Teaching Homophone Triplets Without Tears
Apr 28, 2023

Teaching Homophone Triplets Without Tears

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Why did the brake break when the knot did not? Sounds like a silly tongue twister to me! One of the most challenging things about the English language has got to be homophones! What are homophones, exactly? Homophones are words that sound the same, but they are spelled differently, and they have different meanings. This can make reading and spelling a bit tricky and frustrating. Take the confusion out of homophones with this fun and engaging multisensory activity! 

Teaching Homophone Triplets Without Tears User Guide

Target Words

vain –  very high opinion of oneself
vane – flat object that is moved by wind or water
vein – tubes that carry blood through the body
rain – drops of water that fall from the sky
reign – the time a sovereign rules
rein – long straps that help guide a horse

Teaching Tips

  • Use color coding.

  • Group words with like spelling patterns together in a sentence.

  • Illustrate the sentence with clip art or sketches to make a visual whole.

  • Enlist the brain and creativity of your child in making silly sentences and illustrations for other groups of homophones.

  • Help him or her come up with other words that have the same spelling pattern as the word you are learning.

Homophone Stories

Homophones "EIN"
  • Point out the spelling of the target words. The children can say the words like this: RE-INS and VE-INS, noting the little IN in each of them. The reins are IN the horse’s mouth (well, the bit is) while the veins are IN the rider’s arm.

  • Ask your child to study the picture and the green words, then close their eyes and see the picture. Ask them if they can see the green words. If they say no, have them peek at the picture again and close their eyes once more.

  • Hide the card and have the child open their eyes. Ask them to write the words reins and veins on a whiteboard with a marker.


  • Homophones "AIN"In this “story,” Elaine is vain, she is annoyed with rain. Ask the child if they think it is possible that Elaine avoids getting her hair wet because it would mess up her hairdo. Allow them to come up with other ideas of why Elaine hates the rain.

  • Notice the spelling of the target words; they each have “ai” in them, and the dot on the I looks like a raindrop!

  • Repeat the visualization process from the first set of words, then practice writing the “ain” words on the whiteboard. Avoid spelling the words using letter names at all costs; just have the child SOUND out the words as they write them.


Homophones "ANE"
  • In this “story,” the target spelling is “ane.” After you have read the sentence together, ask the child which of the blue words they know how to spell already. That word will be the cue word for the whole sentence!

  • Repeat the visualization process from the previous “stories” and practice writing by sounding out the words rather than spelling them using letter names.


Homophones "EIGN"
  • In this “story,” the target spelling is “eign.” This spelling is much more complex from the spellings we’ve been doing up to this point.

  • First, ask the child to notice the similarities and differences between the words rein and reign. When they identify that in the second word a “g” is added, suggest that they can pronounce the words in this spelling pattern with a spoken “g” just for the sake of remembering how to spell the words.

  • It would be good to find the “gn” spelling pattern in the word “sign.” See also: align, assign, benign, cosign, deign, design, ensign, feign, consign, and words with the “gn” at the beginning: gnarl, gnash, gnaw, gnome, gnu.

  • Repeat the visualization process from the previous “stories” and practice writing by sounding out the words rather than spelling them using letter names.



Together, just enjoy the abilities and gifts we have been given to be able to access our visual muscles and to help us learn and remember ideas that are just plain hard to remember through memorization! Find more homophones and have fun coming up with silly stories that make learning fun!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!




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