Monday, August 22, 2011

Humpty Dumpty Word Puzzle

As part of our Humpty Dumpty fun today, we read and re-read the nursery rhyme together as I wrote it out on a big piece of paper. One of the things I would do with my kindergarten and first grade students was to have them "read around the room" during reading centers. When they "read around the room" they each got a magic pointer stick and they would walk around the room and read letters and words that they knew. I don't do reading centers with my son (he is 3.5 :)) but we have fun incorporating some of my favorite teaching activities into our day.

(Ick! I miss my lined chart paper! Sorry for the sloppy writing) 

One way that we can support emergent readers is to "help children see themselves as readers whether they are reading conventionally or not." (Pinnell & Fountas, 2011, p105) I love finding ways to help my little guy as a reader. Having a magic pointer stick definitely motivated him to read a lot :)

As part of our nursery rhyme study time, my son and I read the words that we knew in the rhyme, talked about letters that words started with, talked about the rhyming words we heard/saw, and talked about letter sounds. My son would point out the words that he knew and during his free time today he would go and try and "read" the rhyme independently.

I was actually pretty impressed with his ability to track the words and "read" along while he pointed... although it was mostly memorization at this point, it was a great activity for helping him gain confidence. 

We took a few of the words from the rhyme and made them into a word puzzle.

Materials Needed: 2 pieces of white foam, scissors, two colors of markers.

1. We drew an egg onto one piece of foam and cut it out.

2. Then we cut that egg into puzzle pieces.

3. Then we drew the egg and puzzle pieces onto another piece of foam.

4. We wrote words on both the puzzle pieces and the puzzle base. The base was in green and the puzzle pieces were in black so that we could tell them apart.

5. We repeated the rhyme again and again and tried to find the different words that we heard. For example, I would say, "Humpty Dumpty sat on a _________" and my son would fill in the sentence and then I would encourage him to look for the word. If he couldn't find it, I'd give him a hint and say, the word starts with a /w/ sound or the words starts with a "w."

He was pretty proud of himself when he got the whole puzzle put together and could point out different words.

Learning these words outside of the context of our big rhyme chart also helped him see them in a different location and gave him another opportunity to recognize words and letters. When he went back to "read" the rhyme off the chart again his confidence in "reading" each individual word was a bit stronger.

I also liked how this activity helped him break down the rhyme and allowed me to show him that sentences are made of words. Understanding that sentences are made of words and words are made of letters is a pretty big deal. When my little guy said to me as we were doing the puzzle, "Wow, these words are the same as the ones in our rhyme over there!" without me needing to make that connection, I was pretty excited.

Pass along any other favorite nursery rhyme or Humpty Dumpty activities! I have one more to share later tonight or tomorrow and then we're moving on to our next one.

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