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Word Families: Reading Activities and Spelling Games

bear family reading Students can benefit greatly from exposure to common word families within displayed word lists and interactive games. A lot of details about spelling patterns and rules can be absorbed incidently, by viewing them every day. Card and board games can provide repetitive and successful learning experiences with any word lists that students need to focus on. Learning groups of words that have similar letter patterns is a much more efficient strategy than learning individual words, and exposure to common letter strings or patterns, can be as simple as producing a set of Bingo boards and matching cards that can also be used for Memory, Snap or Go Fish.

Included in my collection, are sets of cards for many word lists, and these can be used with any of the generic Build a Board games as well. The blank templates can also be used with any set of word cards. Students write their own words (chosen from any of the card sets) onto the laminated boards, and play Bingo. Students then have the experience of writing, reading, saying and listening to the words during each game.


 

Whole Class Games:

These cards make a fun team game with explicit teaching about word families. (Great for when you have 5 or 10 minutes between activities, or as a useful introduction to a literacy lesson focusing on these word families.)

This is an enjoyable way to expose young learners to lots of different word families. As those who are less confident listen to their classmates calling words,they too will gain understandings and develop 'sounding out' skills that will help with both reading and spelling.

*20 cards are provided with the word families printed on one side. Each game has a list of suggested words to match, which need to then be handwritten on the back of each card (it's really tricky trying to get this to work on printers as the cards never match up). Instructions for how to play with a whole class are included.

Could Be: ag an ab ad am word families

Could Be: in ig id im ip word families
Free resource

Could Be: en em ed eg ep et

Could Be: um ub ug un up ud

Could Be: at et it ot ut

Could Be: ash amp ack all ass

Could Be: eck est ell end ess

Could Be: ick ish imp ift itch

Could Be: ock oss oop ool oon

Could Be: uff ush ull ump uck

 

Word Family Riddles

A whole class activity to introduce different word families each week. Add the word cards to your Word Wall after guessing the riddles.

 

 

butterfly st blends card game

Butterflies 'st' blends game
A card game with 'st' words, as beginnings and endings of words.


st blends game

St blends game
A card game where players group words into the word families of 'st' as an onset (at the beginning of words), 'st' as a rime (at the end of the word) and words beginning with 's'. All words include short vowel sounds.

Ph wh gh word families game

Ph Wh Gh Word Families Game
A card game where players group the words into sets of 'ph' words, 'wh' words and 'gh' words. The 'gh' words make the 'g' sound and the 'g' sound in different words.


Ball Card Game - all ell ill

Ball Card Game - all ell ill
A card game where players group words into the word families of 'all', 'ell' and 'ill'.


or ar er word families game

or ar er Word Families
A card game where players group words into the word families of 'or', 'ar' and 'er'.


ir er ur gameir er ur Word Families
A card game where players group words into the different letter patterns that make the sound of 'er'.



Bees with dreams ee sounds gameBees with Dreams - long 'e' letter patterns
A card game where players group words into the different letter patterns that make the sound 'long e'.


Clues in the news ew sounds gameClues in the News - long 'U' letter patterns
A card game where players group words into the different letter patterns that make the sound 'long u'.


High in the sky ie sounds gameHigh in the Sky - long 'i' letter patterns
A card game where players group words into the different letter patterns that make the sound 'long i'.


On the road  oa sound gameOn the Road Home - long 'o' letter patterns
A card game where players group words into the different letter patterns that make the sound 'long o'.



Play in the Rain ai sound gamePlay in the Rain - long 'a' letter patterns
A card game where players group words into the different letter patterns that make the sound 'long a'.



duck beginning blends card game

Duck Play - Beginning Blends Card Game

A card game with beginning blends, short vowels and simple letter strings. (36 word cards and 9 special instruction cards) The letter strings at the ends of these words are ing, nd, mp, ck, sh, st.


word family game - vowel sounds of 'y'

My Lucky Day! Vowel sounds made by 'y'

A card game where players group words into the different vowel sounds made by the 'y' on the end of words.


bats in a cave -long 'a' sound

Bats in a Cave - Bossy 'e' -long 'a' sound

A board game with short and long 'a' sounds in words. Players collect counters for reading the words correctly.

 


bugs and mules - long 'u' sound

Bugs and Mules - Bossy 'e' - long 'u' sound

A board game with short and long 'u' sounds in words. Players collect counters for reading the words correctly.

 


drop zone - long 'o' sound

Drop Zone - Bossy 'e' - long 'o' sound

A board game with short and long 'o' sounds in words. Players collect counters for reading the words correctly.

 


slip and slide - long 'i' sound

Slip and Slide - Bossy 'e' - long 'i' sound

A board game with short and long 'i' sounds in words. Players collect counters for reading the words correctly.

 

 

 

 



hide away mice - long i words

Hide Away Mice! bossy e card game - i words

A card game to reinforce the long 'i' sound made with bossy e on the end of words like 'tide' and spine'. There are 12 words with the short 'i' sound included in this game to ensure players are seeing the difference.

