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This package includes 4 CARD GAMES covering the more uncommon letter clusters:
1 - diphthongs that say 'or' clusters al-all-aw
2 - diphthongs that say 'or' clusters al-ar-augh-ough-au
3 - ie says long e sound
4 - two sounds of 'ea'
5 - tricky 'ough' and 'air'
6 - 'are' and 'eigh'
+ DIRECTIONS for play
Each game is a mixture of these sounds with 45 cards in each game. See the PREVIEW where I have included a word list to see if it suits your purpose.
This game is based on the traditional DONKEY game. It has pictures and words on every card but there is no link between the picture and the word. Students have to decode the word to match their cards and this ensures they are decoding print, rather than recognising the pictures. This is critical at this level where the vowel clusters and letter patterns become more difficult.
Students love the silliness of this game and my older students extend the game by taking one letter of the word DONKEY each time they lose. This is a great way for them to be exposed to these words over and over.
You can mix ability groups at this level by changing the game format. Instead of players placing their pairs in front of them and saying the words, the player can place the pair in the middle of the table and all players say the words. This scaffolds the learning for those students needing more support, while still including them with their peers. You could do it this way with mixed ability Literacy Rotations.
I use the DONKEY games in RTI and it is one of my best games because it appeals to all ages and ability levels. It can take as little as two to three minutes to play and it is a very positive way to start or round off intervention.
Kids at this level have their basic phonics but need more exposure to these trickier elements, so playing a game like this is perfect for the repetition they need for fluency. It also enables them to generalise and decode similar words while they are reading. After all, research tells us that they best readers have more reading strategies . It makes sense. The more they play, the easier it will be to generalise to real reading.
For variety I also have SWITCHEROO which requires a bit more strategic thinking, but develops the same skills. Alternate them in your Literacy Centre to maintain motivation.