Word Family Practice Tube
There I was– faced with another empty container that I just couldn’t throw away. It was calling to me– “Make me into something wonderful.” I answered, “I will!” And then walked away thinking what the heck am I going to make. Ah, you are probably wondering what kind of container it was, right? An empty Pringles can. I remember my early days of teaching when empty oatmeal containters and Pringles cans were a hot commodity in the arts and crafts world. Anyway, I had been wanting to make something to help my son with word families (or words that share the same spelling pattern) so I decided that I would use the container to make something for this purpose. After a few days of thinking and trying out some different ideas, this is what I came up with. As I have said before, this idea is probably not new. I am sure someone out there has done something similar, but this is my spin on it.
Word Family Practice Tube
- A clean and empty Pringles can- called “tube” below (or something similar in shape and weight)
- Several sheets of colored paper (I used black and one small piece of some scrapbooking paper)
- Clear contact paper (you can also use packing tape or Scotch tape, but you will need a lot!)
- Scotch Tape
- Computer and Printer
- Cover the tube with the colored paper of your choice.
- Cover the whole tube with contact paper. This will not only keep the paper in place and clean, it will also make the paper you will be using for practice slide more easily.
- Print out the Word Family Practice Template. There are 4 sheets and one blank template.
- Cut along the vertical lines on the template so you have 3 long strips. Trim off and discard the excess white paper around the edges and bottom. Set aside.
- Using a different color paper, cut out an arrow and tape it to the left end of the tube (see picture below).
- Take two of the three strips you cut out. One should be grey and the other white.
- At the top and bottom of each sheet, put a strip or two of clear tape. This will make removing, changing and reusing the papers easier.
- Wrap the grey paper around the tube just to the right of the arrow. Secure it with TAPE on where the ends come together. Do not use glue or you will not be able to take it off and replace it with another for further practice. Repeat with the white paper.
- Your Practice Tube is now done!
How to Use the Practice Tube
Note: The strips that are shaded grey always go first on the tube (closest to the arrow). They are the beginning sounds of the words. The white strips are the word endings.
- Decide which word family you are going to practice.
- In the sample template below, the choices are short u and short i families. Several word families make up each strip. For example, let’s say you want your child to practice the “it” word family. Line up one consonant from the grey strip with the arrow on the tube and then align the ending “it” with that letter. Have your child decode the word like this, “w-it” “wit” Then turn the grey strip to the next consonant and repeat, ”k-it” “kit” and so on.
- Alternatively, you can keep the initial consonant (grey strip) on a single letter and rotate the white strip for practice as well. This is a little harder because each time you rotate the paper, there is a different word family. For example, leave the “w” and “it” and have your child decode the word as done above. Then rotate the white sheet and have your child read, “w-ip” “wip.” Continue this way.
- Note: Do not worry if the word is not a “real word.” It is still good practice!
- A Final Note: The templates have several different options for practice. You can pick and choose which to work on when and then switch to a different one. There are also blank templates for you to make you own.
Want more information about word families? Check out these links.
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