Eye on the Sky Project FIRST: Fostering Reading Through Science and Technology
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Tutor Guide to Early Literacy
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Updated: 04/23/02
reading activities
pre-reading activity: word race

This activity is a very effective (and fun!) away to encourage early readers. Do this before you read your book with your students.

  1. Select a book (a short book works best here).

  2. Write each of the words in the book on a card.

  3. Shuffle the cards and distribute among the “players”. This activity is good if your are working with a small group of students, but it can be played with just one student too.

  4. Ask students to turn over the cards they have been dealt, and to lay them neatly in front of them. (Let the students see each other’s cards—this is part of the learning process).

  5. Explain to your students that you will read the book slowly and that you want each student to look at his/her cards to see if he/she has a match. If a student has a match, he/she can place the card in the center of the table.

  6. Keep track of who has identified the most words! Try to keep the pace moving along.

  7. After you have read the book to them and they have identified all the words with you, ask them to re-read the book.

  8. You will find that the “Word Race” prepares them to win the Reading Game!


go fish game

This is a good game for early fluent to fluent readers. It can be adapted for many uses—you can use this matching game to practice high frequency words, initial consonant sounds, blends, and digraphs to name a few. The explanation below uses the game as a pre-reading activity to practice words from a book to be read.

To Make:

  • Select 10 - 20 words from a book (or books) the child is reading. Print them clearly on index cards, making pairs of each word. (Children may help by copying the words you write.) Two to four players can play comfortably.

To Play:

Shuffle and deal 3 - 5 cards to each player. Place the rest of the deck face down.

  • Players take turns asking each other for a card to match one held in his or her hand. If the opponent has a matching card, it is given over, and the first player takes another turn. If the opponent does not have a match, he or she says "Go Fish" and the player draws from the remaining deck of cards, and the next player takes a turn.

  • Each time a player has a match, he or she reads the words, and puts down the pair, face up. Continue the game until the cards are all used up.

Variation:

Instead of matching words, rhyming words can be used. In this case, players ask for "a word that sounds like 'bed'..."

go fish game

post reading Mix up, fix up game

This is a popular activity with emergent readers, and builds individual word awareness and recognition as well as understanding of sentence order.

  • Using a familiar sentence or from a book and print it on a strip.

  • Then prepare the individual cards for each word. At first, start with only three or four word sentences or phrases. When the student is comfortably mastering this you can add more words, up to about six.

  • First, read the sentence or phrase with the student, and lay out the cards in order. Ask the student to read the sentence with you pointing to individual words. Then mix up the cards and ask the student to reorder them. S/he may use the strip as a prompt, or may prefer to try it alone and then check.

  • Notice how the student approaches the task. Does s/he say words aloud as s/he arranges them, or does s/he do it silently? Does s/he reread the sequence of the words as s/he builds the sentence, using the cadence and the context? Does s/he build sequentially or at random? What other cues does s/he use?

words


What you'll need:

  • Cards or wide strips of paper

  • Scissors

  • Pen/pencil/marker

  • Print each strip with the same sentence from a familiar book or story. Leave one strip in-tact and cut the other strip up into individual words. Be sure the write the text clearly in print letters.

From: Reading Games for Tutors by Claudia Gross

 
 

This is a good game for early fluent to fluent readers. It can be adapted for many uses—you can use this matching game to practice high frequency words, initial consonant sounds, blends, and digraphs to name a few. The explanation below uses the game as a pre-reading activity to practice words from a book to be read.

To Make:

  • Select 10 - 20 words from a book (or books) the child is reading. Print them clearly on index cards, making pairs of each word. (Children may help by copying the words you write.) Two to four players can play comfortably.

To Play:

Shuffle and deal 3 - 5 cards to each player. Place the rest of the deck face down.

  • Players take turns asking each other for a card to match one held in his or her hand. If the opponent has a matching card, it is given over, and the first player takes another turn. If the opponent does not have a match, he or she says "Go Fish" and the player draws from the remaining deck of cards, and the next player takes a turn.

  • Each time a player has a match, he or she reads the words, and puts down the pair, face up. Continue the game until the cards are all used up.

Variation:

Instead of matching words, rhyming words can be used. In this case, players ask for "a word that sounds like 'bed'..."

 
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