Sunday, June 1, 2008

June 2008: Lis David, Your Spelling Adventure Tour Guide


June 2008's America Learns Global Strategy of the Month
City Year Chicago

Meet Lis David, a corps member with City Year Chicago and the author of the June 2008 America Learns Strategy of the Month.

Lis DavidCalled Adventures in Spelling, the strategy offers tutors, mentors and student teachers a needed alternative to traditional forms of word study and review. We loved playing the game Lis created, and we're sure that you and your students or mentees will love it as well. Check it out below!

More About Lis
Lis decided to serve with City Year Chicago after visiting a friend who was working with children. Learning about his work motivated her to explore opportunities she could have with kids, and to see whether teaching could be a professional option for her. City Year Chicago appealed to her because she liked the idea of the community that City Year works to build among the children it serves.

The Strategy


Created by: Lis David, City Year Chicago (America Learns Network member since 2005)
Topic: Spelling
Grade Levels: Kindergarten – Second
Arrangements: One-on-One; Small Group
- Paper and a marker/pen/pencil to make the board (download a sample)
- One or two dice
- Optional: clip art or relevant images from a magazine or newspaper

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Situation: The kids were getting bored with word sorts and word study activities, so I made a little board game where the kids can review the meaning and spelling of the words as they’re “going through the woods.”

The kids love this; it keeps them engaged and they do much better when they like what they are doing.

Step 1: Create the game board.

On a piece of paper, draw a road with a start and finish point. Along the road draw four or five obstacles, like a log in the road or a bear or a river. Next to each obstacle make or glue in a piece of a sentence strip large enough for the kids to write the words in. If you don’t have sentence strips available, you can create a box near the obstacle for the student to write the word. See a sample game board.

Note that if the words you’re working on are adjectives or verbs, just draw a picture representing those words. You can also use clip art or images from magazines/newspapers.

Step 2: You can play the game in a couple of different ways.

1) Spelling Practice Adventure (the game my kids love)
Ask the students to roll the dice. If they reach a space with an obstacle, they must write the word that represents that obstacle to pass it. So if they land on a bear, the need to write “bear.” If they land on a pile of logs, they need to write “logs.” Have them write the words in the strips or in the text box you created.

If a kid writes the word incorrectly, review the spelling with her, and then give her an opportunity to try again on her next turn. If your organization is a member of the America Learns Network, you can access a number of strategies to facilitate this review.

2) Vocabulary Adventure
If you want to turn this into more of a vocabulary exercise, instead of drawing pictures that represent the words, write the words themselves. Your kids will then draw or find a picture to get over the obstacles. (You may even start out by first creating cards of the images that the kids will need. They can then sift through the cards and place the picture on the correct word. You can then stop using the cards and ask the kids to draw the images on their own.)

Extension Activities: Extension #1: Write or tell a story based on the adventure
Ask your kids to write an adventure story based on the obstacles they had to overcome while playing the game. If you’re running out of time at the end of the session, you can also ask the kids to tell you a story based on the game’s obstacles (if you’re working with more than one child, they can take turns adding to the story). You or they can then write out an outline of what they say or draw pictures representing the events in their story. They may have a lot of fun acting out their story afterwards.

Extension #2: Ask students to make their own game boards!
The next time you read a story with your students, ask them to keep track of new words they run into and words they really like from the story. Each of the students can then make their own game boards and play them with one another. Be sure to photocopy your students’ creations as they may come in handy for future students as well!

How Have You Addressed this Issue?
Have Other Extension Activity Ideas?

Please share your thoughts about this strategy and any messages you have for Lis by clicking the grey “Comments” link below.


Anonymous said...

LOVE it! Thanks.

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