Happy Monday everyone! As we begin this new (and very unique) school year, some of us may find ourselves shuffling to find effective ways for our students or children to strengthen and retain reading skills. The good news is, many of those simple and old-fashioned games are the perfect tool for boosting reading development (while yes, playing!).
Building reading skills through play-based activities
Children learn through play. Tack on some phonemic awareness activities, and/or Red Word (sight word) practice and the possibilities are endless! Hopscotch, jump rope and hula hoops are games that have been around for decades and are still enjoyed by children today. When playing these games, rhymes and songs are typically chanted, thus helping children manipulate sounds in spoken words. When children manipulate these sounds, they begin to notice how letters represent sounds. This helps prepare children for reading print. Rhyming, alliteration and syllable identification are all examples of activities that build these phonemic awareness skills.
Make It Multisensory
Rhyming activities: tell students a nursery rhyme and have them repeat it aloud while hula-hooping. For example, say one, two, buckle my shoe. Students then repeat while hula-hooping! You can up the ante by saying two or three rhyming words and have students think of another word on their own that rhymes with the words.
Alliteration: say a set of words that start with the same letter. They can just be words put together or try and create sentences. Ask students to jump rope each word, focusing on that initial sound in each of the words. For example, say bear, banana, belly, button. Students then repeat while jump-roping each word. They surely will hear and feel the pattern.
Syllable identification: create a hopscotch grid on the sidewalk or on paper inside the house/school. Number the grid 1-10. Say a word and have your child jump to the number of syllables the word has. You can also have students listen to an entire word (provided by the teacher/parent) and then hop for each syllable. For example, say basket – students hop a total of two times (for each syllable, bas-ket). The same thing can be done with sentences. For example, say I like to go fishing. The child says the sentence out loud and hops as he/she says each syllable in each word.
Red (sight) words: write a Red Word in each square of the hopscotch grid. Students throw a rock/marker, hop to the word it landed on, and then read and spell the word. Frequent Red Word repetition will lead to automatic recall of the word.
Written by Karen Oliverio
Karen is a Brainspring Tutor in Clarkston, Michigan and a Kindergarten Teacher in Pontiac, Michigan
Brainspring has proudly supported the educational community for more than 25 years.