Building Words

Purpose:  to give learners practice phonics and spelling. 

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Materials Needed:  paper or card stock to make letter tiles.

Preparation: cut paper into 1 x 1 inch cards. You will need enough for each student to have 8 cards.


  1. Write eight letters on the board. Five consonants and three vowels (e.g. s, t, l, m, r, o, e, i)
  2. Have students put each letter on a separate letter card (like Scrabble tiles). Model this for them.
  3. Explain that the task is to see how many words can be made using one or more of these letters. Start by seeing if the students can make any one-letter words (eg, "I"). If they can, have them write the word down on a spare piece of paper (or on the board if doing this as a group activity). Move on to two-letter words (eg, me, it, to, as, etc.) When you have run out of two-letter words, move on to three letter words and so on.
  4. You can have students work individually, pairs, groups or as a whole group to do the activity.
  5. Choose your letters carefully. You may decide to give them two of letters that are commonly doubled in words (f, s, m, l, etc.)
  6. This activity can be recycled frequently simply by chosing different letters. You can make it harder or easier based on the letters chosen.
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