I’m always looking for fun and unique ways to engage my bugs in literacy. M is at the age where he can start working on memorizing sight words, while B is still at the beginning stages of identifying his letters. For M, I use the Dolch sight word list, which is a list of high frequency words children encounter in age specific texts. The goal is for children to memorize these high frequency sight words in order to improve their overall reading fluency.
Apple Literacy Game: Apple Picking
- tempera paint (brown, green, and fall colours for the leaves) and foam brushes
- apple templates (I used a free printable template from FirstPalette)
- red cardstock paper
- Dolch word list according to your child’s grade level (I use the pre-primer list for M)
- a basket for collecting the apples (optional)
The first thing I did was paint an apple tree on our sliding glass door using tempera paint. I started by painting the tree trunk and branches, and then used the tip of my foam brush to blot on the leaves. It was really simple to do and it only took me a few minutes. The tempera paint will wash right off with a bit of soapy water.
I printed off a few copies of the apple template onto red cardstock, cut them out, and wrote a pre-primer sight word onto each apple with a Sharpie. I introduced M to 6 of the pre-primer sight word apples before fastening them to the tree. As I called out each word, M’s job was to pick the corresponding apple and put it in his basket.
Once he had mastered the first six words, I introduced four new words and added them to the tree.
By the end, M was able to identify 16 of the sight word apples!
To make it a bit more tricky, I left all 16 apples on the tree and then told M to pick the apples he could read, without any help from me.This proved to be a bit more challenging and I was able to deduce that M was using visual cues to identify the sight words I called out based on the initial and ending letters. The goal of this activity was for M to master/ memorize the sight words using the “whole-word’ method. With a bit more repetition and practice, I’m sure M will get it!
I printed off more apple templates onto red cardstock and wrote the upper and lower case alphabet letters onto each of the apples for little B. B isn’t as interested in learning his letters as M was at his age, but he was eager to participate in the game! I only gave him letters Aa-Dd, which seemed to be enough for one day. Every child learns at their own pace, and the most important thing to me is that B is able to associate learning with having fun :).
Click the link to see how we used our apple tree as a math activity as well.
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