Saturday, 14 November 2015

Word Family Fun!

Word families can be a tricky concept for our little learners, yet they are SO IMPORTANT to play with and learn for blending and segmenting. I have put together here a few quick and simple activities which can be done at a whole class level. For just about any of these activities the only resources you will need are student sized whiteboards and markers, large letter cards, large bowls or hula hoops (failing that, chalked out circles), beanbags, cups/bowls, a pocket chart and some CVC picture cards for whatever your focus is. As always, these activities do not involve worksheets and are 100% hands on for higher engagement levels. I have linked in a couple of freebies you can snag up to use with these activities too so keep an eye out!

Bucket Toss

This type of game is so versatile that I have included pictures of 4 different ways to play (but if you experiment I am sure you will be able to find more). These buckets I purchased for $2.50 for 2 from my local Overflow store :)

Game #1 - Label buckets or hoops with word families (eg -at, -eg, un etc.). Show the students a picture, have them say the word and identify the word family, then toss a beanbag in the matching bucket.

Game #2 - Direct inverse of Game #1 - Give students a word family and have them toss the beanbag in the bucket of a word in that family.

Game #3 - Label the buckets with a range of pictures in your focus word family (or multiple for reviewing). Write a word on a whiteboard and have the students read the word and toss the beanbag at the matching picture.

Game #4 - Again, the direct inverse of Game #3 - Label the buckets with CVC words, show a picture and have the kids find the matching word.

Building Word Familes

Very simple activity to set up and great for blending practise. Just choose your focus word family and write the family on 2 cups, and label other cups with a range of consonants to blend. As you add another cup to the beginning, work together to blend the letter sounds together and read the new word. This activity could easily be done on a larger scale using a pocket chart and letter cards.

Hop it Out

Again, this is great blending and segmenting practise.

In the top picture, show the students a picture card and use the teddy to hop out the sounds they hear. After the sounds are identified, go back through and identify the letters to spell the word.

In the second picture, show the word using large letters and 3 pictures (one correct). Have the students hop out the letter sounds and blend them together to identify the matching picture.

Again, this set-up is great for a small group setting, but you could easily adapt it for whole class activities by using hoops (or chalked out circles) and have the students use their bodies to hop out the sounds. Again, you could have the students themselves hop up and hold up large letter cards to spell the words.

I LOVE these cards! If you would like to grab your own set, you can snatch them up for FREE from Rulin' the Roost HERE.

Roll a Word 

More blending practise, playing around with real and nonsense words. Chose your short vowel and place a large letter on the carpet. Fill a pocket dice with a variety of letters (consider what are common letters for the ending and beginning of words with your short vowel). I found it helpful to make the dice different colours to make it easy to see which comes first and which comes last. Roll the dice, read the word and decide whether the word is real or nonsense. You can choose to record these on a whiteboard or to just make it a verbal activity. 

Where's my Bone?

Simple as, just hide a small object or picture under cups or bowls labelled with words from your focus word family and have the students guess where the object is hidden. I chose to use a dog and a bone. Again, this is an easy one to do in a pocket chart just with cards and a small picture.

Word Family Fishing

Again this is a very versatile game and I have put together 5 different versions to share with you. Play around with it and you will find more ways to play :) All you need are some fish (print or draw, laminate and attach a paper clip to them), and a couple of $2 store magnetic fishing rods. Add some paper labels for anything you need (sorting, words etc) as you play different games.

#1 - Students fish out pictures of CVC words (blue tack to the back of laminated fish) and have the students use the large letter cards to make the word.

#2 - Play the same as game #1 but replace the letter cards with whiteboards and markers.

#3 - Choose a work family and write a variety of different CVC words (both real and nonsense) on the back of the fish (or use sticky-notes, or blu-tack words to them). Have the children read the fish they catch and decide whether it is real or not. The sorting mats I have used here are just written on pieces of paper.

#4 - Choose a few CVC word pictures, either from one word family or from a range of word families and write the matching words on the back of fish. As the kiddies pull of a fish, they should read the word and find the matching fish.

#5 -   Add a selection of CVC pictures to the backs of the fish and place in the bucket. Choose a word family to sort and as the kiddies pull out a fish, have them decide whether it matches the wprd family or not. Again, I have just written the word family labels on paper. This coul easily be swapped ut for small whiteboards.

Word Family Hop

I have found this probably the easiest game ever. I tend to forget about using the cards and just write different word families on the carpet in chalk. Just choose your word families, create a spot for them and either show the kiddies a picture or tell a word and have them hop on the matching word family. I usually play 2 at a time and the kids just love it!

Word Family Houses

I love this activity and these houses make the cutest anchor charts and displays. The houses are just cut out of large size cardboard and pictures cut out of paper. I would have the pictures cut out and ask the students to brainstorm different words from the same word family. As they say a word I just add it to the chart. I have also done this 2 houses at a time where I ask the kiddies which word family house each word belongs in. This was great for kids to visualise the grouping and relation different words. 

Musical Words

This is such a cute little game I found on Pinterest from Miss Giraffe! I just love it! Kiddies sit in a circle, wander around when the music plays and they read the word they are at when the music stops. I can just see my little treasures having a blast with this one :) you can check it out along with a ton of fun word family word work stations HERE

You can also download a free set of word family pictures from designed by teachers HERE, or from teachers pay teachers HERE to use with these activities.

I hope this has given you some ideas. If you have any of your own activities which have helped your little ones 'click' I would love for you to share :) 

Til next time :)

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