Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Game on....

Theme words are a fun way to teach sight words to kids. Pick any theme that you are interested in and get going. I will demonstrate with the "weather" theme today to show you how easy it is to make a game out of it. Gather some blank cards (appox. 6"x 3") and a red or black marker to print the words. Brainstorm together with your child all the words that you can think of that are related to that theme. Some of the ones you might choose are: rain, snow, sun, sunny, cold, freeze, foggy, storm, tornado, hurricane, cloudy, sunrise, sunset, temperature etc. (Check chart above for help.) After you have brainstormed take each word and print it neatly with the marker on a blank card. One word per card please. Make sure your letters are round where they should be and straight sticks where they should be straight up and down. Use both upper and lower case letters where appropriate. Let your child pick three of her best favourite words and then let the games begin! Hold up the card and make sure you tell the child what the word says and have him/her repeat it to you out loud. When that is completed a few times hand your child a fridge magnet and have her go hang the words in a list form on the fridge. Take a few days to go over the words incidentally having the child repeat the words out loud to you. DO NOT TEST the child. If she forgets the word just her the word. Repeat with the rest of the weather words. Now this is where it is gets very interesting.
Discuss the daily "weather fashions" saying: "What can we wear's raining outside?" or "What does one wear on the cold, windy, winter's day?" Another conversation could be: "We're going to Florida next week what should we pack for their weather?" You get the idea! Theme reading is fun, interactive and relevant to the child's world. When you use those three elements your child will remember the words because she was part of the process of thinking them up, recording them, filing them, reading them and owning them. Enjoy and read on.

This is an example of a word card but please no pictures. Later on as an activity you can print the word down on a sheet of paper and have your child illustrate the word to create a picture dictionary.
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