Word families are words that share a phonic pattern. They often rhyme and are used to help children decode and eventually learn to read. For our activity today, we will play with words that end in the same sound and are spelled with the same letters.
What you need:
- printer (don’t have one? we like this model)
- flower word family template
- colorful cardstock (yellow and 1-3 other flower petal colors)
- laminator + laminating sheets (optional)
What to do:
Start by printing the flower word family template on colorful cardstock. Print the circles onto yellow cardstock and the blossoms onto colorful pieces. We have also included blank versions in the template that you can laminate and write on with a dry erase marker for repeating the lesson with other word families.
Cut out the circles and blossom pieces. Using a pair of scissors, make a small hole in the center of each circle and each blossom.
Next, layer the circles over the middle of the blossoms. (The -AT center goes with the blossom with C, B, S, M, F, R; the -ET center goes with the blossom with S, W, P, L, G, B; and the -IN center goes with the blossom with P, CH, T, B, F, W.)
Poke a brad through the holes you’ve made in the layered pieces and open the back to hold them together. Now you should be able to spin the blossom petals around the center letters to form different words.
How to play:
Now that your flower word family cards are complete, set them aside. To begin this lesson, you want to first introduce and practice the concept of rhyming with your child. Say the words one at a time and have them repeat after you. Tell them that the words are a part of a word family because they all end in the same sound. This can be done in a playful, rhythmic way.
Once you are certain that your child understands the concept of rhyming, now you can make the connection to the written word using the flowers. Point to the word as you say it, and then ask your child to repeat after you. Allow your child to spin the petals and make the words. Talk about the fact that the first letter changes while the ending stays the same.
After you have gone through all of the potential word options, ask your child to make a word. For example, you could say, “Can you make the word WET?” See how many words they can build on their own.
Note: If your child is not able to build the words on their own, don’t worry about correcting them. Make a mental note that this is a skill your child is still working on, and try again later. Instead say, “Good try! You made the word _____.” Always keep the play positive and engaging.
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