Your child will arrange a set of mixed up letters to spell and read common words.
Learning Area(s): Reading and Writing
- word list (see Tips)
- pieces of paper to write words and letters
- something to write with
- optional: magnetic letters
Before the activity, choose two to five words from the word list in Tips that your child has recently learned or needs to practice. Write each word on a separate piece of paper about the size of a business card. Gather the magnetic letters your child needs or make your own letters by writing each one on a separate piece of paper about the size of a quarter. You can reuse letters or make more letters as needed to spell words.
Point out the word cards and letters as you explain the activity to your child. “Today you are going to build words with these letters.”
To introduce a word:
- Place the word card in front of your child; for example: there.
- Read the word out loud and ask your child to read it.
- Give your child a mixed-up set of letters for the word; for example, r, e, t, h, e.
- Ask, “Can you unscramble these letters to make the word there?”
- After your child arranges the letters correctly, have them reread the word.
Next, to practice unscrambling the word without looking at a word card, have your child:
- Scramble the letters.
- Read the word card and look at the letters closely.
- Turn the word card over to hide it.
- Make the word again with the letters.
- Turn the word card over, read it, and check if the letters match.
Then introduce and practice another word in the same way. If your child needs more practice with a particular word, flip the word card over and point to each letter on it as they put the letters in order. After unscrambling two to five words, have your child go back and read all of the word cards.
- To find appropriate words for your child, look at a research-based list:
- Dolch word lists (organized by grade level)
- Fry word lists (organized in groups of 100 based on how often we use them)
- AERO Reading Curriculum high-frequency word cards
- Different schools use different word lists. Your child’s teacher may have a list of words to practice at home.
- If this game is too easy for your child, try adding some words from a word list above your child’s grade level or in a higher group.
- If the game is too hard for your child, try using some words from the grade level below and help your child read any words they don’t know.