Saturday, April 16, 2016

Word Family Bean Sort

This spring Big Brother has been making amazing progress as a reader, and it's been so exciting for the both of us. As always, I want to look for ways to support his learning but without making our time at home feel like more school. With that in mind, I always try to make his learning at home very hands on.

Lately I've been noticing that he could use some word family practice, which inspired me to create this Word Family Bean Sort.

A word family is a group of words that all end with the same letter & sound combination. Once kids learn to recognize a group of letters as word ending/word family they can more easily sound out many words that end that way even if though they start with a different sound.

Dried Lima Beans
Permanent Marker
Egg Carton
Small Label stickers

I thought of 12 different word families that we could work on: -ay, -et, -ot, -ill, -op, -an, -in, -all, -og, -ug, -ut, -en. 

I used the permanent marker to write words onto the beans that fell into each of these families. I went with ones I can think of, but if you're stumped you can always look up "word family lists" online and find oodles of examples. I tried to think of 4 or 5 words for each family.

I then used the stickers to label the egg carton. Each word family had it's own space on the carton.

I put all the beans in one bowl, and showed Big Brother how he could start sorting the beans by word family. He quickly caught on and got to work sounding out the words and matching them to the right place on the egg carton. 

He worked along quickly until he had finished the entire bowl. We looked through the different words he had sorted. Now that he's done it once with me around, this can easily become a quiet, independent activity.  

While we use this at home as a quiet activity, this could also be a great literacy station in a classroom or homeschool program. 

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