Clever Parents Play Games to Help Early Readers

October 17, 2016 5:01 pm Published by

I have always felt games provide the best way of teaching children, especially if the concept involved is fairly abstract.

When my son was tiny, back in the sixties, we used to play a game which, though simplistic in nature, provided him with an excellent lesson for the future. The biscuit tin game involved placing a biscuit tin on the kitchen table (often he would fetch it himself in anticipation of playing the game). We would sit on either side of the table and he would describe the tin he could see ā€“ it had two lambs and some roses. I would tell him my tin had a shepherd and a dog on the side. We’d hmm and hah, roll our eyes, purse our lips and ponder the situation. I would then ask if we were possibly looking at different biscuit tins, if after all the pictures were different.

His cue to agree. How would we prove we were looking at the same tin?

My cue to say I wasn’t sure.

His cue to suggest we walk round the table, swap seats and each see it from a different angle.

We would solemnly walk round and swap seats.

Once again we would each describe the tin we could see now and then agree that it was the same tin all along, but that we had simply been looking at it from a different angle.

His cue to tell me you have to walk all round a problem to see it from all angles.

He was four.

Many, many years later he told me that throughout his Oxford years, whenever he was faced with a difficult question, or seemingly insoluble problem in his exams, he would ditch his line of thinking, walk round the metaphorical biscuit tin and see the problem from a different perspective. And it always worked.

Back to reading.

Your learner now knows.

The phonic alphabet.

Twenty three sight words.

‘y’ on the end of a word.

Double letters.

Magic eĀ  and

ang, eng, ing, ong, ung.

And now for some of the most useful phonics of all:

ar (as in car).

er (as in her).

ir (as in bird).

or (as in corn).

ur (as in fur).

Now you child or learner can read the following. I have included ‘day’ ā€“ sound ay as single letters, ‘a’ ‘y’ ā€“ say them fast, run them together and the correct sound is formed.

‘This morning Mother Lark and her baby birds sang pretty songs in the darkened trees, for it was Mother Lark’s birthday. Furry rabbits came along and they soon helped the chirpy chicks to sing happy songs. Then into the woods came a little deer named Star. His friends were so glad to see him.

”It is my birthday,” said Mother Lark, ”you must come to my party with us.”

”Mummy will have a beautiful cake,” sang the chicks, ”and pink sweets too.”

”I shall have to ask my mother first,” said Star.

A short time later Star returned and they had a party. Mother Lark’s birthday cake was beautiful and the pink sweets were simply the best. The friends wore party hats and had games that the furry rabbits invented. Then they sang ‘Happy Birthday,’ and Star and the rabbits and Mother Lark and her chicks went home. They had such a good time.’

This is a real story with sentences and a firm story line. Your early reader can do a beautiful illustration, colour it and bring the story to life.

We have not strayed outside the limits of known sounds but slowly they are beginning to come together.

Next time I shall include more phonic sounds and give two more games that I found useful for my own child.

My tip: Reading must be done every day for the very best results.

This is Teaching Post 7

Link to Teaching Post 8

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This post was written by Alonah Reading Cambridge

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