Saturday, September 27, 2008

Alphabet and Sight Word Games

Below you will find suggested game activities for reinforcing the alphabet and sight words.

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Please feel free to add your ideas, just click on the comments button at the end of this posting, type your comment. I will add your suggestion when I receive notification that a comment has been added.

1. Alphabet and Sight Word Bingo
Children really enjoy playing alphabet or sight word bingo. This is a really worthwhile activity in reinforcing letters or words they have previously learned. The link below provides a free software to make bingo cards. It allows you to shuffle the letters and words to different locations.

Bingo Card Software

2. Alphabet or Sight Word Musical Chairs
This would be a great activity to do during gym time. Post letters or words on chairs or just taped to the floor. Play music and once the music stops children must find a letter or word. They must say the name of the letter or identify an object that begins with the same letter sound or sight word.

3. Easter Egg Hunt
Purchase a large container of different colored plastic eggs. Place letters or words in each egg. Hide them around the classroom or in a center. Children must hunt and find them. Once they find the egg they open it and say the name of the letter or something that begins with that letter sound or the focus sight word. If they are correct they can keep the egg. The one with the most eggs wins the game.

4. The Prize Egg (played similar to hot potato). Have different colored plastic eggs (enough for each child). Again, put a letter or word in each egg. The children assemble in a circle. As music is playing the eggs are being passed around in a circle. When the music stops, the children discontinue passing the eggs. Call out a certain color of egg as being the "prize egg". The children holding the prize eggs must open it and say the name of the letter or an object that begins with that letter sound or focus sight word(s).

5. Rolling the Dice
Make your own dice or purchase wooden ones. Print the alphabet letters or words you would like the children to practice. Children roll the dice and say the letter or word printed on it.

6. Alphabet or Sight Word Concentration
Display a few alphabet letters or sight words for all the children view. Have children practice identifying them. Have children close their eyes and take one away. The children determine which one was taken away. This would be a good game to place in a center.

7. Alphabet or Sight Word Board Game
Make a game board (chart) with the words or alphabet letters you have been working on. Make cards with these letters or words and extra cards that do not contain these. Children pick a card. If they have one that is on the game board they can color it (the board can be laminated and the children can use washable markers). The child that has the game board completed will be the winner.

Another Version - More Difficult
You can use alphabet picture cards and the children eliminate the letter that the picture begins with. They must not only identify the letter but they must also be familiar with the sound it makes. The alphabet pictures found in the members area of our sister site could be used (sister site)

8. Alphabet or Sight Word Race
Place the alphabet letters or sight words you wish the children to identify on the floor at the end of the room (this would work even better in the gym). Line children up in two rows. Call out a letter or sight word. The first two children race to find it. The one who picks it up first takes it back to his/her group. The race continues until all the children have had a chance to race. The group that has the most, wins the game.

9. Playdough and Glitter Sight Words
When I was teaching, I had my students form the sight words out of Play Dough. They loved, it, of course. It is also very effective for tactile learners or very active kids.

My son, age 5, and I are making a sight word game right now. I write a sight word with pencil, and he writes over it with glitter glue pens. I am going to have him trace over his finished cards with his finger once dry, while he says the word out loud.

More Sight Word Activities
1. Children make the focus sight words by using alphabet stamps.
2. Give children the sight word with the letters cut out. They must rearrange the letters to make the focus sight word(s).

More ideas can be found in the follow links:

Literacy Center Ideas

More Literacy Center Ideas

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Follow-up Shared Reading Activities

After the children have been exposed to the text of a shared reading experience and have become familiar with it, the following follow-up activities could be employed. This would be appropriate for kindergarten aged children but not preschool.

Sentence Strips
The sentences from the story are placed on sentence strips. Students are asked to reconstruct the story using the strips. The teacher may do this together with the children and then they do this independently at the literacy center.

