Learning letter by letter


February 09, 2000|By Susan Rapp | Susan Rapp,Village Reading Center

Children love Valentine's Day because it provides an occasion to celebrate friends and friendship and an opportunity to make cards with hearts and flowers. Here is a phonics game that ties the holiday theme to a fun learning activity to do with your child. This Secret Word activity is adapted from the book "Making Words" by Patricia Cunningham.


Letters, either capital or lower case, which the child can manipulate (Magnetic, letters printed on index cards or letter tiles)


* Place the vowels a and e and the consonant letters t, r, h and s in front of your child.

* Say each in a lively, spirited manner, and assist your child if needed.

* Take two letters and make the word at.

* Now add a letter to make the three-letter word art.

* Don't take any letters out, just rearrange the letters to make the word tar. (We put tar on the road.)

* Say, "Now we are going to make a four-letter word." Hold up four fingers! Add one letter to tar and you will have star.

* This time let's make a five-letter word! Add a new letter to star to make the word stare. (It is not polite to stare at someone.)

* Change one letter and you can make stare into a new word, share. (Will you share your cookie with me?)

* Mix all the letters up and see if you can play with them to figure out the SECRET WORD. I'll give you a hint, it has something to do with Valentine's Day. (hearts)

Make Words:

See how many words your child can make from these letters and look for some patterns: at, rat, hat, sat, tar, star, he, she, the, hear, tear, sear, stare, hare, share.

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