The concept of exemplar words is similar to that of word families. These words serve as anchors for students both in reading and in writing. If a student understands that there are groups or families of words that share similar patterns, they will be more successful readers and more accurate writers. These 44 words were chosen as anchor words because they are commonly used and understood by children. If a child learns that 'bebé' is written with 'b' and not 'v' then they can be prompted when they encounter other words that are spelled with 'b.' A teacher might say, "I notice you're trying to write the word 'bici.' Use what you know about the word 'bebé' to write 'bici.'"
Use these words in a quick phonics lesson at the beginning of a guided reading group or teach a word each week to your entire class and find new words throughout the week that share the same pattern. These cards can be used in a literacy center or on a word wall.
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