Meaning Matters

Guiding the development of young readers through the use of meaningful literacy experiences


Words with Friends Anyone?

Posted by meaningmatters on April 27, 2012 at 2:15 PM

  To make meaning when reading, students need active accurate recognition of words so they can focus on deeper understanding. How do you build this recognition? Using, building, noticing, and playing with words!

 Students need:

1. Exposure to words within context during:

- Read aloud, shared reading, guided reading

- Poetry

- Songs

- Shared writing, journal writing, story telling, writer’s workshop

2. Opportunities to practice manipulating letters and sounds

- Using manipulatives such as letter tiles, clothes pins, plastic eggs, unfix cubes, and milk/ juice covers

- Sensory opportunities such as writing in sand, painting with in a sealed ziplock bag, or writing on pieces of large sandpaper with your fingers


Teachers and students draw attention to word patterns, rhyming words, words that sound the same but are spelled differently, and words that are spelled the same but pronounced differently.


What could words with friends look like?

Got eggs?

This is a fun fine motor and word study activity. Put onsets on one side and rimes of the other side of the egg. Students twist/ turn the egg pieces and say the words they make. This activity is easily differentiated by using specific colors for various levels of difficulty or specific colors for particular word patterns/ rimes.

Surprise Inside

For eggstra fun, add letters inside the egg that are written on individual pieces of paper. Students build words that focus on a similiar word study pattern, similar to the rimes on the outside of the egg.

Clothes Pins

Clothes pins are an easily adaptable manipulative. Write vowels on both sides but hold the clothes pins in both directions so students can clip in different directions. Then the letters will appear with the correct alignment.

Making Words adapted

Donald Bear is the leader in Making Words. To have students explore a specific set of words, you can create a list of words that you'd like students to build. For example, build an. Now make man. Build am. Now make aim.

Got Milk?

Using milk or juice lids is an easy way to create inexpensive letter tiles. It's also a nice way to send home a lettter/ word sort and not worry about letters getting lost. Write one letter on each lid and your students can create rhymes, change words by adding or deleting letters, and build new words.


What are some ways your students or children like to play with words?


Categories: Reading, Parents , Workboard

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