Saturday Extra: Word Study

Intermediate Word Play Weekly Plan

If you are trying to get your kids to appreciate and engage in the process of discovering words, this is the activity for you! Not only do these lessons engage students actively in forming and exploring their word lists, but it also helps your reluctant readers gain confidence and learn to love words! After the first few lessons, students’ confidence skyrockets. Kids who hesitate to attempt difficult words gain the skills they need to start decoding more complex, multisyllabic words. You will see an increase in vocabulary skills, spelling skills, and fluency rates if you consistently implement these lessons with minimal preparation!

Heather Earley of begins her word play lessons with this amazing claim. But as I look over her materials, I find myself believing every word of it! Each 5 day lesson comes with detailed plans and easy preparation tips. I love that she allows for conversation and uncertainty on day 1. There will be words the students may not know. Students think together, manipulate letters, and make discoveries. Heather differentiates by working with a small group of students who need extra help. She includes other differentiation ideas and suggestions. The activities include a word ladder type practice, building words with manipulatives, independent practice, partner work, small group work, whole group work, fluency practice, “Find a Friend”, “Team Test”, a review, and I am sure there is more! She includes a word list for study and materials for every activity she describes.

The biggest selling point for me is the work with affixes. Students explore their meanings, the meanings of the new words they create, and how adding them affects spelling. During this discovery students also get to use conversation as a vocabulary building activity.

Heather has linked her work to common core expectations.

At this time Heather has 12 sets available on Teachers Pay Teachers.

The focus words include:













“You will find everything you need to actively engage your kids in word play and exploration to develop vocabulary and word analysis skills as students seek to discover what the “big word” of the week is.”

Each item is available for only $2.00! If I taught 4th, 5th or 6th grade, I would already own them all! I am going to try some of the ideas with my 3rd graders.

Check out Rebecca Glasmann’s Fabulous Fall Giveaway!

Have a great week!



Homophone Hink Hinks

“He: ‘Whale you be my valentine?’ She: ‘Dolphinitely.'” ―Adam Young

Homophones need to be practiced! I don’t think they’ll ever be perfected. I find myself slipping from time to time (or is that thyme to thyme?). Students need to put effort into this maze of confusing words. Here is a spot where a little daily practice would be a very good thing. Just a quick pair of sentences with the missing words being a homophone pair would provide an opportunity to reinforce this skill.

There are many fun drill games available all over the internet, many center activities available, many worksheets. Help your students grow in this area. Help them make sense of what they read and help us make sense of what they write!

Here’s a fun activity. It is a twist on hink-pinks. Hink-pinks are two rhyming words that answer a riddle. For example: What do you call a beautiful Christmas tree? A fine pine.

My hink-hinks use a homophone pair to answer the question. Enjoy!

The PDF file contains the answer key: Homophone Hink Hinks

Here’s a Homophone header for your Word Study notebook:

Visit my TpT store for more great ideas.

See you tomorrow!


Antonyms Want Equal Time!

“The antonyms for dreams are actuality, certainty, existence, fact, reality, substance, and truth.”—James Dye

But, boy, the power of dreams should not be discounted!

Synonyms of many words can easily be listed and compared, their connotations noted and discussed, and a decision made as to which one would be best to use. The same is true of antonyms in writing. I think a great exercise would be to make lists of synonyms for two antonyms. Students could consider the lists and try to create pairs with the most similar meaning. Here is a list of possible pairs:

Again conversation and discussion is an important element in the effectiveness of this lesson. Students need the opportunity to express their thinking and feelings in words.

Here is an Antonym heading for a Word Study notebook:

I had an amazing day. I hope yours was great as well!