Learning Basic Concepts Through Opposites

Enrichment Therapies

January 30, 2017

Basic concepts are words a child needs to know in order to follow directions, participate in routines, and engage in conversation. A child needs to know basic concepts in order to be successful in reading, writing, and math. Basic concepts are words that depict location, number, descriptions, time, and feelings.

Basic concepts often occur in pairs also known as opposites. These basic concept pairs are the most important for a child to know in order to be successful in preschool and kindergarten: Location:
  • In/Out
  • On/Off
  • Up/Down
  • Top/Bottom
  • Behind/In Front
  • Outside/Inside
  • Over/Under
  • High/Low
  • Forward/Backward
  • Above/Below
  • Happy/Sad
  • More/Less
  • All/None
  • Full/Empty
  • Big/Little
  • Open/Closed
  • Sharp/Dull
  • Hot/Cold
  • Fast/Slow
  • Hard/Soft
  • New/Old
  • Thick/Thin
  • Smooth/Rough
  • Heavy/Light
  • Same/Different
  • Loud/Quiet
  • Tall/Short
  • First/Last
  • Before/After
  • Old/Young
Help your child learn basic concepts by:
  • Use descriptive words when talking to your child. Describe everything you see and hear in your environment.
  • When describing an object or action use descriptive concepts. Instead of using the word “big” just because you know your child understands it, use the word “huge” to expose your child to new words.
  • When talking about location, try not to show your child by pointing. Use location concepts (i.e., below, in front).
  • Use “Wh” questions and answers. “Where” encourages a response that uses location concepts (i.e., behind, under). “When” encourages a response that uses time concepts (i.e., before, later).
Helpful iPad application:
  • Zola Opposites: a $.99 application helps children distinguish opposite words through 70 awesome picture cards. 

Have fun learning basic concepts with your child!

Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs.  At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success.  Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.


740 Community Drive, Unit A

North Liberty, IA 52317



5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300

Johnston, IA 50131


Related Posts