Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Word/Picture Card Details and Caterpillar Word Families

When we have our lesson time I try to do something different each day with the words of the week.  I know I mention this in my weekly posts, but I thought I would share it in a little more detail.

First I make my word/picture cards by choosing words using the word suggestions over at Brightly Beaming Resources (otherwise known as Letter of the Week).  Sometimes I choose my own words if I don't care for her suggestions or if I can't find a decent picture.  The pictures I have been choosing this year are all found at Google images.  I just search for "________________ coloring page."  It sure saves on the ink to just have an outline/coloring page type picture, and the girls then have extra copies of those pictures to color for their collages.  

First I make the Word/Picture cards

Then I make the picture cards.  These have Velcro on the back so they can stick to our poster.

The first day that I introduce the new words I show them the word card and we try to figure out what the word is before looking at the picture.  Tabitha can usually sound most of them out now.  If they are not easy to sound out I give her some help.  I make sure Amelia is looking at the word and we repeat it a few times, then they take turns finding the picture, matching it to the picture on the reverse side of the word card and hanging it on the poster.  (Can't forget to "match it")

The second day we will again read the words and they will take turns getting them off the poster.  Sometimes we end it with that, other times we add a game.

There are times I will lay the cards out like this:

They will take turns flipping over a picture card and try to figure out which word card it goes with.  Amelia doesn't quite get it yet and will flip the cards until she finds the matching picture.  Works for me.

Other times I will put them face up and I will remove one at a time while they close their eyes.  Sometimes we still match them to the word card, other times we don't.  Either way, when we are done they put them back on the poster.

Then there are the days that we don't use the word cards.  This activity began one day when I couldn't find the word cards, now it is a part of our routine.  I write the word on the easel chalk board while they sound it out as much as possible.  (I do try to pick as many words as I can that can be phonetically sounded out with the basic sounds of each letter).  

Then I underline it slowly as we sound out each letter, blending as we go.  I try to have them NOT say each letter independently.  I try to use the advice in Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.  We say it slowly, then we underline it quickly and "say it fast."  While I really like the advice in the books, the girls have not really been interested in using the lessons.

The following is my own invention though.  

If there are two letters that, when blended, make a completely different sound, I circle them as we underline.

Then we say it fast.

The girls love taking their turn to come up and underline, find letters, circle blends and cross out silent letters (like the t and e in castle this week).

This week I decided we were going to work on some word families.  We started with the short vowel a word families.  I decided to make this cute caterpillar chart (I love thinking of things that correspond with the letter we are currently working  on):

And we worked on one word family at a time, growing the caterpillar as we went.  Each word family is a different color.  We sounded them out slowly and then said them fast.  Sometimes the word Amelia says is completely different than the word we are doing, but she got a few correct.  She's on her way!  This is mostly review for Tabitha, but she got a kick out of making the caterpillars.  We will be adding sight word clouds tomorrow, I will probably share the pictures of those in the weekly post.  

The really cool thing was, Amelia wanted to do more later on so we did a couple more word families.

I am linking this to Teach Me to Read Thursdays


  1. Looks like fun and a lot of thought went into it too! Yay!

  2. Yes, a great activity with a lot of thought behind it! Awesome!!

    As for the BrainQuest book, I already decided against it. It has too much content I don't need (like the science). So I found one that focuses on math and reading called "Master the Basics". (it's on Rainbow Resource) I'm looking at the "through 2nd grade" book. Squeak will like it too cause it has a fun rabbit on it! LOL

  3. Thanks for linking up to Teach Me To Read Thursdays! I LOVE the word family caterpillars! Do you mind if I use one of your pictures to add it to my Reading Skills Resources page?

  4. What a great idea! Looks like your girls have fun doing it as well.


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