Word Family Fun

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Objective

SWBAT participate in routines that help them add or substitute individual sounds (phonemes) in simple, one-syllable words to make new words they can sound out or read.

Big Idea

Turning one CVC word into another; it's like magic!

Why This Lesson?

1 minutes

I am well known for saying, "I don't want to reinvent the wheel."  But, for word families, I actually love inventing wheels!

This word family wheel thing wasn't my idea, but I have taken it and run with it and I think it is really worthy of sharing with everyone!

After all, even when word families haven't been in my curriculum, they have always been a lot of fun in Kindergarten.  Word families provide simple CVC words for our kids that can help them read and build their confidence at the same time!  I think it is important to get our students to read and write CVC words fluently, so I make sure to cover word families really well.  This activity is great for supporting word families and for supporting emerging readers!

For the times when word families have not been in my curriculum, I have adapted them in this way.
When my reading series talks about blending with short a or short e, that is when I introduce a word family or two, using that sound.  I don't push word families hard or go over them incessantly, but I do introduce them when it is appropriate and when it matches with other sounds we are working with.  I do not think students need to master word families, but I do think they need repeated, meaningful practice with them to build their foundational reading and writing skills.

 

Set Up of the Lesson

1 minutes

The wheel idea that I use came from a Scholastic book called Turn to Learn Word Family Wheels.

Originally, I did not buy this book.  The good news is that I didn't have to buy anything to begin this practice!

All I needed to make word family wheels for my class was:
paper and pen
a copy machine
scissors
brads
(The only negative is the brads- it takes a few minutes to put every wheel together.)

To use the template I have attached, here is all I had to do:
I filled out the house with the word family ending above the door and next to the door.
I filled out the beginning sounds for each word, leaving off the family ending, in the pie-divided wheel.
I had the students cut out the door.  I attached the house on top of the pie-divided wheel with a brad. 
(I HAVE to use a brad so students can spin their wheels to make the words.)

Introduction of the Process to Students

15 minutes

The first time you make a word family wheel, whether it be a cute one from a book or the simple one I have created, you will need to introduce the manipulative.

"Today, we are going to make a learning tool to help us go over our ___ family words.  Right now, let's go over our words."
Take the time to segment and blend each word with your students.  Once you have done that, you will show them your pre-made wheel.

"This is what you are going to be making.  It is a word family house.  We will use it throughout the week to practice our words!  Before you go to make yours, let me show you how to cut it out."
(Show your students that they need to cut both shapes out and then cut the door out as well.  They should not cut on the pie lines or the roof to the house.  Some of them might mess this up, so make sure you are explicit in showing them how you cut yours.)

Send the students to their seats to begin cutting.  Tell them, "You won't need any glue.  When you are done cutting and have thrown away (or recycled) your trash, please bring your two pieces to me.  I will put it together for you."
For the first time, walk around and make sure students aren't cutting any pieces they shouldn't be.  If they do, tape them back together or give them a new one; You really don't want their first one to be messed up!

When a student finishes and brings their pieces to you, put them together with a brad.  Let them know that your expectations are that they work to decode and/or read the words to themselves until everyone is finished.  Once everyone is finished, you will review them together.

When everyone is finished and you've put brads on all of them, begin your instruction with each student holding their wheel.

"Let's go over our __ family words together.  I want you to make a word beginning with the letter __.  Turn your wheel and find the ___.  (Students will turn.)  Now, what is that word?"
(Students will say the word.)
"Great!"  You should use the word in a sentence.  Have students repeat your sentence.  Then, move to the next word.

After you have been through all of the words, say, "Since word family wheels are a fun learning tool, we can use them more than once to help us learn.  We are going to use our wheels throughout the week, so we need to put them __________________ to make sure they'll be easily available.  Tomorrow, we will use these again!"

Have the students put their wheels in a specified place since you will be using the wheels multiple times through the week to make the skill more concrete.
*I have students put their wheels in a folder with their name on it at their table- this makes finding their own wheel faster each day.

Regular Day 1 Instructional Process

15 minutes

"Today, we are going to make a word family wheel to help us go over our ___ family words.  Right now, let's go over our words."

Take the time to segment and blend each word with your students.
Pass out materials and send the students to their seats to begin cutting. 
When a student finishes and brings their pieces to you, put them together with a brad. 

Students should work to decode and/or read the words to themselves until everyone is finished.  Once everyone is finished, you will review them together.

When everyone is finished and you've put brads on all of them, begin your instruction with each student holding their wheel.

"Let's go over our __ family words together.  I want you to make a word beginning with the letter __.  Turn your wheel and find the ___.  (Students will turn.)  Now, what is that word?"
(Students will say the word.)
"Great!"  You should use the word in a sentence.  Have students repeat your sentence.  Then, move to the next word.

After you have been through all of the words, have the students put their wheels in a specified place.  You will be using the wheels throughout the week to make the skill more concrete.
*I have students put their wheels in a folder with their name on it at their table- this makes finding their own wheel faster each day.

Daily Differentiated Practice

10 minutes

I like to use these wheels throughout the week to let the students experience many ways to meet their wants and needs with this fun learning tool!

 

Here is the schedule I follow:
Monday- Go over the words.  Make the wheel.  Hear the words in context (in a sentence).
Tuesday- Turn to the word that starts with (letter) game.
The first one to turn to the correct word beginning with your letter gets a sticker.
Wednesday- Turn to the word that starts with (sound) game.
The first one to turn to the correct word beginning with your sound gets a stamp.
Thursday- Listen for the __family word in my sentence game.
The first one to turn to the correct word form your sentence gets a star.
Friday- Solve my riddle game.
The first one to turn to the word that solves your riddle gets a treat.

Here is an example, using the –at family:
Monday- Students all turn to cat-“My cat is grey and fluffy.” They repeat.
Tuesday- “Which word begins with M?” (Students will turn to mat.)
Wednesday- “Which word begins with the sound /r/?” (Students will turn to rat.)
Thursday- “Listen: I sat down on the bench outside.” (Students will turn to sat.)
Friday- “Think and solve: What do I hit a baseball with?” (Students will turn to bat.)

On Friday, or the next Monday, make sure to send the wheels home with students.  Encourage them to keep their books and to use them to not only show their families how well they can read these words, but to also review these words more and more as time goes by!

* Suggestion: I sometimes send my wheels home on Monday for homework and have students use them to write sentences.  I might say, “Use 4 __family words to make sentences.”
* Suggestion:  I like to keep an extra wheel (that I make) in my room for students to use throughout the year.  Students can use the wheel for extra practice, in sentences, etc.