Making Words (Cunningham & Cunningham, 1992) is an activity that can be used in the Working with Words Block. Children are given letter tiles to make words (beginning with short words and building to larger words). After making the words, children then sort and look for spelling patterns and sets of rhymes. Students are introduced to two new words and they are asked to decode the new words using the patterns (Transfer).


Sample Lessons:

Letters:  a      b       l      s      t

Make:  as     at     lab     tab     sat     bat     bats     stab     last     blast

Sort:   -ab (lab, tab)      -at (sat, bat, at)     -ast (last, blast)

Transfer Words:  cab     fast     past     rat

Secret Word (uses all the letters):   blast

Letters:  e     e     n     p     r     s     t

Make:  net     pet     pets     pest     nest     rest     rent     sent     spent     enter     pester     present     serpent

Sort:   -et (net, pet)      -est (pest, nest, rest, pester)     -ent (rent, sent, spent, enter, present, serpent )

Transfer Words:  wet     west     chest     vent

Secret Word (uses all the letters):   present, serpent

Letters:  a     a     e     b     b     l     l     s

Make:  all     lab     slab   blab     ball     bell     sell     seal     sale     bale     able     sable     baseball

Sort:   -all (all, ball, baseball)      -ab (lab, slab, blab)     -ale (sale, bale )     -ell (bell, sell)      -able (able, sable)

Transfer Words:  cable     spell     flab     whale

Secret Word (uses all the letters):   baseball

(Making big words)

Letters:  e     e     o     u     y     l     m     m     n     n     p     t

Make:  my     ply     toy     yet     pet     met     melt      pelt     pony     only     type     nylon     penny     money     empty     enemy     lumpy     plenty     employ     moment     monument     employment     unemployment

Sort:   -ment (moment, monument, employment, unemployment)      -y (my, ply, type, nylon)     -y (pony, only, penny, money, empty, enemy, lumpy, plenty)     -oy (toy, employ, employment, unemployment)      -et (yet, met, pet)     -elt (melt, pelt)

Transfer Words:  enjoy    enjoyment     payment     shipment

Secret Word (uses all the letters):   unemployment

For making words lessons, refer to Patricia Cunningham and Dottie Hall's books including:

Making More Words (Good Apple, 1997).
Making Big Words  (Good Apple, 1994).