The more senses you activate, the more likely the message is going to get to the brain. Try some of these whole body strategies to help your students learn sight words.
Sign language is a wonderful kinesthetic way to “store” words in the brain. Sign language provides a “hook” or connection for children. After teaching children the manual signs for letters, you can finger spell words. You can also go to aslpro.com and click on the “dictionary” to learn signs for the words on the word wall. Practice saying words, reading words, and signing words at the same time. If children can’t recall a word, make the sign and you’ll be surprised what happens!
Say, Spell, Write, Read
Here’s a little formula to help children remember words.
1st Say the word.
2nd Orally spell the word.
3rd Write the word.
4th Read over the word.
We Like to Move It
Stand and make motions as you read high frequency words. You can disco, hula, pony, monkey, jump, hop, march, clap, snap, swim and so forth.
Let children patty cake high frequency words with a partner. Children face each other and say the word as they clap their hands. They cross and tap right hands and then left hands as they say each letter in the word. Then they put hands in the air and do “high five” as they say the word.
Pretend to be athletes and spell words for different sports.
Basketball – Dribble the ball on letters and shoot the ball on the word.
Football – Hike the ball on letters and throw a pass as you say the word.
Soccer – Small kicks alternating feet for letters and a big kick for the word.
Swim – Say letters as you stroke and pretend to dive as you say the word.
Let children suggest motions for baseball, golf, volleyball, tennis, kayaking, and so forth.
Children stand and step from side as they clap and cheer words:
Give me a B. B! I’ve got a B, you’ve got a B.
Give me an E. E! I’ve got an E, you’ve got an E.
Give me a D. D! I’ve got a D, you’ve got a D.
What’s it spell? BED! Say it again. BED!
One more time. BED!
Read over the word wall in different voices. Say the words loud, soft, underwater, rock and roll, with an attitude, prissy, spooky, etc.
Chose a special word to be the “magic word.” When you come to it as you do shared reading, the children can clap their hands, jump up, snap, or make other motions.