My 4-1/2 year old son has not enjoyed practicing his sight words very much. Awhile back, I started a sight word sticker chart with him and that motivated him for awhile, but lately, he has been grumpy whenever I suggest he read me some words. Finally yesterday we had a breakthrough when I came up with this fun activity on the fly: silly sight word sentences! Try saying that 5 times fast!
I was having Luke read 10 of his first 100 sight words to me. I have printed all of the first 100 sight words and laminated them. We put the 10 current words he’s working on into a tabletop pocket chart and he uses a pointer to read his words to me. The current 10 words had been in his pocket chart for awhile since he has been so reluctant to practice reading them. Following the pattern of recent days, he was moaning and groaning while reading them. I knew I needed to step up my game or we were both going to be miserable for the duration of the time we were working together, and he was not going to master the words for yet another day.
I decided he needed something new, something fresh, something he would see as a fun challenge. I thought he might like to try to make sentences using his words, but I also knew that with only 10 sight word cards, it’d probably be a difficult and therefore frustrating task. Suddenly the idea struck me to try putting real items from around the house into the sentences to fill in for words we needed to make the sentences make sense. It would bring a fun element into the activity because it’d be a bit of a scavenger hunt to find the needed items, and it’d also challenge his brain to think outside of the box.
I started out demonstrating with inanimate objects like the kids’ Radio Flyer bike and a book, and then Luke took over and soon he began directing people into his sentence creations!! Dad, Lilah, and even me soon became Luke’s personal pawns to place in his sentences as he pleased. Lilah especially thought it was funny to be in Luke’s sentences and to get “read” by him.
It was silly and fun and my previously moaning, groaning boy was smiling and laughing and reading while creating some pretty cool sentences all on his own!
When you start to work on sight words with your little ones, keep our silly sight word sentences idea in mind. But more importantly, if your child is moaning and groaning their way through any type of learning, try to throw in something fun and fresh to liven things up.
I “tested” Luke today to see if he had really learned his words yesterday. He happily read me his 10 word cards in about 5 seconds flat. It just goes to show that a child that is enjoying what they’re doing is way more apt to be learning, too!! :)
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