 


bossy e uno game - i words

Bossy 'e' Uno - i as in 'time' words

A card game to reinforce the long 'i' sound made with bossy e on the end of words like 'tile' and 'nine'.

 


alone with no bone - bossy e card game

Alone with no bone - bossy e card game -a words

A card game to reinforce the long 'o' sound made with bossy e on the end of words like 'joke' and 'nose'.

Some words without the bossy 'e' are included, so that players have to distinguish between the words.

 


bake a cake - bossy e words card game

Bake a cake - bossy e card game -a words

A card game to reinforce the long 'a' sound made with bossy e on the end of words like 'game' and 'wave'.

Some words without the bossy 'e' are included, so that players have to distinguish between the words.


pond word families

Pond Word Families (at ate ap ape)

A game with cards and a shared board. Players say each word aloud and place it on the right spot according to the word family. The player who places the third card on a stack takes the cards.


target word families

Target Word Families (ake ade ame ace)

A game with cards and a shared board. Players say each word aloud and place it on the right spot according to the word family. The player who places the third card on a stack takes the cards.

 

 

giraffe word families

Giraffe Word Families (ump unk ust usk)

A game with cards and a shared board. Players say each word aloud and place it on the right spot according to the word family. The player who places the third card on a stack takes the cards.


ide ine ile word families

Word Families Game (ide ile ine)

A game with cards and a shared board. Players say each word aloud and place it on the right spot according to the word family. The player who places the third card on a stack takes the cards.

The goal of this game is to read 'bossy e' words (words where the e on the end makes the vowel in the middle have a long sound - in this case 'i' as in time).


snowman word families

Snowman Word Families (ing ang ung)

A game with cards and a shared board. Players say each word aloud and place it on the right spot according to the word family. The player who places the third card on a stack takes the cards.

The goal of this game is to read 'ing', 'ang' and 'ung' words.


bowling word families

Bowling Word Families (ee ea oa oo)
Free resource

A game with cards and a shared board. Players say each word aloud and place it on the right spot according to the word family. The player who places the third card on a stack takes the cards.


happy word families

Happy Word Families Instructions For Play


 

happy word families

Simple Rimes Happy Word Families

an ap at in ip it op ot ug ub
Play these games like the old card game: Happy Families.

The goal is to make as many complete word families as you can. The lesson aim is to see and read lots of letters strings and identify them as word families to aid spelling and reading.

happy word families

Set 1 Happy Word Families
Free resource

ing ick est ack ank ash ell ill ong ang

The goal is to make as many complete word families as you can. The lesson aim is to see and read lots of letters strings and identify them as word families to aid spelling and reading.

happy word families

Set 2 Happy Word Families

ine ate ake ale ame unk ump uck ock ink

The goal is to make as many complete word families as you can. The lesson aim is to see and read lots of letters strings and identify them as word families to aid spelling and reading.

 

happy word families

Set 3 Happy Word Families

ight eat ail ain ay aw ore oke ice ide

The goal is to make as many complete word families as you can. The lesson aim is to see and read lots of letters strings and identify them as word families to aid spelling and reading.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

ghost word families

wipe out word families

Ghost! and Wipe Out!

(these are a very simple, fast games)

Card games with lots of repetition of the focus words.
Most sets have 36 words and 12 special cards. Players keep drawing cards and reading the words aloud until they draw a Ghost! or Wipe Out! card. Then play moves to the next player.

 

 

 

 

 

ghost word families

 

Slam Dunk!

(a fast game but with a few extra rules)

Card games with lots of repetition of the focus words.
Most sets have 30 words,10 special cards and 4 puzzle pieces.

 

 

 

Slam Dunk! Bossy E (or Magic e)

 

Games with beginning letter blends:

 

 

frog beginning blends card game

 

Frog Blends Card Game
(beginning letter blends with easy to read words - all short vowels, some words with 'sh' and 'ck')

A card game with lots of repetition of the focus words.
There are 45 different words with beginning blends and 15 special instruction cards.


dragon beginning blends

 

Dragon! (beginning blends with easy to read words - short vowels)

(a very simple, fast game)

Card games with lots of repetition of the focus words.
Most sets have 33 words and 8 special cards.



 beginning blends bingo

Blends Bingo (beginning blends with easy to read words - short vowels)

Four boards with 6 words on each.

 

 

 

Games with common diagraphs:

 

 


ch sh bingo

 

ch sh Bingo

Four boards with 6 simple to read words on each.

 


ch sh th sheep card game

 

Sheep Card Game: ch sh th

9 words from each word family - ch, sh, th - and some special instruction cards.


tch nch bingo

tch - nch Bingo

Four boards with 6 simple to read words on each.


th bingoth Bingo

Four boards with 6 simple to read words on each.



Worksheets about Word Families (The Classroom Kit)


External Links to
Online Activities and Games



Readquarium Games

 

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