We use Thinking Maps, so I modeled how to use a 'circle map' to explain multiple meaning words.
We made a large circle on a page, with a small circle in the middle, where the word was written. (I used the word 'bat' since they are familiar with all three meanings.) Next we drew two perpendicular lines to divide the circle into fourths. In each fourth we did the following for the given word:
-part of speech
-sentence using correct meaning
-illustration, if applicable
When my students worked on their own circle maps, they worked in pairs so they could collaboratively decide which resource they might use (thesaurus or dictionary), as well as helping each other determine if they were correctly using the word in the sentences they created for each meaning. (Sometimes the word had more than 4 meanings, for example the word 'set'. I just wanted them to get familiar with the most frequently used meanings, so they kept it down to 4 multiple meanings.)
This really helped them to finally see what I had been trying to explain all quarter about multiple meanings for the same word. Once they
did the work and research, they understood what was meant by 'multiple meaning words' and why the dictionary had 'those little numbers' after the entry. That part made me smile, because I thought
they knew what the numbers meant those other times we discussed how to use a dictionary.
This just reinforced for me that we really do need a variety of activities to help reinforce concepts... the intended ones and all the peripheral 'stuff', too!
(I'm attaching a sample page with the format in case my description wasn't clear and also for those who might not know what a 'circle map' is. I didn't use this form for my students, as we want them to make their own Thinking Map organizers.)