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Learn All Year Long

Learn All Year Long

Learn All Year Long

Kids and teens should read and write even when they are out of school. Why is this so important?

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Activity

Wild and Crazy Words

 

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Wild and Crazy Words

Grades K – 3
Activity Time 20-60 minutes
Activity Author

Amy Mascott

Amy Mascott

DC Metro, Maryland

 
Publisher National Council of Teachers of English
 

What You Need

Here's What To Do

More Ideas To Try

Glossary

 

What You Need

Materials vary, but the following provide options for different activities:

  • "Wild and Crazy Words" printout
  • Letter blocks or any type of letter manipulative (like magnetic letters, letters written on index cards, or printable letter cards)
  • Water and paint brush
  • Watercolors and paint brush
  • Powdered gelatin mix or flour on a cookie sheet
  • Window crayons and window
  • Dry erase markers and white board
  • Finger paint and paper
  • Shaving cream on the countertop/cookie sheet/tub, etc.
  • Pudding on a plate
  • Sand

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Here's What To Do

  1. Print out the "Wild and Crazy Words" printout and write each word on which you would like to focus in the “Word List” column.  Look at the list with the child and say, “Today we’re going to play with a few important words.  We’re going to really take a look at the words (point as you read each word). First we’ll take a look at how to spell each word one by one, then you’ll have a chance to get a little messy with each word, and when we’re finished and cleaned up, you’ll be able to write each word right here” (point to the “Words I Learned” column).
  2. Using letter blocks, etc. pllace the letters of the first focus word (for this example, we will use the word ‘happy’) on the table in front of the child.
  3. Focus on the letters in the correct order.  Say, “Here are the letters of the word ‘happy’.”  Point as you say each letter.  For example, using the word ‘happy’:" H-A-P-P-Y.  Let’s say the letters together: H-A-P-P-Y.  Now let’s say the letters in some silly voices" (say the letters in a deep voice and point as you go.)  "And let’s try a teeny, tiny mouse voice (soft voice)/a happy voice" (say with a big smile), etc.
  4. Mix up the letters and put them back in the correct order.  Say, “Now we’re ready to get crazy with this word.  I’m going to mix up the letters (rearrange order), and then we will put them back in the correct order.    Let’s see if we can find the first letter of the word ‘happy’—that very awesome ‘H’.  I wonder if you remember which of these letters is the ‘H’?  Is it this letter ‘H’ (point to a letter) or this letter ‘H’ (point to the H)?”  Do the same for each letter, until the word is spelled completely, and celebrate the success of a correct spelling!  Clap or snap as you say each letter in the correct order: H (clap), A (clap), P (clap), P (clap), Y (clap).
  5. Next, explain that now that the child has arranged the letters of the word, it is time to really play with the word.
  6. Using any of the desired materials mentioned above, encourage the child to practice writing the focus word, using the “crazy” materials.  It often helps to give the child a few ‘extra’ minutes to scribble, doodle, and create freely using the materials before you begin “writing”(using the chosen materials to spell the word).
  7. Place the letter manipulatives right above the child’s workspace so that he or she can see the letters of the word as he or she is “writing.”  Start with the first letter and move to each letter accordingly, celebrating successes and keeping the activity light and low-stress for the child.
  8. When the child is finished, have him/ her check his/ her work by comparing each letter, one by one, making sure not necessarily that the letters are written perfectly but that the letters are in the correct order.
  9. Continue by doing the same activities for the next words on which you would like to focus.
  10. When finished, have the child revisit each word that was covered in this session by writing them on the "Wild and Crazy Words" printout in the “Words I Learned” column.

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More Ideas To Try

  • After you mix up the letters of the word, add an extra letter (or two) as a challenge.
  • Instead of adding a letter, take a letter away and have the child figure out which letter is missing.
  • Consider connecting the “writing” material to the focus words.  For example, have the child write bath-related words in shaving cream, outdoor words in dirt or water, food words in flour or gelatin mix, etc.
  • Use family names, classmates’ names, number words, school words, etc.
  • Practice math facts or number-writing.
  • Instead of writing the words in the “Words I Learned” column on the "Wild and Crazy Words" printout, take pictures of each finished word in the messy art space and hang them in a classroom (or at-home) word gallery.

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Glossary

Manipulatives

 

Objects that can be held, moved, and used as a teaching aids or visuals to help children more clearly understand concepts.

Multisensory

 

Engaging two or more of the five senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, or smell) at one time.

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