can be played multiple times.