November 2004

Let's Play! - Games That Teach

Let's Play | Bucket | Shine | Show Me | Flippers | Puzzlers

 Stomp | Ogre | Concentration | Catch | Letter Categories


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Bucket of Words

WHY? high frequency words
plastic pail, sentence strips cut in 8" cards, markers
Write high frequency words on sentence strips and place them in the pail. Use the words in the games and activities below:

Musical Words: Spread words on the floor in a circle. You will need one less word than there are children in your class. One child is "it" and stands in the middle of the circle. The other children march around the circle as music is played. When the music stops, each child picks up a word and reads it to themselves. "It" points to friends in the circle. If they can read their word, then they stay in the circle. If they can't read their word, then they switch places with "it" and the game continues.
Freeze: Spread words randomly on the floor. Play some music and have the children do a silly dance. When the music stops, each child finds a word and "freezes" on the word. Point to children and ask them to read their word. Then play music for some more "dancing and freezing."
Red Rover: Divide the class into two teams facing each other. Let each child draw a word from the bucket and hold it. Teams take turns saying,
"Red Rover, Red Rover, send (word) right over." The child holding that word then walks over and joins the other team. (You can also add motions, such as "skip right over," or "hop right over.")
Listen Up: Let each child draw a word from the bucket. Say words stretching out the sounds. Children blend the sounds and when they hear their word, they jump up and shout it out.
Sentence Scramble: Pass out one or two words to each child. Say a sentence. The children holding those words come up and make the sentence. Read the sentence together as you point to each word.
Pick and Type: Children choose a word from the bucket, type it on the computer, then put it back in the bucket and choose another word.
Match Up: Let children choose a word, then match it up to the same
word on the word wall. Can they match their word up with a word in a book or other classroom print?
Word Hunt: Hide the words around the room in plain sight. Children hunt for the words, and then read the words they have found.
Dismissal: Let each child choose a word from the bucket. As you say a word, that child may put their word back in the bucket and line up. You can call out words that begin with a particular sound, words with a certain number of syllables, letters, etc.
Word Sort: Have children sort the words by beginning sound, the number of letters, syllables, parts of speech, etc.
Sentence Starters: Pass out a word to each child. Challenge them to think of a sentence using their word. Can they write the sentence?


Adaptations: Use numbers, letters, math facts, and other skills you are working on in the previous activities.

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