Sunday, February 7, 2016


These center ideas will help children develop the concept that "letters make words."  They can be adapted for older students to reinforce vocabulary or spelling words.

Name Puzzles
Write children’s names on a sentence strip. Cut between the letters to make a puzzle. Next, write each child’s name and glue their photo to the front of an envelope. Place the puzzle pieces inside. Children can practice putting the puzzles together and reading friends’ names.

*Put sticky dots on unifix cubes. (Use one color for the first letter and same colored dots for the other letters.) Print the letters in children’s names on the dots. Place a class directory with names and pictures so children can practice “building” their friends’ names.

Pull and Read 

Write children’s names or high frequency words on 12” sentence strips. Cut the left end off the envelope and insert sentence strips inside. Pull out one letter at a time to blend sounds and predict what the word might be.
*Use children’s photos or picture cues on the right side of the sentence strip so children can self-check.

Alphabet Beads
Give children alphabet beads and pipe cleaners so they can string on names, words, and so forth.
Clothespin Words
Write words on jumbo craft sticks. Write letters on spring clothespins. Children attach letters to the craft stick to make words.
Letter Bags and Boxes
Save sacks from restaurants or use food boxes for this center. Place foam letters or magnetic letters in a basket. Children pick a letter and then try to match it up with the same letter on a bag or box.