Saturday, November 15, 2008

Construct a Word

Learning to read is a big job, kind of like building a house. Children need certain skills to form the foundation. This activity is a fun way to practice several of them. Children select single letters and endings to form words (like b and -ed for bed). The online tool knows how many words can be formed with each ending, so children are challenged to keep going until they get them all. As they build words, children are exposed to rhyming sounds and can learn about the different sounds letters and blends make. These skills are essential, not only for reading but also for writing and spelling.

Here’s What to Do:

In this online activity, children first select one of nine word endings. They then begin making words by choosing beginnings, including single letters of the alphabet and letter blends like cl-. When children form a word, they get the satisfaction of seeing it deposited into the word bank. Cha-ching! When they’re done, be sure to have them click on the Word Bank so they can print out their list.

More Ideas to Try:

• When traveling on vacation or a field trip, play “Rhyme Time.” Take turns selecting something you see along the way and see how many rhyming words you can think of. What starts with cow could become how, now, and bow. Wow!

• Use the word bank list to create a book. Children can do it the old-fashioned way and simply draw a picture to go with each word. Or they can go high-tech, find images on the Internet, and create a digital book using PowerPoint.

• Set a word goal. How many words can children place in their own personal word banks? Could they reach 25, 50, or 100? When they reach their goal, be sure to celebrate in some word-worthy way, such as a trip to the library or bookstore.

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