If you know me, you know I love recycling, reusing and upcycling stuff. We often use recyclables in crafting and learning. This is one genius idea to use egg cartons for word building!
Working at a remedial school, one sees a lot of issues re spelling. One of these issues is organizational skills. One needs to have organizational skills in order to place letters in order for spelling. Some of our children have difficulty knowing where to start building a work, this, together with having auditory segmenting difficulties(breaking the word up in sound and identifying which sounds you hear first, second, last) makes word building very hard for them. We use the traffic light method: green means start here, yellow means middle sounds, red means stop. This visual method has helped many learners with word building.
I used egg cartons to make these traffic lights. One can simply use coloured cardboard and place them in the correct order, but I like recycling, you know…
Initially, I made 3 compartment ones for CVC words, and 4 compartment ones for CCVC OR CVCC words. It was coloured as shown below with markers(kids can make their own too):
Then, I use 30 compartment egg cartons to keep the alphabet cards, marked in alphabetical order. I made the mistake the first time to give the cards to the learners and asked them to pack it out on their tables. Needless to say, a whole lesson was spent on organizing the cards in alphabetical order and half of the time kids were on the floor looking for letters that magically disappeared? Using an egg carton like this to keep the letter cards in helps learners to be more organized and in turn helps the learning along:
We started with building simple CVC words to get used to the traffic light method.
This is how the lesson went: “The word is cat. What is the first sound you hear? C, find the c and place it on the green(start), second sound? A, find it and place it on the yellow, last sound? T? Find the letter card and place it on the red and that means stop. Read the whole words now, does it make sense? If not, see which letter card is in the wrong place…” Learners lift the egg cartons up to show teacher when they are done building the word. Teacher scans it quickly to see if a learner need individual attention.
You do the same for CCVC AND CVCC words.
You can use this method for combination of sounds too. Explain that the letters “oa” is one sound in the word boat. Do the same like you did with “cat” and the learners will hear the sound “oa” is one sound even though it is two letters and it must go in one compartment. (I have special cards with all the combinations of different vowel sounds and digraphs we use too. If we work with a specific sound,me add that to the big egg carton. We might need a new big egg carton when we worked through all the combination of sounds!)
More fun learning activities you will want to see: