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Steps 4-6 Program​


Word Building

Word Building games are great for segmenting spoken words, encoding using sound spellings, blending, decoding unfamiliar words that are regularly spelled, and working towards gaining meaning in new words.

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Students are given a 3×3 grid with letters (vowel in the middle, identified by a different color or a circle). Students make as many words as they can, sorting by real words and nonsense words. There is a Challenge Page for further activities with the words made. An Extra Block Words Page is included for more words OR to be used with your own grids.Students should be encouraged to read the words they found for a partner or a teacher.

Alternate Activities:
-Put an advanced phonics team in the middle, such as: ar, ee, oo, ai.
-Draw a grid on the floor/ground that can be HOPPED on while saying the sound the letters spell.
-Use painters tape to make a larger grid with changeable letters for a center activity (This is easily modified depending on student phonics focus. Maybe one group is on CVC, one group using blends, one group using vowel teams, etc.)

Students look at the picture, say the word for the picture out loud, and tap out the spellings for each sound. Students write the word they tapped on the lines next to the picture. Teachers can also give a cvc word to students to tap.This activity can be done independently for students who just need practice, or this can be done as a facilitated activity.

There is a color version of the phones as well as a black and white. Cut out the phones.

Put the phones on hard card stock or laminate to use in a word-building center.

Students go from left-to-right or diagonal. The simplest way to play this game is to have students use different color crayons, draw lines to make a word, and write their words at the bottom.

Alternative Activities:

  • Copy just the grid and laminate to make a center activity. The Tic Tac Ten recording sheet is included to allow teachers to leave slips of paper with the grids at a center.
  • Build this as a grid on the ground for “hopping” to make a word as well. Use chalk outside or painters tape on the rug inside. Use the Tic Tac Ten recoding sheet for students to record words built.
  • Teachers say a word. Students must find the letters that spell each sound, drawing a line to form the word. Students write the word on the lines.

Students go from left to right, creating a word (a real word) and write that word on the lines.

Set up:
Each page has two of the same Fast Five for printing and saving paper.

NOTE: If a child writes a word that is spelled wrong but spelled phonetically, praise the effort and show them the actual spelling, but it can be considered a correct build… we don’t want to discourage children using what they have learned!

Alternative Activity:

  • Give students letter cards matching the letters on the road. Students build the word with letter cards before writing it. This will help students who might need a bit more support.

-Teachers say a word from the Possible Words list.
-Students draw a path from left to right following the sound spellings that make the spoken word.
-Students write the word on the lines below.
-Students can begin with the clipart for each paper. Students say the word for the picture and draw a path to make that word.

Caution: Use your professional opinion to decide if this activity fits a students capabilities. For example, if a child is easily overwhelmed by text, the amount of letters here might not suit their practice needs.

Alternative Activities:

  • Create this layout on a rug, with pieces of paper, or using painter’s tape. Students can use long pieces of string/yarn to make the path for the word. (see picture for reference)
  • Us as a dictation activity (and, really, just a different way to practice and review encoding words or word building)

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