It would come as no surprise that children learn best when they are having fun. At Astor International School, we aim to help children construct knowledge through meaningful play activities. These activities and games provide opportunities for children to consolidate and reflect on their learning. This is done so through linking previous knowledge to new learning, solidifying connections through repetition to build automaticity. Here are some activities that are used in the Year 1 class at Astor to build a love for reading and writing.
Clap, tap, get!
This game is not only about identifying the letter-sounds, but also gets children to work on impulse control. Give instructions for children to clap, and tap in different sequences and have them reach out to grab the sound tent which matches the word they sounded. This helps students to work on linking sounds to letters too.
Roll and blend
This blending game is a favourite in the Year 1 classroom at Astor. This game touches on several skills – identifying letters, recalling letter-sound correspondence, blending different sounds, and working out if the word is real, or made-up. Have students discuss with each other if the words that they are sounding out are real or made-up. How can they use it in a sentence?
Creating silly sentences is another favourite. Provide picture cards containing a subject, verb, and location for younger learners, and you can invite older learners to come up with random words from those categories. Students will have to think of how to string the words into a complete sentence. You can make it trickier by inviting the learners to think of adding adjectives such as size, shape, colour, origin, material, and purpose to the noun.