Nonsense words are frequently assessed on early reading screening and proficiency tests. It’s a challenge for students who are accustomed to trying to make sense of reading.
To make sense of nonsense words, we need to view them as word parts. We can combine the word parts to build sensible words. The challenge here is to show students the connection between word parts and actual words they know. A word like “yellow” is composed of the syllables/parts “yel” and “low.” The difficulty here is that beginning readers are usually not familiar with the “ow” sound.
I have been on a quest to find words that meet these requirements:
Short vowel sounds (no “le,” final y, control r, vowel teams, or diiphthongs)
Familiar to young students
I like versatile products, so this is pretty minimalist. There are 5 sets of 12 words. There is a recording sheet for each set and a generic recording sheet to use with any set.
Here are a few activities you could do:
Work individually or as a small group to assemble words.
Play concentration with the words.
Make matches (all parts displayed)
Give each student a word part and have them find the partner who completes their word
Use as flashcards.
Go on a “finish the word” scavenger hunt
These activities support CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.3.E.
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