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Literacy Tip of the Week: Week of April 8th

posted Apr 8, 2018, 5:23 PM by Courtney Richardson   [ updated Apr 29, 2018, 10:59 AM ]
Steps for Making a Big Word

I’ve received several questions about the word study activity, Making a Big Word. I don’t want there to be any confusion about this powerful procedure. Making a Big Word is NOT about teaching a specific word; it’s about teaching children how to hear and see parts in words. 
Steps to Making a Big Word:
1. Choose a multisyllabic word from the story that has easy to hear sounds and a phonetic element they need to learn (e.g. dangerous, reliable, discourage, disgusted, captured, duration, etc.). To make the task easier to manage, I try to select a word that doesn’t have too many duplicate letters.  
2. Give students a tray of magnetic letters and tell them which letters to remove from the tray. I say the letters in alphabetic order so that it is easier for them to find the letters on the tray AND so they don't remove the letters in the order they appear in the word. Distribute any duplicate letters.
3. You say the word. Have students repeat the word while they clap each part (dan-ger-ous).
4. Students use the magnet letters to make the word. Scaffold individuals as needed.
5. Once the students have made the word correctly, tell them to say it again and break the letters apart. They break the word into the audible parts, not necessarily according to syllabic rules.
6. Students make the word once more. If there is time, have them repeat the process. 

Written by: Jan Richardson