In our home school, we are always looking for ways to reinforce sight words in new and unique ways. My son, Ayden is an emerging reader who requires a lot of visualization and repetition. This inexpensive and simple activity not only provided an opportunity for that, but was also fun, as it tied right in with our apple theme! It was also really fun for him when we truly did go apple picking, as we practiced how to pick the apples from the tree.
We started off by gathering a group of objects that matched each of his words. We were working on the -AN word family, as well as words related to our apple theme.
With foam apples from the Target dollar bins, I created one apple for each word, and attached them to a large artificial plant that we have, using paper clips. The paper clips held the apples securely, but were easy for Ayden to remove.
In the beginning, when Ayden required more visualization, I would show Ayden a picture of the object that included the word (not shown), as well as the object and would ask him to “pick” the apple with the matching word. He would then match the object to the word.
As he became more comfortable with the words, I phased out the additional view of the word and picture, and would simply show him the object, asking him to look for the word, again, matching the object to the word once he had found it.
The last phase was to remove the object from view, verbally ask him to “pick” a word, and then present him with the object to match it to.
The progressive removal of prompts is really effective with teaching sight words to our visual learner, and learning in a quirky way keeps his attention.
This was a fun, and effective way to reinforce our words. I can also see so many possibilities for how to adapt this throughout the year and over different themes – we have an autumn theme coming up – falling leaf sight words anyone?