I am currently tutoring a few French Immersion students that need help learning their English sight words.
Because they are so young, I try to keep each activity to about 10-15 minutes each, so that they don’t get bored of doing the same thing all the time. I have come up with several activities to practice sight words with my students, and even though all of them have been received with enthusiasm, there is one that wins all the excitement.
“Word Tower”, as I so intelligently named it for my kiddos, is by no means an original idea. I have seen several variations all over the internet and I’m sure you can easily find them if you look it up. It is a very simple and inexpensive way of practicing sight words (or any other vocabulary list).
You just need a few plastic mini cups, a dry erase marker, and lots of patience. The latter only because you need to keep reminding the student to quiet down, lol, especially if you are at a library and their giggles get a little too loud…
How do we play it?
First, clear a wide surface (table or floor) to place the cups on.
Next, grab your dry erase marker and start writing the words from your list on the cups. One word per cup.
The student grabs the cups, one at a time, and reads the word without assistance from you. If he/she reads it right, then he/she gets to place it upside down on the table. If he/she reads it wrong, you take the cup away and move on to the next cup/word.
The goal of the activity is to make a tower as tall as possible, without making the cups fall.
I know, so simple, right? Yet, the children LOVE it! They actually ask me to keep the tower up until the end of the session, so that mom and/or dad can see their work. And the parents even take pictures of it!
It is incredible to watch their happy, excited faces as they build their towers higher and higher. I think that seeing so many cups, gives them a sense of accomplishment. They can actually see how hard they have worked, and how well they are progressing 🙂
One of them is already at 60 cups, and he never lets them fall!!! Our goal is to get all first 100 Fry words stacked up high!
Have you used this activity (or similar ones) with your students? Please feel free to share in the comments below.