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As we learn how words interact, we learn how a single concept can have many words to describe it. For instance, if we’re feeling sad, we can use the words upset, sullen, and inconsolable to express the same feeling. Odd word out activities are a great way to find similarities and differences between words. 

But beyond being a brainteaser for students and English language learners, what benefit does the Odd Word Out activity provide?

Let’s unpack the Odd Word Out activity as well as the benefits to students.

Odd Word Out


The Odd Word Out activity is simple. Observe a list of words and find the similarities between the terms to select the option that doesn’t match.

While the instructions of this activity are simple, the activity provides a rich and valuable assessment for teachers to determine student’s understanding. 

What does the Odd Word Out activity assess? Great question! This activity serves as a gauge that students are grasping the English language. It does this by seeing if students can find similarities and differences between words. These similarities can include spelling, category, and more. For example, cat, bat, and sat, while different words entirely, all end in the letters -at.

The words Nile, Amazon, and Mississippi are all river names, and while they are not spelled the same way, they still are similar and can be grouped.

These assessments are valuable because it assesses a student’s deductive reasoning skills. Students may be capable of reading all of the words, but they must look at all of the words and determine which one doesn’t fit to reach the final answer. 

This can sometimes feel tricky, and so it’s essential to practice Odd Word Out activities to prepare for the many ways that words can be grouped.

Strategies to Select the Odd Word Out

There is some strategy that can be used to solve Odd Word Out problems. The first thing that students must do is find the commonalities between the words.

Some questions can drive finding commonalities, including:

  • What is the definition of these words?
  • Do these words rhyme?
  • Are the words using a similar category (underwater creatures, fruits, and flowers)?
  • Do these words begin/end with the same letters?

When you put on your investigator hat and start combing through these words, it may be simple to figure out the commonality between them and identify the odd word out. 

The benefit to this activity is that students have to think critically about the options in front of them to reach a logical conclusion– sometimes easier said than done!

Put it to Practice


Now that we have reviewed what the Odd Word Out activities are let’s practice!

Directions: Based on the list of words below, select the word that doesn’t belong.

Select the word that doesn’t belong:
a b c d
1 apple banana carrot grape
2 whale seahorse dog shark
3 iPad iPhone microwave laptop
4 summer winter springtime snow
5 October November December January
6 run bike sprint walk
7 Doctor Nurse Anesthesiologist Custodian
 8 Car Truck boat bike
 9 Jump Run Bump Dump

 

Conclusion


Congratulations! You are now ready to head out and start investigating words to find similarities and differences. The Out Word Out activity is not a difficult one, but it is incredibly valuable as an assessment tool.

With the information that teachers can gather about students using this activity, they can pinpoint if students are thinking critically about the words in front of them. 

Are you looking for more practice like this for your elementary student? ArgoPrep has created an online library for students who are craving extra practice to become masters of activities just like this one! Additionally, ArgoPrep has created workbooks that guarantee student improvement in as little as 30 days.

All of ArgoPrep’s resources are highly-engaging and boost student understanding, so kids can start enjoying school more!

Since there are many ways to find an odd word out, students need to be on high alert and scrutinizing definitions, spelling, categories, rhyming, and more. 

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