Activities for Learning to Read

Reading book Caroline I seeIt’s been a fun vacation visiting our grandchildren over Thanksgiving and watching the two 5 year-olds beginning to read. Somehow I don’t remember my boys “embracing” the beginning to read process and enjoying it so much.

I found little Caroline filling many spare minutes “making a book.” I was invited to make one with her so I joined her on the floor, at the kitchen table or in the playroom. She had already torn off several sheets of paper from a small pad, bound the book in patterned duct tape and gathered her glitter markers to begin. Her first book was “I see….” as she added a different animal on each page and illustrated it. Next I found her Reading book-tauthoring. “I like…” as she asked how to spell the animal that she selected. Then I noticed she drew a deer with antlers and wanted to advance to a question, “Do I have antlers?”

Kindergartener, Ben, read several of his practice books to me that he had obviously memorized but also sounded out some words for me. He shared his “T”  book with me, reading the repetitive script, revolving around “toothbrush” “tiger” and “two.”

Reading t-book pageI had brought along the Zingo Sight Words game by Thinkfun to play with my emergent readers and it was the usual hit! Caroline and I played 3 rounds until I asked for a break. This game cleverly matches an illustration to each sight word, sometimes giving a clue to its meaning such as “in” has an arrow pointing into a box, or “me” is a little person while other tiles just provide an associated drawing like red stripes, colored concentric circles or a checkerboard pattern. Often she could read the sight words, but when she couldn’t, she’s ask me what drawing went with it to see if it was on both of our cards so she could snatch it first–smart kid!

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