Case of the Mystery Word (Short Vowel Word Family Edition)
by Michelle Mallory's Racing Team
There are 39 lessons that can be used with any word study program, GUIDED READING, or for interventions for RTI. This activity is also helpful for guest teachers. The phonics skill for each mystery is listed in the header. Each lesson "case" begins with a riddle and a clue word. Use the clues to change the first word into different words. The letters that are being added or taken away in each clue are in bold with a different font to help students visually discriminate these letters from the rest of the directions. All the lessons create one syllable words with the same ending, but students will change, add or take away letters from the beginning consonant, beginning blends and digraphs to make new words. It challenges students to not just keep changing the first letter as most other word family products do, but to follow the directions each step of the way. The mystery is solved when the last word at the end is created.
This scaffolded activity is similar to word ladders, and allows students to build and read words for meaning without picture support. When students take DIBELS or AIMSWEB oral reading assessments, they do not have any pictures to support their reading. The answer key has the letters that are changed in red and letters that are the same in black.
Ideas for implementation:
Introduce phonics skill. Tell students the clues orally and have them follow the directions to make the new word. Teacher can model in pocket chart or on board, while students use whiteboards or magnetic letters. After they make the word, have students read it and discuss what it means. This incorporates vocabulary instruction into the lesson and is very helpful for ELL students and struggling readers with limited oral language. The activity can then be placed at a literacy station or used for morning/homework the next day. The answer key can be left at station for students to be able to self-check their answers.
I have the lessons listed in a sequential teaching order by phonics skill, but you can use them in any order that you choose. Each phonics skill has its own file for easier access.
Short Vowel /a/
Short Vowel /i/
Short Vowel /o/
Short Vowel /e/
Short Vowell -ll
Short Vowel /u/
Case of the Mystery Word Short Vowel Word Families has a Scope and Sequence of Phonics Skills in a table format. Each row features the phonics skills and the columns represent the 4 different Case of the Mystery Word products available. The differences between each mystery are explained to meet the needs of different reading groups without having to do extra planning. This allows teachers to differentiate and personalize learning with the same phonics skill or with different phonics skills.
Case of the Mystery Word products available at my TPT Store:
*Set 1 (39 Sequential Phonics Word Building Mysteries: mostly 1 syllable words)
*Set 2 (39 Sequential Phonics Word Building Mysteries: 1-2 syllable words, more challenging than set 1)
*Short Vowel Word Families (39 Individual Word Family Mysteries: mostly 1 syllable words with consonants, consonant blends and digraphs)
*Long and Variant Vowel Word Families (39 Individual Word Family Mysteries: mostly 1 syllable words with consonants, consonant blends and digraphs)
Special thanks to Thistlegirl Graphics.