Cut-up Sentences
Give the children cut-up words from a sentence. The children are asked to rearrange the words to complete the sentence. A copy of the text is available to act as support. After, the children read and track as a final check.

Omitting Words
Provide the children with a sentence or sentences from the shared reading passage but this time omit words. The children are to find the words that are omitted. Again, you may want to provide the complete passage for verification.

The above activities could also followed by a drawing to illustrate the sentence or sentences.

In the link below you will find more suggested reading activities

More Shared Reading Activities

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Shared Reading Daily Plans

Providing support for the children during shared reading time give the children the greatest sense of success. The teacher's job is to move the children from reading from memory to recognizing letters and their related sounds, recognizing patterns and wording families to recognizing chosen sight words and relaying this to new reading situations.

The emergent readers provided on the sister site have been specifically designed to use for the purpose of introducing beginning reading skills in this supportive environment. Below you will find a weekly plan on how you can use one of the readers for the duration of a week.

  • Relate to student's background experiences - children talk about their own experiences related to the book topic. Example, prior to reading the reader "Jiggle Worms" the students would talk about how they felt the first day of school or trying something new.
  • Predict what the story will be about
  • Teacher reads and students listen. If this is an interactive reader the teacher may have the children predict what will go on the page and he/she demonstrates how to complete the interactive page(s)
  • Teacher reads again, this time he/she tracks, students join in if they are able
  • Students complete an activity related to the text. They may illustrate, color or complete an interactive page related to the story.
  • Teacher and students reread the text.
  • Students can share a page or other related activity from the previous day.
  • Teacher has text prepared on sentence strips
  • The strips are distributed to the students. The children use the master copy to reconstruct the text in a pocket chart or by lining up the strips on a bulletin board appropriately
  • The teacher practices removing individual lines and students identify what has been removed.
  • Students can complete this similar activity at the literacy center (cut out, rearrange and glue strips in the correct order). The master copy is always available for reference purposes.
YOUNGER STUDENTS: You will likely want to read the story again focusing on tracking each word and demonstrating the left to right movement. Some students may want to use a pointer and try tracking the words and model this to their peers.

  • The children are now familiar with the text and the focus is on more specific skills such as learning the alphabet letter related to the text or sight word.
  • The teacher presents the text with selected words masked (beginning with the focus sound or sight word). The masked words are written on individual word cards. these word cards are distributed to the students.
  • Teacher and students read the text together, stopping to identify each masked word. As the masked word is identified by the students, they search their cards for the appropriate word card.
  • Students are given a copy of the omitted words and complete this at the literacy center. A master copy is available for verification. Students put their copy in a special book and illustrate it. Other sight word activities could be employed. For example, unscramble the focus sight words, play sight word bingo or do a word search where the children locate the focus sight word.
  • I would focus on the words within the text that use the letter focus sound. Determine words within the text that begin with that sound. Brainstorm for other words that begin with that sound. Act out the sound. For example for the letter "c" pretend to climb saying the sound as you do so.
  • Distribute the alphabet picture cards. The children say the name of the picture and determine if it begins with this sound. Place all the picture cards that begin with that sound under the correct letter corresponding to that sound. These could be used for review purposes frequently. The children could do this independently at the literacy center, sorting picture cards that begin with that sound.

  • Particular word patterns are selected from the text. For example, if there is a word within the text that contains the "at" word family this would be the focus of the lesson. Students might have simple spelling lesson printing or identifying words as they think of examples. Some of these words can be put in simple sentences for reading and for sentence dictation.
  • Individual words which have become sight words for any student are written on word cards and students can place these in his/her word bank. Several times each week student take out their word banks to read their words and to engage in activities such as sentence construction using their words.
YOUNGER CHILDREN - Again this would not be appropriate for younger children. I would just focus on hearing rhyming words. This would be in the form of reading books with rhyme (Dr. Seuss) and distributing rhyming picture cards to determine if they rhyme or not.

More shared reading activities can be found at:

Shared Reading in Kindergarten and Preschool