Which Wings? A Word Families Activity

I came across a great activity in a Mailbox magazine I picked up at the library last week. Essentially it was station activity that provides an opportunity for learners to create a list of words with similar sounds or spellings. As teachers & parents of young learners, these are typically referred to as word families. For example, at, cat, hat, and fat are a family of words with the “at” sound and letter combination in common.

Utilizing the Word Families chart from Enchanted Learning and the creative idea from Mailbox, I created a simple game for Sweetie to discover the word families on her own. Here are the steps to create the game:

  1. Using red construction paper, I traced out a circle shape several times.
  2. I then stacked several sheets together and cut out the circles.
  3. The circles were then cut in half to create half-circles.
  4. On one half, I wrote the word endings (-all, -ink, -ore…. )
  5. On the opposing half, I wrote the beginning sounds (st-, m-, b-…. )
  6. **Optional: I then created one slightly larger black circle with a half circle on one side to which I glued a pair of craft eyes.

Sweetie then played the game with me – I assisted her in sounding out the blends (a skill she is still working on). Here are the steps to play the game:

  1. Select one word ending (one right wing) and place a beginning sound (one left wing) next to it on the black template.
  2. Sound out the word and if it makes a true word, write it down on a piece of paper.
  3. Then select another beginning sound, continuing in this way until all the beginning sounds have been used.
  4. At that point, select a second word ending and proceed in the same way.

As I opted to create a wing for every word in the word family chart at Enchanted Learning, Sweetie created a words lists for only 2 families. It would have taken a long time to do all of them. I was thereby very pleased with little time was invested in creating this activity whereby its return will be great.

Sweetie and I are also putting together a variation for Buddy, using a simple picture on one wing and the starting letter sound on the opposing wing.