Published at Saturday, 04 May 2019. Worksheet. By Damien Cohen.
People often wonder about the effectiveness of analogies. What do they teach? How do they work? Why are they so useful? What makes analogies so effective is their ability to get students to think critically. In order to answer an analogy question correctly, the student has to form a logical relationship, or ”bridge” between two words. They must think about how the words are related. Since words represent particulars (not universals), there is a nearly infinite number of ways they might be related. It is the student’s job to narrow this number, and focus on the most essential relation — the most basic aspect of the word’s function or definition. This page contains analogies worksheets. In these worksheets, students must be able to recognize the relationship between the words in a word pair and to recognize when two word pairs display parallel relationships. To answer an analogy question, you must formulate the relationship between the words in the given word pair and then select the answer containing words related to one another in most nearly the same way. Each question has five answer choices, and 12 questions total.
There are many active, and far more interesting, ways for children to begin understanding words and numbers than via worksheets (Mason, 1986). A classroom with a developmentally appropriate curriculum is a print-rich environment. The walls are covered with signs naming objects, stories children have dictated, lists of words they have generated, pictures they have painted and labeled, and charts of classroom jobs (such as feeding the pet and passing out napkins for snack). At the small motor activities table there may be sandpaper letters to feel and puzzles to complete. Creative activities may include squirting shaving cream onto the table and having children make designs and write their names. And always there are many books to explore, examine, wonder about, listen to, and love as they are read aloud. In these ways, children learn that reading and writing are useful skills, not simply tedious activities adults invent to make school boring. It takes a lot of experience with words and print for children to understand why it is good to be able to read.
Sometimes a parent or teacher just needs a break. You’re going to use worksheets once in a while? I won’t judge you. Planning hands-on activities takes time and resources we don’t always have. Sometimes we just need something simple. Like when you’re 9 months pregnant to the day and the baby shows no sign of making an appearance. Ahem. (Update: our baby finally made her appearance, two weeks late!). My bottom line? A steady diet of worksheets is bad news. For some preschoolers, worksheets are never appropriate. For preschoolers who enjoy them, I don’t think worksheets are harmful every once in a while for a change of pace. For older kids, worksheets are appropriate when nothing else will do the job. Thoughtful teachers and homeschooling will strive to limit their use of worksheets in favor of activities which promote higher-level thinking and hands- on experiences.
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