It’s a joyful thing to watch children grow into successful readers of the English Language. The English Language follows many different patterns and has various rules making it difficult for younger students learning to read.
One of the best strategies in teaching children reading is the use of word families, because they easily pick up on repetitions and patterns.
What are word families?
Word families are groups of words that follow a similar pattern. Grouping of words with a similar pattern is a way for children to learn a large number of words in a short time. An example is the EE vowel groupings in All About Reading Level 2, where words like tree, feet, and deep are outlined in the same word list.
This approach of teaching is effective because children pick up on the repetition and understand the basic sounds, thereby becoming more confident in their decoding skills.
Learning with word families is fun for kids because they rhyme and double as means of teaching decoding skills and rhyming skills.
How to teach with word families
Here are some steps to follow when trying to teach kids to read with word families
- Start with one syllable words
- Create a word family anchor chart
- Make new words with the pattern
- Engage your students interactively
It is also important to note that this alone is not enough. Suitable materials are inevitable in the teaching process.
Resources needed to start teaching word families
Some of the basic materials needed are
- Plastic letters
- Anchor chart paper
- Mr. Sketch Markers
- Tabletop magnetic dry erase board
It is important to have a sound curriculum in mind such as the revised childcare Chifley. Pictures and games are excellent approaches that can be used in incorporating word families into your reading lessons.
This is one of the easiest ways of introducing new words to kids. It helps children realize that letters create words and have a distinct sound to them.
Children make connections between objects they see and words used to describe it even before they talk. Using this natural way of learning, children learn new words and understand that when letter sounds come together, they form a word.
Introducing games to the reading class is an easy way for kids to pick up reading as children love fun. Letter blocks, cards can be used to create games for kids to assist the learning process
The final step will be using word families in context. As the aim of the whole process is to make children good readers of the English Language, it is essential to introduce the words they have learnt into simple sentences.
These sentences are constructed in a fun way and not too long so as not to bore the kids. Children can be made to identify word families in the sentences by circling them out and this makes them happy as their reading fluency increases.
In the bid to increase retention,
- Every lesson must begin with a revision of previously taught word families
- Every lesson must end with fluency practice(reading)
Word families guarantee a fun approach in teaching children to read.