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Karen Griffin

Karen Griffin




Morrison, TN
Student Teacher

"I first used ReadWriteThink.org during my literacy block of college courses to help me construct a lesson on word building. My classmates enjoyed this lesson so much that I knew I would use the website again to help me develop lessons for my "real" students."

Karen Griffin's Story
Helping Phonics Flower in the Elementary Classroom

As a student teacher in a first-grade classroom, I struggled with ways to make phonics fun. I was thrilled to find the lesson Phonic Generalizations in Chrysanthemum. This lesson uses -ow words from the book Chrysanthemum to point out the two sounds this letter combination can make. The lesson plan includes hands-on activities that allow students to use a whole-brain approach to learning. I created a sheet that the students used to write their words on after they created them with the letter tiles. Students were able to create words using letter tiles, read the words, write the words, and then read them again. This allowed them to notice that while spelling patterns in words might look the same, they do not always sound the same. Students were then asked to write one or two sentences using two -ow words. Volunteers were asked to read their sentences aloud. This lesson not only provided me with a way to make phonics fun for my students, but it also allowed me to enjoy teaching phonics!



Related Resources

Grades   K – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Minilesson

Phonic Generalizations in Chrysanthemum

Students learn about word families by reading Kevin Henkes's book Chrysanthemum, identifying words with certain vowel pair endings, and reading words with similar endings.


Grades   K – 2  |  Student Interactive  |  Learning About Language

Word Wizard

Word Wizard uses themes from four popular U.S. children's books to create word puzzles that students solve by unscrambling letters and considering related clues.


Story Highlights  

I am a 37-year-old who, after feeling unhappy in my previous profession (nursing), decided to take a hiatus and work in a local preschool. It was at that time I fell in love with teaching and decided to return to school to obtain my bachelor's degree in elementary education. I graduated in May 2011 and have recently been hired as a second grade teacher for the 2011-2012 school year. I am looking forward to having my own classroom to put ideas from ReadWriteThink.org into practice. My husband, Geoff, and I have been married for 16 years and have two beautiful children.