5 Fun Collaborative Phonics and Sight Word Activities for the ESL Classroom



Hello, fellow educators!

Aren’t we all excited that it is almost the Fall season?  Temperatures have dropped to the 50s and 60s in the early morning, and in the afternoon, it is no longer as hot, which for me is just perfect.  I know that we teachers have so many other things to be excited about.   By now, we know all the names of our kids, we see them getting more and more familiar with the everyday routine, and we’re seeing all these interesting personalities come out.  Most importantly, we now know what activities seem to keep them engaged and on task.

These past few weeks, I did a lot of phonics and sight word activities with my 1st grade ESOL kids.  My goal was for them to become familiar with the short vowel sounds plus the sight words that are included in our district-mandated curriculum framework.  Since I have a number of beginning ELLs, I have to make sure they do these tasks either with a partner or in a group.  I am excited to share with you these collaborative phonics and sight word activities that we have been doing so far:

1.  “Pick a stick and read it.”  I used multi-colored popsicle sticks with the sight words and short vowel sounds labeled on the edges and placed them in tiny buckets.  Each student picks a stick and reads the word that’s written on it.  Then he shows the word to his classmates and everybody reads the word.  If   he/she is unable to read it, the student chooses a classmate to help him or her read the word.  This seems like a very simple activity  which we usually do on the carpet, but it is fun for them.  I have seen many variations of collaborative activities made by teachers using popsicle sticks.  Just search Pinterest!

Popsicle sticks with sight words in a tiny bucket

Popsicle sticks with sight words in a tiny bucket

2.  “Teacher of the Day.”  I usually assign a student-teacher to lead the class in reading our set of words for the week.  Everybody is just excited for their turn to be the teacher of the day.  They love to use my pink pointer!

1st Grade ESOL kids with the "teacher of the day."

1st Grade ESOL kids with the “teacher of the day.”

3.  Phonics and sight word game cards.  I have a few that I created myself and some that are available as free downloads on my favorite site:  www.havefunteaching.com.  This is always a fun collaborative activity for them.  Just make sure you are assigning a leader who can facilitate the game and check their answers.  Click on the following links to download these freebies:

CVC Girls Word Cards

CVC Girls Word Card set

CVC Girls Word Card set

Vowel Activities

Short vowel activity courtesy of www.havefunteaching.com

Short vowel activity courtesy of www.havefunteaching.com

My 1st Grade ESOL kids during a phonics game

My 1st Grade ESOL kids during a phonics game

4.  Sight Word Bingo Cards.  The internet abounds with free bingo card generators where you can create and print bingo cards for use in your classroom.  Not only it is fun for the students, but allows consistent exposure to the sight words.  Here are a few of them that you can use:

www.freebingomaker.com

www.teach-nology.com

www.eslactivities.com

1st Grade Sight Words Bingo Cards

1st Grade Sight Words Bingo Cards

5.  Phonics and Vocabulary Center for Writing Practice.  Of course, a center in your classroom where students can use the words to complete a writing task will enable you to informally assess how much of the words they have learned thus far.

1st Grade ESOL kids at the Vocabulary and Phonics Center

1st Grade ESOL kids at the Vocabulary and Phonics Center

Please feel free to share what phonics and sight word activities work best for your own class.  Happy fall!

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CVC Word Cards Phonics Activity for the Primary Classroom



Hello, fellow educators!

I’m back with another set of phonics and vocabulary center activities.  For this week’s activities, I chose four different ones each day, all of which were from the activity packets that I created..  The latest activity is a card game, called “CVC Girls Word Cards.”  The goal is for them to practice forming and reading words with CVC pattern.

This packet consists of the following:

  • activity directions
  • 42 word cards
  • 4 sets of vowel letters
  • answer key

CVC Girls Word Cards

The sample set of word cards is shown below:

CVC Girls Word Cards-set 1

CVC Girls Word Cards- Set 2

The packet includes an Answer Key, which the teacher can give to the leader of each group.  This is to make sure that students will know if the words they formed make sense or not.

CVC Girls Word Cards Answer Key

This is how I arranged my phonics and vocabulary center for this game:

CVC Girls Word Cards at the Phonics and Vocabulary Center

1st Graders playing the CVC Girls Word Card Game

 I realized that the letter cards were too small when I printed them, so I had to make some modifications.  I did not have a chance to laminate them (This is summer school, remember…), but I sure will when the new school year starts.

Here’s the link to my CVC Word Cards.  Please try this game in your class.  I’m sure your kids will love this, as mine did!

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