Before winter break, I had a few minutes to do a read aloud and word wall lesson in a first grade teacher’s room. The teacher had been working on word wall words with her students, yet they needed more practice.
I wanted to read something fun, yet purposeful for her class, to foster a sense of excitement for books, reading and the word wall in general. So I pulled out one of my old favorites, Knuffle Bunny Too, by Mo Willems.
Before the lesson (planning):
This book is amazing in so many ways, with endless instructional possibilities. And the illustrations! I could look at the pictures forever! For this situation, however, I decided to focus on word wall words. Prior to the lesson itself, I took a few moments to jot down the many high frequency words that I noticed in the story:
Then I compared them to the list of words that she had not yet taught to her class and chose these:
2. but, not butt (yes, this caused some chuckles when I introduced it. I have my own first grader at home so I should have expected that!)
I began by introducing the words. They were prewritten on index cards and I held up each one. As I did, the students:
*said the word
*read the word in a sentence
*bounced each letter of the word like a basketball *click here to read more about ways to interact with the word wall: literacywithlisa.com/2015/11/09/word-wall-101/
*students “sky wrote” the words using their imaginary pencils (i.e. their fingers)
We read the story! It helps to give the students are purpose for reading. In this case, I reminded them to listen for the word wall words. To keep them engaged, I asked them to put their thumbs up for each word wall word that they heard.
Did I mention how much I love this book?? No matter how many times I listen to it, I still chuckle, especially when the two dads come to school the next day, tired and unshaven. Meanwhile, Trixie and her friend are peppier than ever, chatting away about their Knuffle Bunnies. I also love how the mom gives Daddy a knowing look, when Trixie wakes them both up to say that Knuffle Bunny is missing. That it doesn’t matter if it’s 2:30 in the morning He better get his butt (yes, Joey, I’m using your favorite word in the right context now!) out of bed and find Knuffle Bunny.
I could go on and on about this book. If you haven’t read it yet, you should.
Reflections on the lesson…
If I were to do it again, I would highlight some vocabulary words as well, like: realized, devoured and/or marched
These are great examples of words to post on a “wow” word wall. Displaying the words will help students remember to use them in their speaking and/or writing, which will ultimately increase retention and overall vocabulary development.
Overall, this entire lesson took about 20 minutes from start to finish (read aloud and activities). I enjoyed it and judging by the students (and teacher!), I think they did too.
How do you use read alouds and/or interactive games to reinforce the word wall or other phonics lessons in your classroom? Feel free to share and comment here so we can borrow ideas from each other!