Words of the Week!
The purpose of this page is to supplement word work
for the Words of the Week that are frequently used
in primary classrooms. Teachers who use these words
as part of their Word Wall have requested these
activities. Each packet may include activities for 5
new words with a review packet after four weeks:
configuration, cloze, sentence writing, word search,
antonyms, rhyme time, handwriting (words for lists
one and two and then sentences thereafter), story
comprehension, and alphabetical order. There are
different genres for the story comprehension
component. For instance, it may be a personal
narrative, a poem, a song, a how to, a letter, a
poster and maybe even a menu, etc. I also plan to
write letters to children to explain my motivation
to write some of the stories or to let them know
where I get my ideas. This may generate more student
interest in writing. I hope so!
I originally developed and used these packets in an
academy for at risk second graders. Initially, I
allowed the students to write their own sentences
for the Sentence Sense page. However, they were
having so much difficulty with it that I decided to dictate
included words that we'd already worked with as well
as the new ones. It was very successful and I would
suggest using that format, especially with
your struggling writers. Why? I found that I was
able to use language that facilitates the
development of good writing strategies. We talked
about using capitals, correct punctuation, spacing,
etc. They counted the number of words in each
sentence before writing, reread as they wrote to see
what came next, etc. With one student I was
able to work on reversals (p, d, and d) during the
dictation sessions. You may want to try using the
dictation process and see how it works for your
I love it! My group of second graders grew in leaps
and bounds. They took more ownership of their work,
neatness and accuracy improved and they revisited
the stories to check their work. I added some extras
to my group work. For instance, I brought in a book
on skunks for the 4c comprehension story. The kids
really enjoyed learning and writing about
skunks. If you think of any other extensions to some
of these packets, please let me know and I'll share
them on this page.
Parents and teachers seemed to be happy with the
progress in the academy and I was very proud of my
little guys! Who else gets up three mornings a week
to spend an hour working on their reading and
writing skills before school?! My sister, a Resource
Specialist, reports that her academy kids especially
like the reader's theater scripts, songs and poems.
I guess that means that I need to write more
One word of caution: The review components may be
too complicated or difficult for some of your
students. For instance, in Rhyme Time, some of the
rhyming words sound the same, but don't have the
same spelling. Alphabetical order has some words
that begin with the same letter and sentence writing
uses two words from the word bank in each sentence.
Pick and choose wisely.
Source for the Dolch Word List:
I would highly recommend
looking at this site for other activities to go with
this page. It has phrases, student practice
books, game boards and much, much more! It's worth
the time to look at it.
Just a note: If some of you have other ideas
for ways to use these materials, or if you can think
of other activities to include, please let me know.
I'm open for new ideas!
Debra Grice, who teaches a K-1 in Pasco County,
Florida, loved the activities on this page. However,
she took it one step further and has allowed me to
share her fabulous suggestion with you. She is
focusing on fluency, so she numbered the lines in
one of the stories below (Story 3a) in order to
quickly count correct words per minute. She sends
the stories home as nightly reading assignments.
I'll be adding fluency drills to each comprehension
packet, so check back for new ones. They begin with
lesson 2b. Here's Debra's recording sheet. Thanks,
Debra, for sharing!