This activity provides decoding practice but so much more. Using controlled text that your struggling readers can decode, students are challenged to group and categorize word cards. It's fun, interactive, easily modified for many levels and really gets your students thinking about language! Don't let poor decoding skills get in the way of language growth and creativity.
Encourage your students to be creative with their categories. Have them explain to you their criteria and challenge them to think about word meanings and alternatives. Being able to come up with a way of grouping and then articulating the criteria in a way that others could use is a great skill.
This is a good activity for individual tutoring as well as small groups. In a larger class, you can make multiple copies and break the students into groups. The activity encourages cooperative problem solving as they come up with their classifications. If doing it with more than one group it's fun at the end to see if they came up with the same groupings.
All the words are either closed syllables (short vowel) or silent e syllables. The cards decks can be adjusted depending on the level of your students.
While this is a fun activity for younger beginning readers, it is especially great with your older students that may be reading at a low level. The cards are plain and uncluttered. There are no graphics that may seem babyish to a sensitive older student.
This activity works very well with most reading intervention programs especially ones based on Orton-Gillingham techniques.