I am always looking for cheap magnetic letters. One good thing about buying a variety of sets is that I have a collection of many fonts! Magnetic letters are great for sorting. Invite the children to sort the magnetic letters according to a given category such as straight or curvy, capital or lower case, OR in my name or not in my name. To add an extra challenge, encourage the kids to develop their own categories for a sort! Invite the children to sort the magnetic letters. Don’t add any headings. Then, they can challenge their friends to see if they are able to determine their categories just by looking at the letters.
We also use magnetic letters for abc order. I made three sets of cards putting the empty box at the beginning, in the middle and at the end. Of course, the ones with the empty box at the beginning are the most challenging. Invite the children to find the magnetic letters that belong in each box. Consider adding an abc chart for the children to use as a resource.
To make a set of beginning sound cards, I simply went through my clip art looking for a picture for each letter of the alphabet. When I made the cards, I put the empty box at the beginning of the card to remind the children we were looking for the beginning sound.
To make a set of ending sound cards, I simply went through my clip art looking for a picture for each letter of the alphabet. When I made the cards, I put the empty box at the end of the card to remind the children we were looking for the ending sound. I didn’t stress about there not being a card for every letter. Many letters do not appear at the end of words where they produce their own sound!
When working with word families consider working with the word families that contain the short “a” first. Save “i” and “e” for last…especially if you live in the south! J Invite the children to select a card. Then, they select the 4 cards that belong in that word family. You can either simply bag the letters with each game board, or have the children search through the pictures to find the ones ending with “at”.
After placing the picture cards on the game board, invite the children to find the beginning letter for each picture.
Select one of the cvc game boards. The pictures all contain the same medial vowel. Invite the children to stretch the sounds to spell each word.
If you want to make it a little more challenging, cut each game board into separate cards. Now, the children will select an individual card to stretch the sounds to spell the word. Then, they choose another card to spell. It may or may not have the same medial vowel sound.
Word LaddersWord Ladders are a lot of fun. To play the game invite the children to select a card. On each card, the first word is already made. To make the second word, the children will change only one letter in the first word. For example, they started with cat and changed the “t” to a “p” to make cap. As the children work down the card, they will change the letter in all 3 positions of the word.
Give each child a magnifying glass and one of the sight word cards. The children use the magnifying glass to look at the tiny word on the card. They lay the card down and use magnetic letters to make the word.
When children are learning a new word here are the steps to follow.
- Show the child the word.
- Mix-up, or cover up, the word.
- Have the child use magnetic letters to make the word…without looking at your word.
- Show the child your word and compare their word to yours.
- Try again from the beginning!
These steps train the brain to look at the word as a unit and not at each individual letter.
All of these activities are in this unit. (There is a black and white version for each game, too!)