1-2-3 Come Play Some Long E Word Games With Me
Word work and vocabulary building was part of my Y5's every day activities. Daily 5 came along and simplified or complicated things, and gave teachers something else to try and find "stuff" for.
To keep my students interested and semi enthusiastic about word work, I changed the theme of these activities each month, so although the skills were repetitive, there was variety because the theme was different. Doing this little adjustment was very successful and helped avoid tedium.
With that in mind, I wanted to create an activity with a November theme. When I taught kinders and first grade, we continued to practice vowels at this time, particularly "When two vowels go walking the first one usually does the talking." so I went in search of a symbol that I could use.
A sheave of wheat was pretty prominent and perfect for the ea vowel grouping. Some of my kiddos were often confused with that long E sound wanting to spell these words with an ee, so I decided to make up a list of words for both. Need, became needle and the haystack idea was also born.
The Haystack Howdy packet is a quick, easy and fun way to practice words with a long E vowel sound, which have the double ee or ea letters in the middle of the word.
The packet includes the Needle in a Haystack whole group file folder game, with 130 double ee "needle" word cards, plus an alphabetical list of the words in poster form.
The cards are small, with 22 on a page for easy printing. Choose the ones you want your kiddos to work on.
Print, laminate and trim the cards. Toss them into a container and have students choose 1 or 2. Using the list, ask for a word.
The child holding that card, shows it to the class, everyone reads it together, then they put the "needle" into the haystack.
To make the haystack, simply print off a copy, trim and glue to a file folder. (I've included 2 color options, plus one in black & white.)
Using an Exacto knife, cut a slit wide and long enough for the needle cards to be slipped through the slot.
Hold up the file folder, by putting a small basket in the back. The cards will drop through the slot and into the basket. Keep the cards in an envelope, in the folder and tuck into your file drawer.
The Sheaves of Wheat game works the same way, with 107 ea "wheat" word cards to choose from, plus an alphabetical list of those words.
There are plenty of other ways to use the cards as well. For writing practice or a Daily 5 activity, have students choose 3-6 cards and use those words to create sentences. Afterwards, have them select 10 cards to alphabetize.
If they are not familiar with a word, they can look it up and add it to their writing journal or student dictionary. Children can also work with a partner and play Memory Match, Slap, Speed etc. I've included a 4-page tip list of ideas.
For more teachable moments, there's also a background page about the idiom "needle in a haystack" as well as a definition page for the word sheaf.
Finally, whenever a nursery rhyme fit in with a particular theme, I'd plug it in, so I could also review rhyming and this genre.
I used to have an entire week for a nursery rhyme and fairy tale theme, but as standards became more demanding, I ran out of time. I'm sure you all can relate with "so much to do, so little time to do it in..."
Adding rhymes here and there, solved the problem. Because a haystack is featured in the Little Boy Blue nursery rhyme, I've included some activities for that in this packet.
There's a poster poem of the rhyme in black and white, as well as color, plus 8 pocket chart picture word cards, and a paper "strip" booklet for students to make.
I call these "strip" booklets because I fit anywhere from 5-8 "strips" on one page that students complete, trim and collate into a mini booklet.
My kiddos LOVED making these emergent readers that they could take home and practice with. Click on the link to view/download the Haystack Howdy packet.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
This Nana is in serious need of some snuggle time, with her new grand baby Kaitlyn and little grandson Kaiden, so I'm off to visit my daughter. Wishing you a love-filled day.
"One machine can do the work of 50 ordinary men. However, no machine can do the work of one extraordinary man." - Elbert