J is for Jam and Jam

Welcome to my 2020 Blogging A-Z April Challenge. Each day, I will post a brief Journal On! Daily Writers’ Workshops lesson and prompt. Teachers, parents, and students may use the material to encourage daily writing practice, spark insight, and embrace mindful reflection.   

photo by Pixabay

We ate bread and blackberry jam while sitting in a traffic jam. 

Homographs are fun words. Not only do they lend themselves to alliteration, but homographs also spark imagery in our writing. Homographs are word pairs that are spelled the same but have completely different meanings depending upon the grammatical usage or definition in sentences. Take the word jam. Jam, the noun, is a spreadable fruit, but jam, the verb, means to block something or be blocked. Many homographs always sound the same, but some homograph pairs are pronounced differently depending upon the context. For instance, produce can be fruits and vegetables, and produce can mean to create or make something. The vowel pronunciation or the syllable accents are different, yet the spellings are the same. 

Let’s have some word fun with homographs. I included a vocabulary box you can use as a reference. Feel free to add your homographs.

  1. Primary Prompt: Divide your picture box in half. Pick a homograph from the vocabulary box. Draw the different definitions of the word on each side. Label the things in your drawings. Now write a sentence for each of your pictures. Example: Mom bought peach jam. It is my favorite.  The next drawing would be: I will jam the door shut with the chair.
  2. Intermediate Prompt: Choose two to three words from the word box or use one of your own. Write a sentence using the homograph pair in one sentence. Can you expand on this sentence that uses the word back and forth? Read it out loud. It may get silly. Example: Can you open the can of peas? If you open the can of peas, we can mix them with the can of beets. Then maybe someone else can eat it.
  3. Upper-Intermediate prompt: Create a first-line with a homophone pair to start a brief story or scene. Let the first line lead you into a rambling journey of thoughts before hitting a lead wall. Have fun.

Until tomorrow, Everyone.



Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

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