One day, I stumbled upon something. If they can write words from the wall, they will make list after list after list. (Yes, I know this isn't new. But it was amazing how much some of my "less motivated" kids would copy words from the word wall or elsewhere in the room - even when I didn't suggest they do it.)
As I was surfing the Internet one day, I discovered an idea of posting and finding words - like a scavenger hunt. I knew my kids would like this. (I'm still looking for the source where I found this. I don't always document my finds.)
I made a group of words. (We've been focusing on short i, so the words are in those "families.")
I posted the words around the room in various places. Another week I moved most of them around so kids would need to look in different places.
During center time, the kids in this center would get a recording sheet and a clipboard. They moved around the room to find the words.
Each child was determined to find all 16 words. One boy could not find the last word. He searched and searched. I couldn't figure out which one was missing either. We would look around the room and compare every word with his list. (Good reinforcement as we read them and he found it again on his list.) Center time ended but he took the clipboard to his desk to keep close at hand in case he located the final word. Finally, a little later, we found it. He triumphantly wrote the word on his list, dropped the list in the turn-in basket, and returned the clipboard to the center. And this is one of my kids that is less interested in words and writing.
I'm happy that this has motivated some of my kids to write and read the words. I'll change out the words as we focus on other sounds or subjects. The words could be about any topic or centered on any theme. You could have all kinds of possibilities.
- Look for letters.
- Place pictures on the sheet and kids find the word or letter that matches.
- Find words that rhyme - both words on the wall or one word on the sheet and one on the wall.
- Group words on the sheet - for example: all the -in words together, the -ig words together, etc.
- Find words that only meet criteria - for example: place words with various vowel sounds; kids only write down words with certain sound.
Literacy and moving around - a great combination.
(In case you were wondering, I used rope clip art because the "theme" for our first grade classes this year is cowboys.)