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Whirling Word Blends

A word blend game makes learning grammar easy!

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. English words are a little like putting a jigsaw puzzle together. The English language is constructed by combining units of sounds and letters to form words. Word blends are a special type of unit where two or more consonant sounds are combined without any vowel sounds to form new sounds. Some popular word blends are bl-, br-, gr-, -rd, -tch, sm-, and wr-. Ask students if they can think of any other word blends.
    2. Provide students with Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils, a straight edge, and a thick paper plate for this activity. Ask students to use the straight edge and a selected color pencil to divide the paper plate into eight even, pie-shaped sections.
    3. Using another colored pencil, have students write a word blend in each sector of their plates. If time permits, allow students to decorate their plates with colorful designs.
    4. Provide each student with a small piece of recycled cardboard and a template of a spinner. Ask students to trace the template onto the recycled cardboard and cut it out using Crayola Scissors.
    5. Each student now needs a brass fastener to poke through the center of their plates and the non-pointing ends of their spinners. Provide adult supervision for this task.
    6. Once a hole is created in the center of the plate, have students connect the spinner to the plate using the brass fastener. Everyone is now ready to play!
    7. Twirl the spinner. When the spinner stops, the student provides a word that contains that word blend. Students may wish to write down each word so players always think of new words.
  • Standards

    LA: Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).

    LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.

    LA: Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.

    LA: Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

    MATH: Measure and estimate lengths in standard units.

    MATH: Reason with shapes and their attributes.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resource includes: Stop, Drop, and Flop in the Slop: A Short Vowel Sounds Book with Consonant Blends (Sounds Like Reading) by Brian P. Cleary.

    Working in small groups, assign students a "consonant blend of the day." Students generate a list of as many words as possible that contain that blend. Write the list using Crayola Crayons or colored pencils. Post the list for ease of viewing in the classroom.

    Students use identified blend words to create original sentences using as many words containing the same blend as is possible, while still creating a sensible sentence. For example, "Charlie chose to chew his chowder." Students write their sentences on large sheets of construction paper and illustrate them. Use a digital camera to photograph the image and upload to a class computer. Students will audio record a personal reading of the sentence. Attach the audio file to the digital photo file.

    Encourage students to create similar learning games for rhyming words, word endings, and other language arts skills.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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