Reader's Toolbox

*Thanks to Celinda Palmer of Ft. Thomas, AZ, for this great idea!

Materials:       construction paper, pipe cleaner, cutouts of tools

Directions:    Have students fold a sheet of construction paper in half and decorate the outside to look like a toolbox.  Attach a pipe cleaner handle as shown.  Have them glue “tools” similar to those below that they can use to decode words. 

Activities:   Model how to apply these different tools frequently.  Remind students to get out their toolboxes when they come to a word they don’t know!  This will empower them to practice skills they have learned. It’s also helpful to ask students who are successful readers to “think out loud” and share how they decode words. 

Click here to download a Word document (74 KB) with an illustration of the tools.

Hint!  Make a large “toolbox” for your classroom wall.

  • Look at the picture

  • Make the sound of the letters.

  • Go back and read it again.

  • Look for smaller words (chunks).