Say it, Spell it, Clap it, Stomp it!

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This is one of 31 calendar-related activities I’m posting for my 31 Days writing challenge.
Click here to see the other activities I’ve posted!

Yesterday I wrote about how easy it is to introduce sight words into your daily calendar routine. But it isn’t much fun to just read the word everyday, and if that’s all you do with your words then it won’t be long before your preschooler gets tired of them. But no worries – I’ve got a fool-proof way to make learning these high-frequency words fun. All you need to do it get your bodies moving! It’s no secret that preschoolers are extremely active. Incorporating that innate need for movement is a great way to not only keep your child interested in learning their words, but also helps them to retain the words you are introducing.

After you introduce your new word (and use it in a sentence or two for context), tell your child that you are going to say the letters in the word. Spell it out, pointing to each letter as you say it. Then have your child say the letters with you. Repeat this a few times, but each time you spell it, attach a kinesthetic (movement-related) activity along with it. You could clap each letter as you say it, poke your nose for each letter, or jump up and down for each letter. Just be sure to remind your child to look at the letters as they say them – you want them to know where to find the word, and you don’t want them spelling it incorrectly if it’s right there for them to see.

Example dialog:
“Yesterday we learned that our new word is ‘go.’ I can see that the letters in the word go are G-O. Watch me say the letters, and I’m going to point to them as I say them: G-O. Can you tell me those letters? Don’t forget to look at the word! Great job! Now let’s clap the letters: G-O. Now let’s whisper the letters: g-o. Now let’s wiggle the letters: G-O. Hmmm… can you think of something else we can do with these letters? Yes, we can stomp them – what a great idea! G-O!”

In 9 years of being in the classroom, I have never had a student that didn’t enjoy this activity. And the possibilities are endless! Here are a few other creative ways to spell out the letters in the words:

  • kick them
  • throw them
  • shout them
  • bounce them like a basketball
  • pull your ears
  • pat your head
  • rub your belly
  • touch your toes
  • shake your tushie
  • eat them
  • pretend to write them
  • spin them
  • blow them like kisses

Of course, the most important rule is that you do these motions along with your preschooler – especially if you are told to shake your tushie! 🙂

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