Tips for Teaching To, Too, and Two

One thing that makes the English language so special is the number of words that sound alike but mean vastly different things. As a result, I often see their used where there would be more accurate and there used to demonstrate possession. They’re is often used in place of there. Pesky little words!

To, too and two are another set of tricky words that are easy to mix up.

Because I am strongly visual and remember best when I use memory hooks, I often create my own visual hooks to help myself remember tricky things. Visual hooks are pretty powerful!

Let's think of some visual hooks we could use to help our right-brained students remember the difference between to, too, and two.

Here is a “hook” (image) for the word TO:

How to teach to, too, and two


In the image, the monkey eating a banana is confidently going TO an undisclosed location with a shining headlight TO brighten his path.

In the “hook” (image) for TOO, the little girl wants to go TOO.


The difference between to, too, and two


She doesn’t want to be left behind to languish at home! I don’t know that she cares where they are going, just so she can go TOO!

Finally, in the “hook” (image) for two, it is patently clear that TWO heads are better than one when it comes to reading really tricky and vague directions.


to, too, and two


So the TWO of them are holding the book of directions and are working with TWO brains to figure out how the directions work. Obviously, this strategy is working for them, given the broad smiles on their faces (their faces, not there faces or they’re faces).

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