Analogies show relationships between words. Analogies can even help you learn NEW words if you understand the meaning of a word being compared.
For instance, if I told you that “up” is related to “down” the same way “cold” is related to “hot”, then you would be able to understand the meanings of those words and how they are related. This is often demonstrated by using colons – –
up: down :: cold: hot
The relationship in the first part is the same as the relationship in the second part. You might read the above analogy as:
“up is to down as cold is to hot”
Any number of relationships among words can be expressed by using analogies.
Vocabulary.co.il has created some wonderful games for practicing and using analogies. Our Elementary Analogy game lets students simply pick the answer that correctly completes the analogy.
There are two analogy games for middle schoolers: 6th-8th grade Analogy Types, and Middle School Analogy Match. The Analogy Types game helps students choose which of the common types of analogies (such as part/whole, synonym, item/purpose) are being used to compare terms.
High Schoolers also have two analogy games to choose from, since analogy practice in high school is often geared toward helping prepare students for college entrance exams where analogies frequently appear.
The key to students successfully completing an analogy is for them to first realize they need to link their familiar experiences with these new ideas that are presented to them. Once they have used the already learned concept, they can apply this same concept to the other word pairs. This helps them develop higher level thinking processes. When students understand that analogies are all based upon relationships, they can work on overcoming analogy apprehension and even develop their own analogies.