Rebecca Sitton Spelling and Word Skills Newsletter
Word-Making Activities for the Primary Grades
It’s true—when students routinely engage in word making and word analysis, the result is measurable
growth in essential language skills.
Here are activities of various difficulties to enrich your word work. Begin by writing each letter of
Thanksgiving on large autumn-colored letter cards and place them in a pocket chart or chalk tray to
spell Thanksgiving.Mix the letters. Students take turns respelling
Thanksgiving. If necessary, provide a model word
for students in order to reposition the letters.
Randomly distribute the letters of Thanksgiving among students. Ask them to work as a team
to respell Thanksgiving.Ask students to find small words inside
Thanksgiving (thank, thanks, than, in, an, giving).
Then they write sentences using the little words. Repeat the activity with current words from
across the curriculum (mathematics: mat, math, at, the, he, them, I).
Use the letters in Thanksgiving to spell small words (e.g., sting, thin, hats, kings, skin, giant,
asking, knight, visit, saving, having, ninth, sink, taking, thing). List students’ words on a
chart. Later, conceal the words for students to recall and write. Next, reveal the words for
Discuss Thanksgiving as a compound word. Post a chart, Compound Words We Know. Beside
it, place colorful sticky notes. Then students begin a compound Word Find. They write each
compound they discover on a sticky note and stick it to the chart. Later, you write the words on
the chart with a marker. Small groups can take turns reading the compounds. Play a deletion
activity with the compound words—for example, say Thanksgiving without giving. Later, cut
the chart to form two words from each compound. Place the words in a basket in your literacy
center for students to pair to make compound words.
Underline Thanks in Thanksgiving. Have students write a thank-you note to a friend. After
pairing for proofreading, students deliver their note.
Rebecca Sitton’s SOURCEBOOK Series for Teaching Spelling and Word Skills for Grades 1–8
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