We are the Play Learning Lab, run by Dr. Angela Pyle at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto.

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Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study

45 Walmer Road, Room 320
Toronto, ON M5R 2X2

© 2018 by Play Learning Lab

Senior Kindergarten Activities

CVC & Sight Word Game

What are the children learning? 

This game was created in the senior kindergarten classroom. The class was focusing on reading CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words and sight word recognition through the use of a fun and engaging game. In small groups of two or three, the children gathered at their class carpet in front of a pocket chart. They found blank white squares arranged in the pockets with a heading that said, “Can you help us find our 6 missing Priscillas?” Photos of their class mascot Priscilla were hidden behind some of the squares. The teacher then explained the rules of the game. 

“Best game ever! Finding missing Priscillas! The game was teaching me how to read.”

- SK Student 

“I learned how to think carefully when I read!”

How the game works: 

  • Organize sight word cards, face down, in a grid formation.

  • Each child gets a turn flipping over a sight word card.

  • The child sounds out all of the sounds in the word until they can read the word “the fast way” (i.e fluently).

  • Once a child has read a word successfully, they must show the word to the other group members so that they too can have an opportunity to read the word on the card.

  • Once the word on the card has been read by all group members, the card is placed back on the grid, word facing up.

  • The children continue to take turns flipping over a card and sounding out the words.

  • If there is a picture of a mini Priscilla behind a card they flip over, they must read the word on the card before putting the picture of Pricilla on the top row.

  • Once all of the cards have been read, and all of the Priscillas have been found, the game is over.

  • Each group is then asked to set up the board for the next group.

What did the class do?

1. The children took the responsible risk to first try to sound out the words independently, then asked for help from the teacher if and when it was needed. The children loved finding Priscilla and felt proud of their reading and team work. The teacher offered extensions (e.g. longer words and high frequency sight words) to the children, as needed. 

 

2. The next step was bringing the game to free play time once all of the children in the class had an opportunity to play the game in a small group with teacher support. The teacher encouraged the children's interest in this game by acting out a commercial for the activity during morning group time.

 

3. When this game was presented during free time, the teachers differentiated the game by adding stickers on the backs of any cards that were “words that we sound out" (i.e. CVC words), while no stickers were placed on the cards that were “words that we know when we see them” (i.e. high frequency sight words).

“It was fun because you had to read and find the missing Priscillas.”

In your classroom...

You could incorporate words with different spelling patterns (e.g blends, digraphs, long vowel sounds, etc).

“I learned my words!”

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“It was super amazing! I loved that you could find the Priscillas! I would choose to do it at Choosing Time tomorrow!”