Welcome to Multisensory Monday! (Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve said that.) Today’s activity works with any phonics lesson. In fact, you can do it today. If you happen to be reading this at lunch, you can go back to your classroom and do this activity in the afternoon- it’s that easy!
Whatever lesson you’re on, whatever day it is, play Charades to make it multisensory and to get students actively thinking about the new phonics skill.
Sometimes teachers forget to plan a multisensory activity for the lessons they practice during training courses; the same thing happens to teachers in the classroom occasionally too. In training, one of my quick and easy suggestions is always Charades because it requires almost no planning or supplies. Teachers, keep this idea in your tool kit for those days you don’t have a multisensory prepared.
Simply, write some of the dictation words from your phonics lesson on pieces of paper. (If you’re really short on time and supplies, you could even just whisper a dictation word in the student’s ear.) Then the student tries to act out the word, without speaking or making any sounds, while the other students or the teacher try to guess the word. Once the word is guessed, it’s the next person’s turn.
Charades is not only an active experience for the actor, the guessers are actively involved because their guesses need to include the new skill in order to figure out the right word. For example, if the new skill is 3 letter blends and the actor is pumping their arms and legs like they’re in a race, “run” wouldn’t be a good guess because it doesn’t contain a blend; “sprint” would be better.
Fits All Skill Levels and Group Sizes
Here are some sample Charades words for each Layer in Phonics First. Remember, all you need to do is find words from the lesson that can be acted out.
Layer 2: mask, lunch, lamp, camp
Layer 3: staple, bugle, title, ladle
Layer 4: corn, fork, north, short, storm
Depending on the group, you can have the person who guessed the word be the next actor or you can just select the next student. You can divide the students into teams or play every student for himself. I like to put a time limit on each charade when I play because the guessers and the actor can get frustrated if the guessing takes too long. I find 1.5 minutes to be a good time because I just happen to have a 90 second sand timer from another game that I use.
What go-to activities do you have for those days when you’re short on planning time?
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