children's classroom poster of words that start with B

Learners connect familiar words from their own vocabulary with specific sounds to help them with strengthening their spelling associations.

Materials Needed: whiteboard, marker

  1. Choose a vocabulary word from the week’s unit.
  2. Write the word on the whiteboard, then go through the word letter by letter.
  3. For each letter, ask the learner/s to tell you what sound the letter makes.
  4. Have the learner/s verbally generate a list of words that start with the same sound.

Example: During the unit on community:

hand holding a marker up to a whiteboard

Purpose:  A structured and supported way for beginning writers to develop their spelling skills while practicing vocabulary and writing full sentences.

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Materials Needed:  handouts with a photo printed on the top part of the paper and lines for writing on the bottom half (see attached example below)


A girl holding a paper plate on her head and drawing on it with a black marker

Purpose:  This popular party game helps learners build familiarity with prepositions of place while having lots of laughs

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Materials Needed:  pencils or markers, paper plates (preferably the ones without a coating), a list of instructions


two stick figures with overlapping speech bubbles

Purpose:  To practice using vocabulary words in a conversational setting

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Materials Needed:  list of 5-10 vocabulary words, one copy per learner


multi-colored speech bubbles

Purpose: To facilitate students speaking to each other, to get to know classmates and to use vocabulary related to the day’s lesson

Prep Time: 3-15 minutes

Materials: copies of the conversation grid (see link below)

Version 1: print the grid, write a title on it, and write four questions related to today’s lesson on it, and then make copies of it

Version 2: print the grid, write a title on it and make copies of it

Clipart of magnifying glass

Purpose:  To help learners develop the ability to rapidly skim texts looking for specific information

Preparation Time:  none

Materials Needed:  a reading text, highlighters


stepping stone path through water

Purpose:  To reinforce spelling in a fun and active manner that gets learners up out of their seats

Preparation Time:  5 minutes

Materials Needed:  List of vocabulary words, letters needed for the words written on index cards (one letter per card)


two red dice with white numbers

Purpose:  A fun and upbeat game to review spelling, vocabulary, or reading questions

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Materials Needed:  Dice, a list of questions or vocabulary words


Give and Take spelled out in tiles

Purpose:  To encourage learners to practice brainstorming and interacting with their classmates

Preparation Time:  None

Materials Needed:  None


  1. Give the learners a topic, and have them brainstorm a list of words associated with that topic for 1-2 minutes.


Things you find in a school

Fruits and vegetables

Stick figure holding a large blank sign

New resource for teachers and tutors! Now you can watch a video of this activity and print a PDF of the instructions at http://mnliteracy.org/classroomvideos. If you are unable to click on this link from your email, view this tutor tip on the Minnesota Literacy Council website to access this link.

Purpose:  To verbally reinforce vocabulary and sentence structures

Preparation Time:  5 minutes                    

Materials Needed:  Pictures and/or appropriate props



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