March 17, 2015

5 Activities for Working on Word Families

We've been working on word families as we are trying to become more fluent with our reading. Word families help students start to recognize word patterns. To begin teaching word families, I use these word family mats. I got these write & wipe word family mats from Lakeshore a long time ago, and sadly when I looked at their website, it says these are discontinued. When introducing word families, I use these mats in our whole group lesson. It's a great way to show students that they just switch the beginning sound to create a new word. I love how these mats give students a clue of the word family by having the mats in a giant shape of a word in that family. 
After we work on these mats in whole group, I can then use them for small group or center work. My students really enjoy these mats, and they seem to catch on to the idea of word families quickly. My students love to show me when they use a blend or digraph to make a bigger word. Word families are an easy way to help build student confidence in reading!
During my small group, we used these mini cups to work on word families. I gave students a cup with a red word family on it. They then had a stack of blue letters, and put one letter in front of the word family to make a new word. Next, they could stack another blue letter on top of the other cup to make a new word. The word family cup (red) doesn't move until they've built 5 words. They can then get a new word family and start making new words. Eventually, I'll add harder word families and blend/digraphs instead of just 1 letter on the cups. 
I made some super easy word family dice. I grabbed some blocks from our math manipulatives and added beginning sounds and word families. Students roll a word then write it on their wipe off board. Students can also say if it's a real or nonsense word that they rolled. I put a few dice in this center so they can make a variety of words. 
I have some of the Lakeshore Instant Centers that I got with a grant a few years back. This game works on word families and has students match words to the correct family. I couldn't find this game on the Lakeshore website either! I hate that they've discontinued some of my favorite activities.
If you want your students to work on word families AND get the wiggles out, this Word Families Fluency & Fitness bundle will be perfect! Your class won't even realize they are learning!
If you are looking for more word family activities, check out the ones I have in my TPT store.

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