Case of the Mystery Word

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There are 39 systematic sequential phonics word study lessons based on the Common Core and research from the National Reading Panel. We all teach differently and I wanted to provide a structure for you to be able to teach the lessons each week in the way that works best for you. This can be used alone, or with any word study program, GUIDED READING, or for interventions for RTI. Each unit has the common core standard listed on it and the phonics skill. I put each lesson with the phonics skill into a zip file for easier access when trying to find what you need instead of having to search through all of the lessons.

Each lesson "case" begins with a riddle and a clue word. Use the clues to help you change the first word into different words. The mystery is solved when you find the last word at the end. This is similar to word ladders, but without pictures. When students take the DIBELS or AIMSWEB oral reading assessments, they do not have any pictures to support their reading. This allows me to scaffold them into reading for meaning without picture support. The answer key has the letters that are changed in red and letters that are the same in black.

On the first day I introduce a phonics skill, I have students use whiteboards and I tell them the clues orally. They follow the directions to make the new word. After they make the word, they have to read it. We will then discuss what it means. This incorporates vocabulary instruction into the lesson and is very helpful for my ESL students and struggling readers.

I will then put it at a literacy station or use it for homework the next day. You can leave the answer key for students to be able to self-ckeck their answers. This is also helpful for when you have guest teachers. I like it because it is all planned out and I can differentiate different lessons for each of my reading groups without having to do extra planning. I use these in the order of my Racecar Word Study Units program found on TPT which are:

1 Short Vowel /a/
2 Short Vowel /a/
3 Short Vowel / i/
4 Short Vowel /o/
5 Digraph /k/ ck
6 Variant Vowel /o/ a
7 Short Vowel /e/
8 Short Vowel /-ll)
9 Digraph /th/
10 Short Vowel /u/
11 Dipthong /ng/
12 R-Controlled Vowel /or/ or, ore
13 Digraph /sh/
14 Digraphs /ch/ ch, tch
15 Long Vowel /o/ o
16 R-Controlled Vowel /ar/ar
17 Digraphs /kw/ qu, /hw/ wh
18 R-Controlled Vowels er, ir, ur
19 Syllable -le
20 Long Vowel /o/ oa, ow
21 Long Vowel /e/ e
22 Long Vowels /e/ ea, ee
23 Long Vowel /a/ a-e
24 Long Vowel /e/ y
25 Long Vowel /i/ i-e
26 Consanant /s/ c
27 Variant Vowels /ou/ ou, ow
28 Long Vowel /i/ y
29 Long Vowel /o/ o-e
30 Long Vowel /i/ igh
31 Long Vowel /a/ ai, ay
32 Long Vowel /i/ i
33 Long Vowel /o/ o
34 Consonants /j/ g, dge
35 Long Vowel /oo/ u-e
36 Short Vowel /e/ ea
37 Vowel Digraph /oo/ oo
38 Dipthong /oi/ oi, oy
39 Variant Vowels /o/ aw

Special thanks to Thistlegirl Graphics.

Total Pages
78
Answer Key
Included
Teaching Duration
1 Year

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Case of the Mystery Word
Case of the Mystery Word