One more way we’re making Maddy’s homework time work for everyone is with Word Searches.
You know those sheets of paper with big blocks of letters all scrambled up with words hidden inside? That’s it–my kids love ‘em, so I’ll make as many as we need, as many as they want.
We’ve rocked it with Word Searches for Owen, and recently, I designed some especially for Cora.
- Cora’s Word Searches: These simple puzzles are modeled after the crosswords that Owen uses and loves. But instead of 15 letters across and down, Cora’s puzzles have 8 letters across and down.
And these puzzle letters are larger so that they’re more easy on little ones’ eyes, and only finding six words makes the whole activity more manageable for a 3 or 4 year old.
I also expanded the word bank on the bottom to include a picture with each word. That way, just like with early literacy texts, emerging readers can use both the picture and the letters they recognize–and what they know about letter sounds–to figure out what the word is.
She likes them, and I’m ecstatic. Cora’s reaching a jumping off point with letters and words, and it’s an absolute blast.
Owen double-puzzles it– one of Cora’s puzzles and one of his.
Cora’s Word Searches are here to download as a pdf if you’d like:
All of the puzzles were created on Discovery’s Puzzlemaker, which I totally love, so head over there to create some of your own!
And that’s it–that’s one way I’m trying to support Cora’s letter recognition through play and games and an activity I know she enjoys. Because as research has proven, children need numerous meaningful opportunities to interact with the letters of the alphabet in order for them to fully learn it.
Although alphabet letter recognition is considered one indicator of success in reading, it’s only one component of fully understanding the alphabet. According to Bradley & Jones’s article, “Sharing Alphabet Books in Early Childhood Classrooms,” full understanding of the alphabet involves letter-shape knowledge, or letter recognition; letter-name knowledge; letter-sound knowledge; and letter writing ability (The Reading Teacher, February 2007).
So Cora’s little Word Searches might not cover all bases here, but we’re taking one step at a time on the road to literacy. . . hooray!